Saturday, February 27, 2016
There is no justification for drinking and driving -- ever. And I feel that sentences for those who kill others while behind the wheel should be at least as severe as those for manslaughter convictions. This is murder to my mind and too many people are flouting the law. Marco Muzzo killed four people, including the three precious children of a family where the parents are now bereft and he deserves the full weight of the law.
That said, I believe that his remorse is genuine. He pled guilty, and in his statement, made with faltering voice to the court he offered: "I'm tortured by the grief I've caused...I know that there are no actions that can ever change what happened, no steps to bring back your children..." This remorse shouldn't result in any change to the sentencing, but it was the right thing for Muzzo to do.
The parents heard none of what Muzzo had to say because they left as he was about to speak. Outside the courtroom, the mother of the three kids, Jennifer Neville-Lake, said the couple had no interest in what Muzzo had to offer and questioned the sincerity of his remorse: "There's nothing he could say that would have any impact on me. I don't want to listen to the man who is responsible for killing my children. I don't see why I should put myself through that."
We can understand her skepticism and anger, and as a father of three I shudder at the enormity of her loss. I hope that someday she can hear Muzzo's statement, not for his sake but for her healing. She may never be able to forgive the person who robbed her children of life and their joy of being a family. Who could blame her or her husband for that? Yet we all must experience the strange alchemy of justice and penitence and forgiveness and restoration which is life itself. I pray that the day will come when Marco Muzzo returns to society and from all accounts he was and is a down-to-earth and caring person, despite his family wealth and terrible crime. I hope he can rebuild his life.
More importantly I pray that the Neville-Lakes can re-establish a life of meaning which is not crippled by anger.
How have you reacted to this story?