That sentence sounds quite excessive to me. I don't think people should go to jail for accidents, especially for longer sentences like 8 years. Of course if there are extenuating circumstances, it could be right. This was probably not a legally owned gun, for one thing, and perhaps Alvarez had a long record of criminal convictions already. But generally speaking, I say one-strike-you're-out with regards to the right to own guns, and no jail for accidents.A 32-year-old Paterson man was sentenced Friday to eight years in state prison for accidentally killing a close friend as he played with a gun while high on marijuana.
Luis Alvarez, who pleaded guilty to reckless manslaughter, wept as relatives of 20-year-old victim Storm Brown stood before state Superior Court Judge Raymond A. Reddin in Paterson and mourned what was clearly a mutual loss.
“You don’t play with guns,” said Helen Melton, Brown’s aunt. “You were older than Storm. You should have known better.”
Attorneys characterized the relationship between defendant and victim as almost like uncle and nephew.
“It was a tragic accident,” Alvarez said. “It’s something that hurts me every day.”
Authorities said the incident occurred at Alvarez’s home at 42 Highland St., where a party was winding down on the night of Oct. 24, 2010. Alavarez was smoking marijuana while playing with a 357 Magnum. The gun accidentally fired, striking Brown in the chest at about 1:10 a.m.. He was dead on arrival at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson.
What's your opinion?