In the Sept. 3 News, Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark was quoted as saying, "It is an unfortunate fact of the law that, in some cases, a person can benefit from leaving the scene of an accident."
The tragic death of Donald Fruehauf exemplifies how "man-made legal loopholes" fashion the blindfold on the famous statute of justice. While ignorance of the law is no excuse, we are now told that one's knowledge of the law can increase his chances of escaping its intentions.
Attorney Michael Taheri commented that panic may have caused his client, attorney Drew Tidwell, to flee the accident scene. Tidwell's action delayed immediate emergency treatment that might have saved Fruehauf's life and prevented identifying whether alcohol was a contributing factor to the accident.
Should higher standards of accountability apply to those violating laws in areas in which they are knowledgeable experts? What is a just penalty in this situation?
Attorneys have told me that despite surrendering his right to practice law, Tidwell can become a highly paid legal consultant after his sentence is completed.
A one-year suspension of his driving license also seems tawdry. If nothing else, that penalty should be imposed after the prison term is completed.
In Shakespeare's play "Julius Caesar," Marc Anthony raised concerns about Brutus' involvement in Caesar's murder without accusing or slandering him. After raising each possibility of who led the murder he concluded "but Caesar is an honorable man and so are they all honorable men."
If leaving the scene of the accident that took Fruehauf's life benefited Tidwell, we can anticipate that some drivers involved in future hit-and-run incidents will elect to do the same.
Strengthening the laws and legal penalties for hit-and-run drivers won't bring Fruehauf back, but it could help future victims of "honorable men."
CONRAD F. TOEPFER JR. Getzville