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Letter: 2-year manslaughter sentence is curious

Thomas Stavola, at First District Court in Central

Thomas Stavola, at First District Court in Central Islip on Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, after he was sentenced to 2-years in jail for the deadly DWI crash that killed Monica Peterman last Decemeber in Smithtown. Photo Credit: James Carbone

In "A family forgives" [News, Oct. 23], Thomas Stavola of Setauket pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the drunken-driving death of a dialysis technician. He is expected to serve just two years in prison.

At first I thought I misread something, but as I continued, I found that the legal system's rationale was that the criminal was a cardiologist, and he shouldn't be in prison for too long because he can still help people when he gets out.

Stavola was drunk when he crashed his vehicle into the victim's and walked away, leaving her mortally wounded.

So a doctor is considered too useful to be imprisoned? I am now curious if there is an actual formula in our legal system the equates a person's occupation to the discounted sentence he or she will receive.

What if the drunken driver were a teacher, an accountant, a construction worker, a stay-at-home parent or unemployed? Is there a certain amount of lives you have to save before you are allowed to take one?

Gary Schultz, Smithtown