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Letters: Judge unjust in drunk driving case

Erin Marino stands outside a Mineola courtroom at

Erin Marino stands outside a Mineola courtroom at her DWI vehicular assault case. (Feb. 17, 2011) Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

There is something really strange and disconcerting about "Driver in crime lab case avoids jail" [News, Jan. 16]. Nassau Judge George Peck, from the description of the case in this article, seems to have been lenient with Erin Marino.

At the same time, her victims, Edita and Nicolas Bonilla, could suffer chronic pain. Edita Bonilla fractured her spine and pelvis in the crash.

Peck had previously tossed out Marino's conviction for aggravated vehicular assault and driving while intoxicated, and an appeals court overturned his decision. However, the judge refused to remove himself from sentencing Marino to five years' probation and time served, even after the prosecutor made a motion for him to do so.

How can we continue to have faith in our justice system?

Molly Ratner, Fresh Meadows

I was shocked to read that this sixth-grade teacher, convicted of aggravated vehicular assault and driving while intoxicated, will avoid any jail time. Erin Marino has the privilege of shaping the minds of our future adult citizens, in a profession that is well-paid and has few vacancies on Long Island. Her extracurricular actions compromise her abilities in class, in my opinion.

Even more outrageous was Judge George Peck's denying safe-driving advocates the right to speak on behalf of the victims. Peck has displayed heartless tolerance for universally deplored criminal behavior.

I plan to leave Long island as soon as possible to avoid the reckless drivers on the roads and the callous jurists in court.

Lowell F. Wolf, Levittown