Seattle’s TV stations are reporting that a wealthy businessman who led police on a high speed chase through the city of Olympia in his Ferrari F360 has been sentenced to just one year of work release. According to the reports, Shaun Goodman pleaded guilty to felony police evasion and DUI for the December 29 incident that saw his terrified passenger leap from the moving car when he slowed at an intersection and ended only after he crashed into a parked car and then careened into the side of a house.
Blood alcohol tests showed Mr. Goodman had a BAC of 0.16, twice the legal limit in Washington State, and sentencing guidelines dictate that anyone with a BAC greater than 0.15 and two or three prior offenses receive 120 days jail time unless the judge determines that the sentence would impose a substantial risk to the offender’s physical or mental well-being. This conviction is Mr. Goodman’s seventh.
The light sentence has sparked some outcry in the local community and protesters gathered before the Thurston County Courthouse on Friday to voice their dissatisfaction. They allege that this sentence is just the latest example of the favorable treatment that Mr. Goodman has received all along from the court and point to the modest $75.000 bail, a sum the wealthy Mr. Goodman easily posted, and the fact that Mr. Goodman received the court’s permission to leave the state in order to attend the Super Bowl less than a month after his arrest as proof of their claim.
Mr. Goodman is obviously a serial offender and a menace on the roads and this judgment, just another in which wealthy defendants have used their position to obtain lighter sentences than would have been imposed upon the rest of us, is a disgrace. Protesters are right to demand answers.