Today in Los Angeles Sherri Lynn Wilkins, 53, was sentenced to 55 years to life in prison.
Her crime back in 2012 was not pretty. After having too much alcohol but driving she had plowed into Philip Moreno. For two miles she drove with him on her windshield. He was dying.
That wild ride might have gone on longer had other motorists not intervened and called police. Moreno died. She was convicted of second-degree murder, drunken driving and hit-and-run. Here is the coverage in tabloid New York Post.
Only drunks would understand the unique dynamics underlying Wilkins' horrific behavior. The scary reality of alcohol abuse is that the absuers don't feel impaired. They feel just fine. That's the substance talking to their body and mind.
After "something" happens, their judgment remains on disconnect. Wilkins was incapable of making a decision about what to do after a man wound up on her windshield. The odds were that she might have concluded that she would find a drink and then think about what to do next.
Alcoholism is a disease. But unlike diabetes, there is little sympathy for those on whom it's inflicted. To get through the rest of her life, Wilkins will have to come to forgive herself for taking a life in such a terrible way. No coincidence, the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) provide the mechanism for her to do that. Yes, there are AA programs in prison.
Perhaps Pope Francis, the global leader who told us not to judge, should devote a day to reflecting on alcoholism. He might accomplish what medical science hasn't been able to: Provide compassion for those with the disease. The Pope's intervention might motivate more drunks to seek out treatment.