Today you’ll find something different on our editorial page – two editorials on the same subject.
The focus of both is the curious decision by Sonoma County Judge Ken Gnoss to knock nine years off the 12-year prison sentence of Dylan Morse of Merced for the drunken-driving accident that killed art student Alex Ruiz and left a Sonoma State University student in a coma.
One of the editorials is by us. The other is from the Merced Sun-Star, Morse’s hometown paper. Morse’s father, Larry Morse, is the district attorney in Merced County
One might expect the local paper to be cheering this decision, but that’s not the case. Read it for yourself.
I talked with Sun-Star Editorial Page Editor Keith Jones on Tuesday, and he was pleased to hear what we were planning to do. “You probably won’t receive as many angry letters as we have,” he said.
Apparently, the editorial also prompted an angry phone call to the newspaper from Morse’s father.
I’m not sure what he has to complain about. His son is likely to end up serving only about 28 months for running a red light and shattering numerous lives with a blood alcohol level of 0.15.
The oddity here is that Merced County has a reputation for being tough on drunken drivers. Not long ago, Larry Morse’s department was successful in prosecuting a 22-year-old woman involved in an accident that killed two people. She received an 11-year prison sentence.
I wonder what Sonoma County’s reputation will be now in other parts of the state.
– Paul Gullixson