Sometimes, people who are drunk driving have a hard time accepting responsibility for their choices. They’ll be defiant, belligerent, or frustrated with the judicial process that’s designed to punish them for their crime. Others are accepting of what they’ve done and eager to make amends, even if that includes going away to jail for a long time.
No one can be sure which side of this coin Kyla MacLellan falls on, but after she was transferred to day parole only 14 months into her five year sentence for killing a man while driving drunk, it really seems as though the punishment favors the defendant in this case.
It was July 2013 when MacLellan spent the night drinking at the beach, and after driving home while intoxicated she decided to head back to the beach to see the sunrise. That’s when she crashed straight into Mark Burnett’s SUV. The 55 year old man died from his injuries.
Nova Scotia drunk driving penalties crack down on drunk drivers, and she received a stiff 5-year prison sentence for her crime. When she was released from prison into day parole after only 14 months, some people questioned whether she’d done enough time for the crime.
According to Burnett’s widow, the answer is no. She hoped for rehabilitation, but she doesn’t believe that day parole is a stiff enough punishment to begin to fill the gaping hole left behind when her husband died. She also doesn’t believe that leaving prison so quickly will make enough of an impact on a young person with a lifetime of choices in front of them.
MacLellan now lives in a halfway house, and because most halfway houses only require a check in a few times per day and a night time curfew, she has a lot of free time on her hands. She can begin getting on with her life, but what about the victim in this case? Unfortunately it seems as though the only people who have received a long-term sentence are the loved ones Mark Burnett left behind.