Elizabeth L. Parker, Esq.
$100,000 TO VICTIMS MIGHT SLASH PRISON TIME The Palm Beach Post October 2003 by Alan Gomez There's no question a big check can get you a star attorney. But can it actually lower your prison term? That's the question being asked in a Palm Beach County court, where a $100,000 payment may shave years off a defendant's prison sentence. Dennis McLennand Jr., 26, of Wellington faces a DUI manslaughter charge after he drove his Honda into a disabled van on Interstate 95 two years ago. The people in the van had gotten out just before McLennand plowed into them, killing 8-month-old Alayn Aguila and injuring three members of his family. Attorneys for both sides had agreed to a plea bargain, where McLennand would plead guilty Wednesday morning and receive give years in prison and 15 years on probation. But late Tuesday night, McLennand’s family offered the victim’s family $100,000. Prosecutor Elizabeth Parker said the deal sends a horrible message to the community: “If you have money, you can get your sentence lowered.” Fred Susaneck, the McLennand’s attorney, defended the deal. “This isn’t buying justice,” Susaneck said. “Why should we penalize people who can make restitution?”