At the very end of last year, Shaun Goodman left a bar in Olympia, Washington in his Ferrari and led police on a high speed chase that approached 100 mph at times before crashing into two cars, jumping the curb and eventually careening into the side of a house. An unsuspecting passenger who had accepted a ride from Goodman was forced to leap from the moving car as it slowed down approaching an intersection.
Police arrested Goodman, whose blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit in Washington. He pleaded guilty to felony charges of eluding a police officer and driving under the influence, his seventh DUI conviction. And last week, Judge James Dixon handed down his sentence: no jail time and one year in a work release program.
Members of the community are crying foul, and argue that criminals who have money play by a different set of rules than others who commit similar crimes, drawing comparisons to several other recent cases of wealthy defendants getting off with minimal punishment. On Friday, protesters gathered in front of the Thurston County courthouse to demand answers.
“The judge has said at some point that he’s an important businessman in the community, and it wouldn’t be fair for him (and) his employees would suffer if he went to real jail,” said Sam Miller in an interview with local station KOMO News. “And my question is, what about the people that might suffer if he kills somebody?”