About that cyclist in Töölö

Kirjoittaja on New Yorkissa varttunut ja Helsingissä naisistunut copywriter.

Dear Mom,

So that cyclist who was allegedly intentionally hit by a driver in Töölö on Wednesday died yesterday.

The police have said that the a-hole… sorry… driver has been arrested on suspicion of either voluntary manslaughter under mitigating circumstances or aggravated involuntary manslaughter. That means chances are he’s at least going to get some jail time.

Personally, I hope they throw the book at him. But “the book” in Finland is a lot lighter than it is in the US.

If this same exact crime had taken place in, let’s say, New York instead of Helsinki, the driver would likely be charged with either murder or first degree manslaughter. That means he’d probably do between 5 and 25 years. Here, if he’s a first-time offender and he’s sentenced to the more serious offense of voluntary manslaughter, he might do 2.

According to this article in Business Insider, long prison sentences don’t deter crime.

And according to The Guardian, neither do short ones.

So yeah, of course it’s a complicated issue. But what’s not complicated is that a man is now dead for giving someone the finger in traffic. Someone’s son. Probably someone’s brother. Possibly someone’s father. Almost certainly someone’s friend.

And in the spirit of that middle finger and in honor of that person, I’d say that getting 2 years for that is fucked up.