Lengthy prison term aims to deter others from hit-and-runs

Expert: 12 year prison sentence handed down to Tal Mor was harsher than what is usual in hit-and-run killings, reflects his behavior during and after offenses.

October 24, 2011 04:44
2 minute read.
Tal Mor with his father Itzik in court on Sunday

Tal Mor with his father Itzik in court 311. (photo credit: JOANNA PARASZCZUK)

The 12 year prison sentence handed down to Tal Mor was harsher than what is usual in hit-and-run killings, and reflected Mor’s behavior during and after the offenses, according to Prof. Emmanuel Gross, an expert in criminal law from Haifa University.

“Not only was Mor under the influence of drugs and alcohol when he hit [Shneor] Cheshin, but he fled the accident scene – and then on top of that he also tried to stop police from getting to the truth,” said Gross.

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“All of that together meant that the court had to hand down a punishment that was harsher than usual.”

Gross dismissed claims by Mor’s family that the court had imposed a strict sentence because the victim was the son of former Supreme Court justice Michael Cheshin.

“Mor’s behavior was objectively so bad that the court needed to give a message,” Gross said.

The court likely intended the harsh sentence as a message to deter other drivers from fleeing accident scenes, Gross added.

However, Gross pointed out that the court could have imposed a far greater sentence on Mor, had it so wished.

“Twelve years is by no means a light sentence, but the court could have been even harsher,” said Gross.

The prosecution had originally asked for 20 years, based on all of the offenses for which Mor had been convicted.

Despite the harsh sentence imposed by the court, Or Yarok Association for Safer Driving, called on courts to impose far stricter penalties on hit-and-run drivers – particularly those who had been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as Mor had been.

Hit-and-run accidents have become a widespread epidemic that claims the lives of around 18 Israelis every year and injures another 1,000, according to Or Yarok CEO, Shmuel Abuav, who has been active in promoting tougher sentences for hit-and-run drivers.

Abuav also called on the Knesset to approve a new bill designed to deter hit-and-run drivers.

The Constitution, Law and Justice Committee approved the bill earlier this month for its second and third readings. If passed into law, it will allow judges to impose a maximum sentence of 14 years imprisonment on hit-and-run drivers.

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