A new mother who had given birth the day before she struck and killed a nanny pushing a toddler in a stroller has been sentenced to only 48 hours in jail. The woman, a 35-year-old attorney from California named Christine Padilla, killed the nanny and severely injured the toddler after striking them in San Diego while she was driving. She reportedly admitted to police she was sleep deprived at the time.

Padilla pled guilty to vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced to 48 hours in jail, along with probation and 180 days of electronic surveillance. This hardly seems much for running a red light and killing the nanny and almost killing the 13-month-old boy that the nanny was pushing. The child ended up with a skull fracture, broken bones, a lacerated spleen and broken ribs.

I get that she didn't mean to kill anyone, but vehicular manslaugher is usually treated incredibly leniently in this country. But it is an incredibly difficult thing to know how to punish. Which one of us hasn't made a mistake while driving? Lost our concentration for a moment? But then there are people who just drive like reckless maniacs and are a death waiting to happen.
 
Driving when you are sleep deprived to the extent that you can't see a red light means you shouldn't have been driving. I'm not saying Padilla should spend her life in prison, but 48 hours seems incredibly lax. On the other hand, she has a new baby, and perhaps the courts thought it would be worse to deprive a child from its mother in its early years.
 
Believe it or not, the two days added jail time was not part of the original sentence, which included no jail time. It was added only after pleas from the nanny's children and family and the injured toddler's mother. A tragedy all the way around.
 
Do you think the mom got enough punishment?
 
 
Image via hyku/Flickr