Matthew Cordle, 22 years old, could not have been more shocked when the results of his sentencing were the dire consequences of a 6 ½ year prison sentence after his DUI confession, via YouTube. Cordle stated that he had been involved in a fatal car accident while under the influence of alcohol.
Cordle interviewed with the Columbus Dispatch on October 25th. He stated, “The video got a lot of attention and required appropriate reaction from the court.” He added, “If I didn’t make the video and quietly did this, I may have gotten a lighter sentence. As to what may have happened, there’s no way of knowing.”
His case became controversial within the nation, after his public YouTube confession, saying, “I killed a man.”
Cordle was convicted of aggravated vehicular homicide and DUI. The sentence could have been as low as two years. The judge on the Franklin County case, David Fais, said, “The court feels that the sentence imposed is the appropriate sentence,” On June 22, 2013, Cordle struck and killed Vincent Canzani, 61, while driving the wrong way on Ohio’s Interstate 670.
Our technological society has made some people more vulnerable to the temptation to confess to crimes online. Cordle stated that he had regrets about posting the YouTube video in which he confesses that his wrong-way crash was fueled by DUI, the excessive drinking of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle. The dire consequences were embodied in Judge Fais ‘s final sentencing. Today, instead of finding it difficult not to tell a close friend or significant other, a guilty party may be willing to confess on a media site that has become comfortable and familiar to the confessional writer.
Perhaps some criminals, who in the past liked to boast or brag about their crimes in newspapers, are now using internet media to continue the tradition of braggadocio a la Pretty Boy Floyd or Bonnie and Clyde-other infamous past lawbreakers.
For Cordle, not only will he be imprisoned for a substantial amount of time, but he was also given a lifetime suspension of driving privileges and a $1,075 fine in addition to court costs. At his age, Cordle has severely limited his future rights in society.
“It should have been me that night, the guilty party, instead of an innocent man,” Cordle told Judge Fais. Matthew Cordle also wanted it known that spilling the beans in regard to his actions was not some kind of heroic act.
Cordle attributed his heavy drinking to mental-health problems that included depression and anxiety. “I wasn’t in a very good place,” he said. “I was out drinking a lot, out partying a lot. … I would describe myself as a bit lost.”
Matthew woke up in the hospital the next day still feeling inebriated, and had a difficult time piecing the events of the night together. When he had recovered, Cordle stated, “As much as I feel guilty for saying something like this, it has given me a purpose now — something I can grasp on to and spend the rest of my life fighting for,” he said.
Recent state legislation has trended towards limiting privileges for youthful drivers. Some states are requiring that a person must be 18 in order to have a driver’s license, and that until that time, the driver with a permit is required to have an adult in the car with them, to supervise the inexperienced vehicle operator.
Although compassion may be in order for Matthew Cordle, the dire consequences from the result of his DUI, and the brazen confession he made on YouTube, brought about the resulting tough sentence, a cessation of his driving privileges and a substantial fine. In the near future, it is probable that more US citizens will begin to realize that their ability to drive is directly proportional to their respect for the mere privilege of owning a valid driver’s license. This would include those who might be inclined to drink and drive.
Written by Lisa M Pickering