Judge Michael Toto proved that holding police accountable does not mean that justice will be served when he sentenced former Long Branch Police Officer Jake Pascucci to just 8 months in jail for killing Karen Borkowski. Pascucci hit Borkowiski driving full speed while drunk and was found guilty of vehicular homicide on a strict liability standard. He had been sentenced to 12 months before the Court of Appeals reversed his sentence citing a failure by the judge to consider the actions of Borkowiski herself. Pascucci successfully received a 4 month reduction after blaming the victim at re-sentencing. He is currently in the Middlesex County Jail.
As a former police officer Pascucci will be a target and is most likely being held in protective custody where he will get out of his cell for one or two hours a day by himself. That should make it easy for him to avoid fights with other inmates and get released after far less than 8 months for good behavior.
His conviction was due to a new law that takes away victim blaming for drunk drivers as a defense, but still allows it as a mitigating factor at sentencing. Pascucci was allowed to remain free pending appeal, so he was not required to serve any time until this past Friday.
Published at Sun, 27 Sep 2020 20:55:12 +0000