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Kerry Kennedy 'Sleep-Driving' Defense: 'Deplorable,' 'Typical,' 'Not Buying It'

Patch file photo
Patch file photo
Kerry Kennedy was "sleep driving" when her vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer on Interstate 684, her lawyers told jurors, according to news reports. Monday was the first day of her trial for misdemeanor driving while intoxicated.

The defense team maintains that Kennedy, a member of the famous family, took a prescribed sleeping pill accidentally, mistaking it for her thyroid medication before she left her Bedford home and headed to the gym on the morning of July 13, 2012. No one was injured in the crash.

"During opening statements, Assistant District Attorney Stefanie DeNise said that even if Kennedy, 54, had taken the sleep aid unintentionally, she had a responsibility to pull her Lexus SUV off the road safely when she began to feel its effects," Allie Molloy and Lena Jakobsson write in this CNN story. "[Defense attorney Gerald] Lefcourt disputed that argument, saying Kennedy had no time to react. 'The zolpidem kicks in, it shuts her down, she's in a state of 'sleep driving,'' he said."

As the case continues in White Plains, folks across the area are weighing in. Patch asked Facebook users about the "sleep-driving defense." Here are a few of the responses:
  • "What a waste of time and money in this case .. Thankfully nobody got hurt," - Maureen Walsh Carlucci on the Nyack-Piermont Patch Facebook page
  • "Typical Kennedy sense of entitlement arrogance," - Jay Morgenthal on the Southeast-Brewster Patch Facebook Page
  • "I guess it's better than afluenza," - Neil Denaut on the Southeast-Brewster Patch Facebook Page
  • "She can say anything she wants. I blame it on the time that she was married to Andy Cuomo," - Wendy Mierbeth on the New City Patch Facebook page)
  • "Not buying it," - Esther Hillner Wagner (on the Pleasantville-Briarcliff Page Facebook page)
  • "Well, since her 'seizure' excuse didn't work (because she didn't have a seizure), she's trying something new. I think it's deplorable that Kennedy feels it's OK for her to operate an automobile under the influence of a drug because she did it accidentally and she was too doped up to know how doped up she was. How many drunks could use the same excuse that they were too drunk to know how drunk they were? Kennedy needs to accept responsibility for what she did (driving for miles impaired after sideswiping a truck) and accept the license suspension. No more special treatment!" - Lola LaValle on the Rye Patch Facebook page  

Do you agree or disagree with any of the opinions above? Have your say in the comments section.
Genrl Quarters February 28, 2014 at 11:51 AM
@Sue Palmer.....but for the grace of God, she could have just as easily injured or killed someone in her impaired state. That said, what is it that makes you "so happy" that she was acquitted ? Also, would you feel the same way if someone innocent was indeed killed ? To me it's kind of perverse that someone would be "happy" that a motorist was found to be so heavily impaired and is walking away from this matter.
Sue McCarthy Palmer February 28, 2014 at 12:01 PM
I am grateful no one was injured or killed, as I'm sure Kerry herself is. I believe acquittal was justified because she mistakenly took the wrong medication. This was very easy to do in July 2012 because the medications looked almost identical in size and shape. Recently, the thyroid meds were changed to a different color and shape, making mistakes such as Kerry made, far less likely. I realize that some may take the position that she was "under the influence" whether she realized she had taken a substance that would alter her ability to drive or not, and thus, culpable. I, however, feel that the distinction of not realizing she'd taken Ambien instead of her thyroid medication is an important one. A person who drinks and drives does so knowing impairment of their abilities is a possibility. Since Kerry did not know she had taken a substance that would impact her driving -- the thyroid medication does not -- I believe a verdict of "not guilty" was justified. I understand that those who disagree with me have a valid reason for doing so also.
Genrl Quarters February 28, 2014 at 12:07 PM
@Sue.....hypothetically, had she killed someone that morning would you still think she should walk away free ?
Atom February 28, 2014 at 12:10 PM
Sue ..this is a clear case of "DUIK"....driving under the influence as a Kennedy......separate justice systems..anyone else would have been punished
DG February 28, 2014 at 12:15 PM
justice is never blind. In the eyes of the law some are more equal than others.

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