The Sunday Telegraph of London distilled the confounding disparity of Florida justice into a single headline: “Porsche Killer Buys Freedom With Blood Money,” says Miami Herald columnist Fred Grimm. To be accurate, Porsche killer Ryan LeVin won't quite be free. For the crime of running down two British tourists, speeding away, ditching his $120,000 sports car, lying to the cops and trying to pin the crime on someone else, LeVin must suffer two years of house arrest.
As lock-ups go, his luxury oceanfront condo ain't shabby. It has two pools and three fitness centers, affords him splendid views over the Port Everglades inlet and the widest expanse of beach in South Florida. Sentencing guidelines called for 20-to-45 years in an actual prison. The prosecutor asked for 10 years behind bars. Broward Circuit Judge Barbara McCarthy dispensed a special kind of justice available only to the very rich, Grimm says. According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, McCarthy declared, “The need for restitution does outweigh the need for prison.” The judge also spared him the added inconvenience of an ankle monitor. Apparently, LeVin would only agree to a hefty restitution package for his victims' families if they went along with his sweet deal for house arrest. Florida State University law Prof. Wayne Logan, an expert on the evolving concept of victims' input in criminal sentencing, said restitution and prison time “are not mutually exclusive.”