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L.A. Cyclists Fed Up With Sentencing Disparities In Hit And Run Cases Form “Life Before License” Campaign

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Photo by GarySe7en

This photo is from a protest July 27th at the Beverly Hills Courthouse. Cyclists covered themselves with fake blood and met to protest the light sentencing of Celine Mahdavi, who hit a cyclist and fled the scene–she got 90 days community service and 3 years probation, the judge did not restrict her in any way from driving again. If that’s not bad enough, Celine was 18 at the time of the accident and, when pulled over later, tested positive for alcohol. The cyclist she hit, Jose Deliz Louis Deliz will be permanently disabled. Read the gory details here. Another protest is planned for this Friday. Details after the break.

Press Release: On Friday, July 30th, cyclists will gather at the Beverly Hills Courthouse to protest the tepid sentence handed down by Judge Elden S. Fox for Celine Mahdavi.  Mahdavi hit cyclist Louis Deliz and left him to die in the street on December 1st, 2009; Deliz was hospitalized for 49 days.

Mahdavi pleaded “no contest” to felony hit and run charges and threw herself on the mercy of the court, instead of accepting the plea deal offered by the DA.  Judge Fox gave her 90 days of community service, and 3 years of probation. Mahdavi will spend less time in community service – 720 hours – than Deliz spent in the hospital – 1176 hours.

Cyclists are calling it the last straw.  Bikeside LA President Alex Thompson said “this sentence is symbolic of the lack of respect cyclists get throughout the justice system.”

Many expressed frustration that Fox made no effort to restrict Mahdavi’s driving privileges, leaving decisions about the status of Mahdavi’s license at the discretion of the DMV.

At both events Bikeside LA will announce a new campaign:  Life before License.  Life before License will specifically address hit and run, seeking state level legislation to change how hit and run is treated by courts.

The Friday protest may be joined by the hundreds of cyclists participating in LA Critical Mass – the ride which recently drew headlines when it clashed with LAPD.  LAPD and riders made peace in June when LAPD facillitated with a large police escort.

Event details:

Friday, July 30th, 8:15 pm
Beverly Hills Courthouse
9355 Burton Way
Press Conference
interviews to follow press conference
open mic available to attendees after press conference

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13 years ago

The injured party is Louis Deliz, not Jose Deliz. Mr. Thompson is well aware that the court system and the Department of Motor Vehicles do not operate the same and are not intertwined as explained to him outside court 7/20/10. One should think of this victim’s injuries and his psychological health. The injuries are massive outside and additionally massive inside (emotional). Unfortunately, Mr. Thompson seeks to utilize this as a platform for civic speaking instead of truly listening to the victim’s words expressed to Mr. Thompson requesting his name not be linked to this specific ride but this ride being for all victims. Community leaders should add visiting victims in the hospital in addition to utilizing their name for civic purposes.

Sara bond
Sara bond
13 years ago

The Madavi trial is the “straw” that broke the camels back. All information spoken and written at this time is public record. As we cyclists fight here we stand together. This campaign is for change. Look at Megan’s Law. Look at MADD. How many does it take? I must also say that i am saddened by the attack. We hold Louis in our hearts and respect your families want for non involvement. I hope this debate between us will find a friendly understanding as I have such respect for you all.

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