Archive for the ‘Justice for Sho’ Tag

Justice for Sho   1 comment

Sho Funai (1988-2012)

Dear UCSD Community,

Please take the time to read this petition authored by Daisuke Funai, brother of Sho Funai, a UCSD graduate, graduate student, and pedestrian killed by a drunk driver on March 11.

I knew Sho, mostly from having attended church with him shortly in high school. He was always nice and fun and very friendly then and when I’d see him around thereafter and later in college. A great guy. My heart breaks for his family’s loss and I’m very saddened that my local community, my university community, and the world has lost such a bright and wonderful young man.

While nothing can bring him back, justice can be brought for the criminal act that killed him. As of this writing, the legal system is not on track to do so.

Miss Nikolette Gallo, 18 years old and having just consumed alcohol and marijuana when her car struck Sho, does not face DUI or vehicular manslaughter charges and faces only a minimum sentence of probation for hit and run. She has escaped the more serious charges, and justice, because she fled the scene after driving her car into Sho instead of stopping and calling an ambulance, which might have saved his life. Effectively rewarded for letting a man die in the street after drunk-driving into him. Miss Gallo has also seems to have benefited since Sho’s death by hiring a former San Diego distract attorney to represent her and a lack of serious media coverage of Sho’s death.

Here are some experts from Daisuke Funai’s letter pleading justice for his brother:

  • At the age of 23, Sho Funai—my baby brother, the perfect student, inspiring athlete, and generous friend who had just embarked on a promising engineering career—was struck by a fatal hit-and-run. The driver was a then-18-year old woman, Nikolette Gallo, who later confessed to having consumed alcohol and marijuana at a party earlier that evening. Sho was struck from behind and left to die. Despite her confessions, she was not charged with any felony besides hit-and-run….
  • According to police reports and verbatim interview transcripts (and contrary to local news reports), there is no conclusive evidence that Sho was walking in the middle of a freeway. Sho had been out, celebrating a colleague’s birthday, with about 15 colleagues from his first job at Goodrich Aerostructures. As was customary for him, he had walked to the party to avoid drinking and driving.
  • The official reports also confirm that Nikolette Gallo of Rancho Bernardo had been drinking. She admitted to drinking several shots of vodka and smoking marijuana before getting in a car that evening….Despite the significant damage to her car—including a “shattered windshield, dented hood, broken/dented bumper, dented fender, missing front grille, shattered headlamp, and missing fog lamp ”—she didn’t stop, and only turned herself in the next day, after seeing news reports. Gallo’s judgment and/or vision was so impaired that she allegedly didn’t know she hit a person (claiming she thought she hit a sofa or some animal). When asked if they had discussed the possibility that they’d hit a person, Bertrand replied, “I don’t want to say, yes.” Gallo has expressed no remorse.
  • Because she didn’t remain at the scene, because of a mishandled interrogation and because of a missing reconstruction report, Gallo’s admission wasn’t considered sufficient evidence for a DUI, and the defense has settled for a hit-and-run. She has not been, and will not be, charged with driving under the influence, vehicular manslaughter, or any other crime connecting her actions to Sho’s death. The outcomes suggest that our laws provide incentive to leave the scene of a crime. Our justice system encourages drunk people to drive rather than walk, and to flee the scene rather than report a crash.
  • And although I am not implying that race played a factor in this case, I do have to wonder about the lack of outrage over it, because it involved a white, female driver and an Asian male pedestrian. Had this been a case of black and white, I can’t help but imagine that this would be a bigger deal.
  •   If the judge believes that probation is the appropriate sentence, then I implore him to explain publicly, under which laws and factors he based his decisions.  I would like him to explain how probation equates to the killing and abandoning of a man.
  • What we will learn from such an outcome is that life is cruel and unfair.  We will learn that the justice system is broken.  We will learn that our laws provide incentive to leave the scene of a crime.  We will learn that our justice system encourages drunk people to drive rather than walk.  We will learn that it is advantageous to flee the scene rather than report a crash resulting in death.  We will learn that people like Sho are too good for this world.

Please read the petition in full, sign it, and share it. Thank you.


Posted July 25, 2012 by Wada in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,