Personally, I think Thad Pirkle should have served a much longer sentence. He took the lives of two innocent children, who had their whole lives ahead of them. Their tragic deaths must have had a lasting impact on their family as well.
I think if this accident had ocurred now, along with the “leaving the scene of an accident” charge and the advanced technology available to use at the accident scene, he would have received a much harsher sentence than the one he received in 1921.
It was hard for me to believe Pirkle was brazen enough to ask for a third trial, especially after receiving a one year sentence. I hope it was a very long and miserable year for him on the chain gang.
The Columbus Ledger, Sunday, January 8, 1922, Page Eighteen
Thad Pirkle to Serve a Year
Thad Pirkle, driver of the automobile which killed two little girls, Madge and Mary Elizabeth*Guinn, in Oakhurst on December 31, 1919**(1920), has ceased his fight for a new trial and will serve his sentence of twelve months on the chaingang. The hearing upon his motion for a new trial was set for yesterday morning before Judge John B. Hutcheson in Decatur and when the hearing was called attorneys announced that an agreement had been reached that the motion for new trial would be withdrawn. This will be done formally before Judge Hutcheson Tuesday morning and the court will then turn Pirkle over to the state prison commission to determine when Pirkle will begin serving his sentences.
*the youngest child’s name was Mary Frances, this is the first time I’ve seen her name as Mary Elizabeth
**the date of the accident was December 31, 1920