MONTREAL – Emma Czornobaj has very quickly become a household name in Quebec. Her trial last month got a lot of people talking and thinking.
On the street, and online, many Quebecers appear to be supporting the 27-year-old driver, who was convicted last month of causing two deaths after stopping on a highway for ducks.
Two petitions were created recently asking the judge in the case to spare the young woman any jail time.
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By law, Czornobaj faces up to life behind bars.
On June 20, a jury found the woman guilty of two counts of criminal negligence causing death, and two counts of dangerous driving causing death.
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 10,ooo people had signed the two petitions.
“This can happen to any one of us,” supporter Sandra Luce told Global News. “I’ve stopped for dogs, I’ve stopped for squirrels. We’ve all done it.”
READ MORE: ‘I know it was a mistake’: driver in duck-linked highway crash testifies
Legal analyst Philip Schneider believes the petitions could have some sort of impact during the sentencing hearing.
“Will it have an influence? We’re all human beings. It could,” Schneider says. “This petition is very unique. I’ve never seen one like that in 39 years.”
Veteran defence lawyer Louis Morena believes Czornobaj’s attorneys will inform the court about the petitions when it argues for a suspended sentence.
“Her lawyer could bring it up to demonstrate that the public in general would not be outraged if she is not send to jail,” Morena said.
Czornobaj has a scheduled pre-sentencing hearing August 8.