Taking the trend of online confessions to a whole new level, a US citizen Matthew Cordle released a video confession of having caused the death of another man following a drunk-driving episode.
Released on YouTube early this week, the video shows a blurred out Cordle confessing to have driven under the influence of alcohol which resulted in the accident that killed Vincent Canzani. “I killed a man,” confesses Cordle, in a digitally-altered voice to protect his identity.
“I was out with some friends and we were drinking very heavily, just hopping from bar to bar, trying to have a good time and I lost control,” he narrates against sound legal advice. “On that particular night, I made a mistake and got into my truck, completely blacked out, but I decided to try to drive home. I ended up going the wrong way down the highway, directly into the on-coming traffic. And I struck a car. I killed a man.”
He also admits to a drinking problem, “Sometimes I drink because I have depression and I struggle with it everyday. And I drink to get out of my head for a few hours. I really don't like the person I become when I drink; I have ruined relationships in the past; I start fights.”
Cordle explains that the reason for his public confession was to create public awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving. Towards the latter half of the video he reveals his identity, not wanting to disrespect the memory of his victim. “The lawyers I approached told me to lie, telling stories of similar cases where the drivers got away with the crime. I don't want to go down that path. I don't want to dishonour Vincent's memory by lying about it.”
He promises to plead guilty and take full responsibility on being charged for the crime. Despite realising that the video will provide the prosecution with evidence to put him away, he says he willing to take the sentence for the opportunity to reach out to other with his message. “I’m begging you, please don’t drink and drive. Don’t make the same excuses that I did,” appeals Cordle.
The video, that was prepared by a non-profit organisation Because I said I would that facilitates a forum for exchange of “promises”, instantly went viral on Facebook and Twitter, and is currently trending under the hashtag #saveyourvictim.
On their website 'Because I said I would' states that they received a message on Facebook from Cordle asking for help. “I decided to help because the man who is sitting in this chair has something to say that I believe you should hear,” explains founder Alex Sheen.
Following the Nooriya Haveliwala verdict, Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police, Mumbai, last year said, "Drinking and driving is a deliberate choice"
Also read, how much drink is too much for driving?