Goldberg also points out that Nelson, a black woman, was convicted by an all-white jury. He doesn't believe racism was at work, but says "part of the lack of compassion arises from the fact that the jurors were by the description of themselves middle class folks who had never taken a bus in metropolitan Atlanta, so they had never actually been in the shoes of Miss Nelson and the other people who were crossing at that particular place."
"I think there's a division between people who have always been able to rely on a car and other who haven't always been able to rely on a car," he added.
He believes accidents like this should force planners to re-think how they accommodate pedestrians.
"It's the highway designers and the traffic planner's job to prevent or mitigate against accidents that will happen, Goldberg said. "One thing we do know is that pedestrians always take the shortest route, and if you don't provide them a safe crossing, you're failing as a designer."
Nelson's case has spawned a petition drive at Change.org asking for her to go free, and for the city to put a crosswalk at the bus stop. The website claims to have more than 100,000 signatures, and may bring the petition to the court Tuesday.
As for Nelson, she isn't sure what to expect when she goes before the judge, or even who will take care of her two surviving daughters if she's sentenced to jail time.
"I mean that is up to God, and I just hope for the best," she said.