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Covert

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Re: What do folks think about murder convictions for DWI caused deaths.

by Covert » Sat Oct 21, 2006 8:48 am

I believe it’s moot. Regardless of whether a court gets tough on a one-off basis, we have to enable criminals so that we can vicariously flaunt authority. News channels are entertainment centers for this vicarious mechanism. If we could eliminate crime, we would have to commit the crimes directly.

Personally, I would arrange with Russia to take every criminal, including DWI killers, on the first strike to Siberia for life. It would be cheaper than housing them here on and off. Many people who go through our prison system don’t really care whether they are in or out, that’s why they so easily commit the crimes. They get health benefits, housing, meals, gym membership, social clubs and entertainment free, and know that the will be out again to enjoy raping, killing and what-have-you.
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Covert

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Re: What do folks think about murder convictions for DWI caused deaths.

by Covert » Sat Oct 21, 2006 9:42 am

Covert wrote:we have to enable criminals so that we can vicariously flaunt authority.

I meant to write "flout," not "flaunt."

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Hoke

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Re: What do folks think about murder convictions for DWI caused deaths.

by Hoke » Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:17 pm

Look's like you can be depraved without alcohol. Who'da thunk it?

In the SF Chronicle today there was a report on the man in Santa Monica who drove his Buick through a crowded farmer's market, killing 10 people, and injuring more than 70. He was convicted on 10 counts of felony manslaughter, and could receive up to 18 years in state prison (or get probation).

At least one juror directly cited the man's attitude as a significant part of why she voted guilty. Apparently, after the incident, wherein he continued to plow through people, knocking them down left and right, he said to one of the victims, "You saw me coming, why didn't you get out of my way."

But here's the kicker: it wasn't alcohol related; it was age related. Every news report cited the man's age of 89 and mentioned the controversy over aging drivers and whether restrictions should be placed on them.

So...is it different when you take alcohol out of the equation, folks? Is the action more...or less...heinous when one is drinking and kills people, as against just being old and cranky?
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Hoke

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Re: What do folks think about murder convictions for DWI caused deaths.

by Hoke » Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:21 pm

Oh, and just a note:

As one enamored of words and how they are used by people, I love the phrase "depraved indifference".

It's handy to use adjectives, since people like to emphasize and dramatize what they are saying (often needlessly). So the drunk driver kills people and it's called 'depraved indifference'. That's worse than killing them and simply being indifferent about it?
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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: What do folks think about murder convictions for DWI caused deaths.

by Mike Filigenzi » Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:35 pm

Hoke wrote:Look's like you can be depraved without alcohol. Who'da thunk it?

In the SF Chronicle today there was a report on the man in Santa Monica who drove his Buick through a crowded farmer's market, killing 10 people, and injuring more than 70. He was convicted on 10 counts of felony manslaughter, and could receive up to 18 years in state prison (or get probation).

At least one juror directly cited the man's attitude as a significant part of why she voted guilty. Apparently, after the incident, wherein he continued to plow through people, knocking them down left and right, he said to one of the victims, "You saw me coming, why didn't you get out of my way."

But here's the kicker: it wasn't alcohol related; it was age related. Every news report cited the man's age of 89 and mentioned the controversy over aging drivers and whether restrictions should be placed on them.

So...is it different when you take alcohol out of the equation, folks? Is the action more...or less...heinous when one is drinking and kills people, as against just being old and cranky?


Or killing people for driving while too tired or too incompetent or too occupied with the cell phone? For most of us, driving is the most dangerous complex task we regularly perform. Driving while impaired by anything reflects a certain lack of respect for the risks inherent in it.

I can understand where the outrage against drunk driving comes from, but I'm personally much more concerned about the morons I encounter every day on my morning commute.

Mike
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Bob Ross

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Re: What do folks think about murder convictions for DWI caused deaths.

by Bob Ross » Sat Oct 21, 2006 1:41 pm

Hoke, as you know, the phrase "depraved indifference" carries tremendous consequences for defendants. Judges, lawyers, legislators all struggle with making fine distinctions to describe different behaviours. Since starting this thread, I spent a long time thinking about that phrase, and I really believe the New York jury charge is a pretty good effort in achieving clarity. At least, I haven't come up with any significant improvements.

How about you?

A DEPRAVED INDIFFERENCE TO HUMAN LIFE consists of both depravity and indifference to human life. The reckless taking of the life of another can be considered a "depraved" act; but that does not mean that every reckless killing is a depraved indifference murder. Depraved indifference to human life is best understood as an utter disregard for the value of human life. Conduct engaged in with a depraved indifference to human life is conduct done, not because one means to cause death, but because one simply does not care whether or not death will occur. It reflects wickedness, evil or inhumanity, as manifested by brutal, heinous and despicable acts. It is embodied in conduct that is so wanton, so deficient in a moral sense of concern, so devoid of regard of the life or lives of others, and so blameworthy as to justify the same criminal liability that the law imposes upon a person who intends to kill.

Regards, Bob
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