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Old 8th November 2012, 07:39 PM   #1
Charlie Wilkes
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Cop on trial in accidental shooting of his daughter

EVERETT — Marysville police Officer Derek Carlile hung his head and sobbed this morning as Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul recounted the moments that led up to his daughter’s death at the hands of his 3-year-old son.

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/...h-of-daughter/

I don't doubt this heartbroken man would plead guilty to anything if it would bring his daughter back to life, but it won't, and I hope the jury nullifies the charge.
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Old 8th November 2012, 10:43 PM   #2
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For some reason that didn't load for me. How did the kid get his hands on the gun?
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Old 8th November 2012, 10:54 PM   #3
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He left the gun in a cup holder in the car with two unattended children. Prosecutors are trying to charge him with manslaughter. In Canada it would be improper storage of firearm, unsafe use of a firearm and criminal negligence causing death. Probably.
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Old 8th November 2012, 11:49 PM   #4
Charlie Wilkes
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Originally Posted by squealpiggy View Post
He left the gun in a cup holder in the car with two unattended children. Prosecutors are trying to charge him with manslaughter. In Canada it would be improper storage of firearm, unsafe use of a firearm and criminal negligence causing death. Probably.
Under the statute, the man is guilty. But I feel so damned sorry for him and this trial makes me sick. I wish the prosecutor had buried the case and I hope the jury acquits.
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:06 AM   #5
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Criminal negligence surely?
The fact that he was in a hurry and forgot is , after all, exactly the point of firearm discipline. We don't forget things when we're cool, calm and collected. We forget them when we are in a hurry and thinking about something else. People who carry guns are aware of that and train so their default reflexive actions fail safe.
If you don't do that, 100% of the time, you should not carry a gun. 99% is not good enough.
It will be interesting to see how responses to this compare with those in the thread about the child killed by hunting dogs at the zoo. In one case, a child was consciously put in a dangerous place, bypassing existing safety barriers; in the other, the error was (we understand) a matter of forgetfullness.

How much difference does that make?
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Old 9th November 2012, 03:36 AM   #6
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Just an accident. He should probably lose his firearms license, however. There are too many dummies who get to carry around guns in the US. Dumb second amendment.
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Old 9th November 2012, 04:07 AM   #7
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If leaving small children in a car with a loaded gun in plain sight isn't 'criminal, gross negligence' I don't know what is.

Even if he didn't realise his 3 year old could get out of his seatbelt he must have known that his 7 year old daughter could have.

In the cup holder? Seriously?
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Old 9th November 2012, 04:56 AM   #8
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Gross criminal negligence.

As a copper he more than anyone should know better. He should get some time, even though he too is a victim of his own stupidity.
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Old 9th November 2012, 05:07 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
EVERETT — Marysville police Officer Derek Carlile hung his head and sobbed this morning as Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul recounted the moments that led up to his daughter’s death at the hands of his 3-year-old son.

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/...h-of-daughter/

I don't doubt this heartbroken man would plead guilty to anything if it would bring his daughter back to life, but it won't, and I hope the jury nullifies the charge.
From the link:
Quote:
Carlile’s son, Steele, was a curious and active 3-year-old with a fascination with guns and a disdain for car seats, Paul said.

“As you would reasonably expect, Steele got out of his seat, got the gun and shot Jenna,”
Not a good defense, IMO.
Is it reasonable to imagine a 3 year old shooting his sister when given the opportunity to do so?
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Old 9th November 2012, 05:27 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by pakeha View Post
From the link:


Not a good defense, IMO.
Is it reasonable to imagine a 3 year old shooting his sister when given the opportunity to do so?
i think its very reasonable to imagine that a 3 year old would point a gun at someone and pull the trigger if given the opportunity

i agree with gross criminal negligence
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Old 9th November 2012, 05:46 AM   #11
Dancing David
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
EVERETT — Marysville police Officer Derek Carlile hung his head and sobbed this morning as Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul recounted the moments that led up to his daughter’s death at the hands of his 3-year-old son.

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/...h-of-daughter/

I don't doubt this heartbroken man would plead guilty to anything if it would bring his daughter back to life, but it won't, and I hope the jury nullifies the charge.
Why, this is someone who does know better. Their negligence leads to a death.

What is it about second degree manslaughter you disagree with?

http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9A.32.070
Quote:
RCW 9A.32.070
Manslaughter in the second degree.

(1) A person is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree when, with criminal negligence, he or she causes the death of another person.

(2) Manslaughter in the second degree is a class B felony.


[2011 c 336 § 358; 1997 c 365 § 6; 1975 1st ex.s. c 260 §9A.32.070 .]
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Old 9th November 2012, 05:48 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
Under the statute, the man is guilty. But I feel so damned sorry for him and this trial makes me sick. I wish the prosecutor had buried the case and I hope the jury acquits.
People who engage is vehicular manslaughter regret what they do as well, why is this case different.

The individual made a choice that reasonable person knew carried associated risk.
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Old 9th November 2012, 05:57 AM   #13
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What he did was incredibly stupid, but I hope he doesn't go to prison for it. There's little to be achieved by a custodial sentence, and no punishment could match what he's already going through.
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Old 9th November 2012, 06:04 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Just an accident. He should probably lose his firearms license, however. There are too many dummies who get to carry around guns in the US. Dumb second amendment.
You don't need a license to own firearms in the US. Most (all?) states require a license for concealed carry. If he is convicted of a felony, though, it would be illegal for him to own a firearm. While I have no doubt that he's emotionally devastated, I don't think that entitles him to a pass on the criminal charges. I wouldn't object to a lenient sentence, but I think he deserves a manslaughter conviction. Most likely his police career is over regardless of the outcome of the trial, and that's probably a good thing, for society, if not for him personally.

If leaving a loaded weapon in plain sight in a car with two unattended small children isn't gross criminal negligence, I don't know what is.
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Old 9th November 2012, 06:08 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
What he did was incredibly stupid, but I hope he doesn't go to prison for it. There's little to be achieved by a custodial sentence, and no punishment could match what he's already going through.
I wouldn't have a problem with him being sentenced to probation with no prison time or a token (less than a year) amount of prison time. I don't think he should be acquitted, though.
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Old 9th November 2012, 06:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
People who engage is vehicular manslaughter regret what they do as well, why is this case different.

The individual made a choice that reasonable person knew carried associated risk.
There are plenty of people who commit domestic violence related murders who regret their crime. We cannot as a society go round forgiving people for crimes because they feel bad about it afterwards.

Seems that the jurisdiction that this occurred in has a very wide definition of manslaughter.
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Old 9th November 2012, 06:50 AM   #17
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My verdict, same as in the other thread "mother who dangled her kid above a pack of wild dogs" : criminal negligence.
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Old 9th November 2012, 06:52 AM   #18
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As terrible as it is for the officer and his family, he shouldn't be treated in prosecution or sentencing any differently than individuals charged and convicted for the same crime.

Most jurisdictions have some sort of safe storage or child safe statutes wrt firearms, as they well should, but in most cases I'm familar with in incidents of negligence that results in a fatal the general consensus (as it is here) seems to be that the poor family "has suffered enough" and jail time or fines would just cause further suffering.

I'm of the opinion that if the case is as described, the father should serve jail time, if other individuals in that jurisdiction have after being convicted.

Professional firearms users have -0- excuses for negligent behavior wrt firearms storage and use.
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:16 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
My verdict, same as in the other thread "mother who dangled her kid above a pack of wild dogs" : criminal negligence.
Yep, there's really no difference.

"But he feels bad and won't do it again" cry the handwringers.
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:25 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
Yep, there's really no difference.

"But he feels bad and won't do it again" cry the handwringers.
Agreed. I have no tolerance for stupidity such as this.
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Old 9th November 2012, 07:53 AM   #21
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I agree with gross criminal negligence. This is one reason I think the US needs to rely more on non-imprisonment charges however. This man is guilty in my opinion and his personal emotional suffering is no excuse and not a proper repayment of his debt to society. My personal opinion is that in cases like these the person loses their right to possess firearms, probation, and has to do community service. Losing a car license and such as appropriate to the crime of course instead of always firearms loss. By community service I mean something like going around and giving speeches about how their negligence resulted in death. That sort of service would have value to society and be less costly than imprisonment. Of course they would likely need to be in therapy for a time before they start doing so.

Leaving a loaded firearm easily accessible firearm around a child is grossly negligent just like leaving an easily accessible bottle of highly toxic or corrosive liquid around a child. If this man had left an unsealed bottle of sulfuric acid alone with his children in the car and the boy had killed his sister by tossing that at her, there would be a lot less question that this man deserves to be charged with gross negligence.
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Old 9th November 2012, 09:03 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by squealpiggy View Post
He left the gun in a cup holder in the car with two unattended children. Prosecutors are trying to charge him with manslaughter. In Canada it would be improper storage of firearm, unsafe use of a firearm and criminal negligence causing death. Probably.
It would be pretty much the same in the UK.
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Old 9th November 2012, 09:40 AM   #23
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Does it seem a little strange that this off-duty officer with his kids in the car felt a need to have his handgun within immediate grabbing distance? If he had just carried ii in a holster -- like the one he apparently was actually wearing! -- his daughter would be alive.
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Old 9th November 2012, 10:02 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Just an accident. He should probably lose his firearms license, however. There are too many dummies who get to carry around guns in the US. Dumb second amendment.
Neither a firearms license or the 2nd Amendment have anything at all to do with this. He is a police officer and therefore has the right to carry when he is off duty because of his job.
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Old 9th November 2012, 10:06 AM   #25
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In most states they are required to carry the firearm.
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Old 9th November 2012, 10:22 AM   #26
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This is about an act so utterly reckless as to show no regards for any possible consequence.

People need to be punished for that so as to make it clear such recklessness is not to be tolerated nor condoned.

As heartbreaking as it is, the book needs to be thrown at that police officer.
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Old 9th November 2012, 10:27 AM   #27
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The police are trained to use weapons to defend themselves and the public; therefore they are permitted to do things with firearms that ordinary citizens are not. This does not relieve them of their duty to handle (or store) their issued firearms properly. This man deserves no special treatment.

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Old 9th November 2012, 10:48 AM   #28
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This was appalling negligence, and "he has suffered enough" isn't a good reason not to prosecute. It might be a good reason not to impose a custodial sentence.

I recall a case in Scotland where a German tourist who was used to hill-walking in the Alps took his young son and daughter into the Scottish mountains in late autumn. He was very blase about the walk he intended to do because the height of the hills seemed very low to him, and he failed to appreciate that the Scottish hills are not signposted as the Alps are, they're a lot further north, and the weather can come in off the Atlantic with no warning.

He was repeatedly told that he should not be taking two such young children on his proposed route, and particularly not so late in the year, and especially that he was leaving far too late to complete the route before the daylight faded. He knew best. The people at his hotel tried their best to dissuade him, but he didn't listen.

They got lost, one child slipped and twisted an ankle, darkness fell, and the weather deteriorated badly. In the end the father left the children to try to get help, but being as he was completely lost in the pitch dark it was a long time before he reached habitation. The rescuers found the children at first light, and the little girl was dead of exposure and hypothermia.

The father was charged, tried and convicted of manslaughter. I think he got a suspended sentence or a caution or something like that.

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Old 9th November 2012, 11:41 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Ian Osborne View Post
What he did was incredibly stupid, but I hope he doesn't go to prison for it. There's little to be achieved by a custodial sentence, and no punishment could match what he's already going through.
This is my feeling exactly.

And what of his family, including the boy who pulled the trigger? What will he think when he gets older? He will bear the burden of having killed his sister. Should he also bear the burden of having put his father behind bars?

How much damage should we do to satisfy our thirst for what we regard as justice?
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Old 9th November 2012, 11:48 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
This is my feeling exactly.

And what of his family, including the boy who pulled the trigger? What will he think when he gets older? He will bear the burden of having killed his sister. Should he also bear the burden of having put his father behind bars?

How much damage should we do to satisfy our thirst for what we regard as justice?
Would it be different if his kid shot someone else's? An adult?
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Old 9th November 2012, 11:51 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
This is my feeling exactly.

And what of his family, including the boy who pulled the trigger? What will he think when he gets older? He will bear the burden of having killed his sister. Should he also bear the burden of having put his father behind bars?

How much damage should we do to satisfy our thirst for what we regard as justice?
He won't have put his father behind bars. The father would have managed that all by himself.

How would letting him off be justice? Because he already feels sad? Feeling sad about killing someone doesn't absolve you.

His grief is self-inflicted (caused by his own actions) and I have little sympathy for him.
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Old 9th November 2012, 11:51 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
EVERETT — Marysville police Officer Derek Carlile hung his head and sobbed this morning as Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Lisa Paul recounted the moments that led up to his daughter’s death at the hands of his 3-year-old son.

http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/...h-of-daughter/

I don't doubt this heartbroken man would plead guilty to anything if it would bring his daughter back to life, but it won't, and I hope the jury nullifies the charge.
Why is he being prosecuted? His child is dead. Hasn't he suffered enough?

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...0&postcount=15

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...6&postcount=28
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Old 9th November 2012, 12:02 PM   #33
Charlie Wilkes
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Originally Posted by ponderingturtle View Post
Would it be different if his kid shot someone else's? An adult?
That's a good question.

In my mind, it would be different, because it would involve a third party, who could reasonably say, "this guy should have to pay for what his negligence did to my loved one."

Now let's swing the pendulum the other way. Suppose the toddler had shot the defendant himself, such that he survived but was rendered a paraplegic. Would he now be on trial for criminal negligence?
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Old 9th November 2012, 12:05 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
This is my feeling exactly.

And what of his family, including the boy who pulled the trigger? What will he think when he gets older? He will bear the burden of having killed his sister. Should he also bear the burden of having put his father behind bars?

How much damage should we do to satisfy our thirst for what we regard as justice?
The boy was not at fault. He was three and left unattended with a lethal object. Leaving a three year old without adult supervision, locked in a car, with an easily accessible dangerous object has a reasonable chance of leading to serious injury or death. This is a reasonable expectation of responsibility to do not leave your children with dangerous objects.

Originally Posted by Washington State Law RCW 9A.08.010
(d) CRIMINAL NEGLIGENCE. A person is criminally negligent or acts with criminal negligence when he or she fails to be aware of a substantial risk that a wrongful act may occur and his or her failure to be aware of such substantial risk constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in the same situation.
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9A.08.010

I would say a leaving a three year old with easy access to a loaded firearm is a gross deviation from what most people would do. This wasn't even a firearm in another room of a house, this was a firearm sitting in a cup holder with a child locked inside... even though the father had a locking container in the door. If it was not the man's own daughter killed but a passing stranger, would you say he was not negligently cupable for the murder? The defense isn't even denying responsibility, but trying to claim the law doesn't specify firearms negligence and that doing so is a stretch of the law.

Originally Posted by Washington State Law
Manslaughter in the second degree.
(1) A person is guilty of manslaughter in the second degree when, with criminal negligence, he or she causes the death of another person.
(2) Manslaughter in the second degree is a class B felony.
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9A.32.070

I am fine with commuting his prison sentance. He is in my opinion guiltly of the crime.
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Old 9th November 2012, 12:13 PM   #35
DreamingNaiad
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
That's a good question.

In my mind, it would be different, because it would involve a third party, who could reasonably say, "this guy should have to pay for what his negligence did to my loved one."

Now let's swing the pendulum the other way. Suppose the toddler had shot the defendant himself, such that he survived but was rendered a paraplegic. Would he now be on trial for criminal negligence?
So he should pay for causing the death of a stranger but not his own child?

To answer your question, yes he should still be put on trial. A custodial sentence would be unlikely but his negligence needs to be legally recognised.

His son will have to grow up with the knowledge that he shot his sister, even if it's not his fault. All because this moron was lazy.
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Old 9th November 2012, 12:20 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
Why is he being prosecuted? His child is dead. Hasn't he suffered enough?

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...0&postcount=15

http://www.internationalskeptics.com...6&postcount=28
But it is not about him. It is about the rest of society where punishment is needed as a means of deterring others from doing the same stupid thing, even if it does just serve as a reminder not to be so stupid.

There are many instances where people are punished for making mistakes, from being sacked from your job for forgetting to place a vital order, sent to your room as a child for throwing a ball in the house and breaking something or driving without due care and attention whereby there is an accident.

In each of those cases the person who made the mistake may well be full of remorse, but they still get punished.
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Old 9th November 2012, 12:28 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
But it is not about him. It is about the rest of society where punishment is needed as a means of deterring others from doing the same stupid thing, even if it does just serve as a reminder not to be so stupid.

There are many instances where people are punished for making mistakes, from being sacked from your job for forgetting to place a vital order, sent to your room as a child for throwing a ball in the house and breaking something or driving without due care and attention whereby there is an accident.

In each of those cases the person who made the mistake may well be full of remorse, but they still get punished.
I should have included this:

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Old 9th November 2012, 12:41 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Charlie Wilkes View Post
Under the statute, the man is guilty. But I feel so damned sorry for him and this trial makes me sick. I wish the prosecutor had buried the case and I hope the jury acquits.
Pardon my language, but there is absolutley no way in BLOODY #@$%&~ING HELL that the prosecutor should have buried this case!

After all, a death was involved and I sure do not want any single person, especially the one person who is supposed to represent the public, to make such important decisions without any sort of judicial process.

Even though the death was quite likely accidental and unintentional, however someone was killed all the same, therefore there has to be a legal review of this case as opposed to just what one person decides.
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Old 9th November 2012, 01:38 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by The Fallen Serpent View Post
I agree with gross criminal negligence. This is one reason I think the US needs to rely more on non-imprisonment charges however. This man is guilty in my opinion and his personal emotional suffering is no excuse and not a proper repayment of his debt to society. My personal opinion is that in cases like these the person loses their right to possess firearms, probation, and has to do community service. Losing a car license and such as appropriate to the crime of course instead of always firearms loss. By community service I mean something like going around and giving speeches about how their negligence resulted in death. That sort of service would have value to society and be less costly than imprisonment.
No, you can't make this guy go around to give speeches to crowds about how he got his kids killed. That's deliberately cruel.

Last edited by Checkmite; 9th November 2012 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 9th November 2012, 02:00 PM   #40
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It's certainly hard to see what a custodial sentence is going to achieve, but then, what do most of them achieve?

I don't see how requiring him to lecture on weapons safety is cruel. It would carry extreme emotional sincerity coming from a man in his position. It might even be cathartic for him. That would have to be judged on a case by case basis. Is he psychologically capable? He might be willing- especially if the alternative is prison.
He is going to have to live with this for the rest of his life. If he can at least believe some positive good has come from it, he might be much better able to do that.
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