ANCFlyer
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Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 1:58 pm

Well, it's about time Drunk Drivers got hammered hard and heavy in this country.

Excellent job by the Prosecutor, the Jury and the Judge.


http://www.cnn.com/2006/LAW/10/18/wedding.crash.ap/index.html

A jury convicted a man on Tuesday of murder for driving drunk the wrong way on a highway, slamming head-on into a wedding limousine and killing the chauffeur and a 7-year-old flower girl.

had at least 14 drinks before getting behind the wheel; his blood-alcohol level, 0.28, was more than three times the 0.08 legal limit in New York state, prosecutors said.



For anyone that doesn't know, not only was the 7 year old killed, she was decapitated . . .

[Edited 2006-10-19 06:59:52]
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AC773
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:13 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Thread starter):
Well, it's about time Drunk Drivers got hammered hard and heavy in this country.

Uh, I think they've always been hammered and heavy.

That's why they're called drunk drivers!  Wink
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N1120A
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:31 pm

While what he did was inexcusable and reprehensible, that judge had no business allowing the charge to even be made available to the jury. It is incredibly sad how the little girl died, but convicting someone of murder requires intent, which you can't find here no matter how much you mince words, and a life sentence just isn't justified. I think the second degree manslaughter charge would have been more than enough and would be much more likely to stick on appeal, where this case is almost surely headed. I actually saw a story some time ago on how a judge ordered that in lieu of extended jail time, a guy who killed a little girl in a similar manner was forced to write a weekly check for something like $1 or $10 to her family for something like 2 years so he would keep what he had done on his conscience.
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AC773
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:33 pm

Back to the topic at hand, what a terrible thing to have happened. Most things don't phaze me anymore, but quite frankly I'd have been pretty steamed if I heard about that and the judge had given the guy some lenient sentence.

May the chauffer and the little girl RIP. And for all the shock and sorrow the families must be going through, at least they know that someone was held accountable.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:47 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 2):
While what he did was inexcusable and reprehensible, that judge had no business allowing the charge to even be made available to the jury.

Opinion.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 2):
and a life sentence just isn't justified

Yes, it is.

In Kentucky in 1988, a church bus was hit by a drunk driver - going the wrong way on an interstate. 27 people burned to death. I knew a dozen of them (through the military, not the church). The piece of shit driving drunk got 16 years and was out in 10. That was his FIFTH drunk driving conviction. He should have been sent away forever . . .

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrollton_bus_disaster

Alas the bleeding hearts are always there to feign compassion . . . as long as it's not their family laying there dead.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 2):
a guy who killed a little girl in a similar manner was forced to write a weekly check for something like $1 or $10 to her family for something like 2 years so he would keep what he had done on his conscience.

Preposterous. Let the bastard rot in jail . . . I bet every day he wakes up looking at that 6 X 10 block walled room of his, he'd remember.

EDIT: Typo

[Edited 2006-10-19 07:55:52]
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Jetsgo
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:51 pm

That is excellent news. I am sick and tired of the weak drunk driving laws this country has. Hopefully this will set a new trend. And yes it is murder because he knew he was drinking, and yet at 25 years of age, he failed to figure out that he shouldn't be driving.


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jpetekyxmd80
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:52 pm

Interesting verdict... I wouldn't have expected this outcome for reasons N1120A has stated, but feel that maybe it ought to be this way. In DUI cases of extreme severity or sickening repeated offense, why shouldn't it be called murder?

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 4):

Alas the bleeding hearts are always there to feign compassion . . . as long as it's not their family laying there dead.

Agree to an extent, thinking thats all too true.
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NeilYYZ
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:54 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Thread starter):
Well, it's about time Drunk Drivers got hammered hard and heavy in this country.

No doubt. Too bad every judge and prosecuter couldn't handle case's of drunk driving in this manner.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 2):
I actually saw a story some time ago on how a judge ordered that in lieu of extended jail time, a guy who killed a little girl in a similar manner was forced to write a weekly check for something like $1 or $10 to her family for something like 2 years so he would keep what he had done on his conscience.

He got off easy, it's not his conscience that I'm worried about, it's him being out on the roads, I bet that he'd remember just as well if his butt was in the slammer for an extended period of time. I'd love it if some country would adopt the three strikes rule with drunk drivers. Three convictions, kiss your life away.
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:02 pm

Quoting NeilYYZ (Reply 7):
three strikes rule with drunk drivers. Three convictions, kiss your life away.

Hell, with drunk driving, it needs to be two strikes. You get your one gimmie, and then if you continue to drink after that, you are done. Anyone that is convicted of a second DUI is completely useless to this world. They are an endangerment not only themselves, but others as well. And not only to they pose this danger, but they just dont care that they do. Furthermore, with a second conviction, you can bet your bottom dollar that there would be more to come. These people just do not get it.


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davestanKSAN
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:04 pm

 ashamed   Sad

I'm with you on this one ANC.

There is really no excuse for drunk driving. And it always seems like the drunk walks away unharmed and the innocent victim(s) they hit get injured or dies.

I can't imagine what that mother has/is going through. Good God that's terrible what she had to witness.

RIP to the little girl and the chauffeur. Thoughts with their loved ones.

Dave
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NeilYYZ
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:05 pm

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 8):
Furthermore, with a second conviction, you can bet your bottom dollar that there would be more to come. These people just do not get it.

Oh I'd love the two strikes and you're out, although after the first, I think you should be banned from driving for life, however, that won't happen. And I doubt that people would go for two strikes, or three for that matter. As far as I'm concerned, if you cause a fatal accident when you're drunk, it should be treated like first degree murder, you knew you were drinking, and everyone gets to a point where they know that they're at the limit of when they can drive, if the decide to keep drinking and still drive, I call that intent.
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N1120A
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:14 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 4):
The piece of shit driving drunk got 16 years and was out in 10. That was his FIFTH drunk driving conviction. He should have been sent away forever . . .

Again, that is not how the law works, nor how the statutes behind murder are written. Here is the applicable New York State statute.

§ 125.25. Murder in the second degree

A person is guilty of murder in the second degree when:

1. With intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the death of such person or of a third person

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 4):
Preposterous. Let the bastard rot in jail . .

Sure, but 25 to life was the wrong sentence

Quoting JpetekYXMD80 (Reply 6):
I wouldn't have expected this outcome for reasons N1120A has stated, but feel that maybe it ought to be this way. In DUI cases of extreme severity or sickening repeated offense, why shouldn't it be called murder?

If you think about it, DUI is DUI and killing someone because you are driving drunk is the same whether it is a 7 year old girl who is decapitated in a limo or a 50 year old man who you hit in the street and dies of internal injuries.

The reason it shouldn't be called murder is because murder has a specific definition in the State of New York, the MPC and all the other various state and federal jurisdictions. Murder is with intent, manslaughter doesn't require intent.

Quoting NeilYYZ (Reply 7):
I'd love it if some country would adopt the three strikes rule with drunk drivers.

So we can clog the prison system more? If someone hit someone with a car three times in a three strikes state, it is quite likely that it would trigger said provisions.
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Jetsgo
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:21 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
. With intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the death of such person or of a third person

At 25 years of age, this man knew his limit. He has been of age for 4 years now. He continued to drink though. Then, he took it to the next level and got into a car. After 14 drinks! I'm sorry, but this is intent.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
Sure, but 25 to life was the wrong sentence

Wrong sentence as in it does not guarentee a well needed life sentence. He killed with intent.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
So we can clog the prison system more? If someone hit someone with a car three times in a three strikes state, it is quite likely that it would trigger said provisions.

Are you suggesting that we should not jail the convicted DUI because there are not enough prison cells? Surely we must build more prisons instead...Also, there is a difference betwen just "hitting a car three times," and doing it while drunk. Accident vs. intent.


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N1120A
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:24 pm

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 12):
I'm sorry, but this is intent.

No it isn't. It doesn't matter how much it raises your ire, it doesn't follow the legal definition of intent.

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 12):
He killed with intent.

No, he got drunk and f'ed up worse than he could ever imagine, and should be punished for that. He didn't go out there and say "ok, I am going to go kill someone now"

Quoting JetsGo (Reply 12):


Are you suggesting that we should not jail the convicted DUI because there are not enough prison cells?

No, I am saying we shouldn't be throwing them in jail for life because of an obvious mental illness
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:27 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 4):
The piece of shit driving drunk got 16 years and was out in 10. That was his FIFTH drunk driving conviction. He should have been sent away forever . . .

Again, that is not how the law works, nor how the statutes behind murder are written. Here is the applicable New York State statute.

§ 125.25. Murder in the second degree

A person is guilty of murder in the second degree when:

1. With intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the death of such person or of a third person

Alaska Statute: AS11.41.110: Murder 2.

(2) Person knowingly engages in conduct that results in the death of another person under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life.

or

(5) the person with criminal negligence causes the death of a child under the age of 16 and the person has been previously convicted of a crime involving a child under the age of 16 that was a) a felony violation of AS 11.41; b) a violation of a law of ordinance in another jurisdiction with elements similar to AS 11.41 or c) an attempt, a solicitation or a conspiracy to commit a crime in a or b above.

The charge would stick in Alaska. There is no allowance for "intent" in Murder 2 here. It is present in Murder 1.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
Sure, but 25 to life was the wrong sentence

Opinion.
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NeilYYZ
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:36 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
So we can clog the prison system more? If someone hit someone with a car three times in a three strikes state, it is quite likely that it would trigger said provisions.

The point wouldn't be to clog the prison system more, although I won't deny that it would definatly have that effect.

And yes, if you were drunk and hit a car three times, my issue is not with the damage to the car, it's with the danger that you pose, just because you got lucky three times does not mean, in my opinion, that your penalty should be less. On the same hand, I'm one of those that think that attempted murder is the same thing as murder, you clearly have the capacity to put society at risk, I don't think that mistakes in execution justify smaller sentences.
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Mir
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:40 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 13):
He didn't go out there and say "ok, I am going to go kill someone now"

But what he did say was "I'm going to willingly put myself in a position where the likelihood of me killing somone is greatly increased, and I'm ok with doing that."

I'm not sold on the murder charge, but I'd rather see that than have him get off lightly. This was not a pure accident - the guy knew that he was going to be endangering others on a scale far above the normal risk of being on the road, and yet he chose to drive anyway. It's stupidity, and the unfortunate fact is that unless people are made examples of, people are never going to learn that drunk driving is a very serious matter.

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N1120A
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:46 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 14):
There is no allowance for "intent" in Murder 2 here

Actually, under AS 11.41.110 (a)(1), there is an intent requirement.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 14):
(5) the person with criminal negligence causes the death of a child under the age of 16 and the person has been previously convicted of a crime involving a child under the age of 16 that was a) a felony violation of AS 11.41; b) a violation of a law of ordinance in another jurisdiction with elements similar to AS 11.41 or c) an attempt, a solicitation or a conspiracy to commit a crime in a or b above.

He would have had to be previously convicted of killing a child under 16

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 14):
(2) Person knowingly engages in conduct that results in the death of another person under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life.

Under sub paragraph (2), they do create a grey area which the Alaska courts have recognized as muddying the line between involuntary manslaughter and second degree murder. Under Jefries, the Court of Appeals of Alaska found that DUI/DWI could be combined with several other factors to meet the "knowingly engages in conduct" prong, though it did say that the State had to raise these points in court. Needless to say, it would be a much easier argument in Alaska to say that he should be convicted of Murder 2 under the law, but the New York law very specifically mentions intent.
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N1120A
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:48 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 16):
But what he did say was "I'm going to willingly put myself in a position where the likelihood of me killing somone is greatly increased, and I'm ok with doing that."

Then he is guilty of manslaughter, or in the case of the MPC, he is guilty of reckless and/or negligent homicide. Being an idiot does not mean you intend on killing someone and murder in New York requires that.
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ANCFlyer
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:53 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 17):
Actually, under AS 11.41.110 (a)(1), there is an intent requirement.

Check, I see that now, I sit corrected, however - I believe, my opinion of course, that some schmuck that is on his 3rd, 4th, 5th, DWI/DUI is intent on driving drunk. It's not as if it's an accident. It shows intent to disregard the law. It shows intent to drive whenever one feels the need. It shows intent to disregard human life. It shows intent to put other people in jeopardy. A decent prosecutor could win that . . . handily.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 17):
Needless to say, it would be a much easier argument in Alaska to say that he should be convicted of Murder 2 under the law, but the New York law very specifically mentions intent.

  

Guess we don't have as many bleeding hearts here as NY?   

[Edited 2006-10-19 08:56:36]
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ltbewr
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:54 pm

It shouldn't be so much about Justice for a Drunk Driver, but rather Justice for their victim's families. I would suspect that this Defendant will appeal his sentence and may win on appeal a requirement to be re-sentenced to the usual jail term.
Most states usually only charge vehicular manslaughter under the influence, and the usual jail term is about 2 years for 1 death. That is not enough in any case, including where multiple deaths and/or if under high level drunk driving (ie, drunk at 2x or more the limit). Many countries have much lower levels to qualify as drunk driving and generally have much more severe penalties for drunk driving itself especially if one kills or seriously injures someone while drunk driving.
Short jail terms may be a sufficient deterrent for most drivers, but they should be a lot higher such as 10-15 years for 1 death or very serious injury (paralyzed, severe brain damage) with more time for multiple deaths.
 
JRadier
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:35 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 2):
a life sentence just isn't justified.

Ok, so you volunteraly get pissed (his choice) knowing the concequences of alcohol use and accepting them. He knowingly got drunk and thus accepted the concequences of his actions. He then got into a car (wich was illegal) and drove on the wrong side of the highway.

He CHOSE to drink alcohol thus knowingly (maybe not at the moment, but by drinking he (should have) knew that he couldn't drive anymore and thus knowingly endangered the other motorists. Again, because he was knowingly under influence he slammed into the limo and thus is accountable for knowingly killing those people. It wasn't manslaughter because he knew what the concequences of his actions (drinking) were.
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MDorBust
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Thu Oct 19, 2006 11:41 pm

A good precedent to set in my opinion.
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MDorBust
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:09 am

Establishment of intent:

"They contended Heidgen never tried to stop and turned slightly toward the limousine in the seconds before the crash."

There you go.

Why else do you turn towards an oncoming car unless you intend to hit it? What is the logical consequence of striking another vehicle head on, on a highway? Whether or not he actually had the mental capacity to intend fatal harm is completely irrelevant as long as you get the jury to believe he was acting with lethal intent.
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N1120A
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:20 am

Quoting JRadier (Reply 21):
Ok, so you volunteraly get pissed (his choice) knowing the concequences of alcohol use and accepting them. He knowingly got drunk and thus accepted the concequences of his actions. He then got into a car (wich was illegal) and drove on the wrong side of the highway.

He CHOSE to drink alcohol thus knowingly (maybe not at the moment, but by drinking he (should have) knew that he couldn't drive anymore and thus knowingly endangered the other motorists. Again, because he was knowingly under influence he slammed into the limo and thus is accountable for knowingly killing those people. It wasn't manslaughter because he knew what the concequences of his actions (drinking) were.

Yes, he knowingly drank and recklessly still drove. That means he meets the requirements for manslaughter, not murder.

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 23):

"They contended Heidgen never tried to stop and turned slightly toward the limousine in the seconds before the crash."

That is ridiculously thin.
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IFEMaster
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:24 am

ANCFlyer - thanks for posting this. In my opinion, there shouldn't even be a two-strikes rule. It should be one chance and that's all you get. Anyone who drives a vehicle after even one drink is a fool.

N1120A - I am amazed that you can defend this guy after what he did. It's sickening.

Intent or no intent, he murdered two people with his irresponsible, immature actions. He deserves everything he gets.
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N1120A
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:32 am

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 25):
N1120A - I am amazed that you can defend this guy after what he did. It's sickening.

I am not defending anyone. The point is, they didn't follow the law.
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MDorBust
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:32 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 24):
That is ridiculously thin.

Video is amazingly compelling to a jury. You may think it was thin, but apparently the defense team couldn't shake it.
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N1120A
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:49 am

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 27):
You may think it was thin, but apparently the defense team couldn't shake it.

Which is why appeals courts exist. The Judge erred in even allowing them the murder option.
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F9Animal
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:53 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
If you think about it, DUI is DUI and killing someone because you are driving drunk is the same whether it is a 7 year old girl who is decapitated in a limo or a 50 year old man who you hit in the street and dies of internal injuries.

The reason it shouldn't be called murder is because murder has a specific definition in the State of New York, the MPC and all the other various state and federal jurisdictions. Murder is with intent, manslaughter doesn't require intent.

DUI is not an accident. When one dies at the hand of someone drunk, it should be a very serious offense. Regardless if the drunk had not intended on killing someone, they knew the consequences of driving before consuming the alcohol. Therefore, it should be considered premeditated. The drunk had a choice to make, and they made the choice to jeopardize lives.

If a pilot got into a 747 drunk, crashed and killed half of the passengers...... Would the pilot deserve a slap on the hand?

Quoting N1120A (Reply 11):
Sure, but 25 to life was the wrong sentence



Quoting N1120A (Reply 2):
It is incredibly sad how the little girl died, but convicting someone of murder requires intent, which you can't find here no matter how much you mince words, and a life sentence just isn't justified.

Wow..... I am lost for words. How in the hell can you say that a life sentence is not justified? I can appreciate the fact that your a "criminal defense" attorney, but seriously.

1. As he walked out to his car, likely wobbling and stumbling, fumbling for his keys, he knew he knew that he was facing DUI. He also knew the consequences involved as he pulled the car door open. He had a choice at this point, but chose to continue to the next step.

2. He put his keys in the ignition of his car, KNOWING that he was a danger to the roads. He still had a choice at this point, but continued to the next step.

3. He also knew as he turned the key and the engine fired up, that he could have gotten pulled over and gotten another slap on the hand DUI ticket, or into a wreck. Yet knowing the consequences, he continued to the next step.

4. As he put his car into drive and realized that the road was blurry and swaying, he continued to drive. Yet knowing the consequences, he continued to the next step.

5. As he saw the lights coming at him head on, he knew for that split second that someone could die due to his stupidity. He knew as he sat in a jail cell sobering up, that he killed 2 people.

The drunk asshole was not innocent, and deserved what he got. The family of the lost child saw justice served!

His INTENT was clearly shown. His PREMEDITATED decision to drive, knowing the consequences deserves a life sentence.

So if a DUI suspect fires a pistol while driving down a street and kills someone....... Does the suspect not deserve a life sentence?

Stiffer laws must get passed on DUI's that involve a death.
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N1120A
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:59 am

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 29):
When one dies at the hand of someone drunk, it should be a very serious offense.

Manslaughter is a very serious offense and would have brought him 15 years in jail.

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 29):
His INTENT was clearly shown. His PREMEDITATED decision to drive, knowing the consequences deserves a life sentence.

So in your world, he should get the needle in New York. The legal standards for intent, let alone premeditation, are not subjective like you are making them
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F9Animal
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:19 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 30):
Manslaughter is a very serious offense and would have brought him 15 years in jail.

15 years is nothing for his actions. Serious would be life.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 30):
So in your world, he should get the needle in New York. The legal standards for intent, let alone premeditation, are not subjective like you are making them

The needle would be very sufficent. 2 lives taken.




N1120A, I have a few questions for you.


1. How would you react to a new law making DUI a punishable offense up to a life sentence? Life for one that involves death of innocent lives.

2. In closing arguments, Heidgen's defense attorney called the murder charge "extreme" and suggested jurors return a guilty verdict on a lesser count of criminally negligent homicide, which carries a four-year prison term. Jennifer Flynn, who testified about holding her daughter's decapitated head immediately after the wreck, praised the jury for its decision.

Do you think 4 years would have been "justified"?
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falstaff
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:20 am

You can have all the laws in the world and they are useless if people don't follow them. I had a student brag to me the other day he will kill anyone for $1500 and I am sure he wasn't bluffing. Murder is illegal and has a stiff penalty, but that doesn't stop some people. You can make drunk driving laws as stiff as you want, but that will not stop everyone. I drink and drive all the time and the the laws hasn't stopped me. I just assume I won't get caught, maybe I will maybe I won't. I know a bunch of people are going to jump on me about it, but there are lots more drunk drivers around then you might realize. I have been in three wrecks and all three were when I was stone sober.

People also run over people, crash, kill themselves, etc because they are eating and driving, talking on the phone and driving. Are you all suggesting we put all those people in prison too. I bet there are very few people around that have never done anything that would be considered risky while driving their car.
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F9Animal
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 1:37 am

Quoting Falstaff (Reply 32):
I drink and drive all the time and the the laws hasn't stopped me. I just assume I won't get caught, maybe I will maybe I won't.

Lets just say that you do get caught. But, you get into a wreck and kill someone. Do you accept the fact that you could possibly face murder charges? Or would you just hope for a slap on the hand?

Sorry for such a blunt question, but I just want to get into the head of someone that has driven drunk.


I cannot relate with you, because I have never driven drunk. But IF I had made the decision to drive drunk, and killed someone because of it....... I would hope to hell that they would lock me up for life. That thought alone deters me from driving under the influence.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
atrude777
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:01 am

Defense attorney Stephen LaMagna complained that prosecutors held Heidgen to the "same standard as a cold-blooded murderer" but insisted, "this is a kid who drank too much and got lost on the way home."

I'd love to see him say the same thing if his wife was killed by him, or his parents or his sister. Let's see him say the same thing.

My opinion, 25 yrs is enough. I do not believe in the death penalty so I just wish for an x amount of years in Jail.

I have no sympathy for those who get in a car drunk, in my opinion it means an intent to drive recklessly with the possibility of injuring or killing someone, like this guy did. His intent was not to kill but to drive drunk and recklessly and POSSIBLY injuring and killing another person, this falls under my opiion of intent.

Alex
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N1120A
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:02 am

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 31):
15 years is nothing for his actions. Serious would be life.

15 years means he will be 40 years old when he gets out of jail, having completely missed his prime. Not to mention carrying around the stygma of being a convicted felon

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 31):
1. How would you react to a new law making DUI a punishable offense up to a life sentence? Life for one that involves death of innocent lives.

I would think it was another in a long line of bad policy decisions meant to give raw meat to the masses like you who react to this kind of thing. The penalties for DUI generally needed to be stiffened for years and have been recently to a more acceptable level, but murder is a whole different story.

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 31):
2. In closing arguments, Heidgen's defense attorney called the murder charge "extreme" and suggested jurors return a guilty verdict on a lesser count of criminally negligent homicide, which carries a four-year prison term. Jennifer Flynn, who testified about holding her daughter's decapitated head immediately after the wreck, praised the jury for its decision.

Do you think 4 years would have been "justified"?

Let me put it this way, I think 4 years would have followed the law much better than this sentence did. The 15 year sentence for manslaughter would have been the one I would have voted for, given that it was the most severe punishment that actually had its elements met under New York law.
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MDorBust
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:03 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 28):
The Judge erred in even allowing them the murder option.

If the prosecution can demonstrate intent, then the judge should absolutely allow the charge. It's up to the prosecution to prove their charge, which they apparently did.

But upon further review, establishment of intent becomes completely and totally irrelevent in this case.

Upon citing NY law, you acted with what would be considered serious misconduct in the legal field. You intentionally left something very important out and acted as if it didn't exist.

I present you the complete NY Murder 2 code:

Quote:

§ 125.25 Murder in the second degree.
A person is guilty of murder in the second degree when:
1. With intent to cause the death of another person, he causes the
death of such person or of a third person; except that in any
prosecution under this subdivision, it is an affirmative defense that:
(a) The defendant acted under the influence of extreme emotional
disturbance for which there was a reasonable explanation or excuse, the
reasonableness of which is to be determined from the viewpoint of a
person in the defendant's situation under the circumstances as the
defendant believed them to be. Nothing contained in this paragraph shall
constitute a defense to a prosecution for, or preclude a conviction of,
manslaughter in the first degree or any other crime; or
(b) The defendant's conduct consisted of causing or aiding, without
the use of duress or deception, another person to commit suicide.
Nothing contained in this paragraph shall constitute a defense to a
prosecution for, or preclude a conviction of, manslaughter in the second
degree or any other crime; or
2. Under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life,
he recklessly engages in conduct which creates a grave risk of death to
another person, and thereby causes the death of another person;
or
3. Acting either alone or with one or more other persons, he commits
or attempts to commit robbery, burglary, kidnapping, arson, rape in the
first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, sexual abuse in
the first degree, aggravated sexual abuse, escape in the first degree,
or escape in the second degree, and, in the course of and in furtherance
of such crime or of immediate flight therefrom, he, or another
participant, if there be any, causes the death of a person other than
one of the participants; except that in any prosecution under this
subdivision, in which the defendant was not the only participant in the
underlying crime, it is an affirmative defense that the defendant:
(a) Did not commit the homicidal act or in any way solicit, request,
command, importune, cause or aid the commission thereof; and
(b) Was not armed with a deadly weapon, or any instrument, article or
substance readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury
and of a sort not ordinarily carried in public places by law-abiding
persons; and
(c) Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant was
armed with such a weapon, instrument, article or substance; and
(d) Had no reasonable ground to believe that any other participant
intended to engage in conduct likely to result in death or serious
physical injury; or
4. Under circumstances evincing a depraved indifference to human life,
and being eighteen years old or more the defendant recklessly engages in
conduct which creates a grave risk of serious physical injury or death
to another person less than eleven years old and thereby causes the
death of such person; or

5. Being eighteen years old or more, while in the course of committing
rape in the first, second or third degree, criminal sexual act in the
first, second or third degree, sexual abuse in the first degree,
aggravated sexual abuse in the first, second, third or fourth degree, or
incest as defined in section 255.25 of this chapter, against a person
less than fourteen years old, he or she intentionally causes the death
of such person.
Murder in the second degree is a class A-I felony

Subsections 2 and 4 clearly qualify in this case.

Why were these sections left off of your reply #11?
"I KICKED BURNING TERRORIST SO HARD IN BALLS THAT I TORE A TENDON" - Alex McIlveen
 
N1120A
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:11 am

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 36):
You intentionally left something very important out and acted as if it didn't exist.

I actually missed that in my reading of the New York Code, and I appologise. Still, the term grave risk in the statute is defined by the Commission that wrote the legislation as "the highest form of reckless homicide" and would still be open to a similar standard as in Jeffries. Again, I appologise for missing that before.
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N1120A
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:24 am

And in People v. Lazartes, this was specifically distinguished by saying that a single factor (such as driving drunk) is not enough to prove extreme indifference.
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MDorBust
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:43 am

I suggest you review, People v Esposito (216 AD2d 317 [1995]), and People v Keating (283 AD2d 589 [2001]). Both cases involve Murder 2 intoxication convictions.

0.28, three times the legal limit. Wrong side of a highway for two miles, no attempt to stop... Depraved Indiferance at it's best.

In the case you cited, the defendant WAS NOT intoxicated, he was street racing and the charge was overturned because of witness testimoney demonstrating that his driving was responding to changing road situations. Want to try again? With something relevant?

Here was your case... if you want to read it this time around:
http://www.courts.state.ny.us/reporter/3dseries/2005/2005_08344.htm

Let's use a relevant quote:

Quote:
Depraved indifference to human life may be found when an automobile is "used . . . in a wanton and callous manner, thereby posing a grave risk of death" (People v Gomez, 65 NY2d 9, 12 [1985]).

Fits for me, must have fit for the juty too.
"I KICKED BURNING TERRORIST SO HARD IN BALLS THAT I TORE A TENDON" - Alex McIlveen
 
UALPHLCS
Posts: 3233
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 2:53 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 2):
convicting someone of murder requires intent, which you can't find here no matter how much you mince words, and a life sentence just isn't justified.

http://criminal.findlaw.com/crimes/a-z/murder_second_degree.html

Second-degree murder is ordinarily defined as 1) an intentional killing that is not premeditated or planned, nor committed in a reasonable "heat of passion" or 2) a killing caused by dangerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for human life.

Once again N1120A you show your ignorance of the issues. To have the blood alcohol level he had it was estimated that the Prep had 14 drinks. Got behind the wheel of a pick-up truck and drove 2 miles the wrong way up the highway.

If that isn't a killing caused by danerous conduct and the offender's obvious lack of concern for human life, then I don't know what is.

Second degree murder is exactly what should have been charged and it was exactly what the offender deserved.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
TedTAce
Posts: 9098
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:14 am

Quoting ANCFlyer (Thread starter):
not only was the 7 year old killed, she was decapitated . . .

Sounds like she was ironically 'properly restrained'.*

Here is a video as cited in the article:
http://www.ogrish.com/archives/2006/...dot-com-drunk_driver_kills_two.wmv

I hope this guy gets the death penalty.



Maybe that's how I'll make my millions, selling kiddie "HANS" devices...

[Edited 2006-10-19 21:35:08]
This space intentionally left blank
 
N1120A
Posts: 26468
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:02 am

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 39):
In the case you cited, the defendant WAS NOT intoxicated, he was street racing and the charge was overturned because of witness testimoney demonstrating that his driving was responding to changing road situations. Want to try again? With something relevant?

And street racing isn't relevant? If anything, he is MORE aware of what he is doing.

Quoting TedTAce (Reply 41):
I hope this guy gets the death penalty.

He can't

Quoting UALPHLCS (Reply 40):
Once again N1120A you show your ignorance of the issues.

Don't even think of trying to lecture me. I am more than aware of the issues, I merely missed something in the code and appologised for it.

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 39):
Depraved indifference to human life may be found when an automobile is "used . . . in a wanton and callous manner, thereby posing a grave risk of death" (People v Gomez, 65 NY2d 9, 12 [1985]).

If anything, the street racing example is still valid there. Drunk driving doesn't fit the definition of callous and only partially meets the definition of wanton.


Quoting MDorBust (Reply 39):
Wrong side of a highway for two miles

He drove for two miles according to the article, it didn't say he drove on the wrong side of the highway for two miles.
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
UALPHLCS
Posts: 3233
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2001 5:50 am

RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:06 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 42):
Don't even think of trying to lecture me.

When your wrong I will tell you your wrong whenever and however I feel like it.

Your ignorance and arrogance shows in every post you write.
A little less Hooah, and a little more Dooah.
 
TedTAce
Posts: 9098
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2005 12:31 am

RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 5:07 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 42):
He can't

Who said anything about the state giving it to him?  Wink
This space intentionally left blank
 
User avatar
falstaff
Posts: 5577
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:03 am

Quoting F9Animal (Reply 33):
Lets just say that you do get caught. But, you get into a wreck and kill someone. Do you accept the fact that you could possibly face murder charges? Or would you just hope for a slap on the hand?

Sorry for such a blunt question, but I just want to get into the head of someone that has driven drunk.

No reason to apologize, it is a good question. If I would kill someone in an accident, drinking or not, I would have to face the consequences. In Michigan I would not face murder charges for that though. Manslaughter yes, but not murder.
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GuitrThree
Posts: 1940
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:54 pm

RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:57 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 18):
Then he is guilty of manslaughter, or in the case of the MPC, he is guilty of reckless and/or negligent homicide. Being an idiot does not mean you intend on killing someone and murder in New York requires that.

Ok.. N1120A, then let's look at this another way.

The 9/11 terrorists who hijacked the planes, had plans to take aircraft and fly them into towers. Now, they obviously would have been charged in first degree for the deaths of those on board, and those on the floors directly affected by the hit. Because the terrorists didn't think that a complete collapse of the towers was even remotely possible, your argument says that all the deaths of the Fire Fighters, Polices officers, and everyone else NOT DIRECTLY ON THE POINT OF IMPACT but died because of something that happened that the terrorists didn't "PLAN" for, if alive today, should have been convicted of no more than Manslaughter for the incidental deaths.

Man. Its thoughts like this why we can't win in Iraq.
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AirCop
Posts: 5553
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:39 am

RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 8:13 am

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 34):
Defense attorney Stephen LaMagna complained that prosecutors held Heidgen to the "same standard as a cold-blooded murderer" but insisted, "this is a kid who drank too much and got lost on the way home."

I'd love to see him say the same thing if his wife was killed by him, or his parents or his sister. Let's see him say the same thing.

You be surprised. Way back in 1984 Time magazine ran an opinon piece written by a defense attorney that continued to defend drunk drivers even though if I remember right his wife was killed by a drunk driver that it was still his duty to provide for an aggressive defense for those charged with DUI. I wrote a letter to Time and it was published with the same concerns as Atrude 777 expressed. A couple of weeks later another follow up from him, directly answering my letter claiming I didn't understand the legal system, (well he didn't know what I did for a living) and again expressing his opinion that it was the duty of all attorneys to provide for the defense of all people regardless of crimes.
 
qr332
Posts: 2592
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:16 pm

RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 8:24 am

I'm with ANC on this one... drunk drivers deserve all that comes their way, they cause nothing but misery to their victims, and they should know their limit - getting into a car after 14 drinks warrants what this guy got, while it is not technically murder, the piece of crap deserves it. I have absolutley no sympathy for drunk drivers...

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 4):
The piece of shit driving drunk got 16 years and was out in 10. That was his FIFTH drunk driving conviction. He should have been sent away forever . . .

Just goes to show how justice is not always administered the way it should be... I believe in harsh punishment of drunk drivers, they are a very big threat on the road to all those around them. Only last March here in Qatar there was a case where a drunk driver was in the Inland Sea area of the country, where many go for offroading, and he ran over 4 people, 3 who were teenagers. The case was very tragic, as you can guess, and only goes to show how much damage these people can do.

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 4):
Alas the bleeding hearts are always there to feign compassion . . . as long as it's not their family laying there dead.

Exactly... people can never grasp how serious things are until it hits them (not that I am wishing or would wish that on anybody).
"The greatest threat to knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
 
NIKV69
Posts: 10893
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RE: Justice For A Drunk Driver

Fri Oct 20, 2006 8:31 am

Heard something very disheartening about this. First of all this happened where I live and the Principal of this girls school was a member at the club I was working at. It hit a lot of people in the area pretty hard. Anyway I heard one juror came forward and admitted that he or she was pressured into this murder conviction. This juror wanted to vote manslaughter and the rest of the jury leaned on her. This can not be good.

This story just get's worse and worse. One detail about the scene immediately after the crash. The mother thought she had found her daughter and picked her up. Meanwhile it was her daughters head she had in her hand. When the first officer reached the scene she had her daughters head cradled in her arms. I feel bad for that officer.
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!

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