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Old 11-21-16, 04:36 PM   #101
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These stories from the day after @cb400bill 's link have some repeated copy. One is about testimony and the other is about the charges. There's witness testimony in the captions of the gallery, too.

Charles Pickett Jr. was 'completely out of it' after crash, police testify | MLive.com
Charles Pickett Jr. ordered to stand trial in fatal bicycle crash | MLive.com
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Old 11-22-16, 11:39 AM   #102
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And there's where the problem lies. As it currently stands, we just don't prosecute impaired driving as a serious deadly crime in spite of the fact that roadway deaths are one of the largest causes of preventable death in America. I don't see this changing any time soon.
Most states have very serious laws covering impaired driving. However it is never considered intent to kill -- "deadly" -- because it simply cannot be proven, and statistics on impaired driving bear this out.
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Old 11-22-16, 12:12 PM   #103
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This happened near where I grew up. Reading up on this again led to me remembering and googling crimes involving people I went to school with to see what the current status of those proceedings were, and that let to me finding out that a girl I went to school with had a DUI homicide of a cyclist on her record and has spent the last 7 or so years in jail for it. Then I got to thinking that, "Yeah, but _______ was a good girl when I knew her; she just probably made a mistake that one time..." when I realized what I was justifying. I'm sure a lot of people have friends/family that feel that way, but it doesn't mean that they didn't do a terrible thing. In all the years I've been reading these stories, I've always taken the cyclists side of it and felt that these drivers were inhuman beasts that needed to be strung up (maybe a little hyperbole), but now I know one (or did a long time ago). It's so much easier to demonize them if you don't have to think of them as people. Not sure where I was going with this when I started typing.
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Old 11-22-16, 12:44 PM   #104
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Most states have very serious laws covering impaired driving. However it is never considered intent to kill -- "deadly" -- because it simply cannot be proven, and statistics on impaired driving bear this out.
Intent is a specific culpable mental state. AFAIK, most states recognize some variation of the four culpable states used here in Texas; intentional, (just what it sounds like) knowing, (with understanding that the outcome is reasonably certain) reckless, (disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk) and criminally negligent. (ought to be aware of the risk)

Intent or knowledge is enough to qualify as murder, and recklessness is the minimum standard for manslaughter. (2-20 years in TX) Unfortunately, a lot of DWI deaths have been charged as (or allowed to plea bargain down to) criminally negligent homicide (180 days to 2 years) over the past few decades. Now, TX recognizes intoxication manslaughter in the 2-20 category, but is still way too lax on simple DWI; a second offense can get you as little as 72 hours in jail and a $1500 surcharge at license renewal.

IMO, no one who has ever had a driver's license has any excuse for claiming they didn't know that killing someone is a substantially likely outcome of drinking and driving. I could see the argument that a first offense (i.e. no DWI of any kind) would drop the probability into the "reckless" category, but anyone shown to have made a habit of driving drunk should be facing murder charges when they kill someone.
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Old 11-22-16, 12:52 PM   #105
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I believe that killing someone after drink driving is less than 0.1% *( a guess based on the claims of number of impared drivers at any given time on the roads). What is your definition of "substantially likely"
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Old 11-22-16, 01:06 PM   #106
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Intent is a specific culpable mental state. AFAIK, most states recognize some variation of the four culpable states used here in Texas; intentional, (just what it sounds like) knowing, (with understanding that the outcome is reasonably certain) reckless, (disregarding a substantial and unjustifiable risk) and criminally negligent. (ought to be aware of the risk)

Intent or knowledge is enough to qualify as murder, and recklessness is the minimum standard for manslaughter. (2-20 years in TX) Unfortunately, a lot of DWI deaths have been charged as (or allowed to plea bargain down to) criminally negligent homicide (180 days to 2 years) over the past few decades. Now, TX recognizes intoxication manslaughter in the 2-20 category, but is still way too lax on simple DWI; a second offense can get you as little as 72 hours in jail and a $1500 surcharge at license renewal.

IMO, no one who has ever had a driver's license has any excuse for claiming they didn't know that killing someone is a substantially likely outcome of drinking and driving. I could see the argument that a first offense (i.e. no DWI of any kind) would drop the probability into the "reckless" category, but anyone shown to have made a habit of driving drunk should be facing murder charges when they kill someone.
I'd argue that DWI should certainly be considered reckless in regard to deaths as a result, and that TX is doing right by acknowledging this. ...but not going further and claiming it is intentional or knowing.

Usually, someone is doing something else wrong when they get busted for DWI. A minor, single vehicle accident, speeding, weaving, etc. When considering the punishment for DWI, it should be considered in light of whatever else they might have been charged with -- probably a mere civil citation -- vs. the penalty for DWI, which is severe, in contrast. "As little as" does not = what most receive in penalties, fines, jail time, court fees, mandatory treatment, etc. And I don't consider 3 days in jail at all trivial. By contrast, even a first offense in VA results in mandatory 30 day jail stay.

And when a drunk driver does kill someone? They are usually charged appropriately, with manslaughter or homicide charges, vs. a sober driver who may be released without charges or at most some kind of civil violation.

But killing someone while driving impaired is simply not a substantially likely outcome; it's a substantially unlikely outcome, which is rightfully how the courts see it. It is, however, a good thing that more and more states are making it extremely difficult for repeat offenders to drive at all.
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Old 01-09-17, 06:27 PM   #107
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April 25 trial set for Charles Pickett Jr. in fatal Kalamazoo bicycle crash | MLive.com
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Old 01-09-17, 07:20 PM   #108
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The gravity with which law enforcement and the judicial system are taking this case is important direction for any future cases involving criminal negligence or road rage that result in cyclist death or injury.

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Old 01-12-17, 04:06 PM   #109
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The gravity with which law enforcement and the judicial system are taking this case is important direction for any future cases involving criminal negligence or road rage that result in cyclist death or injury.
Doubtful, unless such negligence and road rage involve a similar drugged driving situation. It may bring greater awareness and testing for drugged driving, but that's about all I would hope for.
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Old 01-12-17, 04:23 PM   #110
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Is Pickett in jail now, or is he out on bail? That may be indicative of how serious they are taking it.

Second degree murder might be hard to prosecute, but it could lock him up for a very long time.
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Old 01-19-17, 05:28 AM   #111
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Is Pickett in jail now, or is he out on bail?
He's been in custody since the day of the incident.
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Old 01-19-17, 08:30 PM   #112
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Maybe Obama will pardon him.
Not funny.
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Old 01-19-17, 08:45 PM   #113
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neither are his pardons
Then feel free to take it to the political forum.
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Old 01-19-17, 08:45 PM   #114
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Maybe Obama will pardon him.
Not what I come to bike forums to read. Please restrict your hate to more appropriate places.
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Old 01-19-17, 08:51 PM   #115
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My point was made, but thanks for playing.
You're asking for it, you got it.
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Old 03-21-17, 05:43 PM   #116
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Charles Pickett Jr. plans to use insanity defense in fatal bicycle crash | MLive.com
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Old 03-21-17, 05:54 PM   #117
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Unfortunately law in the USA isn't about right or wrong, but about each side winning.

Sane or Insane, the defense will try to plead to whatever charge gets the client an easier sentence.
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Old 03-21-17, 08:38 PM   #118
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Unfortunately law in the USA isn't about right or wrong, but about each side winning.

Sane or Insane, the defense will try to plead to whatever charge gets the client an easier sentence.
Typical.(I am not referring to you)
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Old 03-22-17, 09:41 AM   #119
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Well-------------------I guess it is insane to drive drunk. However since he chose to, IMO it is premeditated murder. Remember he killed 5 people.
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Old 03-22-17, 10:43 AM   #120
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Well-------------------I guess it is insane to drive drunk. However since he chose to, IMO it is premeditated murder. Remember he killed 5 people.
I think you need to look up the definition of premeditated.

I don't think the insanity plea will stick. If so, then anyone caught driving impaired could plead insanity and get out of it.

Then again, I thought a lot of things would never happen in politics, and most often I've been wrong recently.

I only skimmed the thread, but why was the trial moved from november to april?
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Old 03-22-17, 12:29 PM   #121
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I don't think the insanity plea will stick. If so, then anyone caught driving impaired could plead insanity and get out of it.
Not sure what the law is there, but here, an insanity plea only gets you a delay until the court believes you can understand what you did and why you're being punished for it. The intervening time is usually spent in a mental hospital too. Claiming you were insane but you're all better now wouldn't do you a bit of good unless you could show some serious extenuating circumstance like having been drugged without your knowledge or consent, or a medical condition you weren't previously aware of.
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Old 03-22-17, 01:48 PM   #122
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Mental illness among criminals is high. And, many with a mental illness will choose to "self medicate".

But, I do believe that he apparently took it to an excess that goes beyond anything reasonable.

Assuming this reaches a jury trial, how much do you want to bet cyclists will be selectively excluded?
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Old 03-23-17, 01:56 PM   #123
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It's interesting to note the differences in attention to pedestrians and cyclists killed by vehicle drivers, depending on location, witnesses and how the driver is identified. In addition to the most recent London incident (four or five dead, depending on the news outlet, several more injured), there have been several similar incidents at parades and public events, with similar numbers of people killed and killed.

If it fits the terrorism narrative, it gets top billing and demands to "do something" about "terrorism".

If it occurs at a parade or public street fair, it gets the news for a couple of days and a few halfhearted suggestions about tightening up on licensing of drivers, DUI checkpoints, or confining people who had a record of anger and assault problems before using their vehicles as weapons.

Mow over the same number of cyclists in a non-metropolitan area, meh, hardly merits any attention beyond the immediate community, even though Pickett had a history of substance abuse and antisocial behavior. But he doesn't neatly fit the terrorism narrative, so no big deal to the rest of the world.

It always leaves the victims, survivors and families to sort out where they fit in these disparate narratives for essentially similar tragedies.
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Old 03-23-17, 02:20 PM   #124
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The only reason they're going after him is that driving impaired, like terrorism, is a slam-dunk to be convicted. Otherwise, they would have blamed the cyclists and moved on.
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Old 03-23-17, 03:17 PM   #125
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Yeah, Pickett's case does fit another narrative -- the "opioid epidemic" hysteria. That's among the latest of political footballs. If he'd only been drunk there might be less to gnaw on.

It'll be interesting to see how his defense presents an insanity plea. His described behavior pretty much fits his Facebook profile as an anti-social misfit, but being a raging a$$h0l3 usually isn't enough for an insanity defense. And behaving differently under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is more of a "Duh" than evidence of insanity.
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