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Old 11-21-02, 02:31 AM   #1
gmason
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It isn't always bad news ...

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The driver who killed Australian triathlete Luke Harrop in a hit-and-run accident has had her prison sentence doubled by a Court of Appeal in Queensland. Sandra Jaye Wilde now faces five years in jail as well as an additional 18 months for other offences, bringing the total to 6 and a half years. Harrop died on January 13, 2002 as a result of injuries sustained in the collision on the previous day.
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Old 11-21-02, 08:48 AM   #2
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That is bad news. Sorry to hear about Luke Harrop.

Also bad news since the driver only got 6-1/2 years.

If you "kill" someone with a gun, knife, club, etc. it's usually first or second degree murder and you get 15 years to life.

If you kill someone with a car it's usually considered manslaughter and you get 6 months to 6-1/2 years.

In both cases a person has been killed.
Where is the justice?
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Old 11-21-02, 09:00 AM   #3
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Originally posted by RonH
That is bad news. Sorry to hear about Luke Harrop.

Also bad news since the driver only got 6-1/2 years.

If you "kill" someone with a gun, knife, club, etc. it's usually first or second degree murder and you get 15 years to life.

If you kill someone with a car it's usually considered manslaughter and you get 6 months to 6-1/2 years.

In both cases a person has been killed.
Where is the justice?
I find this equally ridiculous, you kill somebody run off and then later get caught. But wait! its not murder, you killed with a car, that makes it acceptable, lets give you just 6.5 years instead.

My opinion would be different had the person stayed at the scene.
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Old 11-21-02, 09:15 AM   #4
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I find this equally ridiculous, you kill somebody run off and then later get caught. But wait! its not murder, you killed with a car, that makes it acceptable, lets give you just 6.5 years instead.

My opinion would be different had the person stayed at the scene.
i agree, but the sad thing is, at least if it were in the US, this would be a really SEVERE finding against the killer compared to manslaughter or virtually no charges as is so often the case.

i agree that a hit-and-run makes it worse, but i bet if it weren't a hit and run the woman wouldn't even be doing time. she still killed a person through her actions!

in the US i've often seen the write-up equate such deadly car-bike as being like when deer cross the road and gets killed -- an unavoidable and sad, but not punishable act.

if someone were shooting target practice somewhere and because of not paying attention shot and killed someone, i'm pretty sure he would be prosecuted much more severly despite the fact that it was an "accident" in the same way that running a cyclist down is -- meaning he was not paying attention or using the deadly device properly or following proper safety precautions.

why are drivers usually not held responsible for their actions operating a DEADLY weapon?
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Old 11-21-02, 09:19 AM   #5
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Can someone explain if it is common for an Appeals Court to increase a sentence in Austrailia ?

I'm no lawyer, but I believe that here in the USA, an Appeals Court can decide "yes" or "no" if a conviction was legal, but can't tinker with a sentence.
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Old 11-22-02, 10:05 AM   #6
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Hi,


"Also bad news since the driver only got 6-1/2 years.

If you "kill" someone with a gun, knife, club, etc. it's usually first or second degree murder and you get 15 years to life.

If you kill someone with a car it's usually considered manslaughter and you get 6 months to 6-1/2 years.

In both cases a person has been killed.
Where is the justice?"

Well a gun is a weapon and it is sole use is meant for killing whereas a automobile's use is entirely different....this does'nt justify hit and run's.

rgds
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Old 11-22-02, 01:30 PM   #7
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Well a gun is a weapon and it is sole use is meant for killing whereas a automobile's use is entirely different....this does'nt justify hit and run's.
Remember the mantra of gun advocates, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people.". With this in mind, wouldn't it follow that she is equally culpable whether she uses a gun or car?
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Old 11-26-02, 09:03 PM   #8
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In the U.S. 25 years ago drinking and driving was socially acceptable, and juries were often lenient even when offenders were prosecuted. There has been a sea-change in people's thinking about such crimes, but it didn't happen by accident. MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) unrelentingly pressured state legislatures all over the country, as well as giving faces to the victims in their highly effective ad campaigns. Can we change thinking about cycling, as well? The answer is yes, but dedicated political action and public involvement are critical. A good start is the LAB (League of American Bicyclists) as well as similar state lobbying groups. If you don't think such organizations are effective, you're wrong. In Texas, we have been able to defeat a number of anti-cycling measures in the Legislature, as well as enact the Matthew Brown bill--a pro cycling bill named after a child cyclist killed by a motorist. Be as active writing your state rep as you are posting on these boards.
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Old 11-27-02, 02:44 AM   #9
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Murder v Manslaughter

This all boils down to intent. For someone to be guilty of Murder then the prosecution must be able to prove that the suspect intended to kill the victim.

Even if someone is blind drunk you would still have to prove intent and unless you have a witness that says the car deliberately swerved into the victim, then the best you are ever going to get is manslaughter.
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Old 11-27-02, 07:03 AM   #10
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then the best you are ever going to get is manslaughter.
Okay - then let's increase the punishments available for manslaughter.

I would argue that in the case of a drunken driver, the very act of getting drunk proves intent to injure or kill, or at least the law should be changed so that it does.
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Old 11-27-02, 10:28 AM   #11
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Okay - then let's increase the punishments available for manslaughter.

I would argue that in the case of a drunken driver, the very act of getting drunk proves intent to injure or kill, or at least the law should be changed so that it does.
If you increase the penelity too much then folks get too symphatic and don't use it. I think 6 1/2 years is a long time and should motivate other drivers to be more careful. Isn't that all we can hope for - no sentance can bring back the cyclest.

BTW driving drunk, like driving using a cell phone only increases your chance of being in an accident by a facor of 4.

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Old 11-28-02, 10:58 AM   #12
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But!!!!
As the crime was not premeditated (without intent) will she spend her time in an open prison? (soft option) as would be the case here in the U.K.
She would also be entitled to payroll revues on a regular basis.
Which means she would probably serve less than half the sentance.

What price a life
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Old 11-28-02, 07:50 PM   #13
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All we know is one side, She might be a dirt bag or just got scared after the accident - which may have even been partially the cyclest's fault. So at this point one life is lost and one (hers) is ruined how bad it's ruined, or how long she spends in jail I don't think is really the issue. We want to keep other cyclests from being hurt. Some punishment for carelessness is desireved as is some for leaving the seen - or not stopping to render aid. But I don't know how much is reasonable.
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Old 12-01-02, 03:45 AM   #14
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Ladies and Gentlemen,

This is indeed good news. Some of you may be familiar with the original verdict, it can be found in this thread for those who aren't. Of course, I'd prefer a heavier sentence still because I'm still convinced this was murder, but at least five years is better than two.

Of course, there was another cyclist killed here on the Gold Coast at around the same time with a considerably lesser profile than Luke Harrop. I will be contacting a few people in the near future to ask why that case hasn't been reopened.
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Old 12-01-02, 04:21 AM   #15
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Thanks Chris. I thought no one would ever get the point.

Cheers...Gary
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Old 12-02-02, 06:33 AM   #16
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Thanks Chris I didn't remember the incident. Yes that should have been a murder trial.
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