Originally Posted by B. Carfree
Now about that DA over in Palo Alto who maintains there is no way she can bring criminal charges against a speeding, unlicensed tweeker who ran a child over in the bike lane...
For better or for worse, speeding in the way that the majority of drivers on the road speed isn't going to result in a conviction. Even if the "the sun was in my eyes" defense is BS, the DA couldn't disprove it.
A driver who was not absurdly over the speed limit who got blinded by the sun, versus a driver going WAY over the speed limit, made an unsafe pass, had to made a sudden move back into the proper lane to avoid a head on collision, loses control and kills a cyclist. If evidence proves the latter, it is pretty clearly reckless. Showing recklessness in the former case beyond a reasonable doubt is almost impossible.
In a lot of ways, the disappointment is even greater when a DA brings charges in a case that is going to be lost and that not guilty verdict comes down than when the DA decides not to bring charges, especially because the victim (if alive as in the Palo Alto case) and the victim's family have to go through the emotional wringer of the trial, and in higher profile cases, the public that thinks the accused should be punished is more pissed off after a losing trial than if charges are not brought. The state attorney in Florida overruling the DA and deciding to bring charges against Zimmerman made things worse in the end. Sure, the undisputed facts seem to show that Zimmerman's racial profiling and incredibly stupid and wrong headed behavior were the cause of Martin's death, but those undisputed facts don't show criminal behavior under Florida law. A conviction under the law wasn't going to happen unless the jury decided to abandon their duty under the law and punish a guy that at least some of them wanted to punish. The DA made the right choice in the first place because a conviction wouldn't happen, it was better to put up with the disappointment of no charges brought than the disappointment of the not guilty verdict.
Yes, a driver made mistakes and ran over a kid riding in a bike lane causing serious injuries. But under the law, and under the facts as I understand them from the media reports, I don't see a way to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that those mistakes rose to the level of criminality. It is sad, but that's the way it is. Except when there is a lot of political pressure, DA's don't bring charges in cases they are almost sure to lose, and I'm OK with that, I'd rather the limited resources be spent on better things.
And I really hope the DA has a good case against the Foothill driver and gets meaningful prison time.