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I followed up on a local fatality, and the motorist got a light sentence.

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I followed up on a local fatality, and the motorist got a light sentence.

Old 12-08-23, 08:19 PM
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I followed up on a local fatality, and the motorist got a light sentence.

https://www.kansascity.com/news/loca...276885063.html

For context, a local cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run late August of 2022. It occurred along a route I frequently bike, so it definitely hit close to home. The victim was a father of ten children and a math teacher at a local elementary school. The woman who killed Charlie admitted to being high on Percocet, and she also tried to get rid of the vehicle by torching it in a nearby town. I think the Jackson County prosecutor dropped the ball by only charging her with two Class D felonies (leaving the scene of a fatal crash and tampering with evidence), which come with a maximum prison sentence of seven years. They could've easily gotten her on involuntary manslaughter, which is a Class C felony and carries 3-10 years. The motorist pleaded guilty, but she only got four years for each count to be served concurrently (minus time already served). That seems like a light penalty given the egregiousness of her offenses.
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Old 12-08-23, 08:40 PM
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Ten kids? She should have to pay some restitution for the rest of her sorry life as well.
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Old 12-09-23, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
Ten kids? She should have to pay some restitution for the rest of her sorry life as well.
Oh, don't worry about that. Now that she's been convicted of the crime, there will be a wrongful death civil suit to follow. Of course, the family will never actually get all the money awarded to them, but it will sure put a dent in the offenders' lifestyle.
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Old 12-09-23, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
Oh, don't worry about that. Now that she's been convicted of the crime, there will be a wrongful death civil suit to follow. Of course, the family will never actually get all the money awarded to them, but it will sure put a dent in the offenders' lifestyle.
Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
Ten kids? She should have to pay some restitution for the rest of her sorry life as well.
I don't know if there will be a wrongful death suit, because there is no way to draw blood from this stone. What about her insurance company? Well, it turns out the vehicle she used to kill Charlie was stolen months prior and uninsured.

The family has received some help, though. Two different crowd funding campaigns were opened on their behalf by friends, and in total they raised over $250k. Plus, a bunch of people in the community came together and renovated their house for them free of charge.
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Old 12-09-23, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
Oh, don't worry about that. Now that she's been convicted of the crime, there will be a wrongful death civil suit to follow. Of course, the family will never actually get all the money awarded to them, but it will sure put a dent in the offenders' lifestyle.
Given that the father had ten kids. The judge should have gotten creative by, not only sentencing the driver to prison. But also ordering the driver to pay child support, starting from the day she killed the father.
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Old 12-12-23, 12:04 PM
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Around this time two years ago, a drunk driver slammed into a car containing my student, his sister, and their parents. The two kids were killed, leaving the parents to wake up in the hospital childless. The driver already had a previous DUI and wasn't even old enough to drink (which by law qualified her to be tried for murder). She somehow disappeared from the court system and I can't find any more news about it, making me suspect she got a slap on the wrist at best. We definitely go too lightly on the worst people. I have no desire to live with people that careless and wish they would be taken out of society one way or another so the rest of us can be safe.

Originally Posted by JW Fas
The family has received some help, though. Two different crowd funding campaigns were opened on their behalf by friends, and in total they raised over $250k. Plus, a bunch of people in the community came together and renovated their house for them free of charge.
I am growing tired of restitution falling on the backs of the most generous and most kind members of the working class. It's hard enough to make ends meet when we're covering our own responsibilities. Bring back hard labor.
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Old 12-12-23, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
I am growing tired of restitution falling on the backs of the most generous and most kind members of the working class. It's hard enough to make ends meet when we're covering our own responsibilities. Bring back hard labor.
How is sentencing someone to hard labor going to help other people make ends meet financially?
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Old 12-12-23, 01:31 PM
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Sentence her to fix the house.
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Old 12-12-23, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by JW Fas
https://www.kansascity.com/news/loca...276885063.html

For context, a local cyclist was killed in a hit-and-run late August of 2022. It occurred along a route I frequently bike, so it definitely hit close to home. The victim was a father of ten children and a math teacher at a local elementary school. The woman who killed Charlie admitted to being high on Percocet, and she also tried to get rid of the vehicle by torching it in a nearby town. I think the Jackson County prosecutor dropped the ball by only charging her with two Class D felonies (leaving the scene of a fatal crash and tampering with evidence), which come with a maximum prison sentence of seven years. They could've easily gotten her on involuntary manslaughter, which is a Class C felony and carries 3-10 years. The motorist pleaded guilty, but she only got four years for each count to be served concurrently (minus time already served). That seems like a light penalty given the egregiousness of her offenses.

What sentences for similar crimes did you compare this to?
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Old 12-12-23, 03:59 PM
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Things vary by state, but 4 years isn't exceptionally low for involuntary manslaughter. So while the DA might have tried for more, he did secure a guilty plea and a sentence not far off from what he might have gotten after trial for manslaughter or negligent homicide. OTOH he avoided a gamble, saved the cost of a trial, and the guilty plea cannot be appealed. Moreover, even if he had charged the greater offense there's a decent likelihood that there would have been a plea bargain with similar outcome.

I'd count this in the win column.
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Old 12-12-23, 05:24 PM
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35-60 x 2, years/

recent sentencing.https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/...ke-ride-crash/
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Old 12-12-23, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Things vary by state, but 4 years isn't exceptionally low for involuntary manslaughter. So while the DA might have tried for more, he did secure a guilty plea and a sentence not far off from what he might have gotten after trial for manslaughter or negligent homicide. OTOH he avoided a gamble, saved the cost of a trial, and the guilty plea cannot be appealed. Moreover, even if he had charged the greater offense there's a decent likelihood that there would have been a plea bargain with similar outcome.

I'd count this in the win column.
Re-read my OP. The driver wasn't charged with involuntary manslaughter even though it would've been a slam dunk. Missouri's definition: "A person commits the offense of involuntary manslaughter in the first degree if he or she recklessly causes the death of another person." Driving a stolen vehicle while high on Percocet easily crosses the threshold of reckless.
She was only charged with two Class D felonies: 1) leaving the scene of a fatal crash and 2) tampering with evidence.
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Old 12-12-23, 06:06 PM
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I'm not sure any charge is a slam dunk when you have to go before a jury. They are notoriously unpredictable.
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Old 12-12-23, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
How is sentencing someone to hard labor going to help other people make ends meet financially?
I think my post was mostly fueled by emotion, but the work should garner wages which then could be transferred to the victim's family. Actually, I think all inmates should have to work for their living in some way (just like they would on the outside) unless there are extenuating circumstances.
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Old 12-12-23, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by urbanknight
... I think all inmates should have to work for their living in some way (just like they would on the outside) unless there are extenuating circumstances.
The majority of inmates in the U.S. are in work programs.
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Old 12-12-23, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by JW Fas
Re-read my OP. The driver wasn't charged with involuntary manslaughter even though it would've been a slam dunk.....
First of all. I never argue stuff like this, but would like to clear the air.

You suggested I re-read your OP, but clearly you were too angry to read mine.

I never implied in any way that there was a manslaughter charge. Simply that the result was comparable to what it would have been.

Also, ask anyone involved with criminal law ----- there is no such thing as a slam dunk in a jury trial. That's why DAs will take a decent plea every time.

You may not like the result, but securing the guilty plea and 4 year sentence was a win.
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Old 12-12-23, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
You suggested I re-read your OP, but clearly you were too angry to read mine.

I never implied in any way that there was a manslaughter charge. Simply that the result was comparable to what it would have been.
You said the following: "Things vary by state, but 4 years isn't exceptionally low for involuntary manslaughter."

The four years for each Class D felony to which the motorist pleaded guilty. That was made clear in my OP. I said that involuntary manslaughter would have carried 3-10 years if it had been charged and convicted.
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Old 12-12-23, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by JW Fas
You said the following: "Things vary by state, but 4 years isn't exceptionally low for involuntary manslaughter."

The four years for each Class D felony to which the motorist pleaded guilty. That was made clear in my OP. I said that involuntary manslaughter would have carried 3-10 years if it had been charged and convicted.
First of all, multiple sentences arising out of a single event usually run concurrently, not consecutively.

So it's still the single longest sentence. As I said, 4 years isn't exceptionally low, since it falls within that 3-10 you reference. (IF CONVICTED)

So, the DA did a good job negotiateding a guilty plea, saving the cost and uncertainty of a trial, with the fact that it can't be appealed as a bonus.

Stop complaining and take the win. Be assured it's the exception, not the rule.

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Old 12-13-23, 12:29 AM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
The majority of inmates in the U.S. are in work programs.
That's good to know (although I fact checked and "majority" is just 61%).
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Old 12-14-23, 02:32 AM
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I had to renew my Japan drivers license a few months ago, and had to sit through the usual safety lecture. During this lecture I learned that the minimum sentence for DUI manslaughter is 15 years. Running from the scene and destroying evidence might double that.
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Old 12-16-23, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by JW Fas
Re-read my OP. The driver wasn't charged with involuntary manslaughter even though it would've been a slam dunk. Missouri's definition: "A person commits the offense of involuntary manslaughter in the first degree if he or she recklessly causes the death of another person." Driving a stolen vehicle while high on Percocet easily crosses the threshold of reckless.
She was only charged with two Class D felonies: 1) leaving the scene of a fatal crash and 2) tampering with evidence.
thereís still the issue of proximate cause. Itís possible to drive a stolen vehicle high on Percocet and not be the cause of the accident. Youíd be guilty of other crimes, but if the way you operated the vehicle didnít cause the accident, you wouldnít be guilty of manslaughter.

In other words it is possible to be intoxicated, and an accident to still be someone elseís fault if your intoxication didnít cause the accident. Thatís probably not the case here but we donít have enough information. With no other facts, we donít know what caused the accident. Thus while it would appear that there would be a good manslaughter charge, there isnít enough information to conclude it would be a slam dunk. The Prosecutor who negotiated the plea deal obviously had access to more information than we do.
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Old 12-22-23, 08:38 AM
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It could be instructive to learn the convict's highly-placed social contacts that were "taken into consideration" when the charges were filed and sentence decided. Corruption of this kind is rampant, and an entire website should be devoted to the subject, comparing the outcomes of similar cases.
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Old 12-22-23, 08:52 AM
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There are too many prisoners in the prisons. The States and the prosecutors are of the mindset that they want the prisoners out after a few years in prison, because it costs the State to maintain and feed the prisoners, and in more than 99% of the cases, the offenses are less serious to impose a death sentence.

With respect to a wrongful death action against the convict. Good luck collecting that judgment, if (1) she is a drug addict, (2) is already broke, and (3) employers unwilling to hire her after a background check..........da da da......

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Old 12-27-23, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
Things vary by state, but 4 years isn't exceptionally low for involuntary manslaughter. So while the DA might have tried for more, he did secure a guilty plea and a sentence not far off from what he might have gotten after trial for manslaughter or negligent homicide. OTOH he avoided a gamble, saved the cost of a trial, and the guilty plea cannot be appealed. Moreover, even if he had charged the greater offense there's a decent likelihood that there would have been a plea bargain with similar outcome.

I'd count this in the win column.
Yep. It's a better result than I'm used to seeing her in AZ. I'm not sure about laws in other states, but the penalties for hitting and/or killing a cyclist with a car are sometimes laughably minor here. In AZ a young man killed a 3 year old in a hit and run. Plead guilty. Got four years probation. One year jail time. But that jail time was deferred after he met some early probation requirements. He loses his driving license for 10 years. What are the odds that this young man will be driving before then anyway?

https://azbikelaw.org/3-y-o-glendale...iver/#criminal
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Old 01-13-24, 03:06 PM
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I'm not making any comment on the severity of the crime or the sentance. Except to say, it's a bad crime and I'm glad the person will be put in jail.

But what the heck does the number of kids have to do with anything? Nothing. The crime is just as bad and deserves just as much punishment if it's a single childless person.
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