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Suspect in fatal hit-and-run bike crash pleads not guilty (Spokane, WA)

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Suspect in fatal hit-and-run bike crash pleads not guilty (Spokane, WA)

Old 05-12-23, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by dougmc
Summary: pleading "not guilty" is what everybody should do.
It depends on the facts of the case, available funds, and where the defendant finds himself in the timetable of proceedings. If he is clearly guilty, it can be a great benefit to plead no contest/guilty to arrive at a bargain and lessor sentence.
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Old 05-12-23, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
It depends on the facts of the case, available funds, and where the defendant finds himself in the timetable of proceedings. If he is clearly guilty, it can be a great benefit to plead no contest/guilty to arrive at a bargain and lessor sentence.
And a lot of times, the defendant is sitting in jail waiting for trial, so a guilty plea with a time served sentence can actually result in less time in jail than a possible acquittal.

She did plead guilty in 2013 to leaving the scene of a fatal accident. That was almost certainly the result of a bargain.
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Old 05-12-23, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SurferRosa
It depends on the facts of the case, available funds, and where the defendant finds himself in the timetable of proceedings. If he is clearly guilty, it can be a great benefit to plead no contest/guilty to arrive at a bargain and lessor sentence.
Damn, I wrote that almost 12 years ago!

The summary you quoted was describing her first plea, presumably before any bargaining had begun. It sounds like you missed this part of that same comment :

The way our courts work, the best outcome for her is if she pleads "not guilty" until she gets the best plea bargain she thinks she can get. Or she can roll the dice in the court room.
When you're accused of a crime, your "guilty" plea is valuable to the prosecution. You can give it to them for free, or you may be able to give it to them in exchange for concessions, a "plea bargain".

But your first plea, the first time you go before the judge? It's usually "not guilty", unless you're trying to screw yourself over. Or it's a minor crime and the penalty will just be a small fine.

But if it's a felony, smart people don't plead "guilty" until their lawyer agrees it's time, and that usually means it's done in exchange for some deal.
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Old 01-14-24, 10:21 PM
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Desmonds mom

Originally Posted by Miniroxy59
She does it again killing 2 pedestrians in airway heights last night
my son was one of the kids killed by Megan she is. Only going to. Get like 9 years for. Both kids and she will be out in seven she isn't getting enough time.
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Old 01-14-24, 10:25 PM
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My son was one killed by her and I'm so mad
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Old 01-14-24, 10:26 PM
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Desmonds mom

My son was one killed by her and I'm so mad
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Old 01-14-24, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Tonda
My son was one killed by her and I'm so mad
She is only getting 9years for killing my son and his. Girl friend now there is kids without a dad and kids without mom my grandson is only three and don't understand why his dad isn't around. I'm left with out my son my best friend I wish everyday it was me and not them
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Old 01-14-24, 10:31 PM
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[QUOTE=Tonda;23129644]She is only getting 9years for killing my son and his. Girl friend now there is kids without a dad and kids without mom my grandson is only three and don't understand why his dad isn't around. I'm left with out my son my best friend I wish everyday it was me and not them ]Don't understand how. She gets such a easy slap on the wrist the first time and again she will be out in 7years after killing two more
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Old 01-15-24, 02:18 AM
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I spent 11 years in law enforcement investigating fatality accidents in a major American city. Needless to say, it was a busy job. The sheer number of people killed in car accidents every year in America is nothing short of astonishing, and when you add two million injuries to that, it should be considered a national crisis. Driving is a privilege in America, with states having the authority to set licensing and safety standards, yet, despite the literal “Blood on the Highways” state of things, there is near absolute silence about the issue.

I eventually got tired of law enforcement, and moved to Japan to begin a new life. I found out quickly that things in Japan are done differently. First, you must be 18 or older to get a license in Japan. This alone is enough to cause a significant decrease in vehicle collisions, injuries, and fatalities. Then there is the nature of the licensing system in Japan, which is far more difficult than in America. Japan requires that people pass a very difficult knowledge test, and demonstrate they understand the rules of the road, and the consequences for causing injury or death while operating a vehicle. The driving test is very difficult, no one passes it on the first attempt, most don’t pass on the second attempt, many people never pass it at all (when I took my test, a woman was there making her 8th attempt).

When you get a license, for your first year you are considered a “new driver,” and your car must have markings on the front and rear showing your “new driver” status. When you renew your license, you must sit through a 90 minute safety course, which, the last time I went, actually covered what happens if you hit a bicycle with your car.

As I have mentioned before in other threads, Japan’s traffic laws are severe. Any collision resulting in an injury is considered a crime, any collision resulting in the death of a pedestrian or cyclist will result in a mandatory prison sentence even if the actions of the pedestrian or cyclist contributed to the collision. In the case of a hit-and-run, you will serve a severe sentence. In Fukushima, a hit and run driver who struck and killed two people was sentenced to death, though his sentence was later commuted to life in prison.

Had the girl in the story been arrested for hit-and-run in Japan, she would have spent 7 or so years in prison, and received a lifetime ban on operating a motor vehicle, and would never have had an opportunity to kill more people.
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Old 01-15-24, 04:57 AM
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Holy…!
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Old 01-15-24, 07:40 AM
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My condolences. Beyond that I am speechless....
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Old 01-15-24, 09:24 AM
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https://www.khq.com/news/hit-and-run...60c66a06e.html
Her family member - "she didn't have any ill intentions"
Yes, she did. She got behind the wheel drunk, and she knew full well what the consequences were, since she had done it before.
My sincere condolences go out to the families of those she has killed. I hope this time the court considers her a threat to society and tosses the key to her cell.
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Old 01-15-24, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
Her family member - "she didn't have any ill intentions"
I was on a coroner's panel (Jury Duty) a few years ago. A guy had gotten stoned, then jumped in his car and was involved in a head-on crash that killed a young woman on her way to work.
We were asked to decide if this was manslaughter or murder. The panel's decision was "murder" (unanimous) for the reason you mentioned: he had chosen to get wasted.
The guy's attorney was arguing for manslaughter. We heard some pretty searing testimony from the family of the woman who was killed. It was a hard day's work... luckily it was only one day!
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Old 01-15-24, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling
Driving is a privilege in America, with states having the authority to set licensing and safety standards, yet, despite the literal “Blood on the Highways” state of things, there is near absolute silence about the issue.
Contrast this with the regulation of firearms in the US.
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Old 01-15-24, 05:03 PM
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While I've always preferred "people" solutions over "machine" solutions, I've come to the conclusion that ultimately the only way to prevent, or at least reduce, DUI deaths is to focus on the cars themselves. Modern cars already have features that could be put to practical use this way.

The sensors that cars use for current self driving or warning systems already, and/or those devices that insurance companies have us put into our cars already collect the necessary data, detecting overly close following, hard or erratic braking and acceleration, lane control, speeding, and/or high G-forces from generally erratic driving. So, that data can be integrated into the cars systems, progressively issuing various levels of driver warnings, and possibly, ultimately shutting the car down.

Some dialog is needed to form a consensus about how much intrusion we're willing to accept, and I count myself among those wanting the bare minimum amount. However, despite hating to be nagged, I'd support a system that only began nagging beyond a reasonably high threshold, and if that didn't produce a correction might issue a warning giving drivers 5 minutes to pull over and shut the car down (before the system did). The nice thing here is that this would also help drivers with other issues such as nodding off from over tiredness. The point would be to reduce dangerous driving without dealing with the causes.

For those like me, who don't want big brother in the car, the system could be put into a passive mode, where it would only warn after extremely erratic driving, with the condition that the owner accept a greater share of liability.

The above is only offered as something to think about, and as I said, while technically possible, we need a national dialog about how far to take it.
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Old 01-15-24, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
While I've always preferred "people" solutions over "machine" solutions, I've come to the conclusion that ultimately the only way to prevent, or at least reduce, DUI deaths is to focus on the cars themselves. Modern cars already have features that could be put to practical use this way.

The sensors that cars use for current self driving or warning systems already, and/or those devices that insurance companies have us put into our cars already collect the necessary data, detecting overly close following, hard or erratic braking and acceleration, land control, speeding, and/or high G-forces from generally erratic driving. So, that data can be integrated into the cars systems, progressively issuing various levels of driver warnings, and possibly, ultimately shutting the car down.

Some dialog is needed to form a consensus about how much intrusive we're willing to accept, and I count myself among those wanting the bare minimum amount. However, despite hating to be nagged, I'd support a system that only began nagging beyond a reasonably high threshold, and if that didn't produce a correction might issue a warning giving drivers 5 minutes to pull over and shut the car down (before the system did). The nice thing here is that this would also help drivers with other issues such as nodding off from over tiredness. The point would be to reduce dangerous driving without dealing with the causes.

For those like me, who don't want big brother in the car, the system could be put into a passive mode, where it would only warn after extremely erratic driving, with the condition that the owner accept a greater share of liability.

The above is only offered as something to think about, and as I said, while technically possible, we need a national dialog about how far to take it.
I'd be happy if this goes through. At least it would have prevented this woman from her killing sprees.
Alcohol Breath Tests Could Become Standard For American Driver (forbes.com)
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Old 01-16-24, 12:22 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
While I've always preferred "people" solutions over "machine" solutions, I've come to the conclusion that ultimately the only way to prevent, or at least reduce, DUI deaths is to focus on the cars themselves. Modern cars already have features that could be put to practical use this way.

The sensors that cars use for current self driving or warning systems already, and/or those devices that insurance companies have us put into our cars already collect the necessary data, detecting overly close following, hard or erratic braking and acceleration, land control, speeding, and/or high G-forces from generally erratic driving. So, that data can be integrated into the cars systems, progressively issuing various levels of driver warnings, and possibly, ultimately shutting the car down.

Some dialog is needed to form a consensus about how much intrusive we're willing to accept, and I count myself among those wanting the bare minimum amount. However, despite hating to be nagged, I'd support a system that only began nagging beyond a reasonably high threshold, and if that didn't produce a correction might issue a warning giving drivers 5 minutes to pull over and shut the car down (before the system did). The nice thing here is that this would also help drivers with other issues such as nodding off from over tiredness. The point would be to reduce dangerous driving without dealing with the causes.

For those like me, who don't want big brother in the car, the system could be put into a passive mode, where it would only warn after extremely erratic driving, with the condition that the owner accept a greater share of liability.

The above is only offered as something to think about, and as I said, while technically possible, we need a national dialog about how far to take it.
I vaguely recall that at one point, there was some talk about having a breath analyzer incorporated into cars for those drivers who have already been fined for driving under the influence of alcohol. This was many years ago - I think more than a decade - it must have not been approved, which is unfortunate. The idea behind this system was quite reasonable. If the alcohol level is at or above the legal limit, the car will not start, eliminating the possibility of a drunk driver harming anyone.
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Old 01-16-24, 03:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Alan K
I vaguely recall that at one point, there was some talk about having a breath analyzer incorporated into cars for those drivers who have already been fined for driving under the influence of alcohol. This was many years ago - I think more than a decade - it must have not been approved, which is unfortunate.. . .
They still make them, and some judges still make them a condition when people ask for a "hardship" license, ie. limited use for getting to work and back.

I know they're used in NY, but don't know about other states. Here's a link to the Intoxalock site for more info.

However, my idea is different and focused on the driving itself, rather than the driver. It would be harder to fool, and work with any type of impaired driving, regardless of the cause.
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Old 01-16-24, 05:16 AM
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To add to my previous post, in the Japanese system, if you kill someone in a DUI accident, the minimum sentence is 15 years. If you kill 2 or more people, it becomes a capital offense. Japan is not hesitant to condemn people convicted of capital offenses, and has no qualms about carrying out the sentence.

In the most recent collision, Skillingstad’s bond was set at $1million, and was told “under no circumstances to drive a car”. Japan does not do bail, except in very rare cases which are considered “victimless.” If you kill two people in a DUI collision in Japan, your life sentence begins as soon as you are arrested at the scene.
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Old 01-16-24, 05:39 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY
While I've always preferred "people" solutions over "machine" solutions, I've come to the conclusion that ultimately the only way to prevent, or at least reduce, DUI deaths is to focus on the cars themselves. Modern cars already have features that could be put to practical use this way.

The sensors that cars use for current self driving or warning systems already, and/or those devices that insurance companies have us put into our cars already collect the necessary data, detecting overly close following, hard or erratic braking and acceleration, land control, speeding, and/or high G-forces from generally erratic driving. So, that data can be integrated into the cars systems, progressively issuing various levels of driver warnings, and possibly, ultimately shutting the car down.

Some dialog is needed to form a consensus about how much intrusive we're willing to accept, and I count myself among those wanting the bare minimum amount. However, despite hating to be nagged, I'd support a system that only began nagging beyond a reasonably high threshold, and if that didn't produce a correction might issue a warning giving drivers 5 minutes to pull over and shut the car down (before the system did). The nice thing here is that this would also help drivers with other issues such as nodding off from over tiredness. The point would be to reduce dangerous driving without dealing with the causes.

For those like me, who don't want big brother in the car, the system could be put into a passive mode, where it would only warn after extremely erratic driving, with the condition that the owner accept a greater share of liability.

The above is only offered as something to think about, and as I said, while technically possible, we need a national dialog about how far to take it.
This is a good idea, but the public simply won’t accept it. Your own reservations pretty much say it all. People want to be able to drive however they feel like, without restriction or monitoring. A financial incentive might work to some degree, which is what the insurance companies are offering.
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Old 01-16-24, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski
This is a good idea, but the public simply won’t accept it. Your own reservations pretty much say it all. People want to be able to drive however they feel like, without restriction or monitoring. A financial incentive might work to some degree, which is what the insurance companies are offering.
The article I mentioned (which no longer seems to work?) brought up that very issue.
The public was asked about alcohol detectors (part of EVERY car, regardless of your driving record) and something like 40% polled said that the devices would interfere with their right to drive drunk.
Now THAT'S a sobering thought.
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Old 01-16-24, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
The article I mentioned (which no longer seems to work?) brought up that very issue.
The public was asked about alcohol detectors (part of EVERY car, regardless of your driving record) and something like 40% polled said that the devices would interfere with their right to drive drunk.
Now THAT'S a sobering thought.
The additional issue with drinking and driving is that even when a person is slightly below the legal limits in blood alcohol to drive, his or her responses to emergency maneuvers are poorer than normal, likely to result in bad outcomes.
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Old 01-18-24, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Bald Paul
The article I mentioned (which no longer seems to work?) brought up that very issue.
The public was asked about alcohol detectors (part of EVERY car, regardless of your driving record) and something like 40% polled said that the devices would interfere with their right to drive drunk.
Now THAT'S a sobering thought.
The article makes no such claim.

The agency (NHTSA) said it has received correspondence from the public that indicates "some genuinely believe they have a right to drive drunk."

A recent study from Johns Hopkins University, however, showed 63.4% of respondents supported the congressional mandate on vehicle impairment detection technology and 64.9% either agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “All new cars should have an automatic sensor to prevent the car from being driven by someone who is over the legal alcohol limit.”
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Old 01-18-24, 12:23 PM
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So I went back and checked: the first time this driver killed someone with her vehicle, it is unlikely that she was drunk. It was 4:38AM and she was on her way to work. She could have been drunk but surely it wouldn't take 11 years for a drinking problem that out of control to come to light. This thread has spiraled off into how to deal with drunk driving in exactly the same way another thread fixated on the issue of 'speeding' being the cause of cyclist and pedestrian deaths. Perfectly sober people and/or people driving well below the posted speed limit are wracking up many times the amount of casualties as those cause by impaired or reckless driving!

It has been suggested that the prevalence of automatic transmissions in American cars allows a degree of driver distraction that is impossible when both hands (and feet) must be dedicated to vehicle operation of a manual transmission car. There is truth to that. Automatic transmissions also allow people to pass their 'Road Tests' with a far lower level of aptitude necessary. Millions of people are driving cars that they would not even be able to get out of the driveway unless they were automatic. They hate driving. Are terrified every second they are behind the wheel. And as alarming as the occurrence of the double lightning strike being discussed, I have to think it happens all the time! Look where we heard about this. It is such a non-event otherwise it didn't even make the 48 Hour National News Cycle. Did the second story make reference to the first? I might have missed that detail.

We have been given a rare glimpse into probability. Breathalyzer controlled ignition lockouts cannot protect us from unskillful or fearful operators. Automatic speed governing cannot protect from unskillful or fearful operators, or distracted ones. Someone I know well got into an accident that totaled their car. I knew they could afford to replace it. When they did not I asked why not? The answer was they had had three other serious accidents inside the coverage lockout of their insurance. They were waiting for the earliest of the three to go outside the window to register a new vehicle. These were not fatal accidents, obviously, but they could easily have been. I don't drive often enough to take driving for granted. But all my friends and acquaintances do. I drive like the driver of a high end limousine anytime I'm behind the wheel. Most people jump in and head off while still combing their hair or catching up on email.

I'll go there: America's Justice System began in an original sin of keeping the worst punishment that they could imagine at the time: the loss of ones personal freedom, as reserved for 'other people'. The entire Legal Profession dedicates itself to keeping certain people out of prison that often should be there. Mostly they are successful. When the 'other people' wind up in similar circumstances, nothing can save them. The exceptions number in the low thousands. The system is meant to work that way. The driver under discussion did not go to prison the first time she killed someone and it is very unlikely that she will go to prison this time either. It's simply not going to happen. Or not for any meaningful amount of time. But it should. And if the specter of a lengthy prison sentence was known to be a likely consequence of being the cause of another persons demise while driving your car, you would see an immediate drop-off in the number of such 'accidents'.
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Old 01-25-24, 07:33 PM
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Have you heard about the HALT Act? It's sponsored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (remember them? They made drunk driving uncool).

The HALT Act directs the federal government to require all new cars come equipped with smart technology that passively, seamlessly and unobtrusively detects and stops impaired driving.
Originally Posted by FBinNY
While I've always preferred "people" solutions over "machine" solutions, I've come to the conclusion that ultimately the only way to prevent, or at least reduce, DUI deaths is to focus on the cars themselves. Modern cars already have features that could be put to practical use this way.

The sensors that cars use for current self driving or warning systems already, and/or those devices that insurance companies have us put into our cars already collect the necessary data, detecting overly close following, hard or erratic braking and acceleration, land control, speeding, and/or high G-forces from generally erratic driving. So, that data can be integrated into the cars systems, progressively issuing various levels of driver warnings, and possibly, ultimately shutting the car down.

Some dialog is needed to form a consensus about how much intrusive we're willing to accept, and I count myself among those wanting the bare minimum amount. However, despite hating to be nagged, I'd support a system that only began nagging beyond a reasonably high threshold, and if that didn't produce a correction might issue a warning giving drivers 5 minutes to pull over and shut the car down (before the system did). The nice thing here is that this would also help drivers with other issues such as nodding off from over tiredness. The point would be to reduce dangerous driving without dealing with the causes.

For those like me, who don't want big brother in the car, the system could be put into a passive mode, where it would only warn after extremely erratic driving, with the condition that the owner accept a greater share of liability.

The above is only offered as something to think about, and as I said, while technically possible, we need a national dialog about how far to take it.
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