4 months for shooting at a cyclist- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Upset 4 months for shooting at a cyclist

    Reposted from bikeforums.net. Remember the fireman who shot at the guy because he thought he was endangering his own child by riding in traffic? Apparently, "it was supposed to be a warning shot." I'm not sure I understand how shooting at somebody is actually the same as shooting at them and hitting them (helmet or otherwise)?

    From Ashville Citizen-Times.com, http://tinyurl.com/yfgxdlq
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  2. #2
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    That is absolutely fvcking amazing Boy do you guys have a fvcked up justic system
    Quote Originally Posted by Harold
    You're doing mtbr wrong, you're supposed to get increasingly offended by the implications that you're doing ANYTHING wrong.

  3. #3
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    Whoa- truly bizzare. I don`t know whether to be, depressed, amused, or angry.
    Recalculating....

  4. #4
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    There is a REAL problem in society when someone THIS stupid can both own a gun and be in the profession he's in.

  5. #5
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    Let's just hope they give Doc Thomson a hell of a lot more for his "teaching" cyclists a lesson.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

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  6. #6
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    One key point is, he didn't get a light sentence because he attacked a bicyclist. The sentence isn't that light if you consider no priors and the total cost to the idiot, if he's really a bad a$$ he'll end up serving the whole thing, 4 months in jail for a first offense is pretty good:
    To be fair, Superior Court Judge James Downs sentenced Diez to 15-27 months and suspended all but the 120 days. If Diez screws up, he could get the full sentence.
    Diez must abide by a curfew and pay Simons $1,200 to cover medical expenses. He also lost his job as a firefighter.
    Diez could've gotten 20-39 months, but with a “mitigating factors” including good character, a solid military service record and a positive employment history — and no previous criminal record — he qualified for the lesser sentence.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by pursuiter
    One key point is, he didn't get a light sentence because he attacked a bicyclist. The sentence isn't that light if you consider no priors and the total cost to the idiot, if he's really a bad a$$ he'll end up serving the whole thing, 4 months in jail for a first offense is pretty good:
    "pretty good"??? I really hope this was sarcasm. He shot at and hit someone who was unarmed, and who had their kid on the back of their bike (the kid whose safety the fireman was supposedly concerned about). This is effectively an attempted murder in my books, or at the least some sort of armed assault, and 4 months is ridiculous and insulting to the victim.

    If I shot a fireman in his helmet as a 'warning' of some sort, I'd probably get a few years in jail, even with no priors and an impeccable character. SO, what possible justification in there in this case? This kind of crap just makes me furious.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilScience
    "pretty good"??? I really hope this was sarcasm...SO, what possible justification in there in this case? This kind of crap just makes me furious.
    There isn't any justification, I am pointing out this guy paid a heavy price. He's a convicted felon for his first offense, he's spending time in REAL jail and has a suspended sentence hanging over his head. He'll be searched and drug tested at random, any issues the original sentence is enforced. He'll never own a gun again (legally), he lost his job and anytime he looks for a job, his felony conviction will come up. Not too shabby for a first offense.

    IMHO, you've suspended reason due to empathy for the victim with a dose of anti-gun added. That's why you're not a judge. He was sentenced under state guidelines...I doubt he'd get as much in Cook County. As an example, in Cook County, a cager attacked a rider and hit the rider with his car, had all sorts of priors and suspended license, he got four DAYS in jail...no felony conviction. Same offense IMHO.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pursuiter
    There isn't any justification, I am pointing out this guy paid a heavy price. He's a convicted felon for his first offense, he's spending time in REAL jail and has a suspended sentence hanging over his head. He'll be searched and drug tested at random, any issues the original sentence is enforced. He'll never own a gun again (legally), he lost his job and anytime he looks for a job, his felony conviction will come up. Not too shabby for a first offense.

    IMHO, you've suspended reason due to empathy for the victim with a dose of anti-gun added. That's why you're not a judge. He was sentenced under state guidelines...I doubt he'd get as much in Cook County. As an example, in Cook County, a cager attacked a rider and hit the rider with his car, had all sorts of priors and suspended license, he got four DAYS in jail...no felony conviction. Same offense IMHO.
    We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. While I obviously have some empathic response here, and am not pro-gun, to do this with little provocation is what I find frightening. That someone would choose to pull a gun in any minor altercation is a horrible idea to me - especially a normal 'respectable' citizen who just happens to have a gun carry permit. Beyond the bike vs driver issue, there is a deeper point where it suggests that it is OK to pull a gun to warn someone that you are serious, and really really believe in your side of an argument. Seriously - this is acceptable behaviour??

    To then shoot at someone in public, with their family, never mind the risk to innocent bystanders who may get hit by such a warning shot... I'm sorry, but at that point he deserves everything he gets and more. It IS a felony, he DESERVES real jail time, and should suffer for his ridiculously aggressive behaviour (and no, not being able to own a gun is not punishment). With better (or worse) aim, someone could easily have been killed, and many lives completely ruined. Just because he missed doesn't take away from that fact.

    The Cook County comparison is bogus, since it is also ridiculous. Car vs bike laws are an area where significant change is required in many places.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilScience
    It IS a felony, he DESERVES real jail time, and should suffer for his ridiculously aggressive behaviour (and no, not being able to own a gun is not punishment). With better (or worse) aim, someone could easily have been killed, and many lives completely ruined. Just because he missed doesn't take away from that fact.
    The fact that he missed when he fired great affected his sentence. Nobody was killed, the bullet didn't hurt anyone, that's why he only received 1-2 years. Because he had no priors and a good military/work record part of his sentence was suspended. He is a convicted felon.

    The Cook County comparison is bogus....
    It's a great comparision, both were assaults with a deathly weapon, one perp had no priors, the other perp did. Who was convicted of a felony, who the stiffer sentence? (BTW, only one of them was convicted of a felony)...I'd say the North Carolina judge is much tougher....

  11. #11
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    No offense to veterans, but why service in armed forces is considered a mitigating circumstance in an assault with a deadly weapon trial?

    By the same logic, prostitutes who worked in a brothel deserve some leniency, and corporate employed embezzlers too. You can push the logic even further and start acquitting pedophiles who have history of employment in the education system.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    No offense to veterans, but why service in armed forces is considered a mitigating circumstance in an assault with a deadly weapon trial?
    Exactly - in fact, I would say that having a good record of service with the military should give someone more respect for firearms and their proper use, not serve as a mitigating factor in an armed assault trial.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    ...why service in armed forces is considered a mitigating circumstance in an assault with a deadly weapon trial? ...
    It appears the state's sentencing guidelines allow that to be factored in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EvilScience
    Exactly - in fact, I would say that having a good record of service with the military should give someone more respect for firearms and their proper use.
    Yes, and also appreciation for the right of other humans to stay alive, which i have seen in my family members who participated in WW I, WW II and other armed conflicts.

  15. #15
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    I know the rules, i question the logic of the application of the rules in this particular case.

    Having said that, the inclusion of some factors and exclusion of other factors in sentencing guidelines is inherently subjective process, don't you think?

  16. #16
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    Military service should not really be considered when on trial for a felony involving a weapon; yes, military duty is honorable, especially when you consider that the past 30+ years of the US military have been solely volunteer. Yes, service teaches you respect and familiarity with firearms, as well as an enhanced regard for life. But it also teaches you a strong sense of 'propriety', meaning that things that are acceptable in civilian life are less tolerated by someone accustomed to military life. I myself find a lot of civilian 'gray areas' intolerable.

    If anything, military service -- unless in combat, as the troops are now -- should be an additional admonishment, i.e., "You should know better!" Currently, though, too many of our troops are coming home with PTSD, mental disorders, and a strong disconnect from the society they swore to defend. It's sad, but true, and they should have enhanced opportunity for whatever help they need to get back on that even keel.

  17. #17
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    “If a cyclist shot a fireman, judge or prosecuting attorney in his head, in front of his family, what sentence do you think he/she would receive,” Brian Jones asked.

    No sh it

    To get off that easy I bet he bought the judge a new Benz.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigpedaler
    Military service should not really be considered when on trial for a felony involving a weapon....too many of our troops are coming home with PTSD, mental disorders, and a strong disconnect from the society they swore to defend....
    Dude, he'd been a fireman for 17 years until the arrest, I don't think PTSD has anything to do with the incident.

    Is this turning into an anti-gun, anti-military thread? If this fireman was working for the City of Chicago, he'd walk and the biker would go to jail.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pursuiter

    If this fireman was working for the City of Chicago, he'd walk and the biker would go to jail.
    And if the victim was jewish and lived in Berlin in 1942 the incident would not have happened at all since the Nazi government required jewish folks to surrender their bicycles to the state (and probably guns, too).

    BUT WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH THE CURRENT INCIDENT?

    There is nothing wrong with having military service record but that does not make one a holy cow receiving preferential treatment and being entitled to impose violently one's views on others.
    Last edited by chamberlen; 12-07-2009 at 07:13 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    ..BUT WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH THE CURRENT INCIDENT?...
    The perp is a convicted felon on his first offense with no serious injury, lost his job of 17 year job as fireman, serving 4 months in prison with 2 years suspended, no chance for job in his profession, lost his pension, yada, yada. His life is ruined on his first offense.

    In Chicago, same offense got the perp 4 days in jail, no felony conviction despite several priors.

    To be honest, I am sorry for the perp, he had a really bad moment, made some really bad choices and now his life is over.

    What would be a proper punishment in your opinion?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by pursuiter
    ... and now his life is over.
    It is far from being over in the same sense as the bicyclist's life would have been had the self-proclaimed enforcer of the rules, which existed only in his head, not missed.
    The impact on the child and wife has to be taken into account too.

    I am not bent on retribution and i do not want "the enforcer" to rot in jail.
    Justice is a hard concept to quantify in each particular case.
    But a heavy fine paid to the victim, as well as 3 years of community service promoting and creating accommodations for safe bicycling would be nice, on top of at least a year in the pen.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    ...But a heavy fine paid to the victim, as well as 3 years of community service promoting and creating accommodations for safe bicycling would be nice, on top of at least a year in the pen.
    Maybe if Obama can really make change can we have sentences with such justice! Perhaps it's time a Federal Civil Rights Law for Bicyclists with real teeth so the Federal Gov can go in and override local kangaroo courts like they did for Rodney King.

    Oh, yeah, I forgot to ask, how much $$ is a heavy fine?

  23. #23
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    I am saddened to see that you have nothing constructive to say at this point.

    If you know a thing or two about sentencing you know what kind of discrepancies exist out there right now for different offenses. And you would know that 120 days in prison for shooting somebody in a back of a head is ridiculously light considering typical sentences for less violent crimes, think burglary for example.

  24. #24
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    http://www.citizen-times.com/article...EWS01/91119061

    Blame the grand jury for the lesser charge, also note that he plead guilty, thus avoiding a trial, likely in exchange for a lesser sentence.

    At least he is no longer a fireman, and never will be again with a felony conviction. Guys like this make us all look bad. Hopefully he abides by the law and never touches another firearm. I do agree, his profession and military service should hold him at a higher standard. Unless he slipped through the cracks, we're supposed to handle pressure without flying off the handle.

    And about shooting a fireman? I've stared down the wrong end of guns with only little consequence to the person on the other end. We also had a crazy lady run out of the woods shooting a shotgun at us, and little was done to her as well.

  25. #25
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    Hmm, he was from Ashville huh.

    With my Fire Science Degree about done, and Ashville being my #1 preferred city to move to(from chicago burbs), looks like a slot opened up.

    So if anyone has contacts in Ashville, i've got 2 years FF experience and will have a degree soon.

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    My father in law lives there, I wouldn't be a firefighter there. Given the living expenses, the pay is pretty low. Of course Pisgah is your back yard, so that might make up for it.

  27. #27
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    Well Asheville was on my short list of places to move to. Me and my Wife were thinking about moving our small business there (maybe 60-ish employees) But there's no way in hell I'm going to subject my family or any employees that comes with us to this.
    In the great Ford vs Chevy debate, I choose Porsche.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewymilk99
    ...But there's no way in hell I'm going to subject my family or any employees that comes with us to this.
    I'll say it again, here in Chicago, same offense using a car instead of a gun gets a repeat offender 4 days in jail. I'd say they're serious about protecting bikers in NC compared to Chicago. How could the guy pay a larger fine, sheesh, he's going to be working for minimum wage the rest of his life with that felony record.

  29. #29
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    florida would have put him away

    # Mandates a minimum 10 year prison term for certain felonies, or attempted felonies in which the offender possesses a firearm or destructive device
    # Mandates a minimum 20 year prison term when the firearm is discharged
    # Mandates a minimum 25 years to LIFE if someone is injured or killed

  30. #30
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    Here in Cook County you have to do something really bad and public on your first offense to get a prison sentence. Our jails and prisons are crowded we have a declining tax base. A non-injury offense is alway plead to no time and double-secret probation. We set one free and he killed a few innocent tourists in Florida last year.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by chewymilk99
    Well Asheville was on my short list of places to move to. Me and my Wife were thinking about moving our small business there (maybe 60-ish employees) But there's no way in hell I'm going to subject my family or any employees that comes with us to this.
    Asheville is a sweet town. This wouldn't have gone down any better in another town. I agree with pursuiter on the whole. I mean look at the dude in Texas who killed that little girls parents... he didn't even get a traffic ticket. I guess he "didn't mean to" so that makes it ok There are stupid people doing stupid shyt all over the place. Pretty much there are only three ways to get any significant jail time. Kill someone intentionally, get caught with illegal drugs, or steal money from rich people.
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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbrain
    This wouldn't have gone down any better in another town. .
    That is a very shaky assumption.

    Felonious assault with a deadly weapon and intent to kill + the damage to the cyclist eardrum ( i do not know if it repairable or not and it adds differentially to the sentence) + done with cynical disregard for the safety of the public is a heavy crime.

    I understand that the "formal" sentence is longer than 120 days which are "active" but i do not see him serving the rest of that term. There is no absolute "truth in sentencing" in general, but i repeat, punishment does not fit the crime in this case and it is unclear why mercy is shown in the clear cut case of predatory behaviour.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    ...clear cut case of predatory behaviour.
    Here's a pivot point. The local grand jury and the judge didn't see it this way. Based on his lack of priors and his work/military record, I agree with them. America justice tends be forgiving for a no injury, first offense, no matter how bad it could have been.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    No offense to veterans, but why service in armed forces is considered a mitigating circumstance in an assault with a deadly weapon trial?

    By the same logic, prostitutes who worked in a brothel deserve some leniency, and corporate employed embezzlers too. You can push the logic even further and start acquitting pedophiles who have history of employment in the education system.
    Couple of issues with your statement...

    First, the military service doesn't mitigate his GUILT, only the actual punishment imposed... service to community as military or fireman, means you've at least contributed something to the community, perhaps you ahve some value-added despite your current infractions.

    Second, I kind of take exception to someone comparing service as a prostitue in a brothel, to service in the armed forces... If you've served for many years as a prostitue, you've broken the law (in most states) and probably spread disease and wrecked homes. If you've served for many years in the military you've probably spent those years serving your country maintaining that comfy warm blanket of freedom we all hold so dear.

    I do agree that no service should mitigate GUILT or INNOCENCE, but if the judicial system allows for circumstances to mitigate the punishment of a crime, I think the service to country and community of police, firemen, and servicemembers is perfectly valid.

    Just my two cents...

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by pursuiter
    America justice tends be forgiving for a no injury, first offense
    Is that right? Last time i checked the prisons were packed with "first-time" offenders with mandatory (frequently but not exclusively federal) sentences for "victimLESS" crimes.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    That is a very shaky assumption.

    Felonious assault with a deadly weapon and intent to kill + the damage to the cyclist eardrum ( i do not know if it repairable or not and it adds differentially to the sentence) + done with cynical disregard for the safety of the public is a heavy crime.

    I understand that the "formal" sentence is longer than 120 days which are "active" but i do not see him serving the rest of that term. There is no absolute "truth in sentencing" in general, but i repeat, punishment does not fit the crime in this case and it is unclear why mercy is shown in the clear cut case of predatory behaviour.
    First off I want to say that I am not defending this jerkoff. Philosophically I agree that the punishment does not fit the crime. However that is often the case with our justice system. Its not like Asheville is the exception here.

    The fact that it "could have been worse" is not acknowledged in any crime within our justice system. You get charged for what happened, not what might have happened. If someone catches you breaking in, you get in less trouble than after you've already walked out with the TV and that's just how it is right now.

    Personally I find it a lot scarier that if this guy had decided to hit them with his car instead of firing his pistol he very well could have gotten off completely (civil liability aside). Maybe they should start putting people in jail for speeding through residential areas while talking/texting on a cell phone. In addition to the 34,000+ deaths related to traffic accidents in 2008 (700 of which were cyclists), there were over 4 million injuries resulting from traffic accidents which required hospital treatment, 500,000 of which were cyclists. Personally if I get hit I don't give a [email protected] if its intentional or not. I think a couple traffic citations aught to result in permanent loss of your license.
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  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    Is that right? Last time i checked the prisons were packed with "first-time" offenders with mandatory (frequently but not exclusively federal) sentences for "victimLESS" crimes.
    Only drug related crimes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonesy33
    Couple of issues with your statement...
    Couple of issues with your statement, Jonesey33.

    Although it offers exciting opportunities for flaming i'll be brief:

    1) Issues of Guilt and Punishment can be approached from different angles. Legally, his guilt (understood as perp's attitude to the consequences of illegal act) is beyond the doubt, and that is what's important for the Punishment part. It was a felonious assault with INTENT to kill and the perp shows No SIGNS of REMORSE. Perp is not guilty in the way of neglect or recklessness or any other potentially "excusing" way. That is why i question the application of the rules softening the Punishment in this particular case.

    2) Military service is formally included in the sentencing guidelines because it is assumed that it shows something about the character and the contribution of the individual to the community. Does it mean that other occupations are less morally valid or do not make a worthy contribution? Do teachers, doctors, service industry employees not contribute significantly to the community? How do you distinguish between "worthy" and "unworthy" occupations?

    3) I see that you do not object to using education system employment as mitigating circumstance in pedophile trials.

    4) Talking about prostitution, it is not technically illegal in many jurisdictions. Prostitutes are not solely responsible for "spreading the disease" as it takes two to tango plus the availability of condoms since early xxth century kinda render that argument insignificant. Plus, history shows an intimate link between prostitutes and the military personnel who frequently "wreck homes" literally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbrain
    Only drug related crimes.
    Is that right?
    ONLY "drug related" crimes?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    Is that right?
    ONLY "drug related" crimes?
    I forgot stealing money from rich people, but drug offenses definitely take the number one slot. I mean look at that article. It compares this case to the sentence given to a man caught in Asheville with 6000 hits of LSD. Assuming he actually had that much (which if it was liquid is almost certainly an "overestimate"), that's at the very very most $50,000 worth. He got 14 years. That's one year for every $3500 worth. Now given that he got caught at a concert, I happen to know the going rate for acid on the "lot" (which is what the cool kids call the parking lot at the venue) is about $5 a hit. So that makes it $30,000. You would not get 14 years for stealing a new car. Drug crimes get you in more trouble than anything else.

    If your argument is that this country is F'd in the A and no amount of vaseline is gonna ease the burning then I agree 100%. On the other hand if you think that this is some sort of anti-cyclist vendetta, and that he would have gotten in more trouble if he had say, done the same thing to a pedestrian then I respectfully disagree.
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    Guy driving car stops, gets out and harasses bicyclist. That’s, Road Rage.
    Driver shoots bicyclist in helmet. That’s , Attempted Murder.


    What’s the punishment for getting shot in the helmet, drawing your gun and
    emptying the mag into him?

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbrain

    On the other hand if you think that this is some sort of anti-cyclist vendetta, and that he would have gotten in more trouble if he had say, done the same thing to a pedestrian then I respectfully disagree.
    Thanks for your comments, i like to read them and i do not want to appear hostile : )

    I am not sure i understand entirely what do you mean by "anti-cyclist vendetta" even though i see what you are saying. However, i do not think that the bicyclist was seen as a deserving victim by the community (hence the jury's dismissal of murder charge), or, put differently, i think that if it was a different type of victim the outcome of the case could have been different.

    If group "A" is being systematically treated leniently by the law, and group "B" is being routinely harassed on the road and in a case of open hostility initiated by a member of group "A" and escalated to the point where member of group "A" uses deadly violence against unarmed member of group "B" and gets a sentence similar to those for shoplifting and less than a typical burglary sentence i see it as a problem both in this community and on the level of the legal system in general.

    So yes, i think the US laws and criminal justice system are antiquated and not infrequently privilege a certain group over others or provide unreasonably harsh sentences to other groups. Think about a death as a result of employer's violation of OSHA act or as a result of robbery - there will be two totally different types of legal consequences.

  43. #43
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    maybe next time some one is stuck in a building instead of wasting his time with a ladder he could just shoot them out of the building
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  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    2) Military service is formally included in the sentencing guidelines because it is assumed that it shows something about the character and the contribution of the individual to the community. Does it mean that other occupations are less morally valid or do not make a worthy contribution? Do teachers, doctors, service industry employees not contribute significantly to the community? How do you distinguish between "worthy" and "unworthy" occupations?
    I think you are going a bit overboard in your interpretation of including a persons military record. I see it a bit differently. Military service is about rules and order and regimented duties. A soldier is always told what to do and they have to obey or they are in deep trouble. Not everybody handles this type of environment well. It's not necessarily that a person served in the military that matters to a court IMO during sentencing, it is how they behaved during their service that is important.
    Thinking about worthy and unworthy occupations is short sighted, It is how a person served in those capacities that matter most to the court. Character matters to judges when sentencing.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by wormvine
    It's not necessarily that a person served in the military that matters to a court IMO during sentencing, it is how they behaved during their service that is important.
    You know, the funny thing is that i just looked at 2009 Federal Sentencing Guidelines and neither MILITARY not CIVIL nor ANY other type of exceptional service is officially required to be taken into the account. Yet i have seen several cases when courts did in fact downgrade the sentence (about 25% reduction) based on exceptional service even though some of them were reversed.

    5H1.11. "Military, Civic, Charitable or Public Service; Employment-Related Contributions, Record of Prior Good Works ... are not ordinarily relevant in determining whether a departure is warranted"

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    Couple of issues with your statement, Jonesey33.

    Although it offers exciting opportunities for flaming i'll be brief:

    1) Issues of Guilt and Punishment can be approached from different angles. Legally, his guilt (understood as perp's attitude to the consequences of illegal act) is beyond the doubt, and that is what's important for the Punishment part. It was a felonious assault with INTENT to kill and the perp shows No SIGNS of REMORSE. Perp is not guilty in the way of neglect or recklessness or any other potentially "excusing" way. That is why i question the application of the rules softening the Punishment in this particular case.
    Not a lawyer... you may be right here, maybe I'm wrong... I just feel that if you are going to consider ANYTHING to mitigate a punishment, service to community such as serving int he armed forces seems just as good as any other mitigating factor... In all actuality, I think there ought to be little or no mitigation, if you're guilty of murder, you're guilty of murder... but if we ARE going to take other things into account in punishment process... military service ought to be as valid as any other mitigation...


    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    2) Military service is formally included in the sentencing guidelines because it is assumed that it shows something about the character and the contribution of the individual to the community. Does it mean that other occupations are less morally valid or do not make a worthy contribution? Do teachers, doctors, service industry employees not contribute significantly to the community? How do you distinguish between "worthy" and "unworthy" occupations?
    Again, I think the punishment ought to be tied directly to the crime, but IF your legal system takes other factors into account, sure these other traditional community serving occupations should be included as well... I wasn't proposing that miltiary service be given precedence over other factors... only that it is just as valid to consider it as any other factor.

    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    3) I see that you do not object to using education system employment as mitigating circumstance in pedophile trials.
    Assuming that because I did not argue this point in my post, I must agree with it, is pretty flawed logic...

    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    4) Talking about prostitution, it is not technically illegal in many jurisdictions. Prostitutes are not solely responsible for "spreading the disease" as it takes two to tango plus the availability of condoms since early xxth century kinda render that argument insignificant. Plus, history shows an intimate link between prostitutes and the military personnel who frequently "wreck homes" literally.
    Been in the Army for over fifteen years, including all-told a couple of years in in the desert... Never wrecked a home, never seen one wrecked. Never hired a prostitute, never seen one hired. This ain't the middle ages in Europe. The US Military, though not by a long-shot perfect, is by far the most professional (in personal conduct) military in the world. Sure, military folks, like any others, can be capable of pretty horrible things under pretty horrible circumstances, but on the whole US servicemembers are good folks who do what they do out of a sense of committment to serving their community (be that their hometown, our natrion, or the world). The link between the military and prostituiton has more to do with the fact that the military, historically has brought into an area a young, transient, male population... more to do with hormones and lonliness than lack of moral fiber, though that doesn't make it right. BOTTOM LINE: Servicemembers do more for their communities and less for themselves... so the comparison of service in the military to prostitution is offensive, and small-minded.

  47. #47
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    I believe what he's trying to say is that the jury was probably not properly contested and full of the usual suspect of angry drivers who view cyclists as nuesences who shouldn't be on the roads.

    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    Thanks for your comments, i like to read them and i do not want to appear hostile : )

    I am not sure i understand entirely what do you mean by "anti-cyclist vendetta" even though i see what you are saying. However, i do not think that the bicyclist was seen as a deserving victim by the community (hence the jury's dismissal of murder charge), or, put differently, i think that if it was a different type of victim the outcome of the case could have been different.

    If group "A" is being systematically treated leniently by the law, and group "B" is being routinely harassed on the road and in a case of open hostility initiated by a member of group "A" and escalated to the point where member of group "A" uses deadly violence against unarmed member of group "B" and gets a sentence similar to those for shoplifting and less than a typical burglary sentence i see it as a problem both in this community and on the level of the legal system in general.

    So yes, i think the US laws and criminal justice system are antiquated and not infrequently privilege a certain group over others or provide unreasonably harsh sentences to other groups. Think about a death as a result of employer's violation of OSHA act or as a result of robbery - there will be two totally different types of legal consequences.
    Last edited by LyNx; 12-11-2009 at 04:00 AM.
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    I believe what he's trying to say is that the jury was probably not properly contested and full of the usual suspect of angry drivers who view cyclists as nuesences who shouldn't be on the roads.
    Just so you know, there wasn't a trial, the case was plead, as stated above, probably contributing to the final sentence.

  49. #49
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    We all have moments of madness, stressed at work, wife/girlfriend/kids on your back etc, but who the hell pulls out a gun and shoots at someone? Who the hell needs a gun anyway? It seems you guys give them away in breakfast cereal boxes.

    That's attempted murder in my eyes, nothing else but serious jail time should suffice. Poor guy lost his job, boo hoo... poor cyclist nearly lost his life. When will any form of gun control appear in your neck of the woods???

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnyfalcon
    ...nothing else but serious jail time should suffice....When will any form of gun control appear in your neck of the woods???
    OZ criminal sentences are nothing compared to US sentences, there's no true "life in prison" nor the death penalty...It's ironic that self defense is one of the few crimes that gets one "serious jail time" in OZ.

  51. #51
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    Don't get me started on our judicial system. It favours the perpetrator and is widely condemned for it's continual ineffective and weak stance on crime. At the heart of most sentences is a judges/laws belief in rehabilitation. That being said, it is a very safe place to be, sh!t does happen, but generally to those looking for it.

    That being said, I am grateful we don't have capital punishment. What is difference between Bob killing Frank... and Uncle Sam killing Bob? The barbaric nature of this perpetuates upon it's people, not a healthy and civilised environment.

    Obtaining firearms in Australia is typically very hard and generally only for farmers though of course they are in the "underworld". We had a gun amnesty a few years back where no questions were asked and many hundreds/thousands of weapons were received and destroyed. Since then we seem to have more knife attacks than anything else as they are common place items.

    Pretty sad that humans seem to have an innate need to destroy.

  52. #52
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    plaxico burress accidentally shoots himself and get 2 years. this guy shoots at another person, hits them ON THE HELMET and only gets 4 months? something doesn't add up...

  53. #53
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    There are really two separate issues here. One is the philosophical issue of how much jail time you should get for firing a gun at someone if they are not harmed. This is a complicated discussion. Furthermore, when you move away from the gun aspect it becomes even worse. How much time should a person get for throwing a beer bottle that doesn't hit anyone? What about swerving into the bike lane without hitting a cyclist? How about rolling stops? All of them are dangerous, and from a statistical standpoint negligence while driving is far more dangerous than any intentional road rage, yet if we jailed people for rolling stops, my guess is that most of the members of this forum would have done some time. And just so I'm clear, I fully support jail time for irresponsible drivers. That is a very unpopular viewpoint but IMO dead is dead and arguing about intention is just semantics.

    The other issue is how this case was treated given the legal precedent of other similar cases. Its a rare case so its honestly hard to get a good comparison. Plaxico Burress went to jail for violating new york city gun possession laws which are pretty strict. Had been carrying legally, I bet he would have only received a fine. However many states have laws about carrying in a bar, so he might have been in trouble whether he had a CHL or not. Also, the fact that it was a closed, crowded space led to his wreckless endangerment charge. He did two years on a total of three charges.

    I poked around for a while looking at road rage shooting cases. In most cases (at least the ones that made the news and I could find on google) the victim was dead. In the rest the victim was shot and hospitalized. I couldn't find a single case where only one shot was fired and the victim was not seriously injured.

    Given the current structure of our justice system, I think this case is pretty much on par. He had no criminal record, he fired only one shot (I'm not excusing it but if he had really really been trying to kill him I bet he could have squeezed off a few more), and he plead guilty. He was in legal possession of the gun, and no other crimes were committed so he had only a single charge(also rare).

    If you move away from the cyclist/driver road rage incident and think about it... If I got into an argument, pulled out a legal firearm, fired a single shot without wounding anyone, and plead guilty with no prior record, I would expect similar sentence. Keep in mind that he will be on probation and could do substantially more time if he can't keep it between the ditches.
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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnyfalcon
    Pretty sad that humans seem to have an innate need to destroy.
    We're a bunch of monkeys who traded poo for sticks and rocks, then sticks and rocks for swords and axes, then after we learned how to count we were able to swap out swords for guns and since then we have continued to develop ever more sophisticated methods to kill each other. Any Randian faith in humans as intrinsically heroic beings is completely misplaced. Nature is hard and we didn't survive by being nice. A warm house and a steady food supply simply delays the battles.
    Hey Butthead, are we gonna die? - Beavis

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by pursuiter
    Just so you know, there wasn't a trial, the case was plead, as stated above, probably contributing to the final sentence.
    Just so you know, the Grand Jury which we are talking about is used in a pre-trial stage.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    Just so you know, the Grand Jury which we are talking about is used in a pre-trial stage.
    There's no mention of what the Grand Jury indicted him on, vs. what he plead guilty to. In most cases, the DA will offer to let you plead guilty to a lesser offense than what the grand jury indicted you on.
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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbrain
    Fair enough.
    If you choose to ignore other potential charges which could have been brought against Diez, accept existing unreasonable sentencing discrepancies for different type of offenses and/or offenders, and focus on certainty of the charge "sticking" - than yes, "fair enough" in legal qualification of the act, but far from "fair" to a large proportion of 2.5 million people incarcerated in US in any given day in terms of punishment.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by chamberlen
    If you choose to ignore other potential charges which could have been brought against Diez, accept existing unreasonable sentencing discrepancies for different type of offenses and/or offenders, and focus on certainty of the charge "sticking" - than yes, "fair enough" in legal qualification of the act, but far from "fair" to a large proportion of 2.5 million people incarcerated in US in any given day in terms of punishment.
    I meant "fair enough" that I missed the last paragraph of the article and did not see the mention of the grand jury charges, not necessarily that I think the sentence is "fair".
    Hey Butthead, are we gonna die? - Beavis

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbrain
    We're a bunch of monkeys who traded poo for sticks and rocks, then sticks and rocks for swords and axes, then after we learned how to count we were able to swap out swords for guns and since then we have continued to develop ever more sophisticated methods to kill each other. Any Randian faith in humans as intrinsically heroic beings is completely misplaced. Nature is hard and we didn't survive by being nice. A warm house and a steady food supply simply delays the battles.
    No doubt it's a dog eat dog world, but shouldn't this be more in an intellectual sense rather than a physical sense. Our ability to survive and flourish is well and truly past the hunting and gathering stage. To get ahead in life, I can do it without the need to hurt or maim. Those who can't manage this fundamental thinking shouldn't be allowed in society. Pretty simple really.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by emtnate
    My father in law lives there, I wouldn't be a firefighter there. Given the living expenses, the pay is pretty low. Of course Pisgah is your back yard, so that might make up for it.
    I'd have to look into living expenses around there and home prices. Of course i wouldnt mind living in Brevard and driving in, since its only every third day.

    Wonder how much Davidson River campground would charge a permenant residant Firefighter? maybe they could get a insurance price break! wonder if the fiance would go for it?

  63. #63
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    Driving in every third day isn't a big deal at all. Asheville is a fun town and you can't beat the riding. I was dissapointed when I didn't get to go this summer. We get paid low most places, so maybe I jumped the gun a little. I do recall seeing an employment ad for a paramedic offering around $10 / hr. I know Ashville is expensive, but I have no clue about the surrounding towns.

    My wife wouldn't go for it, as beautiful as the region is, it bothers her allergies too much. When we get out of Indiana, it will probably be towards a drier Colorado.

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