Friday, December 28, 2012

Sometimes "justice" doesn't feel very just...
I think this is completely unnecessary. If you don't want to click the link, the nutshell version is that a 4 year old got his hands on an improperly stored and loaded gun and accidentally shot and killed his two year old brother. Now the state has charged the father w/manslaughter and endangering a child, both felonies, because the father didn't store his guns properly (he apparently had a small arsenal of guns in the home).
Yes, I get it: he should have stored the guns in a safe way so the children could not have accessed them. If he had, the child would still be alive. But, I'm sure he already knows that, seeing as how he has lost his son. I'm sure that he is struggling w/ unimaginable grief and pain and, yes, even guilt and regret. He is paying for his bad decisions in the most excruciating way possible, by burying his tiny son. How does charging this man do any good?
He is now looking at two felonies, including prison time, despite never having any previous criminal convictions. He is dealing with the loss of his son, he and his family are reeling from this tragedy, and now he and his family have to deal with the stress and strain of criminal charges.
Why do this? It doesn't bring the child back. Assuming he and his wife are still together, it won't help the victim's family feel closure but will only further tear the family apart if he is sent to prison. I doubt it will "correct" any "criminal" behavior in this guy, since it doesn't appear he has criminal predilections (given his lack of criminal history) but rather lacks judgment skills. And I would guess that he won't ever store his guns in this manner again. So what purpose does charging him serve? Prosecutors have  the power and ability to use discretion in charging cases. Maybe as a defense attorney, I'm missing something that a prosecutor would see that puts a different light on this. But I just don't get why some prosecutorial discretion wasn't used to say, "You know what? He is going to be paying for his decisions for the rest of his life. Criminal charges won't correct, cure, vindicate, or help this situation one bit."
Like I said, maybe I'm not seeing something. But putting aside my "lawyer" hat and viewing this simply as a regular person with a heart, I still don't get it.


  1. Agree with you, but after the recent gun issues faced by the country, do you think they may have been pressured into pressing charges when they normally wouldn't have?

    1. Hmmmm, I hadn't thought of that but that is a good point...perhaps they did feel some pressure in that respect.