Saturday, June 25, 2005

They deserve the death penalty

Perhaps it's because the news is focusing on it, but there seem to be a lot of hit-and-run drivers in the NYC metro area lately. I mentioned one in my previous blog entry. There was another where a woman backed up her Jaguar, went over the curb, and pinned another woman against a brick wall. She fled the scene but turned herself in after a couple of days. The victim, as I recall reading, had to have her leg amputated.

This heroin addict killed two bicyclists, driving 1000 feet with one of them stuck in his windshield. Apparently he wasn't going to stop; it took another motorist cutting him off!

This drunk driver severely injured one boy and killed another -- yet he'll likely get a plea deal where he'll serve only 60 days in jail. Under the law at the time he committed the crime, he could be charged only with misdemeanor DWI. Why was this drunk driver not charged with, at the least, manslaughter? The law never specifically addressed his actions, but he killed another human being. The families' only recourse is to sue the bastard, if he has anything.

This is precisely why legal positivism (something Friedrich Hayek criticized in several of his writings, including "The Results of Human Action but not of Human Design") is wrong. In essence, legal positivism declares there can be no law without a legislative act. For the same reason, a greater sentence for a "hate crime" is also stupid. Was not that action already a crime? By the same token, the Senate was stupid to apologize for failing to pass laws against lynching. Was not lynching already murder? Nevertheless, morons like those at the Louisiana Weekly think that anti-lynching laws would have stopped them. I'm sure. Just like gun control has prevented crime in NYC, D.C., Chicago, Oakland, L.A., and elsewhere, right?

The blame is not that there are no specific laws to make those actions a crime. The blame lies in prosecutors who do not use existing laws against murder, manslaughter, etc., to charge those who committed the crimes.

Over in California, a woman with four previous drunk driving convictions was sentenced to 30 years to life for running over two children on a sidewalk. Again, that's not harsh enough. The consumption of alcohol and drugs is not a natural act, nor is it done quickly. It requires will and cognizance. Someone aware that alcohol has gotten her into trouble before, then gets intoxicated anyway and uses a multi-thousand-pound weapon to kill people, doesn't deserve the gift of life that she took away from those children.

Someone had observed her drinking alcohol earlier that day, but she claimed her driving was from painkillers and muscle relaxants. Even so, that in no wise excuses her from the responsibility of being aware that she ingests reflex-inhibiting substances. I'm glad the jury and judge didn't buy her baloney.


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