Involuntary Manslaughter: YES
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2018-09-09 11:19 by Karl Denninger
in Musings , 134 references Ignore this thread
Involuntary Manslaughter: YES
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Consider this situation.

Someone who is basically homebound.  They do not drive and they're in poor enough physical condition that they're unable, or unwilling, to walk the mile or mile and a half to a store.  Someone else in the household thus brings basically everything into the residence that is consumed.

Said person is a raging alcoholic and/or drug abuser -- indeed the reason they're homebound is that their liver looks like a walnut, they have congestive heart failure and more.

They will and do consume their financial resources at a voracious rate to continue said habit even to the exclusion of being able to pay for food, legitimate medication, the power or water bill, but there's a problem because they can't magically make said drugs or booze appear in the place where they live, and thus where they consume them.

Someone has to physically buy and transport them, and in some cases supply the money to do so.

Now in the context of illegal drugs there have been cases where such persons have been charged with delivery (dealing), even though money didn't change hands directly to them.  In many states "delivery" of a controlled substance doesn't require compensation to change hands in order the crime to be committed.  I find all sorts of fault with that sort of charge in the first place on libertarian grounds since it is my considered opinion that "prohibited" or "controlled" drugs through law never works as intended and instead empowers criminal activity by dramatically raising the profit margin in such transactions.  But that's an argument for another day.

No, I want to look at where prosecutors have in some cases and ought to in all cases look in terms of liability: Criminal charges for involuntary manslaughter.

Involuntary manslaughter is defined as killing another person unlawfully but unintentionally.

The unlawful part can be anywhere from through negligence (civilly unlawful) through low-level felonies (e.g. DUI.)

The elements of the offense require (1) someone dies as a direct or indirect result of the person's actions, (2) the act that led to the death was inherently dangerous or taken with reckless disregard and (3) the person who committed the act knew what they were doing was a threat to the life of another person.

Intentionally bringing drugs and/or booze into the household of a person who is a known, serious drug abuser and by trivial, casual observation of their physical condition it is clear they are medically unstable with full intention and knowledge that they will consume them in extreme quantity, especially when said delivery occurs on a repetitive, indeed daily or nearly-daily basis, damn well meets that set of tests.

A person who drives drunk doesn't intend to kill someone.  But they know their actions are dangerous and a threat to other people and they do so with reckless disregard.  If someone is hit and killed then the third requirement is met.

Likewise someone who brings booze or drugs, especially if that booze or drugs are paid for by the person to whom they are given and then consumed, or through an act where the funds to buy them are acquired through deceit or fraud has quite-clearly taken the action with reckless disregard and the person so-furnishing knows damn well that the act threatens the life of the person to whom the substances are then given or made accessible.

An utterly huge percentage of people who manage to kill themselves through drug or alcohol abuse find themselves in a position where they're physically unable to source their own drugs or booze long before the fatal incident occurs.  In most cases we are not talking days or weeks but rather months or years -- even decades -- of advance knowledge and warning.  But for the willing actions of others who in many if not nearly all cases are damn well aware of the severely compromised medical state of the abuser to continue to obtain a supply of said substances to abuse, whether legal or not, said person would not die as you can't drink liquor or abuse drugs you do not physically possess.

If you're a prosecutor and you have a brain in your head this damn well ought to be charged in every such instance where you find it and can show that the person doing the furnishing or enabling knew of the compromised medical state of the person so-addicted, and that such medical compromise was severe, pervasive and made death materially more-likely.

You have a right to commit suicide by drinking or drug abuse should you so choose -- the right to life extends to the right to take your own life, or such a right is meaningless on its face.

But to the extent you enlist others to physically give you the bottle of pills, the envelope full of some other drug, or the bottle full of booze and your severely-compromised medical status is obvious to casual observation (or worse, actual knowledge of the person who gives you the drugs) I find a very compelling argument in the laying of involuntary manslaughter charges against said person(s).

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Supertruckertom
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Or for Morbid obesity leading to death.

They can't even get out of bed usually.


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Tickerguy
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Yep.

How does the fridge get filled with sugared sodas, pies and similar? If you're so damn fat you can't get out of bed who the **** is filling the fridge and bringing you the 5,000+ cals/day you must consume to remain that fat?

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Whitehat
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brilliant -- what inspired this post? in the ministry we learned that family often facilitated transactions and even when not doing this gave cash either by placing it in the person's bank account regularly or giving it to them since they did not wish them to starve. we used to warm that the only things that you should give are food, water and necessities as money would always be spent on the wrong things such as booze and drugs. some families so sick of dealing with the addict often gave money in the hopes that the person would finally kill himself. this would never be discussed openly and we warned that nothing takes longer than waiting for someone to die.

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Tickerguy
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@Whitehat
Quote:
brilliant -- what inspired this post?

I'll leave that to your (and others) power of deduction....

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Click
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"And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard." - Deuteronomy 21:20

So much of what humans do to each other and themselves (mentally, spiritually, physically) might be a crime, a sin or just an ignorant, grave mistake. Frankly, we haven't enough jail space to prosecute, for example, gluttony. Moreover, what does drinking a supersized Coke do to your kids? Should it be a crime (child abuse) or should we just outlaw Coke altogether? What about "stubbornness" in our own children? That used to be a crime under theocratic law. Look at some of the public schools. Talk about a bunch of stubborn, little fools. Might as well just throw a dragnet over the entire ignorant crowd.

When I drive through Houston Texas I often think of this video clip from "Dirty Harry": https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/3e608b26-08....

On the other hand, I don't want to give the government any more power to tell me how I can or how I must live my life. I happen to agree with Henry David Thoreau when he wrote: "I heartily accept the motto, That government is best which governs least; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which I also believe, That government is best which governs not at all; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient".


I'll tell you what my father basically told me when the government was allowed to step in and regulate cigarettes: "Yeah, it's supposedly for a good cause. But when you allow government to tell you what you can smoke and where you can smoke it, you basically have opened the door and invited into your life the kind of people who you'll later regret". True that. Those same people now want to regulate soda. No thanks. Soda is **** ---on this point I agree; but I AM the decider--- not YOU!

The bottom line is this: if a person wants to eat, drink and drug themselves to death, then I might try to talk them out of it; but I won't criminalize being a damn fool.

If you really want results, end the welfare system altogether. Then you'll see millions of people lose some fat. Fix the root cause, and discontinue swinging at the leaves.

"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root". - Thoreau


Finally, it must be noted that homosexuality is one of the most dangerous lifestyle choices bar none. Don't believe me? Just look up the facts that the CDC has compiled. Are we going to regulate sexual preference, too? No, I don't think we shall. And I don't think we can. But God will be the Judge. Of that I'm sure. And at this point in time it's probably better to let God be the final judge of some things and keep Washington D.C. out of it. Washington D.C. already has enough criminals who prey on kids to worry about --- many of the criminals are priests.

What the world needs is less preying and more praying....

Tickerguy
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Quote:
The bottom line is this: if a person wants to eat, drink and drug themselves to death, then I might try to talk them out of it; but I won't criminalize being a damn fool.

If you really want results, end the welfare system altogether. Then you'll see millions of people lose some fat. Fix the root cause, and discontinue swinging at the leaves.

That's not the issue @Click

As I noted, if you wish to kill yourself, have at it. I don't much care what method you choose.

But if you get someone else, acting on your behalf, to con someone out of the money to buy the **** as a third party and then said third party, knowing full well that you're going to die if you keep that **** up gets it for you and hands it to you, that is a very different matter.

We're NOT talking about the situation where, for example, I decide to drink myself to death and (since I have plenty of money) go on a bender doing exactly that, ultimately resulting in either acute alcohol poisoning (and I die) or cirrhosis over time (and I die.) That's my decision and my right.

HOWEVER, if, having done this for DECADES, I wind up in bed with sores all over me, looking like a ****ing orc, I look like I'm 95 when I'm really 55, I can't drive, I can't even WALK to the ****ing store and then someone who knows all of this either cons someone out of the money or takes mine (and/or theirs) and KNOWINGLY goes and buys me a case of whiskey and a side of opiates to go with it I argue that's involuntary manslaughter as currently defined.

If you wish to argue not then I also argue that I have every RIGHT to drive drunk without being arrested if I hit you in the sidewalk when I drive on it while destroyed because the culpable negligence and willful disregard for the life of someone else is actually less in the DUI instance since I have no ****ing idea who the potential dead body is until after the fact, nor do I have any QUANTIFIABLE way to judge the risk of them BECOMING dead in advance.

You cannot in one breath argue that I must be punished for culpable negligence leading to death against an unidentified-in-advance person with an extraordinarily diffuse risk of harm (99+% of the time said drunk driver GETS HOME without hitting ANYONE or ANYTHING) and then at the same time argue that I can, knowing you are incapacitated due to extreme, persistent, decades-long abuse of booze and drugs go buy you a case of ****ing whiskey and STICK IT ON THE BEDSIDE TABLE FOR YOU TO CONSUME and say that I should be held harmless for doing so, even if I con someone else out of the money to pay for it by claiming I need to buy a starter for my car when in fact what I am doing is going to get the booze!

**** that ****. Either you can't prosecute the DUI guy who has NO knowledge in advance of the person who gets hit (and their circumstance) or you HAVE TO prosecute the enabler of the booze/drug addict who has ACTUAL KNOWLEDGE of the specifics of the risk and individual situation of the person who dies.

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Click
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"But if you get someone else, acting on your behalf, to con someone out of the money to buy the **** as a third party and then said third party, knowing full well that you're going to die if you keep that **** up gets it for you and hands it to you, that is a very different matter."

I understand the distinction(s) you made between first, second and third parties. I also understand (perhaps more than you realize) just how much "manslaughter" is occurring as a result of foolish behavior, e.g, unprotected sex, gluttony, smoking, poor driving habits, etc, etc.

I don't disagree with your point, Karl, that people are killing off each other and themselves. And a lot of the killing isn't just manslaughter. How ignorant can a person possibly be about the danger of feeding a kid until he gains 300lbs and drops dead of heart failure on the football field? That ain't manslaughter, that's a willful murder in my opinion --- and the coach is part of that, too. Yet, I see it all the time here in Houston.

How stupid can anybody claim to be who has unprotected sex with somebody who hasn't been tested? I'm not going to even go there. STD is self evident. And so are the emotions involved in having casual sex which often result in depression and cut wrists.

Karl said: "If you wish to argue not then I also argue that I have every RIGHT to drive drunk without being arrested"... Depends on what you mean by "drunk". Two beers ( sometimes one(depending on the beer)) can get you a DUI in some states. The fines and legal fees run up to and in some cases over $5,000 for a first time offense. I think that's a typical government overreach that's used to milk money out of the citizens. I'm not getting into an argument about reaction times of alcohol impairment and safety, but, yes, people should NOT be allowed to drive when they can't walk a straight line or articulate clearly or think rationally or reaction time slows measurable down to a provably dangerous level.

We already have second and third party liquor laws, for example, that stipulate what bartenders and vendors can and cannot do and who can and cannot be served, e.g., currently, a bartender cannot knowingly serve an intoxicated individual or a minor. And that seems like a balanced, good set of laws.. We used to have the Eighteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. And if alcohol never touched anybody's lips there would be many, many lives saved. Seemed like a good Amendment at the time. But that's not how the world works. Sex, drugs and other "vice" are here to stay.

Here's the point (perhaps made badly) I'm trying to make: there are a lot of secular laws that should be made and/or better enforced. But every damn time you give government the power to do right it ends up using that power to create more problems than it solves. So I'd rather suffer the casualties that are occurring that the ignorant masses inflict on themselves than let Washington D.C. get involved. The smaller government is the better it is.

I'm not arguing with you, Karl, that what people are doing to each other and themselves isn't murder. It is murder. Lots and lots of murder is going on. Abortion is murder, and millions of murderers are walking free. But God will Judge, if Washington D.C. doesn't.

I'm sorry the fat kid is going to have to die because his parents are gluttonous murders; The gay guys who have unprotected sex are going to have to suffer the consequences; I'm sorry about the old man who killed somebody else because his reaction time behind the wheel wasn't as fast as a young man's; so the old fart should've relinquished his car long ago; but he didn't; he knew better; but he thought he needed to drive down to his doctor, and nobody would help him, so on the way he killed a pickup truck full of kids. He's a killer for sure.

And I'm really sorry about the guy who died of lung cancer because his wife didn't stand up to him and insist that he quit but instead ran out and bought him a carton per week. She loves her husband, and smoking calms his nerves and makes him happy. It's sexy, too, like Humphrey Bogart when he took a puff. Now she is a widow and a murder because she condoned, aided and abetted.

I'm sorry, Karl. Call me old fashion, but I believe some things aren't my business, your business or the government's business; not because it's not a crime what my fellow Americans are doing; but because it's a crime that's unenforceable unless we want to live in an Orwellian Empire. I don't. So I'll take the causalities that come from living with a wicked, wicked population..

So, just to be clear. You're right Karl. They are murderers. I just don't think there are the time, manpower or money to punish all the fat, drink and drug criminals. And even if there were enough resources, I don't trust Washington, the States or the local government enough. We'd wouldn't get "justice" just "Just Us".





Calsdad
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Karl is hitting on the real core of the problem.

I've taken to defining issues as obesity and drug abuse and alchoholism as "arm movement problems".

What I tell people is : "you know - if you were lazier you wouldn't have this issue"

They have no idea what I'm talking about.

So I say:

"Here's the thing, if you were just a lazier person you wouldn't have your issue. Because the fact of the matter is that you expend a considerable amount of energy feeding your problem. You've got to drive to the store to buy the beer. You've got to *move your arm* multiple times back and forth to your mouth to consume it. The best thing that could happen to you is just become so ****** lazy that you can't get out of bed or *move your arms* any more - and your problem would go away"

People who actively feed these issues by acting as an accessory are just one step worse. Because they're going out of their way to help these people sustain their issues.

Once you really delve into the mechanics of how these things work - you start to realize why the Muslims just cut people's hands off. It does make a certain amount of sense.

I just tell people: "stop moving your ****** arms - your problem will be solved"
Crossthread
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All I can add, Is I'm glad to "kick" the Medical "enabler" that got me "hooked" on Pills..
(Remember that Dear host?) circ 2007 or so? I posted the picture? of my bottles of pills?
Oxymorphones, & Percocet's..
Gave me WHATEVER I wanted..
I'm much better off..
I feel like the Doctor(s) wanted Me too "OD"..
I digress..
No doubt, I'm still in great pain..
But
Deal with it
CT

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Vernonb
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Quote:
People who actively feed these issues by acting as an accessory are just one step worse. Because they're going out of their way to help these people sustain their issues.


And this enabling and often "coerced" enabling does not apply strictly to physical issues - it applies to a litany of mental issues too. The latter are more mobile than the ones that have imprisoned themselves but the devastation is the same. They merely seek out another group of enablers - especially ones that won't judge (code word for won't tell them no).

Perfectly healthy people get parts of their bodies removed or altered in order to take on the pretense of the opposite sex or to satisfy a dysmorphic disorder where they think a limb or more should be removed. Many of these people end up as suicides in the end. These people need real help or tough love - not coddling.

I think of all the enablers that "supported" them from family, friends, media, and the medical professions. They "support" them in the decision. Why has it become so wrong to say no to crazy? A true friend would tell someone "hell no! I'm not going to assist you in self-destruction!"

How is this not also an equivalent of assisting in murder and mutilation? These sick people then continue a regime of drugs for the rest of their often short lives or later suffer consequences as dementia.


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