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#1 2012-03-04 01:23:17

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,240
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Driver gets 25 years for killing ped at CapMetro bus stop

In the last 17 months, three separate drivers have been convicted of killing people at Austin bus stops.

In the most recent case, a sheriff's deputy tried to pull ~23-year-old Charles Roberts Jr.'s van over last year for traffic violations, and Roberts tried to flee, going as fast as 90 mph and then crashing into a Capital Metro bus stop, killing a 41-year-old man waiting for the bus.

A jury convicted Roberts of murder and sentenced him to 25 years.  (The charge was murder because he committed an act clearly dangerous to human life while committing a felony.)

Kudos to the DA for pressing for real charges rather than letting the defendant plead down, and to the jury for giving the driver more than a slap on the wrist.

http://www.statesman.com/news/local/man … 08476.html
http://www.statesman.com/news/texas/man … 14555.html

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#2 2012-03-04 10:24:52

Adriel
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Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: Driver gets 25 years for killing ped at CapMetro bus stop

I wonder if the charges would have been as severe if he had not upset a police officer.

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#3 2012-03-04 11:00:12

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,240
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Re: Driver gets 25 years for killing ped at CapMetro bus stop

i think they probably would.  Unless I'm mistaken, when the charges are heavy, the police don't file them, the D.A. does.  So I think it wasn't up to the police.

BTW, and I know I'm sounding like a broken record on this, but I wish license revocation was part of the punishment package.  When this guy gets out at age 48 or earlier, there's nothing stopping him from driving again.

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#4 2012-03-04 11:47:57

Adriel
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Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: Driver gets 25 years for killing ped at CapMetro bus stop

I am a huge fan of license revocation.  And stiffer penalties for driving without a license.  I firmly believe that 80% of the collisions on the road are caused by 20% of the drivers.  And if we could just get them off the road, the roads would be safer for all.  Note I said collisions, not accidents.  When you drive recklessly and hit a pedestrian, cyclist, or another car, it is not something I would call an accident.

Last edited by Adriel (2012-03-04 11:48:30)

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#5 2012-03-04 14:03:51

MichaelBluejay
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From: Austin, TX
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 1,240
Website

Re: Driver gets 25 years for killing ped at CapMetro bus stop

Well, it's an accident if it's accidental.  That is, it's the opposite of intentional.  Few drivers are trying to hurt someone, no matter how irresponsible and reckless they are.

My objections to the word "accidental" are that it's too soft for something so serious, and that sometimes, we don't *know* that a collision was truly accidental.  In the first case, spilling your juice or bumping into someone on the sidewalk is an accident.  Running into a person or another vehicle with a big vehicle is just too big an event to brush off as a trifling "accident".  In the second case, the media always reports hit-and-runs as "accidents", when they have no idea whether the collision was truly accidental or not.

By the way, Adriel, it's good to have you back!

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#6 2012-03-04 15:14:56

jmayson
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Registered: 2008-06-28
Posts: 46

Re: Driver gets 25 years for killing ped at CapMetro bus stop

I too do not like the word "accident".  It implies it was a situation beyond anyone's control and therefore no one should be held responsible.  I'm willing to bet most collisions are the direct result of someone making a choice to do something careless.

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#7 2012-03-05 23:06:19

tomwald
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From: 78722
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 288

Re: Driver gets 25 years for killing ped at CapMetro bus stop

MichaelBluejay wrote:

BTW, and I know I'm sounding like a broken record on this, but I wish license revocation was part of the punishment package.

Here is an example from Rhode Island:
"R.I. jurist's lifetime drive ban for teen went too far, say Bay State pols"
http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/v … tate_pols/

"I think it's a little harsh," said state Sen. Robert Hedlund, (R-Weymouth). "The kid might mature and actually be a responsible driver. I don't know how you can take it away from a kid that age forever. What's he going to do ... bike for the rest of his life?"

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#8 2012-03-06 00:05:10

dougmc
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Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 563

Re: Driver gets 25 years for killing ped at CapMetro bus stop

tomwald wrote:

"R.I. jurist's lifetime drive ban for teen went too far, say Bay State pols"
http://bostonherald.com/news/regional/v … tate_pols/

"I think it's a little harsh," said state Sen. Robert Hedlund, (R-Weymouth). "The kid might mature and actually be a responsible driver. I don't know how you can take it away from a kid that age forever. What's he going to do ... bike for the rest of his life?"

No way will that stand up -- I'll bet he has his license back within five years if he doesn't get caught driving on it while suspended.  (Though obviously having a suspended license doesn't mean much to him.)

Still, a several year suspension sounds appropriate, and jail time if he violates that again.

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