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(Huffington Post)   Burning a gay teen to death gets "prankster" three and a half years in jail. Stay classy England   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 257
    More: Sick, Tyler Clementi, Yorkshire Post, Don Lemon, batty boys, Asperger syndrome, Trevor Project, Ottawa, Canada, Jim Swilley  
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14356 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Mar 2013 at 12:23 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-24 04:05:45 AM  

orbister: Because there was no intent to kill. Did you read the article?


The Definition of Second Degree Murder is as follows:  a non-premeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility. Second degree murder is different from First Degree Murder which is a premeditated, intentional killing, or results from a vicious crime such as arson, rape, or armed robbery
 
2013-03-24 04:15:23 AM  

Mock26: 3.5 years for murder?


No, 3.5 years for manslaughter, which is unintentional killing. Further north we call it "culpable homicide" and I believe you colonials sometimes call it "murder 3".
 
2013-03-24 04:16:26 AM  

germ78: That's no farking prank; that's torture. Seriously, this guy needs to get hurt in the worst possible way.


That's certainly teach him that hurting people is wrong. Where are all the farkers demanding that he be raped to death?
 
2013-03-24 04:16:55 AM  
Again, we are looking at the problem from two directions. You are looking at it from the angles of punishment or revenge.  Obviously I don't look at justice as punishment because punishment only works on people who are fixable.  Revenge is fleeting, and solves nothing.

I look at justice as protection of the law abiding from the lawless.  The predators must be fenced off from the prey. When we, as a society, keep letting violent people out, we are asking some family, somewhere, to risk the life of their child to see if we cured the little bugfark we just sicced on them. More states are opting for concealed carry and stand your ground because the government is too busy locking people up in for profit prisons for victimless crimes. We have gotten so "liberal:" in our treatment of criminals that citizens feel a need to be able to shoot bad guys because the government won't do anything about them.

So long as we keep trying to enforce Jesus, we will continue to fail.

This guy did not accidentally start the other kid of fire, he lit that Zippo on purpose.  If he was lighting a smoke and the other kid went poof, I could see three years.  Lighting someone up intentionally...naaahh.
 
2013-03-24 04:19:12 AM  

Psycat: When Mr. Bloody-Farker-Murderer gets out of gaol (the demented British spelling), what's stopping the LGBT community in Britain from, say, torturing Mr. B-F-M for a few days and then setting *him* on fire?  Worst that can happen is that the LGBT members who got revenge will themselves get a slap on the wrist.


Nope. They would undoubtedly be convicted of murder, since there would be intent to kill. Murder always gets a life sentence in the UK, with a minimum "punishment" term before parole can even be considered. That is rarely less than 12 years. If there was torture as well this minimum to be served would be at least twenty years.
 
2013-03-24 04:20:01 AM  

orbister: No, 3.5 years for manslaughter, which is unintentional killing. Further north we call it "culpable homicide" and I believe you colonials sometimes call it "murder 3".


Except that by the laws of most states he would have been charged with Murder 2, which carries a max of 25 to Life in the US Justice System.

Please, please don't tell me a reasonable man would think that setting someone on fire couldn't foreseeable kill someone.
 
2013-03-24 04:22:56 AM  

orbister: germ78: That's no farking prank; that's torture. Seriously, this guy needs to get hurt in the worst possible way.

That's certainly teach him that hurting people is wrong. Where are all the farkers demanding that he be raped to death?


It's better than giving him a farking cookie.
 
2013-03-24 04:25:46 AM  

hardinparamedic: orbister: Because there was no intent to kill. Did you read the article?

The Definition of Second Degree Murder is as follows:  a non-premeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility. Second degree murder is different from First Degree Murder which is a premeditated, intentional killing, or results from a vicious crime such as arson, rape, or armed robbery


As I understand it, English law doesn't distinguish between degrees of murder. Premeditation and intent are also not the same thing - if I get into an argument and pull out a gun and shoot my opponent on the spot that's intentional, but not premeditated.
 
2013-03-24 04:27:13 AM  

Shryke: I drunk drive, plow into a school bus, kill all kids aboard. I didn't mean to kill anyone. No murder charges!
I start firing a gun in to my wall, killing all my neighbors. What in heck I just wanted to shoot my wall! No muder charges!


Absolutley, because in neither case was the definition of murder met. Each is guilty of other crimes, of course, and would receive severe penalties in court.

But perhaps you have not realised that in the UK, "murder" is only used for premeditated and intentional killing - what the television tells me is called "Murder 1" in the US. We ave different names for other sorts of killing: manslaughter (England) / culpable homicide (Scotland), causing death by dangerous/careless driving and so on.
 
2013-03-24 04:30:24 AM  
Just another reason I am glad we are not more like Europe.  Tis a shame we seem to be rushing head long into being just another EU State.
 
2013-03-24 04:34:18 AM  

BarkingUnicorn: duenor: something is missing here.
it's the gay kid's own birthday party. if this guy hated him so much, why was he invited?

this is what it sounds like to me:

1. gay kid throws party, invites a bunch of stupid friends
2. gay kid strips, lets his friends write all sorts of dumb stuff on him, enjoys the attention he's getting.
3. stupid friend decides it would be funny to see him try to put out the burning oil, figures it would just last a few seconds like he's seen on youtube
4. gay kid starts burning and can't stop it because the oil is all over and soaked into his skin, dies from massive loss of skin

It sounds like they are casting this as "bully writes anti gay stuff on poor helpless gay kid and then sets him on fire", but it just doesn't add up with the situation. for that to happen the "yob" would have to push his way into the kid's party, write all the stuff on him and set him on fire right in front of all his presumably friendly friends and family (it was at his home), without anyone trying to stop him.

WHERE WERE THE PARENTS???

It's almost as if the UK media focuses on the criminal instead of seeking someone else to blame.


He lived in his own flat, not with his parents, and nobody turned up to his birthday party, so he went out and rounded up some people. One of these people was the arsehole that set him on fire (someone else put the tanning oil on him)

Sounds like the prosecution would have had trouble making a murder charge, and decided to reduce it to manslaughter.
 
2013-03-24 04:35:22 AM  
Some of us, who have lived in Europe, are fighting it.

;)
 
2013-03-24 04:36:08 AM  

Psycat: Same here.  Not just this case, but Mary Bell who murdered several kids as a child herself, then got let go when she turned 18.  And the case of the murder of a kid named Bulger or something like that, by two boys who also got slapped on the wrist.


Mary Bell killed at the age of ten. She served twelve years detention, was released from prison at 22 and has led a blameless life ever since.

Robert Thompson and Jon Venables killed James Bulger when they were ten. They were released after eight years. There is no indication that Thompson has been in any trouble since, but Venables was later returned to prison breaking the terms of his licence, and subsequently convicted of child pornography offences.

What would you have us do with ten year olds who kill? Lock them up until they die, sixty or more years later? Kill them?
 
2013-03-24 04:37:38 AM  

pjc51: if I get into an argument and pull out a gun and shoot my opponent on the spot that's intentional, but not premeditated.


Premeditation does NOT require days or hours. It can be just minutes, even seconds. The fact that you have a gun tells the jury you intended to kill someone.

/i'd prosecute your Brit ass into the stone-age
 
2013-03-24 04:37:44 AM  

jpo2269: Just another reason I am glad we are not more like Europe.  Tis a shame we seem to be rushing head long into being just another EU State.



Some of us, who have lived in Europe, are fighting it.

;)
 
2013-03-24 04:42:58 AM  

orbister: GAT_00: Then I checked the article and saw the age. How the fark is that not a murder charge?

Because there was no intent to kill. Did you read the article?


How do we manage to raise anyone who doesn't realise that setting a person on fire could kill them? The guy was 20 (or at least 19 when he did this, it was the victim who had only just turned 18) which is definitely old enough to understand the consequences of setting a person alight.
 
2013-03-24 04:43:01 AM  
He didn't intend to kill him?

Wat do he think setting fire to someone covered in oil do? He shouldn't go to jail; he should go to Johns Hopkins. Surely he's the cure for cancer and Alzheimer's percolating around inside that brain-pan of his.
 
2013-03-24 04:45:52 AM  

hardinparamedic: The Definition of Second Degree Murder is as follows:  a non-premeditated killing, resulting from an assault in which death of the victim was a distinct possibility. Second degree murder is different from First Degree Murder which is a premeditated, intentional killing, or results from a vicious crime such as arson, rape, or armed robbery


Here is the official Crown Prosecution Service guide to the difference between murder and manslaughter. From it:

Manslaughter can be committed in one of three ways:
1) killing with the intent for murder but where a partial defence applies, namely loss of control, diminished responsibility or killing pursuant to a suicide pact.
2) conduct that was grossly negligent given the risk of death, and did kill, is manslaughter ("gross negligence manslaughter"); and
3) conduct taking the form of an unlawful act involving a danger of some harm, that resulted in death, is manslaughter ("unlawful and dangerous act manslaughter").


From the same source, murder requires

intent to kill or cause grievous bodily harm (GBH).
 
2013-03-24 04:49:07 AM  

Bullroarer_Took: He didn't intend to kill him?

Wat do he think setting fire to someone covered in oil do? He shouldn't go to jail; he should go to Johns Hopkins. Surely he's the cure for cancer and Alzheimer's percolating around inside that brain-pan of his.


Good plan, we mustn't let that great mind go to waste. Of course if he doesn't come up with anything useful, I say we use him as an organ donor. Skin grafts for burns victims maybe.
 
2013-03-24 04:50:00 AM  

orbister: unamused: England can't have murders; they have gun control.

They are a "civilized" society.

UK murder rate: 1.14 per 100,000
US murder rate: 4.67 per 100,000


Guns keep people from being victims.

UK violent crime rate: 2034 per 100,000
US violent crime rate: 466 per 100,000
 
2013-03-24 04:50:58 AM  

orbister: Psycat: Same here.  Not just this case, but Mary Bell who murdered several kids as a child herself, then got let go when she turned 18.  And the case of the murder of a kid named Bulger or something like that, by two boys who also got slapped on the wrist.

Mary Bell killed at the age of ten. She served twelve years detention, was released from prison at 22 and has led a blameless life ever since.

Robert Thompson and Jon Venables killed James Bulger when they were ten. They were released after eight years. There is no indication that Thompson has been in any trouble since, but Venables was later returned to prison breaking the terms of his licence, and subsequently convicted of child pornography offences.

What would you have us do with ten year olds who kill? Lock them up until they die, sixty or more years later? Kill them?


Desert island + air-drop.
 
2013-03-24 04:52:45 AM  

hardinparamedic: Except that by the laws of most states he would have been charged with Murder 2, which carries a max of 25 to Life in the US Justice System.


The maximum penalty for manslaughter in England is life imprisonment.

Please, please don't tell me a reasonable man would think that setting someone on fire couldn't foreseeable kill someone.

The sentence in this case was imposed by a judge who had, unlike us, heard all the evidence. Neither the prosecution nor the defence appear to intend an appeal.

Incidentally, youtube is stuffed full of videos of people setting other people on fire for fun.
 
2013-03-24 04:54:37 AM  

Ukab the Great: The fact that you have a gun tells the jury you intended to kill someone.


Perhaps you could discuss that point with the NRA?
 
2013-03-24 04:56:06 AM  
3 years for aggravated manslaughter?  Damn, in the US the literal minimum is higher than that.

//IIRC the UK has a lower murder rate partially because what's second-degree murder in the US is called manslaughter in the UK.  Albeit ours is still higher, it's just not quite as much higher as the self-reporting indicates.
 
2013-03-24 04:57:03 AM  

orbister: Incidentally, youtube is stuffed full of videos of people setting other people on fire for fun.


The human race doesn't deserve to go on, nuke it from orbit I say.
 
2013-03-24 04:59:08 AM  

Bullroarer_Took: He didn't intend to kill him?

Wat do he think setting fire to someone covered in oil do?


Hurt him? Scare him? Amuse him? I don't know, and neither do you. But if he didn't intend to kill, or to cause grievous bodily harm. The definition of GBH is long and complicated, but basically means serious and long lasting injury.
 
2013-03-24 04:59:44 AM  

orbister: hardinparamedic: Except that by the laws of most states he would have been charged with Murder 2, which carries a max of 25 to Life in the US Justice System.

The maximum penalty for manslaughter in England is life imprisonment.

Please, please don't tell me a reasonable man would think that setting someone on fire couldn't foreseeable kill someone.

The sentence in this case was imposed by a judge who had, unlike us, heard all the evidence. Neither the prosecution nor the defence appear to intend an appeal.

Incidentally, youtube is stuffed full of videos of people setting other people on fire for fun.


You seem to be conversant in English law so...

How long will this farkstick serve?  What is the minimum? Sent to bed without dinner for 2 days?
 
2013-03-24 05:02:57 AM  
RatMaster999:

UK violent crime rate: 2034 per 100,000
US violent crime rate: 466 per 100,000


A claim which appeared in the Daily Mail, and therefore doesn't really need the debunking you'll find here. Summary: the US and UK define "violent crime" very, very differently.
 
2013-03-24 05:12:05 AM  
doglover:

What do you expect from a country that bans everything remotely dangerous, arrests people for inhuming home invaders, and doesn't let their police carry weapons? They don't even have a death penalty any more. Which is odd because England practically invented the modern idea of the humane death penalty in their Imperial age. Before that it was more... creative.

Impressive - that qualifies as one of the least factual statements I have ever seen on Fark.  Do you practice ignorance, or does it come naturally to you?
 
2013-03-24 05:12:27 AM  

unamused: You seem to be conversant in English law so...

How long will this farkstick serve?  What is the minimum? Sent to bed without dinner for 2 days?


In general, prisoners on determinate sentences are released on parole after half their sentence, so in this case he'll be out after 21 months. Or possibly less, because any time spend on remand counts as part of the sentence. Since he got less than four years there is no need for a parole board to consider his early release.

Fuller details from the prisons service here.
 
2013-03-24 05:14:25 AM  

doglover: What do you expect from a country that bans everything remotely dangerous, arrests people for inhuming home invaders, and doesn't let their police carry weapons?


We are proud of having an (almost) unarmed police service, and police officers themselves are overwhelmingly against being routinely armed.

Are you trying to hold up the state of policing in the US as a model for the rest of us?
 
2013-03-24 05:18:44 AM  

orbister: Bullroarer_Took: He didn't intend to kill him?

Wat do he think setting fire to someone covered in oil do?

Hurt him? Scare him? Amuse him? I don't know, and neither do you. But if he didn't intend to kill, or to cause grievous bodily harm. The definition of GBH is long and complicated, but basically means serious and long lasting injury.


How about we go ahead and assume it is still not okay to set people on fire even if the goal is *just* to hurt them.

The rest makes a great multiple choice question. Covering a person in oil and setting them on fire might a) scare them b) amuse them c) result in serious, extremely painful and long lasting injury or possibly even death.

Anyone who answers anything other than c) needs to be taken back to school and not be left unsupervised by an adult at any time. Or in other words, basically be treated like the infant they metally are.
 
2013-03-24 05:23:24 AM  

orbister: RatMaster999:

UK violent crime rate: 2034 per 100,000
US violent crime rate: 466 per 100,000

A claim which appeared in the Daily Mail, and therefore doesn't really need the debunking you'll find here. Summary: the US and UK define "violent crime" very, very differently.


http://www.civitas.org.uk/crime/crime_stats_oecdjan2012.pdf
These guys break things up a bit, listing England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland separately, but if you add them all together, it looks like the intentional murder rate is the only one that the US ranks higher than the UK.  5 per 100k versus 3.9 per 100k.

"Compared with our peers, the report shows that we are a high-crime society with a particular propensity to violence short of intentional homicide."
 
2013-03-24 05:24:38 AM  

unamused: If he was lighting a smoke and the other kid went poof, I could see three years.  Lighting someone up intentionally...naaahh.


If he simply lit a cigarette and his friend accidentally caught on fire I wouldn't give him 3 years. If that had been the case, I'm not even sure a criminal charge would be appropriate.

But he did apparently intend to light him on fire and for that, 3 years is not enough.

/just my farking opinion.
 
2013-03-24 05:26:40 AM  

Nidiot: How about we go ahead and assume it is still not okay to set people on fire even if the goal is *just* to hurt them.


We could even sentence them to three and half years in prison if they do it?

The point, though, is that what matters is not what you would have intended, or what I would have intended. It's what the defendant intended, and if he intended neither death nor GBH then it wasn't murder.
 
2013-03-24 05:31:22 AM  
And the kid who committed the crime isn't even a Muslim or some other immigrant.

That's surprising, I wonder why the penalty was so lenient.
 
2013-03-24 05:37:33 AM  

orbister: The point, though, is that what matters is not what you would have intended, or what I would have intended. It's what the defendant intended, and if he intended neither death nor GBH then it wasn't murder.


Which is why "happy slapping" is so popular in the UK. As long as you're smiling and laughing on camera, and making statements that you are just having fun and not going to hurt anyone, you can beat as many people as you want to death and get only repeated slaps on the wrist.

/so civilized
 
2013-03-24 05:41:41 AM  

Tatterdemalian: Which is why "happy slapping" is so popular in the UK. As long as you're smiling and laughing on camera, and making statements that you are just having fun and not going to hurt anyone, you can beat as many people as you want to death and get only repeated slaps on the wrist.


[Citation needed]
 
2013-03-24 05:56:51 AM  

orbister: Nidiot: How about we go ahead and assume it is still not okay to set people on fire even if the goal is *just* to hurt them.

We could even sentence them to three and half years in prison if they do it?

The point, though, is that what matters is not what you would have intended, or what I would have intended. It's what the defendant intended, and if he intended neither death nor GBH then it wasn't murder.


I think what we have here is that people like myself, find it particularly difficult to believe that anyone who is not functionally retarded could not foresee death as a possible result of an oil covered person being set alight. It's akin to saying "yeah I stabbed him but only as a joke, didn't think he'd die" or "yeah I shot him, but only for a laugh". Therefore the claim by the defendant seems farcical and a ploy to get a more lenient sentence.

Three and a half years for intentionally causing pain via burning is still way too light a sentence, if this is was his only motivation.
 
2013-03-24 06:05:36 AM  

doglover: England practically invented the modern idea of the humane death penalty in their Imperial age


Whatever you are smoking, can I have some ?

Ya know, the stuff you apparently smoked all the way through your history lessons.
 
2013-03-24 06:18:07 AM  

orbister: Bullroarer_Took: He didn't intend to kill him?

Wat do he think setting fire to someone covered in oil do?

Hurt him? Scare him? Amuse him? I don't know, and neither do you. But if he didn't intend to kill, or to cause grievous bodily harm. The definition of GBH is long and complicated, but basically means serious and long lasting injury.


Either the guy is too slow to understand his actions, a psychopath, or a sociopath. I see nothing to indicate he's an imbecile.

If you can think at a ten-year-old level you know that setting someone on fire is going to cause serious injury and possibly death. If you don't: you should lose your membership in the human race should be revoked. Of course someone is going to claim they didn't "know" they killed would die.
 
2013-03-24 06:19:58 AM  

Nidiot: Bullroarer_Took: He didn't intend to kill him?

Wat do he think setting fire to someone covered in oil do? He shouldn't go to jail; he should go to Johns Hopkins. Surely he's the cure for cancer and Alzheimer's percolating around inside that brain-pan of his.

Good plan, we mustn't let that great mind go to waste. Of course if he doesn't come up with anything useful, I say we use him as an organ donor. Skin grafts for burns victims maybe.


Because you are thinking with your emotions instead of your logic. Understandable but not workable in a court of law. And because you are confusing INTENT as it's legally defined with intent as it's commonly used.

Intent in court is not "could a person with more than three functioning brain cells realize that putting oil on someone and lighting a match might kill them." Intent as it applies to murder is "Did Joe Smith have a formulated plan in his mind to end the life of Fred Jones at the time of the killing." And if Joe did NOT have such an intent when he lit the match, then no matter how obvious it should have been to even the dullest moron, whatever crime Joe committed it WAS NOT MURDER. And no matter how heinous you feel his actions were, he can't receive a penalty commensurate with murder.

Also, the burden of proof in the US and in Britain is on the prosecution. They're the ones who have to prove intent. But Joe can't get away with saying "Yeah, ha-ha it was just for funnies, didn't mean any harm!" because clearly he meant SOME harm. But the prosecution has to prove that Joe meant TO KILL, and even more specifically to kill THIS PERSON. And clearly in this case they couldn't meet that burden. And no matter how awful a person is, they can't murder someone by accident.

Which is why, as you were so upset about above, people often can't be charged with murder or manslaughter for drunk driving. Were they careless, wantonly negligent, stupid and even evil? Sure. Did they intend to kill that particular person with their car? Nope. So no murder for them. It's a great argument for changes to the murder laws; but until then, we have to accept that stupid people sometimes kill people in mean and horrible ways and it's just not murder.
 
2013-03-24 06:25:15 AM  

orbister: Nidiot: How about we go ahead and assume it is still not okay to set people on fire even if the goal is *just* to hurt them.

We could even sentence them to three and half years in prison if they do it?

The point, though, is that what matters is not what you would have intended, or what I would have intended. It's what the defendant intended, and if he intended neither death nor GBH then it wasn't murder.


Maybe he said, "He's comin' right for us!" before he lit the kid on fire?

I think setting someone on fire should, de facto, be evidence of intended GBH.
 
2013-03-24 06:31:09 AM  

Gyrfalcon: Which is why, as you were so upset about above, people often can't be charged with murder or manslaughter for drunk driving. Were they careless, wantonly negligent, stupid and even evil? Sure. Did they intend to kill that particular person with their car? Nope. So no murder for them. It's a great argument for changes to the murder laws; but until then, we have to accept that stupid people sometimes kill people in mean and horrible ways and it's just not murder.


Prosecutors in the UK found great difficulty in convincing juries to convict drivers who killed with manslaughter; there was too great an element of "there but for the grace of God go I" in their thinking. That's why we got "causing death by dangerous driving" as an offence and, more recently, "causing death by careless driving".
 
2013-03-24 06:34:31 AM  
Wowee Zowee
 
2013-03-24 06:50:16 AM  

unamused: England can't have murders; they have gun control.

They are a "civilized" society.


You're right. They should give every citizen two AR-15s and all the ammo they can carry.  That'll solve everything.
 
2013-03-24 07:24:31 AM  
I guess we'll just have to make another law that specifically makes it illegal to douse people in flammable liquids and then set them alight, with suitably high minimum sentencing. Relying on common sense is just not working, common sense not being common at all.
 
2013-03-24 07:52:48 AM  

Satanic_Hamster: Gyrfalcon: Pretty much this.

Murder is the intentional killing of a human being by another human being with malice aforethought; malice being defined as intent to kill, intent to cause grievous bodily harm (as they say in Britain), wanton and reckless disregard for human life, or death in the commission of another felony.

And no matter how stupid, heartless, evil or hateful this moron's actions were, there's just no evidence he intentionally set the victim on fire intending to kill him OR seriously injure him. He probably thought it would be funny as hell and may not even have thought it would hurt him too much. Just give him a few blisters. And since, as people keep reminding me, stupidity is not a felony, 3 1/2 years is about the best the judge could do.

And to add on:
Just go to youtube.  There's a LOT of videos of dumbasses dousing themselves/friends with baby oil or alcohol for fire stunts like this.


I still don't get it. If I kill someone. they are dead. Gone. Never going to come back. Does it really matter how/why I did it? If I "didn't mean to do it", then doesn't that mark me as MORE dangerous to society, not less? I mean, if someone really hates someone, and goes through the process of planning out how to kill them, and then does it, that shows that they know how to pick a target and take out that target. Net result, one person dead. If someone is so stupid that they end up killing someone without intending to do it, what prevents them from accidentally killing someone tomorrow? Next week? The Thursday after that? This guy could kill again, and again, and again, and as long as each time he says "whoops, my bad, I was too stupid to know that would kill someone" he will keep getting let out after only a couple years in jail.
 
2013-03-24 08:01:39 AM  

Gyrfalcon: Bontesla: Why wouldn't we allow a murderer too enjoy a little bit of life?

/from what I read - the murderer didn't intend on killing the teen. He just thought dousing the naked boy with baby oil and setting him aflame would be hilarious.
//and that was factored in to why he was charged with the lesser crime.

Pretty much this.

Murder is the intentional killing of a human being by another human being with malice aforethought; malice being defined as intent to kill, intent to cause grievous bodily harm (as they say in Britain), wanton and reckless disregard for human life, or death in the commission of another felony.

And no matter how stupid, heartless, evil or hateful this moron's actions were, there's just no evidence he intentionally set the victim on fire intending to kill him OR seriously injure him. He probably thought it would be funny as hell and may not even have thought it would hurt him too much. Just give him a few blisters. And since, as people keep reminding me, stupidity is not a felony, 3 1/2 years is about the best the judge could do.


Its hard to imagine that he wasn't aware his actions could cause grievous bodily harm potentially resulting in death.

15 to 20 years in prison with mandatory 5 year minimum would fit the crime.

I don't believe in hate crime laws, I think juries can consider it when understanding the motive. Murder is murder.
 
2013-03-24 08:07:08 AM  

Gyrfalcon: Nidiot: Bullroarer_Took: He didn't intend to kill him?

Wat do he think setting fire to someone covered in oil do? He shouldn't go to jail; he should go to Johns Hopkins. Surely he's the cure for cancer and Alzheimer's percolating around inside that brain-pan of his.

Good plan, we mustn't let that great mind go to waste. Of course if he doesn't come up with anything useful, I say we use him as an organ donor. Skin grafts for burns victims maybe.

Because you are thinking with your emotions instead of your logic. Understandable but not workable in a court of law. And because you are confusing INTENT as it's legally defined with intent as it's commonly used.

Intent in court is not "could a person with more than three functioning brain cells realize that putting oil on someone and lighting a match might kill them." Intent as it applies to murder is "Did Joe Smith have a formulated plan in his mind to end the life of Fred Jones at the time of the killing." And if Joe did NOT have such an intent when he lit the match, then no matter how obvious it should have been to even the dullest moron, whatever crime Joe committed it WAS NOT MURDER. And no matter how heinous you feel his actions were, he can't receive a penalty commensurate with murder.

Also, the burden of proof in the US and in Britain is on the prosecution. They're the ones who have to prove intent. But Joe can't get away with saying "Yeah, ha-ha it was just for funnies, didn't mean any harm!" because clearly he meant SOME harm. But the prosecution has to prove that Joe meant TO KILL, and even more specifically to kill THIS PERSON. And clearly in this case they couldn't meet that burden. And no matter how awful a person is, they can't murder someone by accident.

Which is why, as you were so upset about above, people often can't be charged with murder or manslaughter for drunk driving. Were they careless, wantonly negligent, stupid and even evil? Sure. Did they intend to kill that particular person with their car? Nope. So no murder for them. It's a great argument for changes to the murder laws; but until then, we have to accept that stupid people sometimes kill people in mean and horrible ways and it's just not murder.


Unless the gay kid was in on the joke, it was second degree murder. By all appearances, they were doing him deliberate harm.
 
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