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Legal principles on the altar of convenience and incompetence

07 December 2012, 10:30

The recent convictions of vehicle drivers for murder refer.  

On the available information they were not guilty of murder but culpable homicide.

The principles established by the legal system have followed a long and sometimes torturous (literally) process. The difference between negligence and intent, and thereby the difference between for example murder and culpable homicide, have crystallized for some very good reasons. We must not allow the line between the two to be blurred by incompetent/sea lawyers or popular sentiment. We cannot afford it.

Taken from a text book which lists a number of decisions by some very distinguished judges:

“Where on acts with the intention of attaining a particular object, and at the same time subjectively realises or appreciates that another consequence may possibly results from one’s conduct, and one RECONCILES  ONESELF TO THIS POSSIBILITY, one’s intent in relation to the possible takes the form of dolus eventualis. It is NOT ENOUGHT that one SHOULD REASONABLY HAVE FORESEEN the possibility or other consequences ensuing; one must ACTUALLY AND SUBJECTIVELY HAVE FORESEEN this possibility.”

“The SUBJECTIVE ANTICIPATION of other possible results emanating  from one’s conduct is IN ITSELF NOT SUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH INTENT: it must in addition be clear that one RECONCILED ONSELF TO THE FORESEEN POSSIBILITY.  If one foresaw the possible consequences but did not subjectively reconcile oneself to them, one was possibly only negligent.”

“The element of reconciliation is usually expressed by stating that a defendant acted with a reckless disregard of the foreseen possible consequences. The term “reckless” in this respect is unfortunate, and should be avoided.”

Stop the carnage on the roads by getting the cops to do their work properly, consistently and every single day. Get them out of their comfortable cars and the fried chicken outlets.

And force them to make use of verifiable recordings of their interactions with the public. That will be the only way to get the public and the courts to believe them.

Anything except the dilution or destruction of our legal principles.

Rather try effective law enforcement and rather get the bad drivers and illegally licensed drivers off the road. Permanently.

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