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Seeking death penalty in train wreck would be unusual, lawyers say

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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:31 AM
Original message
Seeking death penalty in train wreck would be unusual, lawyers say
<The capital murder charges filed Thursday against a driver accused of causing a fatal Los Angeles-area train wreck are a rare and perhaps unprecedented use of a century-old California law.

The law, passed in 1905, makes it a capital crime to derail a train and cause death. It is the basis of the "special circumstances'' -- the factors that make a crime eligible for the death penalty -- in the charges filed against Juan Manuel Alvarez by Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley.

Two court analysts said the charges appear to be legally sound but may be difficult to prove, and raise questions about the prosecutor's priorities in a case involving a suspect who police say was possibly suicidal.

"In my view, capital cases should be reserved for the intentional (killing),'' said Rory Little, a professor at UC Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco and a former federal prosecutor. "It doesn't sound like this guy had any purpose to kill anybody else.''

Gerald Uelmen, a law professor at Santa Cara University and a criminal defense lawyer, said seeking the death penalty against Alvarez would be "kind of crazy.'' >


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronic...
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ChavezSpeakstheTruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
1. And morbidly ironic
Man alive that is one terrible mess.
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signmike Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:40 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Irony=he WANTS to die, and they have a suicide watch on him
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ChavezSpeakstheTruth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Obviously he DOESN'T want to die or he wouldn't have fled.
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ernstbass Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:32 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. If he was ambivalent about suicide before the train wreck
I bet he is definately suicidal now!
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lala_rawraw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. or just more crap...
for catnip and MSM to chase like twits

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jdj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:45 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. I haven't heard "man alive" in a long time,lol
yes, it's a nightmare.
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msgadget Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. To put it MILDLY,
"...raise questions about the prosecutor's priorities in a case involving a suspect who police say was possibly suicidal.

They were talking about the death penalty IMMEDIATELY following the accident.
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demnan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 09:34 AM
Response to Original message
3. They won't convict him in any court
He can prove that he was temporarily insane. As sad as this is the man wasn't capable of the rational thought needed to know he was putting others in danger. I hope he is institutionalized for a long, long time to keep him from harming others and himself.
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cenflrd Donating Member (16 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. He'll never win an insanity defense
Less than 1% are successful. Let the jury decide. offer death and let them decide. I bet he gets 11 counts of manslaughter. this idiot watched it all happen. His initial statement was that he changed his mind, his SUV wasn't stuck. I'm an ARNP/Psych and this yahoo isn't suicidal. He's attention seeking! He's got drug and assault charges as well.
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gratuitous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. You seem awfully sure
Isn't it a breach of professional ethics to disclose your session or treatment of Mr. Alvarez, or did you not examine him and are making diagnostic statements based on third party reports? Just asking.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:30 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. Ah, that does change things
I didn't even think about the fact that he could have driven his SUV away. They'd have to prove he was coherent enough to make that kind of decision though. I can see where the murder charge is coming from now. But someone who would create a train wreck seems more likely to be insane than someone who is suicidal.
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Old Mouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. You know suicide isn't that simple
He still has slashed wrists from a previous attempt. You of all people should know how difficult it is to succeed against the survival instinct. It is highly unlikely he purposefully demolished the train in a conscious act to draw attention.

He deserves manslaughter charges, and a chance at an insanity defense.

"idiot" "yahoo"? I find your career choice curious.
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DistantWind88 Donating Member (695 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 11:09 AM
Response to Reply #3
11. Get a rope....
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Commie Pinko Dirtbag Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 12:05 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. ...for ole times' sake?
Sorry, they don't do it that way anymore.
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AndyTiedye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
13. Lock Him Up in the Looney Bin And Study Him
Try to find out how not to make more like him.
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Ernesto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jan-28-05 04:10 PM
Response to Original message
16. If the morally superior fundy wing nuts had their way.........
Edited on Fri Jan-28-05 04:11 PM by Ernesto
they'd execute him, bring him back to life and execute him 10 more times just to teach him a gaw durned lesson........
All this for a classic case of "they know not what they do". (I believe that quote can be attributed to a certain fellow that is supposed to be their "savior").
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