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Old 03-01-2011, 01:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baaadgoatjoke View Post
Would have been a good chance to send a message. Oh well. Guess there were a couple of heavy drinkers on that jury.
Or people who understand the law.
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Old 03-01-2011, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Raleigh NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCOriolesfan View Post
Or people who understand the law.
I'm sure the jurors understood the law just fine especially since the judge gave them the definition of malice and based on the definition malice was clearly found. I'd love to hear the real reason why the 2 jurors didn't want Cook convicted of the charge of 2nd degree murder which I feel he should have. It's sad this man received such a minor sentence. I wonder how much time he'll actually spend in prison?
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
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Sad day here in Winston-Salem, home of the lovely young ballerina.....

a few years ago a local tv personality here, while driving drunk, killed a young man and got only 2 years. All you up and coming activists/ lawyers/ constituent reps: we need some changes on behalf of VICTIMS AND FAMILIES!
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:09 PM
 
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The problem isn't the conviction of manslaughter. The problem is the sentence guidelines for this charge are pretty light. The jury is NOT to think about the sentencing -- their only job is only to figure out if the evidence meets the charge(s) and then decide which one(s). They are absolutely not to think about how many years each charge carries and then decide from that. That's a big NO-NO in legal circles.

I wonder why "voluntary manslaughter" wasn't one of the charges? Is there such a thing? Does it go right from "involuntary" to "2nd degree?"

I believe if there had been some other charge between "involuntary manslaughter" and "2nd degree murder," he would have been convicted of that middle charge.
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underPSI View Post
I'm sure the jurors understood the law just fine especially since the judge gave them the definition of malice and based on the definition malice was clearly found.

I'd love to hear the real reason why the 2 jurors didn't want Cook convicted of the charge of 2nd degree murder
You contradict yourself. You say you're sure they understand the law, then you assume they "didn't want" to convict him of Murder 2. If they are responsibly following the law, then what they "want" has nothing to do with it. They may likely have "wanted" to convict him but did not see the legal definition of malice present. Jurors are not supposed to convict based on what they "want".

I, too, am sorry he got off so casually (especially because I live very near the crash site and travel the very path she was travelling, daily), but we weren't in the courtroom. If you trust that the jurors undersootd the law, then you have to trust that they didn't find the evidence for a stronger charge.
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Old 03-01-2011, 04:35 PM
 
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Oh and as for why the 10 jurors decided to go with manslaughter? I imagine it's because they, as a jury, didn't want to hang and have the case declared a mistrial. Most juries want to finish the job. I suspect it was the lesser of two evils -- since those 2 jurors simply were not going to convict for murder 2.

So at that point, with no further movement in deliberations, the jury knows they either stalemate and the judge declares a mistrial and they go home, or they all agree to the lesser charge.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:50 PM
jgb
 
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I know someone serving at least 2 years now in NC prison for "habitual DUI". He had three over the course of 10 years. He NEVER hit anyone. Never got in an accident. He was pulled over for other reasons and got caught. He is someone with mental health and substance abuse problems, as well as medical problems, and obviously did not have any real legal defense.

It just doesn't add up that the doctor may be serving about the same amount of time as this other person, who never even hit anyone. He never even caused any damage to a vehicle, let along killed someone. And if anyone should be given a break, it's the guy with mental health problems, not someone who has the knowledge and money to take cab or not get into that situation in the first place.
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Old 03-01-2011, 06:59 PM
jgb
 
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Final thought: I'm just disgusted. This is very disappointing. No one should be above the law, and that's very much how this looks. When he gets out his kids won't even be teenagers, so he will still have many years to enjoy his life. What has he lost other than a lot of money, which when tragedies happen, most people realize is not that important anyway. When he gets out he should commit the rest of his life to doing surgeries on people in Haiti or somewhere else. Maybe after he does that for 20 years people could take him seriously again.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:00 PM
 
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Clearly the laws need to be changed so that there's some other charge other than "murder." I think there are folks who cannot call a death a 'murder' when the person did not intend to kill the person they killed.

I realize that's no excuse, but I truly think the term 'murder' is problematic and causes this kind of a schism. It's semantics, but there you have it.

If there were some other felony charge and that charge happened to carry a (say) 10 yr - 12 yr prison term, and it didn't have the word "murder" attached to the conviction, then juries might be more inclined to convict on that.

I suspect if Cook had been sentenced to 10+ yrs in prison, people wouldn't feel quite as outraged as they do with the name of the conviction he got (i.e. manslaughter). The judge's hands were tied. He can only sentence based on the law for that conviction.

So there's 2 issues:

1. the type and name of the charge.

2. the sentence guideline attached to the charge.

and the way those are changed is through legislation...i.e. a new law being passed.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:24 PM
jgb
 
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I agree with you.
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