So a guy is pushing his truck down the road with his family inside. A drunk driver rams into the truck killing his two sons, 11 and 12 years old. Dad runs home, gets his gun and kills the drunk driver. Dad is being charged with murder. Is that the right charge?
Whole story is here.
I don't know the degrees of severity assigned with the various killing offenses (murder vs. manslaughter, etc.) but I think some charge is appropriate. Mitigating circumstances should be considered in sentencing.
What I don't get is how he could bolt off after his gun when one of the boys was still alive, but later died at hospital, and his wife and a daughter were still in the truck? They would have been my first priority, not vengeance. Something seems really off here.
As for the drunk's family saying it was just an accident, I think that is just disgusting. How about admitting your kinsman was wrong, wrong, wrong? That can be done without condoning or excusing the Dad's response.
The link StaggerLee provided above.
I won't say he needed killing. It just happens to be the way it played out. Ultimately, it's a tragedy for two families, but as far as I'm concerned it's moreso a tragedy for the family of the two young boys that were killed. They were innocents, the drunk driver wasn't.
Honestly, Lee, I have a hard time calling it murder as well. This man had just lived one of the worst nightmares a parent can go through, and if there ever were a "temporary insanity" defense with any validity to it, it would be for something like this. On the other hand, this is why we have courts and a judicial system, and why vigilante justice is illegal. The drunk driver's fate needed to be determined by a rational, clear-headed judge who would take all factors into account and render a legal punishment that fit the crime. At a time like this, a man has to stop and think--what about his wife who has just lost her two boys as well? Who's going to be there for her now? What about the daughter who is left---she just lost her two brothers---does she now need to lose her daddy to the prison system? THESE are the things we have to think about before flying off the handle, grabbing a rifle, and taking justice into our own hands.
Murder? I think I'd go for a manslaughter charge--that seems more appropriate. But while I sincerely feel for him, two wrongs simply don't make a right. In the end, what has he accomplished? All he did was let the man who destroyed his boys destroy his life as well and deprive his wife of his companionship at a time when she needs him the most---and that's an incredibly foolish thing to do just because in his anger, he thought he had a right to.
Here in Oklahoma, we currently have a horrendous case that reminds me of this---a pharmacist in the Oklahoma City area is now rotting in prison for the rest of his life. A couple of criminals tried to rob the place at gun point. He pulled a gun and shot one of them--then he ran outside after the other one, who got away. Then he came back in and got another gun and shot first one again. The way the law reads, that was "murder" because he was already down. Since he went back in and got another gun, that was considered "malice afore-thought". Never mind the fact that A., if these armed robbers hadn't come in and tried to hold the place up at gunpoint, this never would have happened, and B. in the heat of the moment and under the stress of just having his life threatened (as well as the lives of the ladies who worked there), this man reacted the way he did--the way the law was interpreted, he might as well have gunned some innocent child down in cold blood.
In lawyer/judge/legal world, probably.
In human world, I have a hard time calling this guy a murderer. That implies a certain danger to humanity and the world at large when there is not one.
If you don't want to get shot, don't get drunk and run over this guys' family with your car.
In my view, not an unreasonable request for full participation in human life.
I seem to be caught in a paradox on this one. I've no sympathy for the drunk getting shot. On the other hand, it just seems to me the dad went to extraordinary lengths to kill the guy. To leave wife and daughter at the accident scene to run home, granted not far, then run back and after all that then kill the guy. Seems odd to me.
As I understand it, his wife and daughter were in the car. His boys were hit while pushing the car from the outside. The wife and daughter were not in danger.
It would be considered murder, probably charged 2nd degree, in TN where I live. More than likely it would be plea-bargained down to voluntary manslaughter. I don't understand leaving his wife and daughter there, which certainly goes to his state of mind, but do understand him wanting to kill the one responsible.