Bullying victim shoots up house-Judge has mercy

Hugh Freaking DillonHugh Freaking Dillon Posts: 14,010
edited April 2013 in A Moving Train
http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/judge-blasts-mandatory-prison-term-202655511.html

Judge blasts mandatory prison term
May ignore law for bullied man

By: Mike McIntyre

A Manitoba judge is considering ignoring federal legislation and overriding a mandatory prison sentence for a bullying victim who reached his breaking point and lashed out against his abusers.

Bryce McMillan, 21, pleaded guilty to reckless use of a firearm for the September 2011 incident in Carberry. He admits firing six rounds from a .22-calibre rifle into a home where one of the people he claims had frequently tormented him lived. Nobody was injured, although two people were inside the residence at the time. McMillan claims he thought the house was empty.

"A human can only take so much before they push back, and I was at the end of my rope and didn't know what else to do," McMillan told a Brandon court at his sentencing earlier this week. "My intention was to send a message and say 'back off and leave me alone.' "

Now Queen's Bench Justice John Menzies is the one considering sending a message -- all the way to Ottawa. The veteran judge blasted legislation that calls for a mandatory four-year prison sentence for this type of crime. He said it seems ridiculous to send an otherwise law-abiding citizen such as McMillan to a penitentiary, considering the unique circumstance of his crime.

"We're going to victimize this victim yet again and do it in the name of justice?" Menzies asked Crown and defence lawyers. He put them on notice he may take the rare step of issuing a "constitutional exemption" and go under the required minimum penalty first enacted in 2008. He gave lawyers until next month to come up with legal arguments on the issue.

"But for the minimum sentence we wouldn't even be talking about pen time," said Menzies. He also had strong words for RCMP and residents of Carberry, who he said have done nothing to help protect McMillan from local bullies who have made his life miserable since 2009.

McMillan's house has been painted with vulgar words and phrases and he was routinely confronted on the streets and at his workplace, court was told. No charges have ever been laid for any of the incidents against him.

Crown attorney Rich Lonstrup urged Menzies to impose the four-year sentence. He said McMillan likely would have kept firing if his gun hadn't jammed and there were 12 more rounds in the chamber, which could have had deadly consequences.

"We say this is an act of extreme recklessness," said Lonstrup. "It was also extremely cowardly."

"I agree it was cowardly. It was cowardly like being a bully," Menzies quickly replied.

Lonstrup said he sympathizes with what McMillan was subjected to but called his reaction "grossly disproportionate" and dangerous.

"For personal reasons, I get his mindset. I understand how bullying cuts right to the bone. It affects your self-esteem so badly," said Lonstrup.

"It would be hell to live in a small town with this stuff (the graffiti on his home) painted up. It would almost drive someone to do something they wouldn't normally do. Where's the justice in sending someone like this to the pen?" asked Menzies. "Here's a man who's at his last end. He's a man who has been bullied for two years and nobody, nobody did a thing about it."

McMillan has been free on bail since shortly after his arrest and under a 24-hour daily curfew with no alleged breaches. Menzies ruled this week McMillan can continue in the community pending his decision and relaxed the curfew to run only from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. McMillan has full-time employment and strong family support, including many who were present in court. He has also taken anger-management classes to help deal with some of his lingering resentment over what he's been through, court was told.

"Being in jail (for a few weeks after his arrest) was an eye-opening experience. It's not a place for me and I need to make better decisions in my life," McMillan told the judge.

www.mikeoncrime.com
Post edited by Unknown User on
Gimli 1993
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Comments

  • is the judge right in this? would it be victimizing the victim again to send him to prison? or should he be sending a message that this is not an appropriate response to bullying?

    I'm not sure if the guy deserves the 4 year minimum, but from what I understand, the judge is leaning towards no jail at all. The guy shot bullets INTO A HOUSE. He claims he thought the house was empty. Irrelevant. You don't go playing with guns to solve your problems. This isn't defence of self or property; this is vengeance. He's lucky no one got hit or worse: killed.

    I was bullied as a kid, not as an adult, so I can't speak to that. But to grab a gun and start shooting into someone's home?

    Vigilantism is not the answer.
    Gimli 1993
    Fargo 2003
    Winnipeg 2005
    Winnipeg 2011
    St. Paul 2014
  • hedonisthedonist Posts: 6,194
    Hugh Freaking Dillon" said:
    is the judge right in this? would it be victimizing the victim again to send him to prison? or should he be sending a message that this is not an appropriate response to bullying?

    I'm not sure if the guy deserves the 4 year minimum, but from what I understand, the judge is leaning towards no jail at all. The guy shot bullets INTO A HOUSE. He claims he thought the house was empty. Irrelevant. You don't go playing with guns to solve your problems. This isn't defence of self or property; this is vengeance. He's lucky no one got hit or worse: killed.

    I was bullied as a kid, not as an adult, so I can't speak to that. But to grab a gun and start shooting into someone's home?

    Vigilantism is not the answer.
    I agree with your last two sentences. This was a deliberate action to "send a message" (not to derail, but kinda like the guy in GA who took the firefighters hostage).

    As to the punishment for him (or lack thereof), I need to give that one more thought.
    For every mistake, we must surely be learning.
  • Appropriate response to bullying? Exactly what is the approriate response to bullying? We've seen suicide manifest itself... is this the response? Is harbouring the emotions and ill will until they boil over and shooting up a school such as the Columbine incident the appropriate response?

    The guy took matters into his own hands and tried to deal with the situation. Without knowing many details... I am assuming that the victim was not of the stature to ask the tormentor to simply step outside and deal with it that way. His house was even painted- this was bullying to the extreme.

    Bullies need to be on guard for their behaviour. If a few more people stood up for themselves in dramatic fashion... these assholes might think a bit before they persist in tormenting someone.

    I commend the judge for being a judge. Judges generally preside over a case and when the details have been presented making the case most certainly unique... they then refer to past judgements to make their rulings. I'm not a big fan of simply referring to precedence for these rulings. Why have a judge then? Why not just have something like a courtroom manager or clerk- very good with accumulating data and facts and then have them thumb through their manual to respond with the ruling a judge would have found anyways?
    "My brain's a good brain!"
  • Thirty Bills Unpaid" said:
    Appropriate response to bullying? Exactly what is the approriate response to bullying? We've seen suicide manifest itself... is this the response? Is harbouring the emotions and ill will until they boil over and shooting up a school such as the Columbine incident the appropriate response?

    The guy took matters into his own hands and tried to deal with the situation. Without knowing many details... I am assuming that the victim was not of the stature to ask the tormentor to simply step outside and deal with it that way. His house was even painted- this was bullying to the extreme.

    Bullies need to be on guard for their behaviour. If a few more people stood up for themselves in dramatic fashion... these assholes might think a bit before they persist in tormenting someone.

    I commend the judge for being a judge. Judges generally preside over a case and when the details have been presented making the case most certainly unique... they then refer to past judgements to make their rulings. I'm not a big fan of simply referring to precedence for these rulings. Why have a judge then? Why not just have something like a courtroom manager or clerk- very good with accumulating data and facts and then have them thumb through their manual to respond with the ruling a judge would have found anyways?
    the problem with giving this guy leniency is sending the message that this kind of behaviour is acceptable in society, which is dangerous as the next time someone decides to do this it could end up in fatalities. did the authorities fail him? sounds like it. did the justice system fail him?I don't know, it says nothing about him trying to get a restraining order of any kind, so I don't know.

    mandatory sentencing is debatable, as the reason it was implemented in the first place was to avoid judges being too lenient. I feel for the guy, I really do, but letting him off easy is not the right message to send. especially in light of all of the kids going around shooting up schools and malls because they were bullied. are we excusing them now?
    Gimli 1993
    Fargo 2003
    Winnipeg 2005
    Winnipeg 2011
    St. Paul 2014
  • Thirty Bills Unpaid" said:
    Appropriate response to bullying? Exactly what is the approriate response to bullying? We've seen suicide manifest itself... is this the response? Is harbouring the emotions and ill will until they boil over and shooting up a school such as the Columbine incident the appropriate response?
    I don't have the answer to that. But premeditated action with a gun I know for sure is NOT the answer.
    Gimli 1993
    Fargo 2003
    Winnipeg 2005
    Winnipeg 2011
    St. Paul 2014
  • pandorapandora Posts: 21,855
    I always thought of vigilantism as protecting someone innocent not reacting to someone who did
    something to you personally... that's revenge. Two very different emotions and animals.

    So this fella sought to punish someone who made his life miserable.
    Article said no charges were ever "laid" does this mean he could not press charges
    or they would not stick? This is important to his innocence and subsequent punishment.
    If he had sought out justice through the court system and got none
    then I would be more inclined to react like the judge. The fact he has no record,
    has complied with curfew, has a job, a family and took classes influences as well.
    Probation and community service is probably the answer in this case.
    Prison time certainly isn't going to make this man a better person.

    Now the bullies, let's talk their punishment. What motivates their actions is pure hate and cruelty.
    How should we punish a heart like that?

    "Judge yourself if you feel the need
    Just let me known to be
    In search of the truth myself
    There is a drop of blood on the ground
    And it seems to me that it's not my kind
    And I can't be sure if its yours or mine."
  • Hugh Freaking Dillon" said:

    the problem with giving this guy leniency is sending the message that this kind of behaviour is acceptable in society, which is dangerous as the next time someone decides to do this it could end up in fatalities. did the authorities fail him? sounds like it. did the justice system fail him?I don't know, it says nothing about him trying to get a restraining order of any kind, so I don't know.

    mandatory sentencing is debatable, as the reason it was implemented in the first place was to avoid judges being too lenient. I feel for the guy, I really do, but letting him off easy is not the right message to send. especially in light of all of the kids going around shooting up schools and malls because they were bullied. are we excusing them now?
    Hugh... I get the fact that we might send a message out to people that it is okay to defend yourselves in such a capacity; but we also might be sending a message to bullies that they might get more than they bargained for if they persist in trying to ruin someone's life. If you don't bully someone... you have nothing to fear in terms of retribution!

    We won't be excusing anyone for shooting random people (at least I hope not). In fact, as you know, I'd just as soon have people executed for wanton murder. This case is different though and stands apart from such a scenario: the victim went directly to his tormentor in the hope of making a difference for himself and tried to deal with a situation he never wanted.

    Let's not forget the bully here. As we busy ourselves with the prosecution of this guy... what is happening, in terms of legalities, to the prick that instigated this whole thing through cruel behaviour (mental torture if you will)? Are there proceedings against him or is he now the victim that we should support?
    "My brain's a good brain!"
  • BinauralJamBinauralJam Posts: 14,102
    Well i'm disappointed in this guy. If your going to get revenge on somebody, be smart about it take your time and really fuck'em over, this was a emotional spur of the moment response and he got caught. You have to stop and think sometimes.
  • pandora" said:
    I always thought of vigilantism as protecting someone innocent not reacting to someone who did
    something to you personally... that's revenge. Two very different emotions and animals.

    So this fella sought to punish someone who made his life miserable.
    Article said no charges were ever "laid" does this mean he could not press charges
    or they would not stick? This is important to his innocence and subsequent punishment.
    If he had sought out justice through the court system and got none
    then I would be more inclined to react like the judge. The fact he has no record,
    has complied with curfew, has a job, a family and took classes influences as well.
    Probation and community service is probably the answer in this case.
    Prison time certainly isn't going to make this man a better person.

    Now the bullies, let's talk their punishment. What motivates their actions is pure hate and cruelty.
    How should we punish a heart like that?
    vigilantism is defined simply as taking the law into your own hands. motive is irrelevant.
    Gimli 1993
    Fargo 2003
    Winnipeg 2005
    Winnipeg 2011
    St. Paul 2014
  • BinauralJam" said:
    Well i'm disappointed in this guy. If your going to get revenge on somebody, be smart about it take your time and really fuck'em over, this was a emotional spur of the moment response and he got caught. You have to stop and think sometimes.
    In the event you are being remotely serious (can't tell with some of your posts sometimes and I tend to get distracted by your avatar): he's not a hardened criminal. He's a guy who became desperate and confronted his tormentor. More of a reason we need leniancy in this case. If he had planned it out in great detail and exacted his revenge in Saw fashion... we might be discussing something differently.
    "My brain's a good brain!"
  • Thirty Bills Unpaid" said:

    Hugh... I get the fact that we might send a message out to people that it is okay to defend yourselves in such a capacity; but we also might be sending a message to bullies that they might get more than they bargained for if they persist in trying to ruin someone's life. If you don't bully someone... you have nothing to fear in terms of retribution!

    We won't be excusing anyone for shooting random people (at least I hope not). In fact, as you know, I'd just as soon have people executed for wanton murder. This case is different though and stands apart from such a scenario: the victim went directly to his tormentor in the hope of making a difference for himself and tried to deal with a situation he never wanted.

    Let's not forget the bully here. As we busy ourselves with the prosecution of this guy... what is happening, in terms of legalities, to the prick that instigated this whole thing through cruel behaviour (mental torture if you will)? Are there proceedings against him or is he now the victim that we should support?
    yes, I agree, it sucks that the bully(ies) seem to be getting off scott free in this case. that's horrible. and changes need to be made. we don't know what steps he took to try to get the police involved. we don't know what proof he had, or anything like that. I don't even know the adult bullying laws, if there are any, that would help a victim in this case. it's insane that the bullies were known to show up at his place of work and no one did anything? I mean, where was his boss? his co workers? someone should have called the police and charged them with harassment.

    it's hard to know without knowing all the facts. and no, the bully is in no way a victim we should support. I can only assume that was extreme sarcasm!
    Gimli 1993
    Fargo 2003
    Winnipeg 2005
    Winnipeg 2011
    St. Paul 2014
  • BinauralJamBinauralJam Posts: 14,102
    Thirty Bills Unpaid" said:
    [quote="BinauralJam"]Well i'm disappointed in this guy. If your going to get revenge on somebody, be smart about it take your time and really fuck'em over, this was a emotional spur of the moment response and he got caught. You have to stop and think sometimes.
    In the event you are being remotely serious (can't tell with some of your posts sometimes and I tend to get distracted by your avatar): he's not a hardened criminal. He's a guy who became desperate and confronted his tormentor. More of a reason we need leniancy in this case. If he had planned it out in great detail and exacted his revenge in Saw fashion... we might be discussing something differently.[/quote]

    I was being remotely serious :lol:
  • brianluxbrianlux Moving through All Kinds of Terrain.Posts: 11,033
    For many people, bullying leaves permanent mental skid marks. As a kid, I was tormented by a few people- one in particular- and at times I still feel the burn of that torment. When I think about these people it's easy at first to picture revenge but not in the form of shooting these guys but rather I picture them in my mind as being the worthless dregs that they were. Sometimes I try to imagine that these people somehow became decent folks but that image falls apart quickly. I'm guessing the one guy in particular is either dead or in jail.

    The best way to confront bullies is to build a support group- strength in numbers. That and learn a martial art. One of my extended family kids earned a black belt in Kuk Sool Won and when one of here friends was being tormented, she put that kid- an older boy- down on the ground fast without doing great physical damage. The kid will most likely think twice about picking on somebody.

    Adams Center, Missoula, MT 09/30/12
  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 13,423
    Hugh Freaking Dillon" said:
    is the judge right in this? would it be victimizing the victim again to send him to prison? or should he be sending a message that this is not an appropriate response to bullying?

    I'm not sure if the guy deserves the 4 year minimum, but from what I understand, the judge is leaning towards no jail at all. The guy shot bullets INTO A HOUSE. He claims he thought the house was empty. Irrelevant. You don't go playing with guns to solve your problems. This isn't defence of self or property; this is vengeance. He's lucky no one got hit or worse: killed.

    I was bullied as a kid, not as an adult, so I can't speak to that. But to grab a gun and start shooting into someone's home?

    Vigilantism is not the answer.
    Hugh, you and i have talked about this before i think.

    i was bullied as a kid too. up until i was a sophomore in high school. it stopped when i fought a few of them and won. i did not choose the fight, they pushed me to the point where i had no choice. that is what bullies do. it also got better when people in school started to realize that i had pretty good baseball and football skills. those things got me respect from those people that used to bully me. i channeled my alienation into becoming a good athlete. i won the starting quarterback job my junior year and took us to the final four my senior year and i earned all state honors in baseball. those honors did not make the fact that i was bullied for years go away. bullying had significant effects on me and i struggled with self confidence issues and severe anxiety for years after that. the henry rollins work "i think i know you" could have been written about me and my feelings. it wasn't until 3 years ago where i actually sought help for that and my counselor and i deduced that my issues i was dealing with were in part due to that bullying. i think that is where a lot of my fire and my anger comes from.

    every 5 years i have to face those people at my high school reunion. they try to talk to me and i just keep it superficial, because fuck them, ya know? every so often they try to add me on facebook and i decline their friend request. the astonishing thing is they keep trying to add me.

    sorry to drone on, but my point is, there are productive ways to deal with bullying. shooting up someone's house is not the way. living well is the best revenge. it is funny to see them now, all fat and bald, and unemployed. i was playing college baseball while they were still delivering pizza and being all wooderson trying to hang out with the kids that were still in high school...

    as far as punishment for this guy, i can say that i do not blame him for what he did, but there is no excuse for it. there are better ways to handle it. counseling is one. and as far as the judge goes, perhaps they have empathy for him because they may have been bullied themselves.
    "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."- Hemingway

    "i'm not here to start the fire. i am here to fan the flames..."

    If you have never failed, you have never lived.
  • gimmesometruth27" said:
    Hugh, you and i have talked about this before i think.

    i was bullied as a kid too. up until i was a sophomore in high school. it stopped when i fought a few of them and won. i did not choose the fight, they pushed me to the point where i had no choice. that is what bullies do. it also got better when people in school started to realize that i had pretty good baseball and football skills. those things got me respect from those people that used to bully me. i channeled my alienation into becoming a good athlete. i won the starting quarterback job my junior year and took us to the final four my senior year and i earned all state honors in baseball. those honors did not make the fact that i was bullied for years go away. bullying had significant effects on me and i struggled with self confidence issues and severe anxiety for years after that. the henry rollins work "i think i know you" could have been written about me and my feelings. it wasn't until 3 years ago where i actually sought help for that and my counselor and i deduced that my issues i was dealing with were in part due to that bullying. i think that is where a lot of my fire and my anger comes from.

    every 5 years i have to face those people at my high school reunion. they try to talk to me and i just keep it superficial, because fuck them, ya know? every so often they try to add me on facebook and i decline their friend request. the astonishing thing is they keep trying to add me.

    sorry to drone on, but my point is, there are productive ways to deal with bullying. shooting up someone's house is not the way. living well is the best revenge. it is funny to see them now, all fat and bald, and unemployed. i was playing college baseball while they were still delivering pizza and being all wooderson trying to hang out with the kids that were still in high school...

    as far as punishment for this guy, i can say that i do not blame him for what he did, but there is no excuse for it. there are better ways to handle it. counseling is one. and as far as the judge goes, perhaps they have empathy for him because they may have been bullied themselves.
    I was wondering the same thing; if the judge had been bullied as kid. He seemed a little overly sympathetic to this case.

    One of the losers that used to bully me in high school, saw me at a bar years later. He came up to me and asked my forgiveness. He said he's embarassed by the way he acted in school towards others, and it really affects him now. I commended him for having the balls to say that to me, and accepted his apology. Does it make all that shit go away? no, but it actually gave me some closure.

    as for the two other guys who bullied me in elementary? well, one I wrote a punk song about, the other I hope he's become a happier person. I know for a fact he was that way out of his own insecurity. I know this becuase I was the one who became his first friend when he came to our school and no one was his friend at first. That betrayal doesn't go away that easily. I actually dated his sister later on for a short time! that must have pissed him off some.
    Gimli 1993
    Fargo 2003
    Winnipeg 2005
    Winnipeg 2011
    St. Paul 2014
  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 13,423
    i am thinking that that is the reason for the sympathy. is it ethical? i don't know. i can't asnwer that, because my point of view is tainted. perhaps the judge should recuse himself from the case.

    i have only gotten an apology from one of the kids. years later one of them (they were twins) approached me in a bar. i thought he was coming to start a fight so i stood up. he just wanted to talk and said that he was sorry and that any problem he had with me was no longer there. it might have been from the beating it gave him, but he may have grown up as well. his brother went to jail for several years for beating up his girlfriend a few times. their dad was a cop, so they always got away with everything. i remember after the fight their dad called and threatened my dad. it was just fucking insane..

    i have written songs about some of those guys, but they don't deserve it. i mostly just move forward and don't look back..

    i could not date any of those guys' sisters. the sex would be too awkward :lol:
    Hugh Freaking Dillon" said:
    I was wondering the same thing; if the judge had been bullied as kid. He seemed a little overly sympathetic to this case.

    One of the losers that used to bully me in high school, saw me at a bar years later. He came up to me and asked my forgiveness. He said he's embarassed by the way he acted in school towards others, and it really affects him now. I commended him for having the balls to say that to me, and accepted his apology. Does it make all that shit go away? no, but it actually gave me some closure.

    as for the two other guys who bullied me in elementary? well, one I wrote a punk song about, the other I hope he's become a happier person. I know for a fact he was that way out of his own insecurity. I know this becuase I was the one who became his first friend when he came to our school and no one was his friend at first. That betrayal doesn't go away that easily. I actually dated his sister later on for a short time! that must have pissed him off some.
    "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."- Hemingway

    "i'm not here to start the fire. i am here to fan the flames..."

    If you have never failed, you have never lived.
  • gimmesometruth27" said:
    i could not date any of those guys' sisters. the sex would be too awkward :lol:
    never got that far! we dated very briefly, and barely saw each other. :lol:
    Gimli 1993
    Fargo 2003
    Winnipeg 2005
    Winnipeg 2011
    St. Paul 2014
  • gimmesometruth27gimmesometruth27 St. Fuckin LouisPosts: 13,423
    Hugh Freaking Dillon" said:
    [quote="gimmesometruth27"]i could not date any of those guys' sisters. the sex would be too awkward :lol:
    never got that far! we dated very briefly, and barely saw each other. :lol:[/quote]
    it might have turned out being hatesex lol...
    "There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed."- Hemingway

    "i'm not here to start the fire. i am here to fan the flames..."

    If you have never failed, you have never lived.
  • gimmesometruth27" said:
    [quote="Hugh Freaking Dillon"][quote="gimmesometruth27"]i could not date any of those guys' sisters. the sex would be too awkward :lol:
    never got that far! we dated very briefly, and barely saw each other. :lol:[/quote]
    it might have turned out being hatesex lol...[/quote]

    :lol:
    Gimli 1993
    Fargo 2003
    Winnipeg 2005
    Winnipeg 2011
    St. Paul 2014
  • Why bother going to court? The guy got bullied and then shot the house up. WTF! Should be doing some time for that. Was the gun his? Was he sure there was nobody home? Did he ring the doorbell? How did people not get charged with painting up his house? I think he should be doing some time. As it was more then reckless.
    The poison from the poison stream caught up to you five years ago and you floated out of here. Sept. 14, 08
  • chadwickchadwick up my assPosts: 19,530
    Hugh Freaking Dillon" said:

    Vigilantism is the answer.
    fixed
    for poetry through the ceiling. ISBN: 1 4241 8840 7

    "Hear me, my chiefs!
    I am tired; my heart is
    sick and sad. From where
    the sun stands I will fight
    no more forever."

    Chief Joseph - Nez Perce
  • chadwickchadwick up my assPosts: 19,530
    pandora" said:
    Now the bullies, let's talk their punishment. What motivates their actions is pure hate and cruelty.
    How should we punish a heart like that?
    difficult long months/years of extreme manual labor w/ physical exercise something just short of a navy seal, drop them in the middle of the Savannah with spears, bow & arrows, a couple pocket knives & flints.
    for poetry through the ceiling. ISBN: 1 4241 8840 7

    "Hear me, my chiefs!
    I am tired; my heart is
    sick and sad. From where
    the sun stands I will fight
    no more forever."

    Chief Joseph - Nez Perce
  • chadwickchadwick up my assPosts: 19,530
    fighting back is the truest answer you will ever have. no one has the right to lay hands on you or taunt you till your breaking point. 99.9% of all bully fuckheads should be set on fire for at least 3 seconds everyday. i fought bullies almost daily. either i was being fucked with or someone else was & it was on. fighting is nothing. defending yourself (or someone who... let's say, cannot defend themselves very well or simply will not) is something.

    i've been part of some unreal events & when bullies lose it is the greatest thing in the world. policemen love when mild mannered citizens clean frickin house & the nasty ass bullies bleed & are broken down physically & mentally. good bullies will not snitch on who just beat the crap out of them & their friends.

    life changing tragic events. i personally am pleased to be part of this.
    for poetry through the ceiling. ISBN: 1 4241 8840 7

    "Hear me, my chiefs!
    I am tired; my heart is
    sick and sad. From where
    the sun stands I will fight
    no more forever."

    Chief Joseph - Nez Perce
  • vant0037vant0037 Posts: 4,282
    I am a municipal prosecutor in the Twins Cities area. In sum, that means I deal with everything but felonies (in most Minnesota counties, felonies are handled by a County Attorney).

    I happen to believe that people are what we make them; in other words, a kid from a home with two loving parents who taught discipline and love and were able to provide for the child's needs (that's me) probably has a better shot at making it out in the world on their own, than, say, a kid from a home with parents who use drugs, fight, scream, go to jail, abuse themselves or their kids etc. In short, where people come from matters.

    At the same time, I think it's difficult to make that belief more important than the letter of the law. The law is, by necessity, inflexible, written with the idea that it should be applied impartially under certain conditions. Lawmakers add exceptions to specifically address those circumstances when the law shouldn't be applied. It's concerning that a judge would consider not applying the law in a case like this, simply because a defendant had a good explanation. If for no other reason, it gives the idea that if you believe your situation is unique enough, or that you've been abused (irrespective of whether you actually have), then you can, from time to time, take the law into your own hands and not pay a price.

    I sympathize with this kid (assuming everything he's said is true; for all we know, he was an instigator and deserved what he got and the "bullying" was just what he called it). The criminal system, if it's worth anything at all, can only address what choice you made after everything else that's happened to you. The judge can structure sentences creatively, apply exceptions (if they exist), stay sentences, or do any number of other things to "give this kid a break."

    But I happen to believe that the best we can do (on every level) when a defendant walks into court, is send the message that unless there are legal exceptions, the law still applies to you.
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  • vant0037" said:
    I am a municipal prosecutor in the Twins Cities area. In sum, that means I deal with everything but felonies (in most Minnesota counties, felonies are handled by a County Attorney).

    I happen to believe that people are what we make them; in other words, a kid from a home with two loving parents who taught discipline and love and were able to provide for the child's needs (that's me) probably has a better shot at making it out in the world on their own, than, say, a kid from a home with parents who use drugs, fight, scream, go to jail, abuse themselves or their kids etc. In short, where people come from matters.

    At the same time, I think it's difficult to make that belief more important than the letter of the law. The law is, by necessity, inflexible, written with the idea that it should be applied impartially under certain conditions. Lawmakers add exceptions to specifically address those circumstances when the law shouldn't be applied. It's concerning that a judge would consider not applying the law in a case like this, simply because a defendant had a good explanation. If for no other reason, it gives the idea that if you believe your situation is unique enough, or that you've been abused (irrespective of whether you actually have), then you can, from time to time, take the law into your own hands and not pay a price.

    I sympathize with this kid (assuming everything he's said is true; for all we know, he was an instigator and deserved what he got and the "bullying" was just what he called it). The criminal system, if it's worth anything at all, can only address what choice you made after everything else that's happened to you. The judge can structure sentences creatively, apply exceptions (if they exist), stay sentences, or do any number of other things to "give this kid a break."

    But I happen to believe that the best we can do (on every level) when a defendant walks into court, is send the message that unless there are legal exceptions, the law still applies to you.
    Nice to hear from you, Van!

    To the contrary though... I feel common sense must prevail!

    Long and true story (made short): elementary aged kid with autism is getting roughed up on a daily basis; complains to father and school; bullies are crafty though and elude punishment; father comes to school to pick child up; kid is on ground getting roughed up again; father intercedes while bullies attempt to run away; father forcefully holds one bully and kicks at another as he scampers off; teachers come to the scene.

    Now what? As I'm sure you are going to guess... father faces assault charges and they stay.

    WTF? Seriously? What was he supposed to do... just let the beating take its course and then dust his son off while patting him on the head? I complained bitterly to our local paper regarding the system's failings in this situation. If we are going to pay people in the legal system a generous wage- which we do- then let's expect a level of service. Judge. Don't just rely on someone else's judgements. You can refer to them, but look at the uniqueness of each case and judge accordingly. This guy did much less than what I would have done- hardly a criminal for defending his beaten down son.

    Don't you think?
    "My brain's a good brain!"
  • chadwickchadwick up my assPosts: 19,530
    why are we not allowed to help & protect ourselves, our loved ones or perfect strangers in a jam?
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    no more forever."

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  • vant0037" said:
    I am a municipal prosecutor in the Twins Cities area. In sum, that means I deal with everything but felonies (in most Minnesota counties, felonies are handled by a County Attorney).

    I happen to believe that people are what we make them; in other words, a kid from a home with two loving parents who taught discipline and love and were able to provide for the child's needs (that's me) probably has a better shot at making it out in the world on their own, than, say, a kid from a home with parents who use drugs, fight, scream, go to jail, abuse themselves or their kids etc. In short, where people come from matters.

    At the same time, I think it's difficult to make that belief more important than the letter of the law. The law is, by necessity, inflexible, written with the idea that it should be applied impartially under certain conditions. Lawmakers add exceptions to specifically address those circumstances when the law shouldn't be applied. It's concerning that a judge would consider not applying the law in a case like this, simply because a defendant had a good explanation. If for no other reason, it gives the idea that if you believe your situation is unique enough, or that you've been abused (irrespective of whether you actually have), then you can, from time to time, take the law into your own hands and not pay a price.

    I sympathize with this kid (assuming everything he's said is true; for all we know, he was an instigator and deserved what he got and the "bullying" was just what he called it). The criminal system, if it's worth anything at all, can only address what choice you made after everything else that's happened to you. The judge can structure sentences creatively, apply exceptions (if they exist), stay sentences, or do any number of other things to "give this kid a break."

    But I happen to believe that the best we can do (on every level) when a defendant walks into court, is send the message that unless there are legal exceptions, the law still applies to you.
    incredibly well said.
    Gimli 1993
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  • Thirty Bills Unpaid" said:


    Nice to hear from you, Van!

    To the contrary though... I feel common sense must prevail!

    Long and true story (made short): elementary aged kid with autism is getting roughed up on a daily basis; complains to father and school; bullies are crafty though and elude punishment; father comes to school to pick child up; kid is on ground getting roughed up again; father intercedes while bullies attempt to run away; father forcefully holds one bully and kicks at another as he scampers off; teachers come to the scene.

    Now what? As I'm sure you are going to guess... father faces assault charges and they stay.

    WTF? Seriously? What was he supposed to do... just let the beating take its course and then dust his son off while patting him on the head? I complained bitterly to our local paper regarding the system's failings in this situation. If we are going to pay people in the legal system a generous wage- which we do- then let's expect a level of service. Judge. Don't just rely on someone else's judgements. You can refer to them, but look at the uniqueness of each case and judge accordingly. This guy did much less than what I would have done- hardly a criminal for defending his beaten down son.

    Don't you think?
    It depends how "forceful" the father was if it's legally assault or if he was simply restraining him. Did he kick the second kid for retribution, or to get him off his son? I know, I know, what would I have done? I'd probably have beat the shit out of anyone beating up my kid, but that doesn't mean it's justified or legal.

    it's unfortunate it has come to this, but in part it had to, to protect those from unlawful force being used in civilian situations. on the other side, it's most likely part of the reason people don't want to get involved in a dispute, as they know even if they are just trying to help, if things escalate, the helper could be the ones headed off to prison. I've seen it happen, and it's terrible.
    Gimli 1993
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  • rollingsrollings aroundPosts: 5,345
    Thirty Bills Unpaid" said:

    Long and true story (made short): elementary aged kid with autism is getting roughed up on a daily basis; complains to father and school; bullies are crafty though and elude punishment; father comes to school to pick child up; kid is on ground getting roughed up again; father intercedes while bullies attempt to run away; father forcefully holds one bully and kicks at another as he scampers off; teachers come to the scene.

    also note that teachers come to the scene when the father is there.

    where the hell are they when the kid is getting roughed up. :x
    light your pillow... lay back
  • vant0037vant0037 Posts: 4,282
    Thirty Bills Unpaid" said:
    [quote="vant0037"]I am a municipal prosecutor in the Twins Cities area. In sum, that means I deal with everything but felonies (in most Minnesota counties, felonies are handled by a County Attorney).

    I happen to believe that people are what we make them; in other words, a kid from a home with two loving parents who taught discipline and love and were able to provide for the child's needs (that's me) probably has a better shot at making it out in the world on their own, than, say, a kid from a home with parents who use drugs, fight, scream, go to jail, abuse themselves or their kids etc. In short, where people come from matters.

    At the same time, I think it's difficult to make that belief more important than the letter of the law. The law is, by necessity, inflexible, written with the idea that it should be applied impartially under certain conditions. Lawmakers add exceptions to specifically address those circumstances when the law shouldn't be applied. It's concerning that a judge would consider not applying the law in a case like this, simply because a defendant had a good explanation. If for no other reason, it gives the idea that if you believe your situation is unique enough, or that you've been abused (irrespective of whether you actually have), then you can, from time to time, take the law into your own hands and not pay a price.

    I sympathize with this kid (assuming everything he's said is true; for all we know, he was an instigator and deserved what he got and the "bullying" was just what he called it). The criminal system, if it's worth anything at all, can only address what choice you made after everything else that's happened to you. The judge can structure sentences creatively, apply exceptions (if they exist), stay sentences, or do any number of other things to "give this kid a break."

    But I happen to believe that the best we can do (on every level) when a defendant walks into court, is send the message that unless there are legal exceptions, the law still applies to you.
    Nice to hear from you, Van!

    To the contrary though... I feel common sense must prevail!

    Long and true story (made short): elementary aged kid with autism is getting roughed up on a daily basis; complains to father and school; bullies are crafty though and elude punishment; father comes to school to pick child up; kid is on ground getting roughed up again; father intercedes while bullies attempt to run away; father forcefully holds one bully and kicks at another as he scampers off; teachers come to the scene.

    Now what? As I'm sure you are going to guess... father faces assault charges and they stay.

    WTF? Seriously? What was he supposed to do... just let the beating take its course and then dust his son off while patting him on the head? I complained bitterly to our local paper regarding the system's failings in this situation. If we are going to pay people in the legal system a generous wage- which we do- then let's expect a level of service. Judge. Don't just rely on someone else's judgements. You can refer to them, but look at the uniqueness of each case and judge accordingly. This guy did much less than what I would have done- hardly a criminal for defending his beaten down son.

    Don't you think?[/quote]

    While its tough to speculate on a case without all the facts, I can say that Minnesota law (most US jurisdictions in fact) carve out exceptions for the reasonable use of force in defending others. I'm curious as to why this wouldn't be one of those situations ( assuming laws are the same). My sense: there's more to the story than just dad's side. I can also say that legally, it's very easy to cross over from reasonable use of force to unreasonable.

    Anyway, just a thought.
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