Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

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Dominus Atheos
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Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by Dominus Atheos » 2014-11-21 10:36am

http://m.ajc.com/news/news/man-gets-12- ... gwi/nh8sT/
So that’s the going price for taking an innocent life?

$500 and a year’s probation?

In January, Rodrigo Diaz, his girlfriend and two others pulled into a Gwinnett driveway to pick up a friend to go skating. Unknown to them, it turned out to be the wrong driveway, the driveway of Phillip Sailors.

Sailors came out of his home armed with a .22 pistol. He fired a warning shot, and then, as Diaz tried frantically to drive away, Sailors fired the next shot into Diaz’s head, killing the 22-year-old Georgia Tech student who had immigrated here from Colombia.

When Lilburn police officers arrived, they arrested Diaz’ girlfriend and the other two survivors in the car, handcuffed them and held them overnight.

On Monday, the case was resolved when the 70-year-old Sailors pleaded guilty to the much lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. As part of the plea deal cut by Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter, Sailors was charged a $500 fine and given a year’s probation, an outcome that the Diaz family supported.

“There is no point for him to be in lifetime in prison,” Diaz’ brother David said . “What we get from that? Nothing. Like my dad said, we don’t hold any grudge.” (The Diaz family had earlier negotiated a settlement in civil case filed against Sailors and his insurance company.)

I admire the forgiveness demonstrated by the Diaz family, but I cannot say that I entirely share it. As David Diaz noted, putting an elderly Vietnam veteran such as Sailors into prison for the rest of his life does no one any good, but a small fine and probation sends a dangerous message of its own. It minimizes the gravity of what occurred and contributes to the sense that Sailors did nothing all that wrong, and that others in similar situation can act in a similar manner.

I’m sorry: You do not have the right to shoot someone who pulls into your driveway by mistake. If you pull a gun on someone and use it in a recklessly fatal manner, shooting and killing an innocent person as they attempt to flee your property, as the police reports allege Sailors did, you should not get off pretty much scot-free. Using a gun on someone is serious, serious business.

Furthermore, your own misguided fear is no justification and no excuse for ending the life of another human being. As an adult, you are responsible for how you handle that fear and how you act upon it. When you choose to pick up a firearm, you become responsible for the consequences, and when you make a series of conscious decisions that end with you taking the life of an innocent person, you should face the consequences.

For the mistake of pulling into the wrong driveway, Rodrigo Diaz paid with his life. For the mistake of shooting Diaz and taking his life, Phillip Sailors paid a $500 fine.

That’s not justice.
So I like to say that I think police should be held to the same standards as private citizens when they shoot someone. I guess this story proves that they are. So, mea culpa.

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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by Grumman » 2014-11-21 12:08pm

“There is no point for him to be in lifetime in prison,” Diaz’ brother David said . “What we get from that? Nothing. Like my dad said, we don’t hold any grudge.” (The Diaz family had earlier negotiated a settlement in civil case filed against Sailors and his insurance company.)

I admire the forgiveness demonstrated by the Diaz family, but I cannot say that I entirely share it. As David Diaz noted, putting an elderly Vietnam veteran such as Sailors into prison for the rest of his life does no one any good...
What a load of bullshit. Putting Sailors into prison for the rest of his life does us a lot of good, because it renders Sailors incapable of doing it again. Even if his account of his motivation is correct, he is demonstrably too stupid to be allowed to walk free.

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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by Kamakazie Sith » 2014-11-21 12:15pm

Cops are arrested, charged, and convicted all the time. However, compared to the general public police are convicted less and when they are convicted they are incarcerated less and spend less time in prison.

CONVICTIONS
Police - 36%
General Public - 68%

INCARCERATED AFTER CONVICTION
Police - 35%
General Public - 70%

AVERAGE TIME SPENT IN PRISON
Police - 34 months
General Public - 48 months.

------------------------------------------

Anyway, it seems this is another instance of someone forgetting the "public safety" part of law enforcement.
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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by amigocabal » 2014-11-21 02:44pm

Grumman wrote:
“There is no point for him to be in lifetime in prison,” Diaz’ brother David said . “What we get from that? Nothing. Like my dad said, we don’t hold any grudge.” (The Diaz family had earlier negotiated a settlement in civil case filed against Sailors and his insurance company.)

I admire the forgiveness demonstrated by the Diaz family, but I cannot say that I entirely share it. As David Diaz noted, putting an elderly Vietnam veteran such as Sailors into prison for the rest of his life does no one any good...
What a load of bullshit. Putting Sailors into prison for the rest of his life does us a lot of good, because it renders Sailors incapable of doing it again. Even if his account of his motivation is correct, he is demonstrably too stupid to be allowed to walk free.
Sadly, there are too many people who fully swallow the bullshit being preached that criminals are victims of society, how society is to blame, that they really did not have a choice. I can only imagine what these "usual suspects" would say about Sailors.

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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by Kon_El » 2014-11-21 03:26pm

Grumman wrote: What a load of bullshit. Putting Sailors into prison for the rest of his life does us a lot of good, because it renders Sailors incapable of doing it again. Even if his account of his motivation is correct, he is demonstrably too stupid to be allowed to walk free.
As a convicted felon he is no longer allowed to own a firearm.

His lawyer claims the car was moving towards him when he fired the shot.
http://patch.com/georgia/lilburn/attorn ... de19ddb6eb
According to the civil suit "Mr. Diaz turned his automobile around in the driveway" so it might be plausible.
http://www.mcdonaldcody.com/intentional ... ial-amount

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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-11-21 04:40pm

Kamakazie Sith wrote:Cops are arrested, charged, and convicted all the time. However, compared to the general public police are convicted less and when they are convicted they are incarcerated less and spend less time in prison.

CONVICTIONS
Police - 36%
General Public - 68%

INCARCERATED AFTER CONVICTION
Police - 35%
General Public - 70%

AVERAGE TIME SPENT IN PRISON
Police - 34 months
General Public - 48 months.
------------------------------------------
Anyway, it seems this is another instance of someone forgetting the "public safety" part of law enforcement.
The conviction rate would ideally not be as high for police as for the general public; one would hope that more of the cases where charges are filed against police would be the product of a mistake that can be proven at trial.

Having the conviction rate for police be half as high, though... not so much.

As to the others, the percentage of incarcerations should be comparable, I would think. The average time spent in prison could be anything, because I doubt police commit the same crimes as the general "arrested/convicted" prison population. You might have, for example, more people in jail for taking a bribe and less people in jail for possessing cocaine.
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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by TheHammer » 2014-11-21 05:00pm

Kon_El wrote:
Grumman wrote: What a load of bullshit. Putting Sailors into prison for the rest of his life does us a lot of good, because it renders Sailors incapable of doing it again. Even if his account of his motivation is correct, he is demonstrably too stupid to be allowed to walk free.
As a convicted felon he is no longer allowed to own a firearm.

His lawyer claims the car was moving towards him when he fired the shot.
http://patch.com/georgia/lilburn/attorn ... de19ddb6eb
According to the civil suit "Mr. Diaz turned his automobile around in the driveway" so it might be plausible.
http://www.mcdonaldcody.com/intentional ... ial-amount
Actually, according to this it was misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter...

Incredibly fucking light sentence even if you give Sailors the benefit of the doubt. Fines for reckless driving are typically higher than that...

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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by bobalot » 2014-11-21 05:57pm

Kon_El wrote:
Grumman wrote: What a load of bullshit. Putting Sailors into prison for the rest of his life does us a lot of good, because it renders Sailors incapable of doing it again. Even if his account of his motivation is correct, he is demonstrably too stupid to be allowed to walk free.
As a convicted felon he is no longer allowed to own a firearm.

His lawyer claims the car was moving towards him when he fired the shot.
http://patch.com/georgia/lilburn/attorn ... de19ddb6eb
According to the civil suit "Mr. Diaz turned his automobile around in the driveway" so it might be plausible.
http://www.mcdonaldcody.com/intentional ... ial-amount
I don't think so.
Porter said Monday the case was either a murder or misdemeanor involuntary manslaughter. But while he said ballistic evidence did not support Sailors’ version that he shot Diaz because he feared the car was trying to run him over, the then-69-year-old man was a sympathetic defendant because he didn’t even have a record of traffic violation, Porter said.
I can't help but feel that if the defendant was a black man, the outcome of this would be far different.
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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by Arthur_Tuxedo » 2014-11-21 07:24pm

amigocabal wrote:Sadly, there are too many people who fully swallow the bullshit being preached that criminals are victims of society, how society is to blame, that they really did not have a choice. I can only imagine what these "usual suspects" would say about Sailors.
Never once in my life have I ever heard anyone say that. I'm pretty sure that's a conservative bogeyman for liberals.
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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by amigocabal » 2014-11-21 08:28pm

Arthur_Tuxedo wrote:
amigocabal wrote:Sadly, there are too many people who fully swallow the bullshit being preached that criminals are victims of society, how society is to blame, that they really did not have a choice. I can only imagine what these "usual suspects" would say about Sailors.
Never once in my life have I ever heard anyone say that. I'm pretty sure that's a conservative bogeyman for liberals.
Sadly, such people do exist. One of them, in fact, had been governor of Massachusetts. When the Legislature had passed a bill abolishing furloughs for persons convicted of first-degree murders, he had the gall to actually veto it, saying that it would "cut the heart out of efforts at inmate rehabilitation". It is beyond a doubt that people like that existed, and such people would have thought a $500 fine in this instance would be too harsh a punishment.

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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by KlavoHunter » 2014-11-21 09:05pm

"“There is no point for him to be in lifetime in prison,” Diaz’ brother David said . “What we get from that? Nothing. Like my dad said, we don’t hold any grudge.” (The Diaz family had earlier negotiated a settlement in civil case filed against Sailors and his insurance company.)"


I get the feeling these people hated their kid.
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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by PKRudeBoy » 2014-11-21 09:45pm

amigocabal wrote:
Arthur_Tuxedo wrote:
amigocabal wrote:Sadly, there are too many people who fully swallow the bullshit being preached that criminals are victims of society, how society is to blame, that they really did not have a choice. I can only imagine what these "usual suspects" would say about Sailors.
Never once in my life have I ever heard anyone say that. I'm pretty sure that's a conservative bogeyman for liberals.
Sadly, such people do exist. One of them, in fact, had been governor of Massachusetts. When the Legislature had passed a bill abolishing furloughs for persons convicted of first-degree murders, he had the gall to actually veto it, saying that it would "cut the heart out of efforts at inmate rehabilitation". It is beyond a doubt that people like that existed, and such people would have thought a $500 fine in this instance would be too harsh a punishment.
Thing is, except for extreme outliers, every person I know who goes the 'victims of society' route is explicitly talking about people who go into crime because of an utter lack of other opportunities, or those who become violent because they grew up in a broken home and never learned any better. Both of which are absolutely real things, and both are in fact cases of society failing the perp.

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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by Zaune » 2014-11-21 09:58pm

There might be details we're not being told. Maybe the war fucked this Sailors guy up in the head, or there'd been a rash of home-invasion robberies in the neighbourhood?
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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-11-21 11:02pm

amigocabal wrote:Sadly, such people do exist. One of them, in fact, had been governor of Massachusetts. When the Legislature had passed a bill abolishing furloughs for persons convicted of first-degree murders, he had the gall to actually veto it, saying that it would "cut the heart out of efforts at inmate rehabilitation".
So... basically, you're asserting that it should be illegal to ever furlough any prisoner who committed a premeditated murder after the age of eighteen. Right?

Because that doesn't strike me as an open-and-shut case for you to make.
It is beyond a doubt that people like that existed, and such people would have thought a $500 fine in this instance would be too harsh a punishment.
Oh, bullshit.

Name one person who actually thinks that. One. Just one.

Otherwise, stop playing strawman and asserting "without a doubt" that there exist utterly insane people who conveniently just happen to believe a political position you yourself despise. And that they are somehow politically relevant.
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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by Grumman » 2014-11-22 12:04am

Zaune wrote:There might be details we're not being told. Maybe the war fucked this Sailors guy up in the head, or there'd been a rash of home-invasion robberies in the neighbourhood?
At best, that is an argument that he should spend the rest of his life in a nicer sort of prison. I can forgive this kind of mistake when there's a drunk covered in blood and banging on your door at 2 AM in the morning, but not when it's just some visitor parking in your driveway. Unless Diaz's identical twin brother was the one committing those robberies, assuming every visitor is that robber and killing them as they try to flee clearly marks you as someone who must be rendered incapable of murdering innocent people.

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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by sarevok2 » 2014-11-22 08:44pm

Hypothetical question what if people start shooting back at deranged homeowners.Like you see your friend killed by some asshole sovereign citizen shitlord who thinks his lawn is its own country and decide to ventilate the fucker with your legally purchased AR-15 that you open carry because its Murrica.
Last edited by sarevok2 on 2014-11-22 08:45pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by Borgholio » 2014-11-22 08:44pm

sarevok2 wrote:Hypothetical question what if people start shooting back at deranged homeowners.
Then more people die and more people are brought up on murder charges. Deranged does not always equal dangerous.
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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by PKRudeBoy » 2014-11-22 08:50pm

Borgholio wrote:
sarevok2 wrote:Hypothetical question what if people start shooting back at deranged homeowners.
Then more people die and more people are brought up on murder charges. Deranged does not always equal dangerous.
Considering he said shooting back, I think dangerous can be assumed.

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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by Borgholio » 2014-11-22 09:12pm

He never said that these deranged individuals were actually shooting at them though. Small nitpick I know, but it's an important one...and is entirely the problem with the scenario. Some old dude sees a car of young strangers pull up in the driveway and comes out with a gun in his hands. Not waiting for him to shoot first, someone in the car pulls out a handgun and kills him. Is that a good thing? How about if the homeowner fires a warning shot instead and gets blown away because of it? More guns are not the answer because some idiot 23 year old could find any excuse for pulling out a gun and shooting someone.

In this specific instance, shooting back MIGHT be justified since the homeowner just came out and started shooting without any warning but how often is that actually going to happen?
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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by General Zod » 2014-11-22 10:29pm

sarevok2 wrote:Hypothetical question what if people start shooting back at deranged homeowners.Like you see your friend killed by some asshole sovereign citizen shitlord who thinks his lawn is its own country and decide to ventilate the fucker with your legally purchased AR-15 that you open carry because its Murrica.
Everybody involved ends up doing 25 to life? Injection table if they're black.
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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by PKRudeBoy » 2014-11-22 11:00pm

I don't think more guns are the answer, but warning shots are illegal pretty much everywhere, although Florida may soon allow them because well Floriduh. Which IMO, is completely reasonable. You really should not be pulling a trigger (outside of practice) unless you are prepared to kill someone in defense of your life or others lives. Hell, even people on gun forums with Molon fucking Labe in their sigs realize this. If you feel that a situation is serious enough to discharge a firearm, then you should be shooting at center body mass instead of the air.

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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by General Zod » 2014-11-23 12:13am

On the other hand there was that Florida woman sentenced to twenty minimum for firing a warning shot into the ceiling.
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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-11-23 01:41am

I feel that banning warning shots in the case of someone who is actually in fear of their life discriminates against those with less killing instinct. Those who are being approached by someone who sees the gun and (perhaps out of insane arrogance) decides to ignore it because "you don't have the guts to pull that trigger."

And if they actively try NOT to kill someone, suddenly they're an evil criminal instead of a person trying to protect themselves. Even though we already know quite well that in open warfare against armed enemies of their country, the typical person will routinely shoot to miss.
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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by Kon_El » 2014-11-23 06:13am

General Zod wrote:On the other hand there was that Florida woman sentenced to twenty minimum for firing a warning shot into the ceiling.
The bullet ended up in the ceiling but it was fired at his head. Both the husband and wife lied about it in an attempt to keep her out of jail but the forensics proved otherwise.

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Re: Take an innocent life, pay a $500 fine

Post by General Zod » 2014-11-23 09:56am

I could agree to jail sentences, but mandatory minimums are bullshit.
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