Monday, August 14, 2006


Misuse of power

I am thinking that this case is a misuse of power by the judge.

Under a rarely used law that allows the state to charge a person with murder for providing drugs that kill someone else, the boy had been charged with second-degree murder, but both prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed that Croom could consider the lesser charge when he made his ruling...

Apparently the boy, who allegedly only provided Ecstasy to this mélange of drugs, was too slow to provide assistance to his teenage friend. The arguments breakdown something like this:

Defense attorneys argued during the trial that Hicks' was a habitual drug user, that there were several drugs in Hicks' body when she died and that there was no way to determine which one actually killed her. Witnesses also testified that Hicks' mother, at one point, had allegedly shared marijuana and the prescription drug Xanax with her daughter and friends, including the defendant.

But prosecutors said the case is simply about the law.

"People need to know this law is out there," said prosecutor Melanie Shekita after the verdict was read. "People who distribute drugs need to know they can be prosecuted for that. It shouldn't be about the victim's drug use. Every person in North Carolina is entitled to equal protection of the law."

Do individuals actually assume any risk in their actions? It seems like far too convenient of a verdict for little more reasoning than the fact that it is a rarely used, rather unknown law.

What is the appropriate approach to any other potentially harmful and risky good or service? What about guns, knives, cars, coat-hangers, alcohol, and aerosol cans?

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