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  #201  
Old 10-18-2019, 01:59 PM
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There is no way that anyone could not have expected that driving on the wrong side of the road would lead to a collusion. This was not an accident, and the only reason to call it such is to try to claim that its OK to drive a car without paying sufficient attention.
Or, you know, because she didn't intend to hit anyone. I know everything is black and white in your world, but that's not how the real world works. Let's say we go hunting for deer (in a jurisdiction where this is legal, and while observing all relevant laws). We see a deer. You raise your gun, take aim, ensure there are no humans in the area, and shoot. All intentional conduct.

Unbeknownst to you, the deer is a cardboard cut-out and the bullet passes through and kills the human standing behind it. Was the shooting an accident?
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  #202  
Old 10-18-2019, 02:10 PM
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Your claim is that she drove her car in a manner expecting to have a head on collision.
I'm claiming that it's reasonable to expect that driving on the wrong side of the road will lead to a head on collision. And I don't believe that anyone actually disagrees with that. She paid insufficient attention to what she was doing, with predictable (and tragic) results.

Or to put it another way, she drove in such a way that she should have expected a collision.
  #203  
Old 10-18-2019, 02:22 PM
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Or to put it another way, she drove in such a way that she should have expected a collision.
She thought she was on the correct side of the road. She was wrong, but she couldn't have expected a collision unless she drove on the incorrect side of the road on purpose.
  #204  
Old 10-18-2019, 02:45 PM
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She thought she was on the correct side of the road. She was wrong, but she couldn't have expected a collision unless she drove on the incorrect side of the road on purpose.
This is ridiculous. You honestly think that only someone driving on the wrong side of the road can understand that doing so is dangerous?
  #205  
Old 10-18-2019, 02:54 PM
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That's not the way the term is used in the UK (officially) these days. Here's a Wiki link, both the cites are UK organisations.
"Some organizations" doesn't demonstrate anything about the official meaning of the term in UK law. It doesn't even indicate if these organizations are government or law enforcement organizations. And "some" would also indicate that there are other organizations - arguably more organizations, depending on the denotations of "some" - that do use "accident" to describe this sort of event.

Quote:
As for the meaning of the word "accident" a basic Google search gives this -

Quote:
1. an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally, typically resulting in damage or injury.

2. an event that happens by chance or that is without apparent or deliberate cause.
This event was neither unexpected nor without apparent cause, and was therefore not an accident. It did not happen by chance, it happen because one person acted in a way prohibited by law.
Did the woman expect to hit another car when she went out driving that day? No, she did not. It was an unexpected and unintentional outcome of her inattentiveness.

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I don't think I'm being needlessly pedantic here, I think it's important to realise that incidents like this are not simply unfortunate chance but are directly caused by, and preventable by, specific individuals.
I don't mind your pedantry, except in that it's entirely wrong, as demonstrated by your own cites.
  #206  
Old 10-18-2019, 02:54 PM
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This is ridiculous.
We are in total agreement.
  #207  
Old 10-18-2019, 02:57 PM
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This is ridiculous. You honestly think that only someone driving on the wrong side of the road can understand that doing so is dangerous?
No, he's saying that for her to realize how dangerous it was for her to drive on the wrong side of the road, she would have had to be cognizant that she was on the wrong side of the road in the first place. If she thought she was on the correct side of the road, she would have no reason to expect to get in a head-on accident. Therefore, the accident was unexpected.
  #208  
Old 10-18-2019, 03:38 PM
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Whether or not you call it an accident doesn't of itself exculpate someone from responsibility (in English criminal law), nor (of itself) does a lack of intention.
  #209  
Old 10-18-2019, 04:50 PM
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If this was a first time in the UK French tourist, what do you think the criminal penalty would be?
  #210  
Old 10-18-2019, 05:34 PM
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If this was a first time in the UK French tourist, what do you think the criminal penalty would be?
Unless there was some other factor that we are not privvy to like she was DUI - a lengthy ban and a substantial fine.
  #211  
Old 10-18-2019, 07:08 PM
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That's about what I'd figure, at most. We just had a story where an American driver in British Columbia hit a woman and dragged her under the car a few blocks. The police on the scene seemed to think it didn't warrant charges and he was free to leave the country - no diplomatic immunity required.

Eta: though there may be follow up:
https://bc.ctvnews.ca/mobile/woman-h...rash-1.4636119

Last edited by CarnalK; 10-18-2019 at 07:12 PM.
  #212  
Old 10-18-2019, 07:15 PM
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Sorry, he was held briefly but then released, not free to go from the scene.
  #213  
Old 10-23-2019, 10:58 PM
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Video has emerged suggesting the woman was stepping over the trailer hitch when the driver put the car in gear and drove off. If so, he may not even have known about the woman until he came to a stop some blocks later.

https://bc.ctvnews.ca/mobile/video-c...-say-1.4650574
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  #214  
Old 10-24-2019, 05:12 PM
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Sorry, he was held briefly but then released, not free to go from the scene.
On what basis was he not free to go? If he's not charged with anything, the police can't restrict his movements.
  #215  
Old 10-24-2019, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Steophan View Post
I'm claiming that it's reasonable to expect that driving on the wrong side of the road will lead to a head on collision. And I don't believe that anyone actually disagrees with that. She paid insufficient attention to what she was doing, with predictable (and tragic) results.

Or to put it another way, she drove in such a way that she should have expected a collision.
Are you making the case for a specific offense? Or are you just saying she has moral culpability, and should have been paying closer attention/taken greater care regarding the possibility of making this error?

Specific offenses have mental state requirements, and link the mental state to something specific. Without knowing the particular offense, it's hard to discuss what mental state would lead to criminal liability.
  #216  
Old 10-24-2019, 08:20 PM
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On what basis was he not free to go? If he's not charged with anything, the police can't restrict his movements.
You're a funny, funny guy. I assume the basis was "we're deciding whether to charge him" camouflaged with "we really need you to come down to the station for sone questions".

Last edited by CarnalK; 10-24-2019 at 08:21 PM.
  #217  
Old 10-24-2019, 08:33 PM
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Are you making the case for a specific offense? Or are you just saying she has moral culpability, and should have been paying closer attention/taken greater care regarding the possibility of making this error?

Specific offenses have mental state requirements, and link the mental state to something specific. Without knowing the particular offense, it's hard to discuss what mental state would lead to criminal liability.
The mental state would be recklessness or negligence, and the offence one involving either reckless or dangerous driving.

Dangerous driving does not require that the intent be to drive dangerously, just that a competent and careful driver would know that it was dangerous. I would argue that any competent and careful driver would know which side of the road to drive on, and that it is extremely dangerous to drive on the other.

Causing death by dangerous driving is a serious crime, with punsihment of up to 14 years imprisonment.

In short, being careless about which side of the road you drive on is very much illegal, and I would say that the several people here who've said how easy it is should reflect on how much care they take when driving.
  #218  
Old 10-24-2019, 10:00 PM
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You're a funny, funny guy. I assume the basis was "we're deciding whether to charge him" camouflaged with "we really need you to come down to the station for sone questions".
perhaps I misunderstood you. But if the police have released him without charges, they have no power to tell him he can't leave the area.

Or were you meaning when they initially contacted him at the scene of the accident? But even then, absent an arrest, they have no power to compel him to come to the police station for questioning.
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  #219  
Old 10-24-2019, 10:51 PM
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What I mean is: repeating what my linked CTV article reported. I don't get what you're questioning me about.
  #220  
Old 10-25-2019, 01:35 AM
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perhaps I misunderstood you. But if the police have released him without charges, they have no power to tell him he can't leave the area.
....
Yes, Police can and do tell you not to leave the jurisdiction without charges filed, they even confiscate passports.
  #221  
Old 10-25-2019, 07:37 AM
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Yes, Police can and do tell you not to leave the jurisdiction without charges filed, they even confiscate passports.
The police can tell you that, but I don't think they have any recourse if you leave. They can say a lot of things that aren't true. And I don't believe they can confiscate a passport without a court order.
  #222  
Old 10-25-2019, 09:20 PM
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The mental state would be recklessness or negligence, and the offence one involving either reckless or dangerous driving.

Dangerous driving does not require that the intent be to drive dangerously, just that a competent and careful driver would know that it was dangerous. I would argue that any competent and careful driver would know which side of the road to drive on, and that it is extremely dangerous to drive on the other.

Causing death by dangerous driving is a serious crime, with punsihment of up to 14 years imprisonment.

In short, being careless about which side of the road you drive on is very much illegal, and I would say that the several people here who've said how easy it is should reflect on how much care they take when driving.
Thank you. It does look like those laws are based on criminal negligence. Here in the US, it is unususal, I think, for serious offenses to be based on anything less than recklessness. Traffic violations can be based on negligence or may be strict liability, but typically crimes require at least a reckless mental state. (There are exceptions.)

So, here, that kind of crash would probably not lead to serious charges unless there was recklessness, which requires a conscious (subjective -- actual) disregard of the risk of serious harm. A driver responsible for such a crash would have civil liability for their negligence, but might not have criminal liability unless they had been drinking, knew they were sleepy, or some other additional factor showing recklessness leading up to the crash.

Last edited by eschrodinger; 10-25-2019 at 09:21 PM.
  #223  
Old 10-26-2019, 12:44 AM
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It is perhaps getting close to "how many angels on a pinhead' territory, but the distinction in the UK is between "careless" and "dangerous" driving. The underlying assumption is that, to be careless, you don't need to have made a conscious decision to weigh up risks and proceed to ignore them - you ought to have been aware of them anyway, and therefore to allow yourself to [do whatever] is ipso facto "careless".

Upthread I linked to the sentencing guidelines. It's relevant to this point to post the link again (AIUI, your concept of "recklessness" would more likely come into play as a factor in sentencing):

https://www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk...t-for-web1.pdf

Last edited by PatrickLondon; 10-26-2019 at 12:48 AM.
  #224  
Old 10-31-2019, 12:39 AM
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I can't believe the fuss over this matter, when there's such a simple and effective way of dealing with it.
Note that, as a consular officer, South Africa (not McAllister himself) could not invoke diplomatic immunity for actions outside his official duties, which duties would certainly not include drug smuggling and murder.
  #225  
Old 10-31-2019, 09:51 AM
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Yes, Police can and do tell you not to leave the jurisdiction without charges filed, they even confiscate passports.
In Canada?
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  #226  
Old 10-31-2019, 10:09 AM
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She thought she was on the correct side of the road. She was wrong, but she couldn't have expected a collision unless she drove on the incorrect side of the road on purpose.
Great to know that next time I'm drunk driving, because I think I'm a great driver when drunk, that the fact I couldn't have expected a collision mean I should get off easy when I kill someone.
  #227  
Old 10-31-2019, 10:53 AM
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Meanwhile:

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Police investigating the death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn have interviewed crash suspect Anne Sacoolas in the US.

Mr Dunn died in hospital after the collision outside RAF Croughton in Northamptonshire in August.

His parents have been campaigning for justice after Mrs Sacoolas, 42, the wife of a US diplomat, returned to the US claiming diplomatic immunity.

Northamptonshire Police said details of the interview will be passed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Supt Sarah Johnson said: "We can confirm that we have completed an interview of the suspect in connection with the death of Harry Dunn, the details of which will be provided to the CPS for consideration alongside the rest of the evidential file already submitted."
Dunn's parents are not happy, saying that "developments leave us with more questions than answers".
  #228  
Old 10-31-2019, 06:51 PM
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Great to know that next time I'm drunk driving, because I think I'm a great driver when drunk, that the fact I couldn't have expected a collision mean I should get off easy when I kill someone.
No, because the argument is what a reasonable person with full knowledge of the facts known to you would have concluded. You know you have consumed a quantity of alcohol, and a reasonable person would think that quantity of alcohol impairs judgment and a collision is a foreseeable consequence.

For an analogous situation, you'd have to start with somebody who did not know they had alcohol in their system (maybe a gut brewer, or the target of a nasty prank).
  #229  
Old 10-31-2019, 07:21 PM
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Meanwhile:



Dunn's parents are not happy, saying that "developments leave us with more questions than answers".
What "justice" do they want? A American Diplomat in prison for five years because of a stupid mistake?
  #230  
Old 10-31-2019, 07:35 PM
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What "justice" do they want? A American Diplomat in prison for five years because of a stupid mistake?
It's hard to tell. It's possible that some lawyers have scented the possibility of cash payouts, but that is pure speculation.

I do get a sense that while most people sympathise, they are milking it a bit.
  #231  
Old 10-31-2019, 08:30 PM
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Great to know that next time I'm drunk driving, because I think I'm a great driver when drunk, that the fact I couldn't have expected a collision mean I should get off easy when I kill someone.
Here, it is common to have a law that specifically says that voluntary intoxication is not a defense. So if you knowingly or voluntarily got drunk and then drove recklessly, you can't say, well, my judgment was impaired by the alcohol, so I didn't realize I was creating a risk of serious harm. My jurisdiction has a law like that.

As I think I said in a previous post, I think there would likely be criminal liability in the US if she had been drinking or perhaps if she got behind the wheel knowing she was sleepy -- some linked reckless act. But because recklessness requires knowledge of and disregard of the risk, it doesn't really fit here. If she drove on the wrong side on purpose, she was suicidal or homicidal, and it was intentional conduct. If she was not either of those, then as soon as she realized the risk -- that she was on the wrong side of the road -- she would have corrected it.

Last edited by eschrodinger; 10-31-2019 at 08:32 PM.
  #232  
Old 11-01-2019, 06:44 AM
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Great to know that next time I'm drunk driving, because I think I'm a great driver when drunk, that the fact I couldn't have expected a collision mean I should get off easy when I kill someone.
This analogy would be good if she believed she'd be fine driving on the wrong side of the road.

Since she didn't believe that, this analogy isn't good.
  #233  
Old 11-01-2019, 01:01 PM
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What "justice" do they want?
Probably, their kid back. Which is impossible, and all, but I don't really blame people for not acting rationally in their circumstances.
  #234  
Old 11-15-2019, 06:04 AM
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Another side to the whole the situation from Private Eye:

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RAF Croughton

IT IS hardly surprising the US is reluctant to see Anne Sacoolas put on trial in a UK court over the death of 19-year-old Harry Dunn in a crash outside “RAF” Croughton, given what goes on inside the Northamptonshire base.

Sacoolas left the UK shortly after the August crash, initially claiming “diplomatic immunity” because her husband works at Croughton, described as housing an “annexe of the US embassy”. But that is not quite the true picture. The base is a major CIA/Pentagon communications and signals intelligence centre. It is not staffed by diplomats; Sacoolas’s husband is an intelligence officer. It has satellite and fibre-optic links to US bases around the world and to the UK’s own signals intelligence-gathering and eavesdropping headquarters, GCHQ, in Cheltenham.

Air strikes by drones

From Croughton, with British connivance, more than 200 US personnel control and monitor US air strikes by drones based in Djibouti on the Red Sea, including attacks on targets in Yemen and Somalia. The base is also the hub of a CIA/American National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance network, intercepting communications throughout Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. It was from there, for example, that the Americans were found to have tapped into the mobile phones of prominent politicians, including German chancellor Angela Merkel.

The US also describes “RAF” Croughton (under the purely nominal command of a British officer) as the home of its 422nd Air Base Group. But that, too, is just another cover, designed to hide its CIA/NSA activities. However, under the 1952 Visiting Forces Act, which covers the US bases in Britain, military personnel come under the jurisdiction of the British police and Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for any action outside their bases.

Seeking justice

After Donald Trump’s botched attempt last month to broker a resolution, when Harry Dunn’s family visited Washington seeking justice for their son, it seems the US has now dropped all pretence at “immunity”. The fact that the UK police have now been to the US to interview Sacoolas and submitted a file to the CPS would suggest that they may also drop any argument that the 1952 act does not apply to civilian operatives.

Reports in both the UK and US suggest those representing Sacoolas might now be looking to negotiate some kind of plea deal – which might prevent scrutiny in court of what staff do at Croughton. It’s clear that neither the US nor British intelligence agencies would welcome such attention. Not least because the US hopes to expand Croughton and set up a “joint intelligence analysis centre”, a headquarters for all American intelligence communications in Europe and Africa.

Last edited by GreenWyvern; 11-15-2019 at 06:07 AM.
  #235  
Old 11-15-2019, 11:30 AM
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Another side to the whole the situation from Private Eye:
"Seeking justice"? I still dont see what "Justice" they are seeking.
  #236  
Old 11-15-2019, 12:36 PM
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"Seeking justice"? I still dont see what "Justice" they are seeking.
The same as would apply to anyone else who didn't benefit from diplomatic immunity, I would assume.
  #237  
Old 11-15-2019, 12:49 PM
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"Seeking justice"? I still dont see what "Justice" they are seeking.
Presumably they want someone held accountable. Do you think Sacoolas should escape without any consequences? Should she not be financially liable for what is at a minimum her negligence?
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