Monday, May 10, 2010

A Jury and a Jester.

Don't know if anyone saw this update from the Associated Press. It's about the woman who killed a motorcyclist by running into the back of her bike. The woman SUV driver was painting her nails at the time. Yes, while driving. Here's the latest story from Chicago.

"After hearing two days of testimony, a Lake County jury has convicted a woman who was painting her nails while driving when she struck and killed a motorcyclist at a red light.

Lora Hunt, of Morris, Ill., was found guilty of reckless homicide in the death of Anita Zaffke in Lake Zurich, Ill., on May 2, 2009.

During his closing argument, Hunt's lawyer said Hunt has admitted that painting her nails was a 'stupid, stupid, thing.' But Jeff Tomczak argued that it was no different than eating a sandwich, talking on a cell phone or tending to a baby.

"She was negligent, not reckless," Tomczak said. "She can't be found guilty".

I'm pleased that the jury did the right thing. Notice they found the woman guilty of homicide, not manslaughter. Good for them. Not that it will replace the loss for Ms. Zaffke's family. It's still a travesty but there's some comfort when justice is done. We are still awaiting the sentence.

As to the defense lawyer, what can I say? I'm totally outraged. His client didn't just bump into something or have a fender bender. She freakin' killed somebody!! Let's cuff him to a bicycle with the wheels chained to the pavement in the middle of an intersection. Then we'll rope off several blocks which we will fill with rich bitches doing their nails while driving their big SUV's. Wonder if he will get a different definition of negligent and reckless?

I have to tell you a quick story about a defense lawyer who tried to take me on when I was testifying in court on a rape case.

This defense lawyer, Ralph Newsome, tried to make a case that a woman couldn't be raped because a guy couldn't ( I'm sorry, there's no other way to put this ) penetrate her without her consent. To "prove" his point he handed me a pencil and told me to come stand in front of the witness stand. Then Mr. Newsome picked up a coffee cup. I was then instructed to stick the pencil in the cup. Seriously. Mr. Newsome pranced around moving the cup every which way. After a few attempts and tired of being played for a fool, I made my move. Macho cop style.

I grabbed the asshole by the neck and squeezed hard.

"Hold that fucking cup still or I'll kill you!", I yelled at him.

Newsome froze. Plunk went the pencil into the cup.

"That, Mr. Newsome, is how rape works."

Fortunately the judge didn't care much for Mr. Newsome, either, so there were no retributions for me. The suspect was convicted just like Lora Hunt. Despite the defense lawyers.

I just wonder when the insanity will all end and people will start taking their driving more seriously. Unfortunately, that's probably a pipe dream. Depressing, isn't it? What's even more depressing is the existence of people like Jeff Tomczak.

Take care of yourselves out there. Please.



Th3Guns1ing3r said...

Not meaning to ignore the point or the seriousness of this posting or either case discussed, but that has to be the best court story I have ever heard.

mq01 said...

hmmm. she rightfully got homicide for killing an innocent motorist who unfortunately got in the way of her car and her pink nail polish (or was it red).

everyone has the right to representation and to the best defense available. but i have no other nice words here, if that lawyer really used those analogies, then he's just as shameful as his defendant.

mq01 said...

oooooooooooh duh, not the same lawyers, gotcha, sorry.

Richard Machida said...

I'm glad the jury came up with the correct verdict in spite of the defense attorney. I'm not sure how some of them sleep at night (just my opinion). Intelligence and responsibility isn't a requirement for a drivers license in any state.

Arizona Harley Dude said...

I can't imagine the looks on the juries faces when you grabbed him or on his face when you yelled at him. He should think three times for an answer before setting a smart man up with a stupid question.

bluekat said...

Good for the jury! Let's hope the sentence is as severe as it can be. (which still won't be severe enough).

Anonymous said...

Well yeah, thats how rape works :(

I saw that story from last year i'm relaly pleased the jury agree with us on this.

We had a first recently. A taxi driver was convicted of MURDER for riding over a high school scooter girl, after she tried to evade him. He hooted and drove over her, and only stopped when the people in his taxi MADE him stop.

Anyway, we have a similar case now where two guys were dicing in their mini coopers and connected, took out 4 school kids, injured some more. Murder charges are also being investigated.

You have to up the ante, accident doesn't apply anymore, not for criminal negligence.


Lady Ridesalot said...

I hate it for the woman and her polished nails... but not as much as I hate it for the rider and her family.

Realistically, the nail polisher is probably not a vicious killer, but unfortunately, if we don't get the driver's attention to be more aware of their surroundings... we're all dead!

I agree with Th3Guns1ing3r... probably the best court story I've ever heard!

American Scooterist Blog said...

Wow twice!

I've often wondered if the family of the deceased should be the ones to decide what happens to the prepetrator.

But I like your way. ;)


Conchscooter said...

I hate those technicalities called The Law. The Founders were idiots for wanting to create a nation of laws not of people. Silly silly men; much better to do it the Cuban way and decide the outcome before getting to trial. Mind you, the fact that the jury came back with the verdict agreeable to you is forgotten in the diatribe about the lawyer protecting the constituion. Take a poll and more than 50 percent of Americans will tell you the "First Amednment goes too far." Which I would find hilarious if i didn't find it pathetic.

Young Dai said...

"Hold that fucking cup still or I'll kill you."

I must have missed that episode of LA Law !

Krysta in MKE said...

I, too, read about the nail polish killer some months ago, and am glad that the jury convicted her.

And Dan, I like your style.

Orin said...

Dan, I think the way to stop this sort of thing is to adopt the European attitude toward driver licensing: a driver's license is very difficult to get and very easy to lose. In Germany, you must pass a course of study more akin to getting a pilot's license—you have to know how a car works, and about the applicable laws of physics at play when the vehicle is in motion.

And the nail-painter would be on trial for 1st-degree murder, not vehicular anything...

Scootin' Old Skool

Chuck Pefley said...

Great points in both stories.

Thanks, Dan.

irondad said...

I sincerely appreciate the comments. It's a matter that stirs us all. There are some great sentiments and thoughts expressed in the comments. I will let them stand on their own without diluting them by my replies.

May the family of Ms. Zaffke find both justice and peace. I'm sure I speak for all of us when I express our sorrow for their loss.

Take care,