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The ramblings of a restless mind (Page 6)

desigal90 IF-Stunnerz
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Posted: 06 May 2015 at 10:06pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by chocolover89



But, the first decision is to drink right? That was not made with 'impaired' judgement.  If someone takes the first decision to drink then they should figure out who will do the driving also especially because most people today KNOW what can happen if you drive drunk.  

More generally, if you are choosing to take a substance that you know can alter your state of mind then you are responsible for the consequences of that action. Period. 

Being irresponsible is NOT an excuse from making bad decisions. 

If someone knows they are going out for the night and want to drink, then IMHO, they should make sure they are NOT driving first and foremost.  It's fairly easy to get a taxi today too...and cabs like uber are not even that expensive.

Oh yeah, absolutely. I know that. But that first decision was not the illegal one. That is a completely legal decision. You're an adult, you can drink. Society doesn't discourage anyone from making that first decision. No one thinks twice of it.
Adults drink, yet they know some may make some very stupid decisions after. Adults still do it. 

But yes, the responsible thing is to designate a driver or someone to take you home before you start. I absolutely agree with that.
However, I wouldn't say that failing to do the responsible thing should result in someone being punished for murder...that's where things become a little hazy in my opinion.

I think that's what I"m trying to say.
That we say you should take responsibility, but does that still take away from the fact that it was still an accident. Yes it resulted in a life lost. But accidents do often result in lost lives. I believe the punishment should reflect that intent. Which is completely a theoretical POV at this point, not practical.

To make in a nutshell, intoxicated drinking seems like irresponsible decision UNINTENTIONALLY causing a loss of life. Not too different than a sober adult driving a car and getting reckless and speeding and causing an accident. Both result from irresponsibility, not intent to kill. Yet I don't think someone who speeds will go to jail for 5 years, right?

To me...it just seems intent matters in such a case. I know the law says otherwise. 
I'm just debating philosophically here. In such cases, making the accused who committed the crime pay for the victim's children, throughout until college and changing their circumstances would have seemed like the more beneficial thing to do.


Edited by desigal90 - 06 May 2015 at 10:13pm

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kitkataha

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Posted: 06 May 2015 at 10:09pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by desigal90

Originally posted by kitkataha

Desi gal : that's the same debate we had in class a couple of weeks back when we discussed intoxication manslaughter. It is an interesting topic altogether. I have limited insights as well when it comes to alcohol due to religious restriction (personal choice as well), however, here in the States, there are defenses like involuntary intoxication (rarely successful though). Temporary insanity under voluntary intoxication can also be used as a mitigating factor interestingly. The main defense to it is obviously "intention", as that's difficult to prove, which is why most cases end up amounting to recklessness and negligence.

It just seems kinda counterintuitive to me.
The law says don't drink and drive because it impairs balance, perception, reflexes.
But alcohol also impairs judgment. And decision to drive drunk or to find a friend to designate to drive you is a judgement you make in a state when theoretically your judgement is impaired.

I find it so much more similar to punishing a minor because their judgement is not mature yet/impaired. In a state of intoxication, I would think that even a responsible adult would make the same mistakes a minor makes. 

I guess that's why to me, when it comes to punishment, I think the intent takes precedent over the end matter. 
Yes, a life was lost. But a life is also lost in an accident. We still say it was an accident.. I didn't mean for it to happen.

From what I've read, most people seem content that Salman is punished because it was the law and nobody should be above the law.
I'm more concerned about the victims, the families involved, and yes, even the accused's intent.
In such cases, my intuition and basal morality says to me...well if you didn't mean for it to happen, you still caused harm. You still caused a life to be lost. Make up for it. Do something about it. Help these people out. 


But I guess I'm not the law. 
Just a rambling mind LOL



By that logic any crime committed while under the influence of drugs and alcohol would be deemed as non-intentional. Rape, murder, robbery - impaired judgement due to alcohol and hence the perpetrator is not liable for harsh punishment.
Do you see where this would lead us?
 An adult making the decision to drink and then getting behind the wheels of a car has to take responsibility of his action. It's not rocket science that drinking makes your mind fuzzy. A child may not be aware of all the implications of doing something rash.. But as an adult you have the responsibility to face the consequence of whatever happens while you were drunk.

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desigal90 IF-Stunnerz
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Posted: 06 May 2015 at 10:11pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by tantal



By that logic any crime committed while under the influence of drugs and alcohol would be deemed as non-intentional. Rape, murder, robbery - impaired judgement due to alcohol and hence the perpetrator is not liable for harsh punishment.
Do you see where this would lead us?
 An adult making the decision to drink and then getting behind the wheels of a car has to take responsibility of his action. It's not rocket science that drinking makes your mind fuzzy. A child may not be aware of all the implications of doing something rash.. But as an adult you have the responsibility to face the consequence of whatever happens while you were drunk.


Absolutely. I also said something similar earlier Smile
Originally posted by desigal90

It's such a gray area.
How would you approach a case where someone sexually harasses another under the influence of alcohol though? Maybe sober, they would have thought twice of the consequences and refrained from the act. 
But then again, they always had the thoughts. Like that way, wouldn't we just stretch everything done under the influence into "impaired" judgement? Even though it's not completely so. Such a gray area!

I really am not completely on one stance here. Rather, just bouncing ideas around. Smile



Edited by desigal90 - 06 May 2015 at 10:14pm
IAmLuvBolly IF-Dazzler
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Posted: 06 May 2015 at 10:11pm | IP Logged
Desigal and Kitkataha, this is becoming a very interesting discussion. You guys are making some very interesting points. I don't drink either so I have no personal perspective here. But I have been at parties with friends who have been aware enough to look at me and say "you'll have to take me home." So not everyone loses that sense of judgment. But even if you make the argument that the person lost their sense of how drunk they were (I think this would fall under sense of judgment, no?) that's no the same as developing amnesia. So then the person should have still remembered that they shouldn't be driving drunk since it's against the law. Know what I mean? Unless a defense attorney argues that their client experienced complete failure of cognitive functioning.

This is starting to sound like something I would see in an episode of Law & Order. Though honestly I imagine that this theory has been at least tried by some defense attorneys. There probably is some kind of precedent for it.

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Posted: 06 May 2015 at 10:18pm | IP Logged
& when you and I speed, or when you and I text while driving, we are not even impaired due to substance. But that will not amount to 5 years in jail.

Intoxication manslaughter - more or less there for exemplary purposes. How else would the government be able to regulate alcohol? They cannot ban it, right (we all know how that went)? When you're in your home and you decide to drink, you will not call for an Uber service because you're at your home and you have no intention of leaving your house. But once you get drunk, you get a call from a friend, and you leave to drive. What happens then? It's a murky area. At one point in my life, I was only for retributive justive, but the older I've gotten, and the more knowledge I've acquired, I am open to other forms of punishment. As it is, statistics show that harsh punishments like the death penalty, play no role in lowering crime rates. A criminal with an intent to carry out a crime will either way commit it. Incarceration rate among Blacks and Hispanics is so high in the States...those people are never able to get out of the poverty cycle. Going to jail will not get them an education, a job, and an understanding of their choices...what will help them is if they're able to contribute in the society while understanding the consequences of their actions. I am not advocating for full criminal justice system reform, because punishment in certain cases are FAIR and DESERVED, but in other offenses, there are other ways to punish.

I don't know what my take would be on sexual harassment under the influence. I would probably say that the jail time would be deserved as a punishment. But I kid you not when I say that even in those instances, a lot of times offenders are not sentenced to jail. It all boils to intent/mens rea.

With SK, his punishment will not reform him, but the victims may feel that the justice has been served.

My post limit is almost up for the day btw. This has been a good discussion.


Edited by kitkataha - 06 May 2015 at 10:22pm

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Posted: 06 May 2015 at 10:25pm | IP Logged
Originally posted by desigal90

Oh yeah, absolutely. I know that. But that first decision was not the illegal one. That is a completely legal decision. You're an adult, you can drink. Society doesn't discourage anyone from making that first decision. No one thinks twice of it.
Adults drink, yet they know some may make some very stupid decisions after. Adults still do it. 

But yes, the responsible thing is to designate a driver or someone to take you home before you start. I absolutely agree with that.
However, I wouldn't say that failing to do the responsible thing should result in someone being punished for murder...that's where things become a little hazy in my opinion.

I think that's what I"m trying to say.
That we say you should take responsibility, but does that still take away from the fact that it was still an accident. Yes it resulted in a life lost. But accidents do often result in lost lives. I believe the punishment should reflect that intent. Which is completely a theoretical POV at this point, not practical.

To make in a nutshell, intoxicated drinking seems like irresponsible decision UNINTENTIONALLY causing a loss of life. Not too different than a sober adult driving a car and getting reckless and speeding and causing an accident. Both result from irresponsibility, not intent to kill. Yet I don't think someone who speeds will go to jail for 5 years, right?

To me...it just seems intent matters in such a case. I know the law says otherwise. 
I'm just debating philosophically here. In such cases, making the accused who committed the crime pay for the victim's children, throughout until college and changing their circumstances would have seemed like the more beneficial thing to do.

See thats where the difference lies between the two punishments. Murder leads to harsher punishment like life sentence, death penalty whereas unintentional ones result in lesser years of prison time. But you cannot ask for no jail time when drinking and driving is a criminal offence AND people know the severe consequences it results in. Now despite being aware of the consequences, if someone CHOOSES to drink and drive, then of course they will be punished. I know here in Toronto around every long weekend especially, police officers ask people to not drink and drive. They repeatedly ask people to be extra careful and take needed precautions. If you know you are going to drink, then make arrangements before hand. If people still choose to be irresponsible then whose fault is it? Sure, they didn't intentionally kill someone, but they knowingly put theirs and others life in danger. Degree of responsibility varies from action to action so does degree of punishment. 

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Posted: 06 May 2015 at 10:30pm | IP Logged
Great debate everyone!
Despite my stance on alcohol intoxication being no different than texting and speeding and then getting into an accident, I still agree with many people who say that compensatory fines will put rich at a huge advantage.
I still believe that someone who drives drunk made an IRRESPONSIBLE decision that caused someone to lose their life, and I don't see it any different than someone who is speeding and gets into an accident and causes someone to lose their life. Both are reckless and irresponsible behaviors that result in accidents. I don't necessarily view it as murder without the intent to harm.
Don't you all think that both should have a similar punishment theoretically in law?

However the compensatory fine means I brought up as a possible punishment doesn't stand. 
Coz like someone pointed out, the rich would continue to get away with reckless and irresponsible crimes because they'll always be able to afford it. More than that, I'm concerned with how the poor man who commits similar crimes will pay for it.

Gah.


Edited by desigal90 - 06 May 2015 at 10:30pm

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Posted: 06 May 2015 at 10:31pm | IP Logged
Texting and driving should bear the same punishment as driving intoxicated IMO. But the law needs to catch up and reform accordingly here.

One other thing, the prison system in the United States is a hot mess that's for sure. Over crowding results in shortage of sentences, but then there is no programs for them to be able to continue with a productive life style. Not to mention that most don't even get rehabilitated on the inside. A lot of times it's just a matter of time before they return back to prison. Having said this, I don't know what the solution would be. I haven't read or heard enough about any other type of programs as alternatives for confinement to form an opinion yet.

Thanks for this discussion everyone :)

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