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Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sleep Deprivation Not a Crime: Tragic Bus Driver Acquitted

A New York jury acquitted the bus driver of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide for a tragic March 2011 accident in which the driver fell asleep -- or was barely alert -- and the bus struck the highway median and tipped over, killing fifteen passengers and seriously wounding many others.

The driver walks out a free man, after having served more than one year in jail for crimes for which he was found not guilty.

This prosecution illustrates the danger of the trend of overcriminalization, when bad judgment or accidents become the excuse for charging people with serious crimes. 

More ominously, we are seeing crimes being charged for actions which really are just serving as the pretext to mask a real animus -- racial, sexual, ideological -- against the defendant.  You know, like what used to happen in the Jim Crow South before the 1970s.

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