On 4/23/15, I said:
“Fishing hole killing: I tellya, it’s very hard to figure how this kid’s culpability is adjudicated such that he gets more than a nominal sentence http://www.startribune.com/local/east/300866211.html what with the victim(s), ya know, sneaking up in the dark to corner and scare these guys and provoke them into a physical confrontation. Then kid says back off, I have a knife. Guy doesn’t back off, he gets stabbed. If the stabbing is not self-defense because it’s excessive and an overreaction, it ain’t by much.”
My writing is pretty scattershot and ill tempered still I think but actually last couple years concurrent with the stream of consciousness writing I have embraced a qualitative Boolean mental process for determining truth / falsity. I get this process from computer science and then watching the legal system, and I think this process serves my ‘wisdom’, maybe enables it.
So this case, this is law, where Boolean logic as I say kind of reigns. I don’t have super detailed recall of the criminal charges, but I think I’m right that charges 1 and 2 specified a standard for ‘reckless disregard’ of life and then maybe the tack-on charge when the case went to jury more expressed ‘heat of the moment’ criminal malevolence.
Well, Counsel Nelson put Levi on the stand and he was sincere and persuasive about his circumstances as everyone says he was. And that goes a long way, generally. But other thing is there’s not bottom line compelling way to argue Levi was in ‘reckless disregard’ for brandishing a knife, asserting he would defend himself with it, then having Kelly assault him anyway (and come out of the engagement with a mortal chest wound).
That evaluation of ‘reckless disregard’ is Boolean, and a lot of times, juries perform the evaluations they’re asked to make. Thus, the jury seems to have dispatched the first two counts 12-0, 12-0 by Saturday afternoon before working to go from 11-1 to unanimous for acquittal on count 3.
Now, the county attorney’s office here is revealed generally to be staffed by mediocrities, and we probably shouldn’t be surprised there, particularly when you compare them to good private defense attorneys. Nelson himself, we’re probably right by now to understand him as the best in town now or at least in the conversation. Anyway, I doubt the prosecutor’s office is quite so mediocre as to be unaware the facts here did not exceed the ‘reckless disregard’ threshold. But they charged anyway.
It’s to say, the verdict supports an observation that Levi shouldn’t have been charged. Such that he was, it was necessitated by the demands of small town politics. IE, the mediocrity county prosecutor is an elected official, and here doing the sensible thing and not charging means losing the election for sure.
In that CBS article he is quoted saying fellas are to be criminally liable for doing as Levi did, repulsing an impending fist-fight with a knife. That’s crap. Boys will be boys / you gotta take your lumps is not now a legal doctrine. I doubt it ever really was, but if so I’m certain we’ve evolved past it. People get hurt and killed by ‘fist fights’ all the time, its proper that one can up the ante so to speak to avoid a fist fight. If it goes right, which it should mostly, everyone walks away unharmed.
Having faceplanted this, the county attorney will probably lose his next election. Good, he doesn’t have the minimum wisdom to be a public official in his county. He proved it with more than one Boolean example.