Prison for text messaging?Too harsh?

Prison for text messaging?Too harsh?

This is a discussion on Prison for text messaging?Too harsh? within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Shingletown woman sentenced to 6 year prison term for text messaging manslaughter A woman who crashed into a line of stopped vehicles while text-messaging on ...

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Thread: Prison for text messaging?Too harsh?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array mr.stuart's Avatar
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    Prison for text messaging?Too harsh?

    Shingletown woman sentenced to 6 year prison term for text messaging manslaughter

    A woman who crashed into a line of stopped vehicles while text-messaging on her cell phone has been sentenced to six years in a California prison for killing a woman in one of the vehicles.
    REDDING, Calif. —

    A woman who crashed into a line of stopped vehicles while text-messaging on her cell phone has been sentenced to six years in a California prison for killing a woman in one of the vehicles.

    Deborah Matis-Engle was sentenced Friday by a judge in Redding, Calif.

    Investigators said Deborah Matis-Engle was speeding and text messaging when she slammed into the vehicles stopped at a construction zone in August 2007.

    Shasta County prosecutor Stephanie Bridgett said the 49-year-old woman had paid several bills by cell phone in the moments before the crash.

    She was in the middle of one of those transactions when she struck a vehicle that burst into flames, killing 46-year-old Petra Winn.

    Defense attorney Jeffrey Stotter said he will appeal.


  2. #2
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    She's not in prison for text messaging, she's in prison for killing another woman. Her method of choice was distracted driving via text message. Too harsh? Nope.
    eschew obfuscation

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    Member Array zackattack78's Avatar
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    I see no problem with the punishment, if anything she should get even more time for doing something so stupid.
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    Distinguished Member Array kazzaerexys's Avatar
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    Depraved indifference, manslaughter. Sounds okay to me...
    Last edited by kazzaerexys; April 4th, 2009 at 11:12 PM. Reason: Fat fingers.
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    Too harsh? Nope.
    I'd give her double or triple. What a dolt.


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    Senior Member Array Divebum47's Avatar
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    Nope
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    Senior Member Array stanislaskasava's Avatar
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    We all know there's no such crime as 'text messaging manslaughter'. It's a bit disrespectful for the writer of this article to concoct such slop in order to grab your attention. A better headline would be "Self-Absorbed Moron Kills One, Receives Slap on Wrist".

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Ditto on the above sentiments.

    Prison for text messaging?Too harsh?
    Yes. But then, texting isn't what she did.

    She killed with her car. That's what the punishment is for. Doesn't really matter whether she was diggin' in her ear with her finger, or flipping the station on the radio, or just otherwise too occupied to avoid killing others. She caused death by virtue of her failure to be able to control the car in public. She erased a life. She's paying for that, not texting.

    IMO, anyone that thinks otherwise, including her knee-jerk appeal lawyer ... isn't (thinking very clearly, that is).
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    Member Array Jamie B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CopperKnight View Post
    She's not in prison for text messaging, she's in prison for killing another woman. Her method of choice was distracted driving via text message. Too harsh? Nope.
    Bingo!

    Jamie

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    Distinguished Member Array mr.stuart's Avatar
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    The thing that bothers me is this. I believe there needs to be intent to harm another for it to be a criminal offense. For me, this is a civil matter, not criminal. It seems most of you do not agree. So this means, as some have indicated, the why does not matter, only the fact she caused a persons death. So if you hit and kill another, for any reason, you, or your wife,child relative, should go to prison? This is what many posted. A person died because of a negligent action, so lock that person up,even if it is YOU?

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    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.stuart View Post
    The thing that bothers me is this. I believe there needs to be intent to harm another for it to be a criminal offense. For me, this is a civil matter, not criminal. It seems most of you do not agree. So this means, as some have indicated, the why does not matter, only the fact she caused a persons death. So if you hit and kill another, for any reason, you, or your wife,child relative, should go to prison? This is what many posted. A person died because of a negligent action, so lock that person up,even if it is YOU?
    Uh...somewhere there is a level of negligence. Running a stop sign is negligence and people have gone to prison for it (killing someone). Apparently the accident would not have occurred except for her negligence. Far different than an accident. Reminds me of the train that crashed while the conductor was texting...

    Rick

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    Tough situation and hard to know what the right sentence should be.

    Of course she isn't in jail for texting, she is in jail for the vehicular homicide.

    Still, would she have gotten six if she fiddled with the radio? Fiddled with the built in GPS? Been adjusting her rear view mirror?

    Also, this is a CA case. Do they have a no cell phone or hands free only cell phone law there? If so, the death resulted from breaking the law. That explains the sentence.

    I guess there is fiddling and then there is fiddling. If it was my relative who got whacked I'd think six was too lenient. If I were the woman's relative I'd think she got a raw deal.

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.stuart View Post
    The thing that bothers me is this. I believe there needs to be intent to harm another for it to be a criminal offense.
    As laws stand now, this is untrue. Negligence contributes to damage just as surely as intent to harm. Both can result in harm, as this woman's careless disregard for human life illustrates.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.stuart View Post
    The thing that bothers me is this. I believe there needs to be intent to harm another for it to be a criminal offense. For me, this is a civil matter, not criminal. It seems most of you do not agree. So this means, as some have indicated, the why does not matter, only the fact she caused a persons death. So if you hit and kill another, for any reason, you, or your wife,child relative, should go to prison? This is what many posted. A person died because of a negligent action, so lock that person up,even if it is YOU?
    Then you feel if a person is shooting a gun in a negligent fashion they shouldn't be prosecuted? What about driving 55 mph through a school zone and hits a child? What about a drunk driver?

    The woman is criminally responsible for her actions. She was driving recklessly and is now paying the price for her actions.
    Last edited by archer51; April 4th, 2009 at 08:00 PM. Reason: added statement

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.stuart View Post
    The thing that bothers me is this. I believe there needs to be intent to harm another for it to be a criminal offense. For me, this is a civil matter, not criminal. It seems most of you do not agree. So this means, as some have indicated, the why does not matter, only the fact she caused a persons death. So if you hit and kill another, for any reason, you, or your wife,child relative, should go to prison? This is what many posted. A person died because of a negligent action, so lock that person up,even if it is YOU?
    reckless disregard n. Conduct that, under the circumstances, reflects complete indifference to the safety and rights of others.

    She was driving and as an operator, she knows that a vehicle which is not under control can cause death or great bodily harm. She cannot deny that having her attention distracted by a willful action on her part (texting while driving) and this resulted in a death of an innocent. Intent to kill? Nope. But she did choose to do something that impaired her driving & the ability to control a vehicle which was under her responsibility.
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