Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Out Of Control Prosecuters

A man has been charged with murder for shooting a rookie cop more than 40 years ago. No, they didn't just catch the guy, it's just that the man finally died of his injuries so they ruled it a homicide.

Just so you're clear, let's go over it again. William Barnes shot officer Walter Barclay on November 27, 1966. Barclay died on August 19, 2007 from an infection stemming from the gunshot wound 40 years earlier.

Yes, Barnes deserved the time he spent in jail for attempted murder. Yes, Barclay suffered for the rest of his life because of what Barnes did. However dying 40 years later from complications does not, in any twisted sense of reason constitute murder.

This prosecutor should have better things to do in a city like Philadelphia where there's plenty of crime to go around.

Of course all of this begs the question, what should be the limit on how quickly someone would have to die after an attempted murder in order for a murder charge to stick? And the question probably isn't that simple, what are the other mitigating factors that should be considered? It seems reasonable to me that 1 to 5 years depending on the circumstances would seem appropriate.

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