Life sentence for speeding in Berlin (update: verdict confirmed after voiding by appeals court)

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First time in Germany: illegal racers in Berlin who drove 170 kmh at Kurfürsterdamm, collided with another car at the crossing. The driver died immediately. The prosecutor charged the racers with murder, the court agreed and sentenced them to life imprisonment today.

 

This is the first such verdict in Germany: usually such cases were charged with negligent killing (fahrlässige Tötung).

http://www.br.de/nachrichten/raser-urteil-100.html

 

The government is also planning to make illegal racing a crime in itself regardless of its consequences or lack of them.

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Seems right to me. If you drive down a single-lane road like that at 170 km/h then you have to know there is a risk someone will die.

 

 

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On what ground? They were not even trying to reduce speed while crossing on red, so it is not negligence.

 

The defense used wrong strategy: „They loved their Audi and of course they didn't want to destroy it“ (seriously, the lawyer said about the car, not victim).

 

I think, they only have chances to qualify it as Totschlag instead of Mord. But for the former life imprisonment is also possible.

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I believe the ground is that this is a new precedent of which many are argued.

 

Charging the driver who didn't actually kill the guy is definitely new. What is that argument? It takes 2 to race?

 

BTW, I agree with the verdicts.

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The defense was also quoted on the radio as saying: "Since nothing happened before, they [the defendants] thought it would work out alright!" This is translated verbatim from the radio.

I don't who is stupider here, lawyer or perps.

 

I used to hear the illegal race in Munich every damn Friday and Saturday night, as I lived near one of the important roads on the "course". I could actually time the laps by the cars's overpowered souped up engines wildly, noisily revving and zooming by. Always the same circle...

 

They *killed* somebody. Not by accident. They *knew* there was no way to brake at that speed. They *knew* that at that speed, this would be fatal. That is murder, just not of a predetermined victim. Don't believe anything else.

 

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On what grounds it can be repealed? By sticking to the existing laws, for example.

 

I hope in this case, this verdict stays. If it doesn't, then it's just reinforcing my prior level of confidence.

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IIRC by definition murder implies deliberate killing for basic motives. Otherwise it would be manslaughter. I doubt they had resolved to kill someone while destroying their car. So I'm guessing yorkeau is right in that they will be sentenced for manslaughter.

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Well, I have confidence in justice in the meaning that they strictly follow the law. But Germany is definitely not a „justice is served“ country like the US, the criminal justice here has the purpose of reducing crime, and interest of the victim or their relatives are not always taken into account. This verdict will definitely influence those who play such games.

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Well, I meant, statistically the verdicts give more jail time in the US than in Germany...

 

Did I write I am sorry for your loss? I think, not. I am sorry.

 

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13 hours ago, Metall said:

 

The defense was also quoted on the radio as saying: "Since nothing happened before, they [the defendants] thought it would work out alright!" This is translated verbatim from the radio. I don't who is stupider here, lawyer or perps.

 

 

Sounds like the lawyers should do some time too for the crime of stupidity!

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I think there is a difference in the mistake made by the driver who killed your son, FF (and I think you are hugely gracious in your attitude, lovely lady) and these men in that they met and planned an action in advance which was likely to lead to random fatality. I suppose that is also where they share the responsibility - either or both of them could have been the cause of any accident which occurred.

 

There is no suggestion of where their licences come from. German driving instruction is thorough. I guess even brilliant instruction is no help when massive egos and lack of active intelligence clash in horrible synergy.  

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13 hours ago, Metall said:

The defense was also quoted on the radio as saying: "Since nothing happened before, they [the defendants] thought it would work out alright!" This is translated verbatim from the radio. I don't who is stupider here, lawyer or perps.

 

Lawyers are trying to bring it down to manslaughter, aren't they? Like, killing was not their "intention" and they had no way of "knowing" and thus preventing this from happening (nothing had happened before!). Repeatedly crossing at lights refuted this, as well as darkness itself - that is, even if you wanted to prevent it, you couldn't because it was dark but that is your responsibility to think about, especially together with crossing at reds. Like, you eroded all conditions for being able to prevent something. This is interpreted as intention now. Add to the the list of tickets these guys had before, they didn't give a damn. Like, they had no intention "not to kill" either. The one who stopped at a couple of lights will probably get less. In the appeal, again, intentions will be discussed (vehicular homicide versus "accident".) 

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10 hours ago, kiplette said:

German driving instruction is thorough.

 

It is (having had both my children at 18 yrs going through driving course & passing first time).

 

They knew all the regulations - had little experience of course but soon gained that when we went out with them (this was not accompanied driving @ 17).

However any new driver soon gets "un-learned" in real life, where speed limits are merely a recommendation, STOP signs an annoyance & red lights or "no overtaking" not sacrocant either.

 

Why was there an accident in the Elbtunnel yesterday?  Because a truck ran into a van & another truck. - not enough Abstand.

 

TBH there are just not enough controls.  Behaviour changes instantly when they drive through some neaby countries.

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9 hours ago, zeino said:

Lawyers are trying to bring it down to manslaughter, aren't they?

I´d say they should. Otherwise how would the law be able to differentiate between those who killed someone on purpose and those who "merely" accepted the risk this might be the result. Also, with the kind of reasoning the court applied here you could charge someone with attempted murder who sends an sms while driving.

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I wonder if the verdict would have been different if they were drunk? I have suspicion that, yes.

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17 hours ago, Metall said:

 

The defense was also quoted on the radio as saying: "Since nothing happened before, they [the defendants] thought it would work out alri

 

 

I don't know German law but that would work as a defense in English law. In order to be charged with murder with oblique intent the defendant has to actually  appreciate the risk (in English law he has to appreciate that death was a 'virtual certainty', if I remember rightly). 

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