Saturday, February 4, 2017

Ithaca DWI Lawyer: Should Bullying Lead to a Murder Charge?

The "Show Me" State is in
The Spotlight Once Again
You know sometimes you read stuff and you get mad. Well at least I do, I hate what I perceive as an injustice or an unfairness. Unfortunately, there is much of that in the world or as Gerry Spence loves to joke there is NO justice, there is Just Us!

For those of you who don't know the legacy of Mr. Spence, he is a legendary trial lawyer and advocate for people. I feel honored to have been at his college in Wyoming (the Trial Lawyers College), and to have had his mentoring. I think Gerry would hate what is going on today in Missouri.

A boy was bullied, at his school and at his work, the local DQ (Dairy Queen). He committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. The coroner demanded an Inquest, kinda like a Grand Jury but only 6 in Missouri to determine the cause. Apparently this "court" found that the primary cause of the suicide was the manager from Dairy Queen.

Now the District Attorney has charged the DQ manager (all of 21) with the criminal felony of Involuntary Manslaughter, which is like being charged with MURDER for Bullying. Now we don't or no one truly knows how many people have bullied this kid in his lifetime, or what degree each instance of bullying played in his decision to finally take his own life. It is a tragedy but I think to pin it one particular person or event is guessing at best.

I question the logic and reasoning behind bringing a murder charge under these particular circumstances. I question the fairness of all of this, but I'm starting to understand the larger purpose.

Bullying is Wrong But Should Bullies Be Held Accountable for Suicide

Suicide amongst teens in this country is at an all time high. It is an epidemic of sorts. Between rampant drug use and abuse, mental illness, and emotional unstable families growing up is a rough ride at times. As one that has not had an easy ride, I was bullied (short, small, curly haired, buck teeth) and my dad died suddenly one day after my 17th birthday. I can empathize with the downtrodden but I still think that is wrong to charge a crime, especially murder to someone that bullies another person not on the bullying but on their suicide.

There are so many causes of mental illness to problems at home to issues at school that would be almost impossible to categorize and assess as to weight. How six people directed by the coroner could point to one thing that was the proximate cause of a young man's death is beyond me.

Sometimes You Need a Criminal Trial to Bring Out More Than the Truth

I guess there will need to be a trial. Trials are more than right and wrong. Winners and losers can sometimes be the same thing depending on the viewpoint. This trial will bring National attention once again to the great state of Missouri, and more importantly on the issue of bullying. The trial will bring in many experts on suicide and bullying and mental illness. Hopefully the result will be attention and awareness of the problem but moreso what could be done to prevent future unnecessary tragedies.

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