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Old 12-22-2016, 01:32 PM   #1
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Sinking Leads to Manslaughter Charges

http://www.nationalfisherman.com/new...ent=newsletter

Some interesting liability reading.
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Old 12-22-2016, 02:13 PM   #2
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Sad, all the way 'round. Reminds me of me, when I was the age of the two who were lost. Maybe I was luckier, or maybe I was on a slightly sturdier boat. Still, it could easily have happened to me, or probably to any of us on this list.

The opioid problem is another sad story all around these parts. The article suggests it may have contributed to this tragedy. I hope I never have to find out whether I'd be susceptible to that addiction or not.

The liability aspect is interesting, but my thoughts are with the families of everyone involved.
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Old 12-23-2016, 06:52 AM   #3
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Unfortunately the opioid issue is showing up in all manner of aspects in our life. Relatives, Friends, co workers, neighbors, Doctors, Lawyers. It appears the only thing regulating it is education and drug testing. But drug testing after the fact is useless (except for the blame game). Once people start using..... they're gone.
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Old 12-30-2016, 01:20 PM   #4
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I have more than a few problems with this whole story:

1. Interesting that the same story (mostly word for word) is released and published simultaneously in news outlets from Las Vegas to London.

2. The US Attorney in Portland is a career and third generation judge/prosecutor and proponent of so called “civil asset forfeiture”. In other words, he approves the concept of guilty until proven innocent.

3. The Seafarer Manslaughter Act was enacted in the 1830s to regulate a spate of steamboat fires and boiler explosions that caused hundreds of deaths. In common law, the government must prove gross negligence or heat of passion in the absence of malice for a manslaughter conviction. The Seafarer Manslaughter Act allows a mariner to be charged with manslaughter on the basis of simple negligence. Look up the matter of Capt. Wolfgang Schroder in 2007.

4. The application of the Seafarer Manslaughter Act is metastasizing like the RICO Act. RICO was going to put the Mob out of business back in the 70s – now it’s applied to everything but the kitchen sink. Old tools for a new day.
The 2010 Seafarer Region Conference participants (including CAMM, IFSMA, Nautilus, ITF, BIMCO, ILO, IMO, and AOS USA) adopted a resolution protesting the government’s increasing trend of using criminal prosecution instead of professional and civil sanctions to penalize simple negligence of mariners. It is curious how this standard applies only to mariners and not any other occupation – say MDs, refinery operators, offshore drillers, miners, airlines ……

5. “Traces” of oxy and MJ in his blood – sure signs he was inebriated. Or, he could have had a wisdom tooth pulled last week and was prescribed Percocet. And maybe indulged in the evil weed two weekends before. It will all show for prolonged periods - the wonders of testing bodily fluids.

No dispute that this is a tragedy. It sounds to me like the boat owner/captain made some bad decisions. If he was, in fact, inebriated – then burn him for criminal manslaughter or worse.

But this sounds more like a typical pipsqueak prosecutor with a political axe to grind. Tough on crime, y’know.
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Old 12-30-2016, 02:50 PM   #5
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But this sounds more like a typical pipsqueak prosecutor with a political axe to grind. Tough on crime, y’know.
Lord knows there are a lot of those little jerkoffs running around.
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Old 12-31-2016, 10:13 AM   #6
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Unfortunately the opioid issue is showing up in all manner of aspects in our life. Relatives, Friends, co workers, neighbors, Doctors, Lawyers. It appears the only thing regulating it is education and drug testing. But drug testing after the fact is useless (except for the blame game). Once people start using..... they're gone.
Yep. And as some states move to legalize recreational drugs, we will be seeing more of this. And many innocent people will be killed or harmed by people using legally obtainable drugs.
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Old 12-31-2016, 11:52 AM   #7
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I don't think legal drugs will result in more impaired users. The persons who use illegal drugs are more likely to flaunt rules as just by using them they are already lawbreakers. I don't know about you but the mere fact that a drug is legal isn't going to get me to use it. Do you think legalizing will make 'normal' people suddenly become users? Will you yourself? I think this is a specious argument. I don't drink until I'm anchored or tied up, why would I suddenly start shooting up and careening about in my boat? Drugs are a health issue and should be treated as such, not a criminal issue.
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Old 12-31-2016, 11:58 AM   #8
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Yep. And as some states move to legalize recreational drugs, we will be seeing more of this. And many innocent people will be killed or harmed by people using legally obtainable drugs.
The police in my city have already stated that pulling someone over and charging them with DUI for MJ is very difficult. This was a public statement. Does that send a message or what?
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Old 12-31-2016, 12:09 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by sbu22 View Post
I have more than a few problems with this whole story:

1. Interesting that the same story (mostly word for word) is released and published simultaneously in news outlets from Las Vegas to London.

2. The US Attorney in Portland is a career and third generation judge/prosecutor and proponent of so called “civil asset forfeiture”. In other words, he approves the concept of guilty until proven innocent.

3. The Seafarer Manslaughter Act was enacted in the 1830s to regulate a spate of steamboat fires and boiler explosions that caused hundreds of deaths. In common law, the government must prove gross negligence or heat of passion in the absence of malice for a manslaughter conviction. The Seafarer Manslaughter Act allows a mariner to be charged with manslaughter on the basis of simple negligence. Look up the matter of Capt. Wolfgang Schroder in 2007.

4. The application of the Seafarer Manslaughter Act is metastasizing like the RICO Act. RICO was going to put the Mob out of business back in the 70s – now it’s applied to everything but the kitchen sink. Old tools for a new day.
The 2010 Seafarer Region Conference participants (including CAMM, IFSMA, Nautilus, ITF, BIMCO, ILO, IMO, and AOS USA) adopted a resolution protesting the government’s increasing trend of using criminal prosecution instead of professional and civil sanctions to penalize simple negligence of mariners. It is curious how this standard applies only to mariners and not any other occupation – say MDs, refinery operators, offshore drillers, miners, airlines ……

5. “Traces” of oxy and MJ in his blood – sure signs he was inebriated. Or, he could have had a wisdom tooth pulled last week and was prescribed Percocet. And maybe indulged in the evil weed two weekends before. It will all show for prolonged periods - the wonders of testing bodily fluids.

No dispute that this is a tragedy. It sounds to me like the boat owner/captain made some bad decisions. If he was, in fact, inebriated – then burn him for criminal manslaughter or worse.

But this sounds more like a typical pipsqueak prosecutor with a political axe to grind. Tough on crime, y’know.
I'm with ya, and have the same issues. From the front, this seems hardly manslaughter. It was a mistake....yes a bad mistake.

They all knew the risks. The captain only made a weather mistake... he wasn't out to kill someone or take an undo risk in his mind. I'm sure that if he knew how bad the wx was, he would have gone to plan B. We have probably all come to similar situations and taken chances we shouldn't have, but got lucky.

I'd bet the Oxy and MJ had nothing to do with it.

Looks like a witch hunt to me. I'm sure more will come.
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Old 12-31-2016, 12:14 PM   #10
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As to the debate of whether legalization will increase usage. All evidence is that in the states involved it very definitely has. Now, that's not expressing an opinion of whether that's good or bad or what.

As to testing for being under the influence of a drug, our methods and laws really do not cover that well. You do have the field sobriety tests but without any scientific evidence, it's very hard to get convictions with them. Normally all you end up with are possession of drugs and paraphernalia.
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Old 12-31-2016, 12:27 PM   #11
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I could argue to have a test to prove HOW the drugs affect someone, but that doesn't exist. Some can tolerate drugs (and drinking) better than others, so some judgment is needed. For one that can fall over drunk on one drink, perhaps it's wise to avoid.

I'd bet there's a lot of folks that can use drug and be perfectly fine (same with alcohol), but need to temper the time needed to be sober after use. I've got some friends that do fine w MJ... my friends that did the heavy stuff like heroin are all dead. The only times I've been on a heavy drug (prescription) it skard the heck out of me, so I got off asap... I didn't want to get hooked.

We could go a step further, and hold those responsible for just not getting enough sleep.... it can be as bad as a drug, or worse.

But, I could argue the guy is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and I don't see that here.
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Old 12-31-2016, 01:00 PM   #12
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Negligence or irresponsible behavior under any circumstances should be held accountable.

Right now society says drinking crucifies you no matter what.

Texting is right begind...and hopefully fatigue and prescription drugs ( not only narcotics) will soon follow.

I don't have a problem with holding people accountable, I have a problem singling out and targeting certain behaviors that are no more dangerous than many others.
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Old 12-31-2016, 01:05 PM   #13
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Negligence or irresponsible behavior under any circumstances should be held accountable.

Right now society says drinking crucifies you no matter what.

Texting is right begind...and hopefully fatigue and prescription drugs ( not only narcotics) will soon follow.

I don't have a problem with holding people accountable, I have a problem singling out and targeting certain behaviors that are no more dangerous than many others.
Psneeld,

Good points, and I'd say throw the book at him if it were gross negligence that he knew would be highly risky, beyond reasonableness, and was breaking the law.

However, in this case I don't see that from what we know.

I'm more concerned with judges that will make life more and more restrictive, and put a lot of activities out of business. Heck, if we wanted to be perfectly safe, we'd live in cement block cubes and never go out.
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Old 12-31-2016, 01:55 PM   #14
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Having been a wild young guy; going out with (hanging around with in general) Lobster men back in the late 1960's through early 1970's I can say shat happens during lobster trap pulling sequences. Had it been same outcome during my days on Maine's Penobscot Bay lobster boats... chances are there would also have been open bottle hard liquor and much beer and pot pipes loaded on board too. Uppers were an often used favorite to bar time party all night and then lobster all day.

That said: I feel terrible for the two helpers' lives lost. I also feel bad for the Captain of the boat who got caught in bad seas and who was rightfully deemed responsible for his craft and all aboard. Sounds as though he's a bit of a party boy. Unfortunately for the lost lives and for him... night before the calamity he apparently chose to ramp up his party-time. It is true that ill used drugs/alcohol... etc can alter person's judgement and that all things should be taken into account when a bad-time-accident occurs, especially when resulting in lost lives. Times have changed from mid 1900's to now. The party boy lobster men of yesteryear, who might have back then gotten away with some crazy actions... well, that's just not so easy these days.

Another factor I see in this case... had the Captain been with no drugs in system and same apparently unexpected to him bad sea conditions had sunk his boat and the two helpers died - would he also be accused of manslaughter??? So.... is he facing 10 yrs prison because of drugs, bad judgement or also because shat happens during lobster trap pulling days.

I hope to learn outcome to the trial.
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