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Convicted of murder for texting and driving?

Wow.

38 states have made texting while driving illegal, but it looks like Massachusetts will be the first to imprison someone for breaking this law.

Aaron Deveau has been found guilty of motor vehicle homicide by texting and faces up to four years in prison after his vehicle swerved into oncoming traffic and hit a pick up truck and killing Donald Bowley on Feb 20 earlier this year.

I’m kind of torn on this.  I agree that Deveau needs to be held accountable for driving carelessly and ultimately causing the death of another human being.

On the other hand, this man is going to have a murder charge on his record for the rest of his life for merely checking his phone while driving.

I guess ultimately, I agree with the ruling.  Texting while driving is dangerous and unnecessary.  Is there really a text so important that you can’t wait until you get where you’re going to answer it?  Is a text message worth a life?

This conviction and the subsequent sentence may seem harsh, but if people aren’t held accountable the message is never going to be heard.  People need to know that there will be consequences for driving negligently and putting other lives at risk.  Just like driving drunk is dangerous, texting or being otherwise disturbed by a cell phone is even more dangerous.   According to this article, distracted driving (which includes cell phone usage) ranks higher than drunk driving.  I checked a couple of other sites and cell phone usage ranked higher on those sites as well.

The bottom line is this:  driving while texting (or using a cell phone in any other capacity) is dangerous and can be lethal.  Yes, this conviction and punishment are harsh, but the message needs to get out there.  Don’t text while driving.  You shouldn’t even text while walking.  We’ve all seen the videos of people falling into manholes while texting while walking.  Hell, Ryan Gosling became a “hero” a month or so ago when he stopped a woman who was texting while walking from meandering out in front of a bus.

What do you guys think?  Is the punishment too harsh, too lenient, or just right?

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Discussion

6 thoughts on “Convicted of murder for texting and driving?

  1. Would he have been found guilty if he was inserting a CD into the player? Changing the radio station? Adjusting his seat? Turning around to hand a toy back to a child? Sneezing?

    They apply some laws according to the “reaction of the day.” Today it is texting. Texting and driving is stupid and dangerous. So are other things.

    And there should be a distinction between homicide which is generally recognized as intentional and manslaughter which is not.

    Like

    Posted by Elyse | June 6, 2012, 8:43 pm
  2. It’s not entirely clear, but “motor vehicle homicide” should be general enough to include either murder or manslaughter. If that’s the case then he may not have been found guilty of murder but rather of manslaughter (which seems likely since he is said to be only facing up to four years in prison). Involuntary manslaughter is the most appropriate charge here, and four years is approximately appropriate (maybe a few more years would be best, by my estimation).

    I have no tolerance for anyone so effing stupid as to be texting while driving, just as I have no tolerance for anyone so effing stupid as to be driving while drunk. This idiot left three people without a father, and possibly a woman without a husband. I won’t shed any tears over the fact that he’ll have to live the rest of his life with this conviction.

    Like

    Posted by Null | June 6, 2012, 9:48 pm
  3. I agree this is a teriable thing, when someone dies its a big deal. However, you cannot convict somone of murder for un-intentionally killing someone. If we keep “bending laws” like this whats next, murder for smoking in a car with someone that later gets cancer????

    –John

    Like

    Posted by john | June 10, 2012, 1:24 pm
  4. Personally, I hate drivers. None around here seem to know how to drive at all, regardless of what keeps them from doing so relatively “right”. If he doesn’t know how to drive right, no matter what it is that keeps him from doing so, he should be punished, period.

    There was a case in Covington a few years ago where a guy hit and killed a kid doing the exact same thing. He served jail time. It had nothing to do with texting and driving, it had to do with not being able to operate his car successfully and killing someone in the process. And that’s all it should boil down to, again, regardless of what it was he was doing to cause the accident.

    Like

    Posted by beefybooyawn | June 17, 2012, 9:19 am

We don't tolerate scum.

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