Yes, this was Murder....

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by Jaguar27, Sep 12, 2006.

  1. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    I'm so sick of reading and hearing about Drunk Drivers Killing Cyclists, Joggers and anyone else for that matter...I agree with the mother in this tragic story, this was in fact Murder, how could it possibly be anything else?...what do you think??

    http://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/show_story.php?id=3622

    Cyclist's mother calls
    his death 'murder'
    Mother grieves, expresses outrage over death of son John Peckham

    Mary Ann Parker told her son, John E. Peckham, to "Be careful" when he left on a training ride Friday that ended in a fatal head-on collision with a vehicle driven by a man who was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

    "He murdered him," she said in a Sunday-evening interview with the Weekly.

    "John was doing nothing wrong but riding his bike where everybody rides their bikes," she said.

    The California Highway Patrol reported that Peckham, 31, a well-known bicycle racer and resident of Mountain View, was westbound on old Page Mill Road above Palo Alto when an Oldsmobile driven by Chevelle Bailey, 41, of Fremont, crossed into his lane and collided with him head-on.

    Bailey left the scene but ran off the road a short distance away, plunging about 50 feet down an embankment, where officers found him. He is in Santa Clara County Main Jail facing a variety of charges, including driving under the influence, the CHP reported.

    But behind Parker's anger welled a choking grief for the loss of her only child, reflected in her automatic mother's admonition to be careful.

    Parker, 62, said John had even interested her in cycling, and they did a 60-mile ride together the weekend before the fatal crash. "He gave that to me," she said of cycling.

    Members of the Alto Velo Bicycle Racing Club were shaken by the death, the first in recent memory, according to club President Brian Peterson -- who stopped to compose himself twice as he discussed Peckham's rise within the race rankings despite his relatively recent entry into bicycle racing, and his positive influence on the club.

    He said the club -- a Bay Area-wide group of just under 400 members, with a "center of gravity" in Mountain View -- is planning a memorial ride to the scene of the crash on Sunday, Sept. 24. A more formal service is planned for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Spangler Mortuary, 799 Castro St., Mountain View, with visitation from 3 to 6 p.m. A separate service will be held in St. Louis for friends and family there.

    "I'm going to be on that ride," Parker said, citing the comfort she has gotten from "such an outpouring from that cycling community. It just makes me so proud of him, and so happy he was able to find a community of people who cared about him."

    Peterson said in looking over ride photos to post on the group's Web site, it struck him that Peckham "always has the biggest smile. He was so happy to be riding. He had this very easy-going personality, but he was very enthusiastic about what he did."

    Peterson said he stopped by the gathering spot of a Sunday ride and "every club member there had good things to say about him. John had such an effect on everybody in the club, whether they knew him personally or not."

    Peterson said club records show Peckham did his first road-bike race in February 2005, and won it. He rose from a Category 5 to a Category 2 racer, based on points earned in races, in an incredibly short time.

    "John was a very strong sprinter, as opposed to a climber," and used his strength to win races. Peckham also raced at the Hellyer County Park Velodrome, a steeply banked outdoor track in San Jose. He had just recovered from a crash in a Velodrome race earlier this year, and was concentrating on improving his hill-climbing abilities when he died, Peterson said.

    Parker said her son always was athletic, mountain biking as far back as high school. She said he owned eight bicycles, including a mountain bike, a time-trial bike, a velodrome bike and two road bikes.

    "I bought the bike he died on two Christmases ago," she said, adding that she worried at the time that he might get hurt on it, "as mother's do." But cycling "was his joy, it was his life."

    She said he was born in Laguna Beach, Calif., but the family moved to the remote community of Salyer in Northern California when he was very young. She said she and his father, William Peckham, separated when John was 7, and she and John moved to Santa Rosa. They then moved to St. Louis, MO, where she was raised and had family and where John attended high school, playing football and making a national merit scholars' list in 1993.

    Peckham attended the Christian Brothers College, studying mechanical engineering. He was recruited by a biomedical firm in Santa Rosa prior to his graduation with a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering. Recently, he worked for Boston Scientific in Fremont, and just started a new job in Mountain View with a start-up firm, working on stents, devices to keep blood vessels or other passages open within the body.

    He just purchased a condo in Mountain View, moving from an apartment in Sunnyvale with his girlfriend, Cindy Sanford.

    In addition to his mother and father, Peckham is survived by a half brother, Bill Peckham Jr.; his stepfather, Jack Parker, of St. Louis; three step-siblings, Tori Lombardo of Washington, D.C., Lizi Cruz of Mill Valley and John Parker Jr. of St Louis.

    Memorial service for John E. Peckham:

    Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Spangler Mortuary, 799 Castro St., Mountain View.

    Visitation: 3-6 p.m.

    Service: 6 p.m.


    — Jay Thorwaldson

    Find this article at:
    http://www.PaloAltoOnline.com/news/story.php?story_id=3622
     
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  2. wiggles

    wiggles New Member

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    May drunk drivers burn in hell, period. I've lost 2 of my best friends thanks to them, and almost my own life.

    The mother is right in calling it murder, and the judge will likely see it the same way too. At least in Pennsylvania, if you're caught with a BAC over the legal limit and you kill someone you're automatically charged with first degree murder.
     
  3. Michael Pisarri

    Michael Pisarri New Member

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    I have never heard of that before and quite frankly its outrageous to charge someone with "willful, deliberate, and premeditated" murder, when thats not their crime. Not to mention "automatically" charging someone. However I'm not saying that extensive punishment for a death related DWI is wrong (just that your wrong). Infact too often i see a death caused by drunk driving end with the offender doing 4 years in a county lock up, You can probably get more for stealing a television set.
     
  4. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    I couldn't believe what I was reading the first time so I was stupid enough to read your post twice...you owe me 30 seconds of my life back Michael.....
     
  5. Michael Pisarri

    Michael Pisarri New Member

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    I guess we should just start giving people life sentences for grand theft auto, 10 years for stealing candy bars, and on site execution for assault.

    I wasn't saying that DWI doesn't deserve harsh punishment and it really is very sad to hear it about it. I was just saying that it deserves fair punishment and that maybe automatically charging someone with 1st degree murder is not fair. I understand it can be very emotional and rightly so, but that doesn't give anyone one the right to start handing out huge prison terms.
     
  6. Jaguar27

    Jaguar27 New Member

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    As far as I can remember, there have been 4 Cyclists Killed and two Joggers seriously injured by Drunken Drivers, one is now quadroplegic, so far this year within a 15 mile radius of where I live, the latter was a hit & run....the Guy was caught a few Days later...in a Laundrette...with a BEER in His Pocket....

    What would you consider a fair sentence?
     
  7. jrtalon

    jrtalon New Member

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    hmmm....yes.
     
  8. Michael Pisarri

    Michael Pisarri New Member

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    7 and 10 years prison and indefinate suspension of drivers license, large fine. I would also say that damages/compensation (money) should be paid out to the families/victims.
     
  9. ScottMartin

    ScottMartin New Member

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    Don't be silly. This is a serious discussion.

    And who should say what is fair in this case? The drunk driver took the life of another human being. I'm guessing, but I'd say the drunk driver got drunk voluntarily, got in his car and drove it voluntarily, made a hazard of himself voluntarily, and, therefore, voluntarily took the life of another human being.
    A person who intentionally drives a car into another human being can be charged with assault with a deadly weapon, which in many jurisdictions can carry a lengthy prison term. If an assault like that ends in the death of another person, the charge is murder, which can carry a life sentence or a death sentence.
    What's different about a drunk driver doing the same thing as a sober person? The drunk driver disregarded all the rules established to prevent or reduce drunk driving, disregarded the safety of himself and everyone else on the road, put himself in a position to hurt or kill someone, and, in this case, did kill someone. I doubt anyone put a gun to the person's head and demanded he get drunk and then take a drive. No, he got drunk through shear selfishness and irresponsibility, and another person died because of it.
    The driver probably didn't go out that day intending to kill anyone, so a charge of manslaughter would certainly be appropriate. But look at it this way: No one drives drunk out of ignorance. Anyone who drinks and drives is presumed to -- or at least should -- understand the risks and consequences of drinking and driving before they undertake to drink and drive. If they ignore the risks and consequences, including the understanding they could kill someone, they do so voluntarily, and their act of manslaughter could well be seen as murder, since they could have chosen not to drink and drive.

    Scott
     
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  10. Michael Pisarri

    Michael Pisarri New Member

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    I agree with you right until then end when you say "their act of manslaughter could well be seen as murder, since they could have chosen not to drink and drive". Just because someone understands the increased risks of driving intoxicated and still chooses to do so, it doesn't mean that if they hit and kill someone they should be seen as a murder because they volunterily choose to increase the risk that they would kill someone. People make many other decisions regarding driving that increase the risk of an accident/manslaughter. talking on your phone, drinking coffee, having a crowded car, driving too fast, driving with a broken mirror orheadlight, or driving tired, are all done volunterily and they all increase the risk of an accident (and potential death from said accident). Yet you would find few people who openly admit that when they are talking on your phone while driving, drinking coffee, and speeding to work in the morning they are dramatically increasing their chance of killing someone.
    If someone kills someone because they were driving drunk they really screwed up. BAD. But they didnt intend to murder anyone and shouldnt be charged as such.
     
  11. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    actually, by virtue of drinking (which was pre-meditated) one assumes the responsibility that if they kill someone that they willfully created the circumstances for the "accident".

    now if someone throws a bomb in a building where people are working and it goes off and kills someone then is that murder? (yes in my opinion) and does he bear the responsibility because he created that situation? (yes again in my opinion)

    how is that different than drinking and driving? I would believe that the alcohol got into his system by his own hand and was not forced on him (basically creating a bomb)...

    and could he have found another way to get home? (yes, he could have found another way to get home or maybe to spend some time to sober up...)
    so in effect he "lit" the fuse on the bomb...

    which went off and killed someone...
     
  12. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    The article didn't say whether he had any previous DUI charges or not...
    and I found it interesting that he tried to leave the scene but was so drunk that he ran off the road... what a sweetheart.
     
  13. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    If you want to kill someone and get off easy,use a car. If you are just negligent and not drunk you may only be fined.
    It is your right to be stupid and drive. After all it is just an accident.
     
  14. willocrew

    willocrew New Member

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    Intoxication Manslaughter... the 'mens rea' for murder can't really be proven in this case.
     
  15. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    Not to get into a debate but second degree murder charges have been filed in cases where one individual created the conditions that would allow another to be killed. You must show that the defenfdant had the knowledge that they could cause bodily harm or death through their negligent actions.
    Getting a conviction on original charges filed, varies. Laws also vary from state to state.

    BTW: It is no fun losing a child and I feel for the parents. There lives will never be the same.
     
  16. avmanansala

    avmanansala New Member

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    My condolences to John E. Peckham's family and friends. He sounds like a great guy.
     
  17. Michael Pisarri

    Michael Pisarri New Member

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    Its completely different than if someone threw a bomb in a building. For one the only purpose of a bomb is death and destruction and the main purpose of a car is transportation, whether or not the person should be driving or not. As a society we recognize that its extremely unsafe and potentially deadly to drive drunk, but there is no intention to kill someone like there is when you put a bomb in a building. Sure he should have found a different way home, but just because he made a big mistake and didnt doesn't mean he was arming a bomb.
     
  18. e0richt

    e0richt New Member

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    just curious, but are you a judge? or maybe an attorney? because it sounds like (boo hoo) that it was the not the drivers fault (sniffle). It was that damn cyclist...

    oh and by the way, it doesn't matter if it really is called murder or not as long as the sentence is similar for something that heinous...
     
  19. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

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    It's not a mistake. It's negligence and drunk driving is gross negligence!
     
  20. Michael Pisarri

    Michael Pisarri New Member

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    ok call it negligence, that still doesnt make it murder....
     
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