Friday, 5 December 2014

Bama and Murder

Alabama has a code written into law, which has an attachment to the charge of murder.  It's in section 13A-6-2 of the state code.

Basically....anyone is committing murder if he/she does of any of the following: commits or attempt to commit first degree arson, first or second degree burglary, first degree escape from a jail or prison, first degree kidnapping, first degree rape, any type of robbery, first degree sodomy, or any felony dangerous to life....if there is a death of any person while in this circumstance.

So, even if you were not the shooter, or the person intent on the crime....just by association in an episode where someone dies.....you get charged with murder.  Just driving a guy away from a shooting zone....you are participating and will be charged with murder.

This puts an awful crimp into defending you in some court episode.  Maybe you were just helping some cousin get even with a neighbor by participating to a minor degree in some arson situation on a house....and someone dies during the ensuing fire.  If you get pointed out.....just by minor participation....you need a special lawyer and will be fighting murder charges.

This all comes up because of a Faulkner State college kid, who was participating in a home robbery in the Montgomery area.  Four college gentlemen....all from the Christian-themed university....decided to rob some house.  The owner figured out what was going on.....pulled a gun while they were in the house, and shot one of the fine young gentlemen dead.  The remaining three guys?  All will apparently be charged with murder.

You can imagine the shock on their faces.  None carried a gun.  None had even a knife on them apparently.....at least the news media suggests that.  The prosecutor decided to apply the full law upon them.

If convicted?  I'm not sure that any of the three would get more than ten years in prison.  The court might come to agree on the conviction but not see any reason to throw a massive book at them.

How many folks in Bama know the law?  I'd take a guess that less than three-percent of the population is aware of how the law can be applied.  For some, it'd be a massive shock to know that they might do something to help a friend or neighbor....and end up with some murder charge because things went wrong.

Travel by Air?

Air travel is something that I generally dislike these days.  Between the hours spent in airports waiting on the plane, the cramped conditions within the planes, the lousy meals, the frustrating problems that can occur, and TSA.....I'm fairly negative.

This week, one of the big news outlets came up and said that TSA had done a review over the idea of denying you all carry-on luggage.  They won't say why this was necessary, or if there is some new terrorist threat which might have some angle on this topic.  The conclusion was.....no, it was not necessary....end point.

If you go around to people who travel by air and ask them.....how happy they are with TSA and the whole airline travel game.....the general answer is 'marginal'.  A handful of people have actually given up and now simply travel by train or car.  The news media won't guess the numbers, but I'd take a guess that short-distance travelers (the folks flying from Nashville to Chicago for example)....have dropped by one percent.

This brings me around to the idea of what it'd take to convince the public that there is too much security, too much hassle, and too many frustrations to occasionally travel by air.

If the airlines stood up and said....you can carry your jacket and a purse only.....as you board....would you draw the line?

If the airlines stood up and said on all 90-minute or less flights.....no drinks, period....would you draw the line?

If TSA stood up and said no laptops can be carried onto the plane....would you draw the line?

If the TSA folks stood up and said they wanted you to have three forms of ID to get through the initial security area....would you draw the line?

If TSA and the airlines came to say you needed to be at the airport three hours prior to the flight.....to get through the baggage turn-in and security requirements.....would you draw the line?

I doubt if anyone sits there and thinks about where their limit might be, and just how they'd react to something that changes your entire life.  Between the airlines and TSA....could they do something so drastic that ten-percent of America drew the line and just said 'adios' to air travel?  Before 9-11, I would have laughed over that suggestion.  Today?  I'd say it's very possible over the next decade that we will reach some mythical point where people say enough and refuse air travel.