Suicide at Sea and captain charged - Page 24 - SailNet Community
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post #231 of 790 Old 12-27-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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However Bullying is generally considered a deliberate act intended to cause harm to the victim and when it leads to death can be viewed as premeditated. If the account of the bullying of the victim by the Captain holds up that could become a big factor here too.

A death caused during the commission of a crime can also be considered a murder even if its one of the accomplices so the marijuana and gun could also come to bear here depending on how much marijuana was actually involved. Was the big rush potentially all about the marijuana and its delivery date?

There appears to have been more going on here than some would like to believe and the Captain the more is revealed seems to be the source of much if it.

.
I think you're filling in a lot of blank areas in this story with pure speculation.

I haven't read that the marijuana was a quantity that was being transported for sale and required a particular delivery date. Did you read that somewhere or is that just speculation? Isn't it equally likely that the amount was for personal use and was jettisoned because the captain knew that it's value wouldn't justify the trouble it would create if it were found once they reached port?

"Bullying" is a subjective term that would be pretty difficult to prove beyond a reasonable doubt after the fact. One persons bullying is another persons attempt to maintain some semblance of order in his crew and safe conditions for his crew under stressful conditions. None of us were there so we just can't be sure about this part of the story.

I don't think the captain handled the situation as well as possible, especially when he sailed away from the MOB, but leading up to that point I think there's a lot of gray area that we just don't know about yet so probably shouldn't be speculating on.
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post #232 of 790 Old 12-27-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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If the man was pregnant it would be a double murder, right?
If so, you would get to hang the captain twice.
Better ratings for sure...
You're forgetting he should also be charged with the murders of the man's unborn children, and sued for the amount of money he and his progeny would have made.

The crew, even late on day 2, "assumed that Pontious was still sick and dehydrated". As far as we know, the next time Pontious shows alarming behavior is late on day 3, just before he attacks the captain and jumps overboard. Yet many on this thread seem to start the clock for the captain's negligence at the time Pontious steps onboard, because his feet are swollen.

It's quite possible the captain, on day 3, attributed Pontious' remarks and behavior to hallucination associated with lack of sleep or water: https://www.worldcrunch.com/tech-sci...to-hallucinate

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post #233 of 790 Old 12-27-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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However Bullying is generally considered a deliberate act intended to cause harm to the victim and when it leads to death can be viewed as premeditated. If the account of the bullying of the victim by the Captain holds up that could become a big factor here too.

A death caused during the commission of a crime can also be considered a murder even if its one of the accomplices so the marijuana and gun could also come to bear here depending on how much marijuana was actually involved.
You are confusing your disapproval with the Captain's actions (or inactions) with what the law dictates. I believe you are alluding to the possibility of the facts here sustaining a charge of felony murder. Unless there are significant unknown facts at play here, there is nothing to support that here. Just because there was a death caused during a crime doesn't make that death a "murder".

Felony murder requires facts that show an actor knowingly participated in a felony crime; once he does so, he can be found to be guilty of murder if someone dies during the commission of that felony. But only if that death was a murder. In order for that to be the case, you need two things: an intentional participation in a felony crime, and a murder committed in the furtherance of that crime. The classic example is the multiple participant bank robbery. If two guys go into the bank and take money at gun point and one of them shoots and kills someone, then the shooter could be found guilty of murder and both the driver and the other robber could be found guilty of felony murder. You have the two elements in that example: a felony crime that all intentionally participated in (the bank robbery), and a murder that was committed in the furtherance of that felony (the intentional use of deadly force; N.B. that this would probably be Murder in the 2nd degree, not in the 1st degree. Murder 1 is generally killing someone with the intent to kill them. Murder 2 is killing someone when you didn't mean to kill them, only hurt them).

Given this framework, you can see how this just doesn't fit our facts in the sea-going case. Being mean, bullying or even cruel to someone isn't a crime. Given the prosecutor's decision to go forward with this case, you can bet that if they had more they could charge him with, they would. My supposition is that the prosecutor is as offended by the Captain's actions as you are, and he wants to see him punished. Given the clearly lower standards of culpability required under this old, archaic statute, the prosecutor probably sees this as his best chance of winning a conviction.

As I mentioned before, I was a prosecutor for about 5 years, and I am troubled by this statute. I don't think it is a good thing to be able to put someone in jail for 10 years for plain negligence. I get that captains have a greater duty of care to their crews and to their passengers; but 10 years? For plain negligence? That's too far in my book.
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post #234 of 790 Old 12-27-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Sure, and guarantee he doesn't get that, and likely little actual jail time.

But revoke the ability to charter? Would not be harsh at all, heck just sexual harassment would get that these days (not minimizing seriousness of that crime).
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post #235 of 790 Old 12-27-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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Sure, and guarantee he doesn't get that, and likely little actual jail time.

But revoke the ability to charter? Would not be harsh at all, heck just sexual harassment would get that these days (not minimizing seriousness of that crime).
I agree that a first time offender is unlikely to be given the maximum sentence - not just here, but in just about any criminal sentencing. What bothers me at this point (I'm not upset about a conviction or sentence that has yet to happen) is the statute itself. It is just wrong in my book to have a statute that provides for a 10 year prison term for plain negligence, let alone for those other things like inattention or dereliction of duties.

Even if he is not convicted, I wouldn't be surprised if the Coast Guard feels compelled at this point to pull his license, regardless of the outcome of their previous investigation.
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post #236 of 790 Old 12-27-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Has this particular statute ever been prosecuted before? What is the historical precedent? What is the historical context? What is the history of this statute?

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post #237 of 790 Old 12-27-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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.......I get that captains have a greater duty of care to their crews and to their passengers; but 10 years? For plain negligence? That's too far in my book.
With one exception. A guy is dead. It's not like one's negligence simply damaged property.

In this case, the negligence, or inattention to duties, was intentionally failing to attempt an effort to save the guy. It wasn't failing to tie a knot properly. Reportedly, a crew member questioned their decision to turn around and the Captain consciously decided not to. That's going to leave a mark on the Captain in some form. It probably already has.
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post #238 of 790 Old 12-27-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

Minnie,

Here’s hoping St Peter treats you with more empathy than you give this Captain.
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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With one exception. A guy is dead. It's not like one's negligence simply damaged property.
Then charge him with manslaughter (depraved indifference to human life resulting in death). No need to monkey around with an archaic statute that will have the judge and jury floundering to find the right way to assess the law. My assumption is that the prosecutor doesn't think the facts support a manslaughter charge, which is why he has settled on this particular statute.

I don't know the whole story here, just what has been written in the newspaper articles. If that's all there is, then I would support stripping this captain of his license. Jail time? Not so sure of that. But again, none of us were there, and none of us has anything approaching the full story. So I will withhold judgement until I hear it.
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post #240 of 790 Old 12-27-2018
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Re: Suicide at Sea and captain charged

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..... So I will withhold judgement
.....
Yeah, but the boys alteady have a tree picked out.
Been a long time since there was a good hanging in this forum.
They smell it, like they are in heat.
Viagra in the air....
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