Monday, February 13, 2006

Dick Cheney is a felon.

Here are some interesting snippets from the Texas Penal Code, Chapter 22.

§ 22.01. ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an offense if
the person:

(1)intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly causes
bodily injury to another, including the person's spouse;


(b) An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a Class A

§ 22.02. AGGRAVATED ASSAULT. (a) A person commits an
offense if the person commits assault as defined in § 22.01 and
the person:


(2) uses or exhibits a deadly weapon during the
commission of the assault.

(b) An offense under this section is a felony of the second degree, … .

§ 22.04. INJURY TO A CHILD, ELDERLY INDIVIDUAL, OR DISABLED INDIVIDUAL. (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally, knowingly, recklessly, or with criminal negligence, by act or intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly by omission, causes to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual:

(1) serious bodily injury;


(3) bodily injury.

(c) In this section: … . (2) "Elderly individual" means a person 65 years of age or older.

(f) An offense under Subsection (a)(3) is a felony of the third degree when the conduct is committed intentionally or knowingly. When the conduct is engaged in recklessly it shall be a state jail felony.

(g) An offense under Subsection (a) when the person acts with criminal negligence shall be a state jail felony.

Texas Code of Criminal Procedure:

§ 1.07. DEFINITIONS. (a) In this code:

. . . (17) "Deadly weapon" means: (A) a firearm or anything manifestly designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting death or serious bodily injury;

“… and tell ’em Big Mitch sent ya!”


Beerme said...

Hey Big Mitch,

Isn't it time to MoveOn?
Do you really think that the Republicans are the only one's in our government doing dirty deeds, cheaply?
What was your position on the lying, cheating and downright despicable bevaior of Democrats when they were in power?

Oh, and how is it anyone is going to "tell 'em Big Mitch sent" them, when it appears no one is reading your blog?

kwl said...

Here's the thing.
1. Intentionally (I know you are fantasizing that Cheney brought a friend hunting with him with the knowlege that he would shoot him, but that is delusional on your part) Knowingly (more lawyereze for Intentionally) or recklessly causes bodily injury to another (It was reckless of the victim to not follow proper hunting protocols and walk against the sun toward the hunting party)...
Tell'm KWL sent you.

BigMitch said...

§ 6.03. DEFINITIONS OF CULPABLE MENTAL STATES. (a) A person acts intentionally, or with intent, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to a result of his conduct when it is his
conscious objective or desire to engage in the conduct or cause the result.
(b) A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to the nature of his conduct or to circumstances surrounding his conduct when he is aware of the nature of his conduct or that the
circumstances exist. A person acts knowingly, or with knowledge, with respect to a result of his conduct when he is aware that his conduct is reasonably certain to cause the result.
(c) A person acts recklessly, or is reckless, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or
the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation from the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the
circumstances as viewed from the actor's standpoint.
(d) A person acts with criminal negligence, or is criminally negligent, with respect to circumstances surrounding his conduct or the result of his conduct when he ought to be aware of a substantial and unjustifiable risk that the circumstances exist or the result will occur. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that the failure to perceive it constitutes a gross deviation from the
standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise under all the circumstances as viewed from the actor's standpoint.

Hope this helps KWL.

GP said...

For all of your cutting and pasting of legal definitions, you haven't shown any criminal intent. If you could, you see most (or at least a great many more) hunting accidents prosecuted as felonies.

Furthermore, you accuse the Vice President of being drunk when we've heard NO rumors (excluding the blog realms of conspiracy and Bush-bashing) that he was drinking. Then you throw in this priceless trviai -- a history of DWIs! According to Wikipedia and, the last DWI came in 1962!!! Come on, Mitch, I could say that you have a history of crapping in your pants, and omit the relevant parts about you being 6 months old and wearing diapers...

I think the title should be "What we know so far... and other liberal conjecture."


kwl said...

Well, as far as help, not much. I think however, that Cheny shooting a lawyer, nice start, let's finish the job. The White House is going to charter several busses just for lawyers for a chance to go hunting with Cheney. Big sign on the bus that states LAWYERS ONLY, PHILLY LAWYERS SIT UP FRONT!
Seriously though, I don't know if you are a hunter or not, but just in case you don't know, there is a protocol, and it is taugh in all hunter safety courses that you don't walk toward your hunting party with the sun at your back.
It was an unfortunate accident, I truly think that, but the leftist MSM dimocratic machine is not going to let this go until they impeach Cheney, and Bush for suggesting him as a VP.

kwl said...

After more careful reading of your reply, I am more confused than ever. You are going to have to forgive my humble ineptness to all that lawyereze, but I have to ask, are you from Philadelphia?
If I interpet that right with my right wing brain, it seems to suggest that either Cheney did go hunting with the full knowledge that his friend would walk into the path of fire when shooting at flying quail, and walking towards the party with the sun at his back, OR, that anyone that is on a hunting trip is consciously with knowledge endangering everyone in his party.
The same could be true for anyone that gets into a car and drives.
But hey, I aint no lawyer.

BigMitch said...


Dear Sir or Madam,

You may be assured I will always forgive ineptitude if it is accompanied with humility. I am not from Philadelphia, nor am I a lawyer, though I used to be one.

The words are well known in the criminal law, and the definitions are fairly standard. Let me see if I can break it down for you.

Every crime has two parts, the mental part and the physical part. That seems so simple that it should come as no surprise that lawyers figured out confusing words to use in order to express it, viz., mens rea and actus reus, literally the guilty mind, and the guilty act. In order to keep non-lawyers a little off-balance you will observe that two different words are translated as guilty, but I digress.

Though there are exceptions, the mental states are generally as follows: negligently, recklessly, knowingly, and intentionally. Sometimes, the same act will be a different crime depending on the mental state. For example, a homicide is the act – killing a human being. It can be Murder in the First Degree, Murder in the Second Degree, Manslaughter or Negligent Homicide depending on the mental state.

Now, what do these word mean.

Someone is negligent if he or she owes a duty of care, and violates it. When you get on the road in your car, you have a duty to drive safely, and if you cause an accident, you are negligent, in the civil law. In the criminal law, the violation must be a “gross deviation from the standard of care that a reasonable person would exercise in the circumstances.” Some definitions of gross deviation include the concept of “worthy of punishment.”

Some say that any negligence involving a firearm is criminal negligence, and the same would apply to any "dangerous instrumentality." Cars are not dangerous instrumentalities, but airplanes are. If you are thinking, this is arbitrary and confusing, you are beginning to catch on.

A more culpable mental state is recklessness. Basically, this means that the actor was aware of a risk, and consciously disregarded it. Blackstone is the name of a legal commentator from the 18th century, and he described the difference this way:
“If a man throw a faggot of wood off his roof, and is unaware that another is below, and the wood hits that other and kills him, then the man is negligent. If the man is aware of the other, and though he prays that the wood misses him, then he is reckless.”

I don’t even want to know what a faggot of wood is.

Knowingly means that the actor knows what he is doing. In the case of a hunting accident it means the actor knew he was pulling the trigger, and he knew of a substantial possibility that the result, hitting someone, could occur. I am cutting the Veep slack because I don’t think he really knew that there was a substantial possibility that Harry would get shot. However, if the reason he didn’t know was because he was drunk, and had he not been drunk, he would have known, then, the knowledge is attributed to him, and he is said to have acted knowingly. Again, we have no evidence of Mr. Cheney being drunk, and the presumption of innocence applies.

Finally, there is Intentionally. Nobody in his or her right mind, or even left-wing mind, has suggested that the Veep acted intentionally. For him to have done so would have required that Mr. Cheney had a conscious desire to bring about the result, in this case, shooting Mr. W.

There are a few crimes that require no mental state. Usually these are regulatory in nature. For example, it is unlawful to go quail hunting in Texas without an upland bird stamp on your license. It does not matter that were careful and tried to comply with the law. However, if it is the case that you were careful, etc., the prosecuting authority may simply issue a “warning citation.”

You may have heard the words “malice aforethought,” or some similar phrase. Basically, the meaning of the word “malice” has evolved. Blackstone described it as the product of a “black and malignant heart.” Today, the word means about the same as intentionally, defined above, though many legal codes, including Texas and Alaska (my state) avoid the term altogether. When it is used, it incorporates the concept of “without justification, mitigation or excuse.”

I am not a hunter, though I do not disapprove of hunting. I do not pretend to be knowledgeable about hunting customs and “rules.” However, I think that if you fire a gun, you are responsible for where the shot goes. This seems to be a prevailing theme in what I have read from hunters on the blogosphere. Don’t fire into the sun, if your vision is obscured because of glare, seems to be the rule from what I can gather.

When I first suggested that Cheney might have been drinking, I was just having fun, trying to point out why it was so irresponsible to sit on the story for nearly a day. Since then I have learned that a witness said that there may be some beer cans on the site, and that the Sheriff’s deputy was turned away at the gate on Saturday night. Now, I really wonder.

One more point, the District Attorney in Texas is quoted as saying that if Harry dies, the Veep may face a grand jury indictment for negligent or reckless behavior resulting in death. If a person causes serious bodily injury negligently or recklessly, then he is guilty of a felonious assault. The only difference is the result, death v. serious injury. If you follow my logic, you will see that the D.A. has admitted that this matter should be referred to a grand jury on assault charges.

Once more, I hope this helps.


Big Mitch

Anonymous said...

A faggot is an imperial unit applied to collections of sticks:

1 short faggot of sticks = 2 ft. girth × 32 in. long bundle of short wood sticks/billets
1 long faggot of sticks = 2 ft. girth × 4 ft. long bundle of long wood sticks/billets
1 faggot of iron = 2 ft. girth × 1 ft. long bundle of iron/steel rods/bars
The term is now just as likely to be applied to any bundle of sticks, regardless of its propor