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Old 02.03.2017, 11:17
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Deadly car race in Germany, drivers jailed for life

The two car drivers participating a year ago in a deadly car race on Berlin's Kurfürstendamm have both been sentenced to jail for life(article in German). The were driving with up to 160km/h and ran across multiple red lights according to witnesses.

At one crossing a Jeep, who had green lights, was hit. It was thrown 72m by the impact, the driver died on the spot. No other victims mentioned, he appears to have been alone in the Jeep. As happens so often in these cases the murderer and his female co-driver were only minimally hurt.

The verdict isn't final yet as it can and will be appealed. Nonetheless it has lead character as for the first time a race accident is considered to have been caused "eventualvorsätzlich" (accident likely) rather than "fahrlässig" (accident just a relatively remote possibility), which is the precondition to murder verdict.

"For live" in Germany means undetermined duration. Earliest release is possible after 15 years upon which the sentence changes to "on probation".

Switzerland has often been criticized for its harsh sanctions against racers and high-speeders that are among the harshest in Europe, if not (in practice) the harshest. This verdict shows that at least one major European country is following its lead.
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Old 02.03.2017, 12:20
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Re: Deadly car race in Germany, drivers jailed for life

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The verdict isn't final yet as it can and will be appealed. Nonetheless it has lead character as for the first time a race accident is considered to have been caused "eventualvorsätzlich" (accident likely) rather than "fahrlässig" (accident just a relatively remote possibility), which is the precondition to murder verdict.

Switzerland has often been criticized for its harsh sanctions against racers and high-speeders that are among the harshest in Europe, if not (in practice) the harshest. This verdict shows that at least one major European country is following its lead.
I think there are similar provisions in most other European countries as well. In the UK, for example, the distinction between 'causing death by dangerous driving', with a maximum 14 years prison sentence, and 'manslaughter due to gross negligence', which could lead to life imprisonment, would hinge on two points
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The driving fell far below the minimum acceptable standard of driving such that there was an obvious and serious risk of death;
which would probably apply in this case, and
Quote:
The conduct of the suspect was so bad in all the circumstances as, in the opinion of the jury, to amount to a crime (R v Adomako [1993] 3 All ER 79).
which might be less clear-cut, more subjective, but equally could apply in this case too.

Edit: it's just semantics, but in the UK 'murder' , with a statutory life term, requires intent; not necessarily intent to kill, but deliberately to cause harm, so could only apply in a vehicle death if the vehicle was deliberately used as a weapon.
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Last edited by Ace1; 02.03.2017 at 12:47.
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Old 04.03.2017, 00:50
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Re: Deadly car race in Germany, drivers jailed for life

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I think there are similar provisions in most other European countries as well.
Could well be. The question is how the situation is interpreted, hence my "(in practice)". If causing an accident by racing is considered negligent the sentence is much less severe, that's what makes this verdict headlines-worthy.

Likewise it wasn't until the car got considered a potential weapon in CH that it can be confiscated and sold or destroyed.

Yes the verdict is probably manslaughter not murder, I used "murderer" from my own POV. The psychological expertise reportedly says the drivers show zero remorse. Considering the two have a history in this respect it would have been nothing but a matter of time until the next race, and the next.. until the eventual crash.

They could just as well have thrown a handgrenade in a crowd.
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