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Old December 5, 2021, 06:49 PM   #1
Aguila Blanca
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Did a Michigan DA make up a new law?

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...w/88092390.cms

The parents of the kid who killed several schoolmates in Michigan have been arrested and charged with manslaughter. The problem is that there apparently isn't any law that they violated -- they were charged because the District Attorney was angry.

Quote:
"I am angry," she said. "I'm angry as a mother. I'm angry as ..
However, according to this article, Michigan doesn't have any secure gun storage law, so it's sort of a mystery how the parents can be charged with anything.

Quote:
“And the state of Michigan has considered a number of times enacting a law, this child access prevention law that many states have adopted which would make criminal what happened here which was the that the parents allowed the child to get access to the weapon. But the state of Michigan has decided not to enact that law.”

...

“So at a time when everybody’s hot and emotions are raw, prosecutors are creating a crime on the fly to attach to these parents. And if you think about it, it doesn’t make much more sense to accuse them of complicity in murder, any more than it makes sense to accuse the school officials of murder.”
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Old December 5, 2021, 07:32 PM   #2
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While there may not be a safe storage law, per se, the Michigan State Police believe that someone can be held criminally and civilly liable if they allow a minor to gain access to a firearm.

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/m...F_286476_7.pdf

You may be criminally and civilly liable for any harm caused by a person less than 18 years of age who lawfully gains unsupervised access to your firearm if unlawfully stored. As such, a trigger lock, gun case or other device designed to prevent unauthorized access to a firearm is strongly recommended.

Or maybe that's just some kind of generic warning?
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Old December 5, 2021, 07:54 PM   #3
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John, for many years my state's State Police web site advised that open carry was illegal even if you had a permit. Then a case finally went to court, and the court read the law. No harm -- no foul.

The blatantly incorrect advisory was removed from the State Police web site shortly thereafter.

Quote:
You may be criminally and civilly liable for any harm caused by a
person less than 18 years of age who lawfully gains unsupervised
access to your firearm if unlawfully stored. As such, a trigger lock,
gun case or other device designed to prevent unauthorized access to a
firearm is strongly recommended.
"May" is conditional language, and there is no statute cited. When an attorney whose career was as a federal prosecutor states that Michigan doesn't have a safe storage law, I'm inclined to accept that statement until someone posts a link to a Michigan safe storage statute.

"If it's not illegal -- it's legal."
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Old December 5, 2021, 07:58 PM   #4
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At the arraignment the parent's lawyers stated that the gun was actually locked in a safe, which is totally meaningless in this case since the kid had the safe combination.
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Old December 5, 2021, 08:03 PM   #5
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Here's a link to the state's own compilation of its firearms laws.

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/docume...s/firearms.pdf

I didn't see anything in there about safe storage or preventing access by children under the age of 18. My state has such a law -- many states do -- but Michigan apparently does not.
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Old December 5, 2021, 09:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
You may be criminally and civilly liable for any harm caused by a
person less than 18 years of age who lawfully gains unsupervised
access to your firearm if unlawfully stored.
I'm going to ask, how does one "lawfully gain unsupervised access", without receiving permission in advance??

If someone takes one of my books, my car, my guns, or any other property I own, without me giving them specific permission, how can that be "lawful"??

I have issues with the underlying philosophy in these cases, because it seems to me that the law is saying its ok for people to steal your stuff if you secure it in accordance with our rules, but if you don't then you are responsible for harm caused by the thief because you didn't make them work hard enough to steal it to please us...

I just think that's wrong. I realize it is the law many places, but I still think its wrong, and wrong headed.
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Old December 5, 2021, 09:34 PM   #7
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I haven’t seen legal thought on this yet.

So not legal thoughts on the matter. I wouldn’t give access to my son if he was unstable. He wouldn’t go buy him a firearm either.

My son is still young and was given a firearm by his grandfather (part of his last wishes). It might be his but I have control of it until he is older.
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Old December 5, 2021, 10:38 PM   #8
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These charges are not based on safe storage and age-of-possession verbiage.

The parents were notified by the school of the child's concerning violent ideations, twice, the day before and the day of the shootings. Mom laughed off the school's warnings. The parents refused the school's counseling recommendation and the school's recommendation to take the child home for the day.

They are being charged with manslaughter because they dismissed opportunities to prevent the shooting.


Quote:
"I am angry," she said. "I'm angry as a mother. I'm angry as ..
The prosecutor is allowed to be angry. That's OK. She is human. She charged the parents because of their negligence, not her own lack of self-control.
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Old December 6, 2021, 12:40 AM   #9
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It's my understanding one of the charges being brought is involuntary manslaughter.

Don't you personally have to have been the one that did the killing or was directly in volved in the killing like cutting someones brake lines and when they crash it kills someone else ? I believe you need to be physically involved in some way correct ?

I don't see how you get involuntary manslaughter ( the crime of killing another human being unlawfully but unintentionally. ) by simply leaving your firearm in a drawer or safe where someone else can take it . This seems like a HUGE reach and a precedent we better all hope doesn't get set .

Quote:
They are being charged with manslaughter because they dismissed opportunities to prevent the shooting.
I was thinking the same thing but instead of parent/s you substitute school officials . The school has experts in child phycology to understand how serious this may have been . In these specific types of situations the school not only should have sent him home but I'd say they had a legal obligation to search the students backpack and locker before sending him back to class . That said If he knew he was going to the office and had the gun on him . He likely stashed it in the trash can in the bathroom on his way to the office and is why he came out of the bathroom right before he started shooting .

To be clear I'm not placing sole blame on the school only pointing they could and should have done something as well . I agree depending on what was said the child should have been sent home . My guess would be he would have returned later that day as soon as he could but who knows .
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Old December 6, 2021, 01:32 AM   #10
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Rittenhouse was clearly self defense, but a rouge prosecutor charged him anyway mere days after the shooting. Same thing happening here, days after a shooting and people are being charged with crimes that don't even exist.

If there is no law that states inadequate storage of a gun is unlawful then it's not illegal. So long as the father didn't buy the gun and hand possession over to the kid, if it was kept in their bedroom, I can't see how you can make it their fault, they didn't pull the trigger.

It does show that if you have kids and they're having trouble at that age you should have a way to secure a gun, but that's where personal responsibility kicks in, not law.

Unfortunately after the Rittenhouse case I'm seeing a pattern where cases that should clearly be dismissed by judges are not being dismissed and it's costing millions in legal defense fees to keep innocent people out of jail. Leftist DA/prosecutors in blue states are using lawfare against people with guns, protect yourself, even a basic floor safe is better than nothing.
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Old December 6, 2021, 06:34 AM   #11
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Shooter's mother says the handgun was purchased as a Christmas present for their son.

A former neighbor called authorities because the parents were leaving the kid at home while they frequented bars.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime...cid=uxbndlbing

A teacher found disturbing notes and drawings by the student. Student's parents were asked to take their son home, they refused. Later the same day said student massacred other students.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime...edgdhp&pc=U531

Look for a lawsuit to be filed against the school.
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Old December 6, 2021, 07:19 AM   #12
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Lay odds:

- NOTHING criminal will stick (to any of the peripheral parties here)
- EVERYbody will get sued (successfully I might add)
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Old December 6, 2021, 07:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbclarkson
These charges are not based on safe storage and age-of-possession verbiage.

The parents were notified by the school of the child's concerning violent ideations, twice, the day before and the day of the shootings. Mom laughed off the school's warnings. The parents refused the school's counseling recommendation and the school's recommendation to take the child home for the day.

They are being charged with manslaughter because they dismissed opportunities to prevent the shooting.
I think it's quite a stretch to try to apply the law to the parents in this case. As someone commented above, if the parents are guilty of involuntary manslaughter here, so are the school officials.

https://www.monroecountylawyers.com/...r-in-michigan/
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Old December 6, 2021, 08:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
I think it's quite a stretch to try to apply the law to the parents in this case. As someone commented above, if the parents are guilty of involuntary manslaughter here, so are the school officials.
Respectfully, I disagree. I read your attached document. Those attorneys are defining involuntary manslaughter in general terms, not specific to the Michigan case. It was written in 2020. Involuntary manslaughter is a crime of negligence. The parents are much more negligent than the school, in my untrained legal opinion. (Side note: I am a special education teacher, who also dabbled in school administration, nearing retirement age. I realize bias and experience is playing a role here.)

There is not much the school could do, in this case. I don't know about Michigan school law or this particular district's student code of conduct. In my school, drawing a violent picture is not, by itself, a violation of school rules. A school cannot discipline a student if no school rule has been broken. The child also was looking at ammunition on his phone. This would likely be a minor - something like misuse of technology - infraction. A school cannot suspend a student or force a counseling intervention for a minor violation. The school did not have the authority to search the child at the time. The school did not have probable cause. He had not broken a school rule yet. And remember, the parents did not tell the school that he was in love with his new gun and there was a chance he may have it with him. If there is a school attorney in the audience, please steer me in the right direction if I am misinterpreting general school law.

Here is where my bias comes in - I have seen this dozens of times. If a parent is unwilling to collaborate with the school in matters of discipline, the school's options become limited and the student tends to escalate his or her disruptive behavior. These parents refused to participate.

I wonder about this child's discipline history. Were there other red flags ignored by the parents? How many other times did the school reach out to the parents only to be ignored? School discipline records are confidential. We may not learn more until trial.

If this child were to throw a rock and break a school window, I think we all would expect the school to send the parents the bill and the parents to pay it. Well, now we have a another school shooting. The bill is due.
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Old December 6, 2021, 12:29 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbclarkson
They are being charged with manslaughter because they dismissed opportunities to prevent the shooting.
Then she appears to have a political motivation. That's not involuntary manslaughter.

Quote:
Involuntary manslaughter is the killing of another without malice and unintentionally, but in doing some unlawful act not amounting to a felony nor naturally tending to cause death or great bodily harm, or in negligently doing some act lawful in itself, or by the negligent omission to perform a legal duty.” People v Ryczek, 224 Mich 106, 110; 194 NW 609 (1923).
https://www.monroecountylawyers.com/...r-in-michigan/

There's a gap in causation between bad parenting and a 15 year old acting to kill people.

A prosecutor who brings charges without a factual basis may suffer no harm, or may benefit from the perception that something was done. That's politics, not law.
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Old December 6, 2021, 02:09 PM   #16
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And the prosecutor -- IMHO -- has just gone nuts:
>
> Michigan school officials could still face charges following the tragic
> Oxford High School shooting last week that left four students dead
> and seven other people injured.
>
> "It’s possible, yes," Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said
> on NBC’s "Today" show when asked if it was "possible that school officials
> could face charges."

https://www.foxnews.com/us/michigan-...uld-be-charged
Start playing this game out and schools will go over the deep end in reporting Pop Tarts with a single bit out of them.
Kindrgardners will have arrest records -- "to be safe"

This is rapidly becoming a very dark Greco/Russian Tragic play in which all the characters come to life's total ruin
by circumstances issued by the gods.
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Old December 6, 2021, 02:22 PM   #17
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Quote:
And the prosecutor -- IMHO -- has just gone nuts:
>
> Michigan school officials could still face charges following the tragic
> Oxford High School shooting last week that left four students dead
> and seven other people injured.
>
> "It’s possible, yes," Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald said
> on NBC’s "Today" show when asked if it was "possible that school officials
> could face charges."
https://www.foxnews.com/us/michigan-...uld-be-charged
Start playing this game out and schools will go over the deep end in reporting Pop Tarts with a single bit out of them.
Kindrgardners will have arrest records -- "to be safe"

This is rapidly becoming a very dark Greco/Russian Tragic play in which all the characters come to life's total ruin
by circumstances issued by the gods.
Very good points , I don't think criminal charges for school officials is warranted but civil charges for school procedures failing to stop this from happening are a different question .
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Old December 6, 2021, 02:36 PM   #18
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there is information out now saying the parents bought the gun for the kid as a Christmas present. If they gave it to him, or just gave him permission for unsupervised access to the gun, that is a different matter than if he simply took (stole) the gun without permission.

I suspect we won't know the full truth until it comes out in court, and possibly not even then.

From the outside, and based only on the information I have, supplied by our media (and we all know how accurate they can be) it doesn't seem like the manslaughter charge is appropriate for the parents.

What was their crime? NOT believing and acting on what some school official told them? That might be enough to get them convicted I suppose.

The people the OKC bomber stayed with got 10year sentences for not turning him in to the Feds when he told them his plans. Their only defense was that they simply did not believe McVeigh was actually serious.

And that is the problem here, as I see it. That, the prosecutor is looking to "send a message".

I think she's trying to send the wrong message, but that's just my personal opinion.

Now, if I'm wrong and it turns out that the parents actively encouraged his violence and armed him, in order that he may act out his demonstrated murderous intent, that would be a completely different matter.
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Old December 6, 2021, 02:53 PM   #19
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Is the school responsible because they didn't expel or suspend him that day, when the parents refused to take him out?
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Old December 6, 2021, 02:58 PM   #20
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Quote:
Is the school responsible because they didn't expel or suspend him that day, when the parents refused to take him out?
Yes that's the argument in general . Also If the parents refused to take him home the school could have sat him in the office to be supervised until end of day if they really felt there was an issue . I just heard the counselor signed off on the kid going back to class ( not sure if that's accurate )

Of course this is all hindsight is 20/20 type of thing .
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Old December 6, 2021, 06:45 PM   #21
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Quote:
Now, if I'm wrong and it turns out that the parents actively encouraged his violence and armed him, in order that he may act out his demonstrated murderous intent, that would be a completely different matter.
But wouldn't that make them accessories to the murders and subject to the same charges as their son?
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Old December 7, 2021, 12:51 PM   #22
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Do school administrators have legal authority to search a student's backpack, locker, etc. at any time for any reason? If so, there might be some liability for not doing that.
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Old December 9, 2021, 08:20 AM   #23
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Quote:
Do school administrators have legal authority to search a student's backpack, locker, etc. at any time for any reason? If so, there might be some liability for not doing that.
No. Public school students are afforded the same 4th amendment protections as every other American. Did the school have sufficient probable cause to search this student? - This is the question that needs to be settled by the courts. Right now, we spectators only have enough information to speculate an answer.
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Old December 9, 2021, 05:18 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbclarkson
...Public school students are afforded the same 4th amendment protections as every other American....
That's not entirely accurate:
Quote:
....students don’t completely give up their constitutional rights as soon as they enter the classroom. Courts have held that constitutional protections against unreasonable searches apply in the context of public schools. Still, students’ privacy rights are more limited than if they were adults dealing with law enforcement....
So while a student is protected against unreasonable searches and seizures (under the Fourth Amendment made applicable to the States through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment), the reasonableness standard can be different for searches by school officials on school grounds than for LEOs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbclarkson
...This is the question that needs to be settled by the courts. Right now, we spectators only have enough information to speculate an answer.
But that is accurate.
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Old December 9, 2021, 05:59 PM   #25
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While waiting for an appointment at the VA hospital this afternoon, I was reading a newspaper that someone had left. Front page article discussed threats against a local high school. In the article, it was mentioned that new security protocols are that each student is wanded when they enter, and their backpacks are searched.

No warrants ...
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