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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

The bottle made him do it

"I was so drunk I didn't know what I was doing." OK, says the jury:

A man who shot his drinking buddy to death was too drunk to mean it, a Lexington jury concluded. The attorney who swayed the jury, colorful Kentucky politican Gatewood Galbraith, spoke exclusively to WLKY.com after the verdict.

"I thought it was a fair verdict. It's certainly in accordance with the law, as the jury was instructed," Galbraith said. "There's no evidence that there was murder. There was all kinds of evidence that it was exactly what they found him guilty of: second-degree manslaughter. It was a tragedy. But it was dealt with, I thought, at the proper level. I thought the father of the deceased was a class act, a class gentleman.”

This opens up a whole new world of "it wasn't my fault" defenses. Whatever you do after drinking too much -- shoot your buddy, kill a pedestrian with your car, rape your neighbor's child -- just have a few more drinks before the cops show up. It was the alcohol, not you.


Bob G.
Fri, 08/31/2007 - 12:32pm

Yet...whatever the MEANS used that caused whatever situation...it was the person's FREE WILL that CHOSE to partake in those "means".

It's STILL all about PEOPLE, whether it's booze, drugs, guns, rape, or any other deviancy from normal.

And that is hard to legislate.


Steve T.
Mon, 09/03/2007 - 12:19pm

There is nothing in AA literature, or in any respected program of recovery, that supports the notion that a drunk is not, or should not be, liable for his or her actions.

In fact, the AA program affirms that it is never a good idea to rescue an alcoholic (or addict) from consequences of his or her shameful behaviors.

The printed literature bears me out on this, chapter and verse. I do not opine in this case; I just report.

Steve T.
Mon, 09/03/2007 - 12:39pm

AA does never considers itself a sentence -- nor does the organization ally itself with the view of courts -- since one of AA's guiding princples says "We have no opinion on outside issues."

AA is the opposite of punishment for an alcoholic/addict.

In fact, for those who venture to attend, AA will be discovered to be an easy fix for what the alcoholic had convinced himself was an insoluable life-or-death problem.

AA has therefore never endorsed any outside recovery plan, other than its own purely voluntary 12 steps. AA believes, in fact, that the steps are never effective outside the program, and that recovery from alcoholism can never occur except voluntarily.