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Opening Arguments

Reckless abandon

OK, somebody wiser than me about the Hoosier  criminal justice system is going to have to explain this to me, 'cause I just don't get it. On the one hand, we have a man from Vincennes charged with criminal recklessness for his inattentive driving:

A man from Vincennes is facing charges after allegedly running from police, and driving recklessly.

Wednesday afternoon around 6:40 P.M., A Trooper was patrolling on Henderson Road near Niblack Road when he says he saw a driver texting while driving north on Henderson Road.

[. . .]

Further investigation revealed Davis nearly struck two children on bicycles while they were on Niblack Road and that he fled from Trooper Francis because he had an expired license plate on his vehicle.

But then we have this Adams County guy who gets off the hook:

A grand jury in Adams County has declined to file criminal charges against a van driver who rear-ended a horse-drawn buggy almost a year ago, killing three children and seriously injuring their mother.

The jury heard three days of testimony on the collision that happened about 8 a.m. April 17, 2012, west of Monroe, county Prosecutor Christopher Harvey said Tuesday in a written statement.

According to a crash report, the van driver, Chandler Gerber, told investigators the sun’s reflection off the road made it difficult to see. He also said he was texting a relative and going about 60 mph just before the crash, the report stated.

[. . .]

The six-member jury deliberated for several hours before announcing its decision Friday. “Ultimately, the grand jury found that, while Mr. Gerber was negligent, even grossly negligent in his actions, his conduct did not amount to recklessness under Indiana law,” Harvey said in the statement.

So, somebody who almost hits kids on bikes while driving and texting is guilty of reckless driving, but someone who actually kills three children while texting and driving is not. Neat. My inclination is to think the Adams County grand jury doesn't understand the law very well, but even if that's so they don't get all (or even most) of the blame. You know the old saying that a prosecutor could get a ham sandwich indicted. Isn't it fair to assume that if the prosecutor really wanted this guy charged he would be?