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Diplomatic Immunity

By Mahons On October 8th, 2019

A 19 year old in the UK was struck and killed on his bike by a woman who apparently made a wrong turn driving her car into the wrong way. The woman was an American, and a family member of a diplomat, and she has left the UK under the protection of diplomatic immunity. Fireworks have ensued.
There is no doubt she is protected by diplomatic immunity, but the UK at its highest level (the Prime Minister) is demanding it be waived, something a home nation can do but rarely does. The theory behind diplomatic immunity is to protect diplomats and their families from unscrupulous charges by the host nation by rendering them immune from prosecution or liabilty of any kind. It is a traditional, effective and necessary doctrine.
Should it be waived on this occassion? The UK is a special ally, cooperation and mutual respect critical. The incident clearly occured as alleged, and the woman is responsible (it is unclear if criminal charges would be filed). She made her wrong turn exiting a covert facility, the continuation of its existence clearly in US interests.
There is precedent in Georgia waiving diplomatic immunity for one of its own who caused a fatality in the US in a traffic accident.
On the other hand the accident was not deliberate, diplomatic immunity is legal and agreed to by both nations, and prosecution for a crime probably unlikely.
What should be done?

179 Responses to “Diplomatic Immunity”

  1. can she appear by video link ? What is she is found guilty of manslaughter ?

  2. I would not think so as to video link. As for manslaughter it seems unlikely. But she (and perhaps the US) probably have civil liability for negligence.

  3. You can’t waive immunity, but the Embassy should give the victims family a nice payout.

  4. The home nation can waive immunity. Johnson has indicated he will personally ask Trump.

  5. Your post, and many news stories, describe her as the wife of a diplomat but I have seen other references to her husband working in Intelligence, I wonder if that played any part in the US willingness to get her out of the country.

    I saw an interview with the victims parents this morning on BBC World News on PBS this morning (WNYE 25 has a BBC World News broadcast at 7am each morning). In it the mother said she didn’t want the driver to go to prison because she is a mother as well.

    This was handled badly by the US, a combination of apology from the driver, combined with compensation would probably have been the best solution.

  6. Immunity should be waived

    I heard on British and US radio that she told The local police that she had no intentions of returning to the US at this time.

  7. If it was an accident and if she was not speeding or drunk etc there should not be any talk of prison

  8. Never waive immunity, apologize and pay the people. If the victims mother made that statement, then all she wants is acknowledgement of what happened to her child. Give it to her she deserves it.

    Someone panicked and whooshed this woman out of the country, that was a mistake.

  9. If the reports are true, the driver lied to the British police.

    I understand her fear, but if she lied and then snuck out of the country, that’s bad action on her part and on the part of the US.

  10. I don’t see why there should ever be diplomatic immunity in such cases, where diplomats are based in a completely friendly country.

    It makes sense where the diplomat is based in a country that has no rule of law, ie Russia or China, I see no need for applying to US diplomats based in the UK

  11. She has NO diplomatic immunity. She has taken advantage of the secret bilateral agreement between the UK & US to treat GCHQ and NSA staff as if they had diplomatic immunity. That is not at all the same thing as Vienna Convention protection under international law.

    If the UK government is making it known through channels that it has the power to grant, by bilateral treaty or otherwise, immunity from criminal prosecution to foreign nationals, this is outside the provisions of the Vienna Convention.

    This should be tested by the courts.

  12. The Courts pay significant deference to the government’s right to negotiate in foreign relations and I am sure this extension of diplomatic immunity would be upheld. The driver may very well have been ordered by the US to return home despite what may have been her intentions at the time.

  13. A flagrant abuse of privilege and contrary to the spirit if not the letter of the law.

    I’d like to see her home country waive her immunity and her to face whatever appropriate charges against her but unfortunately don’t think that this will be the case.

  14. To me it isn’t flagrant (certainly not like Libya’s protection of a staff person who shot a British police officer). But among allied nations some reasonable accommodation seems called for. In exchange for a waiver of diplomatic immunity perhaps a waiver of criminal prosecution is called for.

  15. To me it’s a pretty blatant abuse Mahons.

    What’s more, I don’t know how she could live with her own conscience. Particularly if she’s a parent.

  16. indeed Paul contrast the behaviour of the two sets of parents . It could not be more different

  17. On a personal note I think I would have stayed. It appears to have been a horrible accident and not a crime. I also think remaining at the embassy would have been better instead of leaving. Diplomatic immunity could have been sorted out then without the fair accompli. It would have been better politically.

  18. Is it common for there to be criminal prosecution in the UK in event of an auto accident?

    AFAIK it certainly isn’t common here, except in cases where the driver was speeding, or otherwise irresponsible, and or under the influence of alcohol or drugs?

  19. The father of the deceased is a caretaker in the school that the drivers 3 children attended. As if case wasn’t said enough. It seems the driver initially cooperated so I don’t know if she was under pressure from American officials.

  20. On what I’ve read thus far I see no criminal act. When the US asked Georgia to waive it the Georgian diplomat had been drinking.
    The US and the UK often have to hold their noses when honoring diplomatic immunity, but some middle ground should have been sought here.

  21. I agree that it seems to be an accident rather than a crime but then other factors come into play, recklesness, no due care and attention. I really don’t know but yes, like Mahons above I’d rather have faced the music than be a coward and carry the guilt of causing a young man’s death for the rest of my life.

    It depends on the circumstances of the accident Phantom.

    I worked with a guy whose brother was a taxi driver and accidentally reversed over a four year old child and killed her. It was purely accidental and there was an investigation into the accident which cleared him of any culpability. The poor guy couldn’t live with the guilt of what he had accidentally done and hanged himself a few months after the investigation.

  22. Yes.

    Many bad things can happen that are not crimes, and that should not be crimes.

  23. Paul – I can’t imagine the horror. I know professionally I’d counsel the driver to assert DI, but personally in the circumstances I would not seek it myself. We also don’t know what pressure may have been placed on her to claim it (perhaps none but I suspect there was).

  24. The story is only starting to hit the media here. Question – did driver initially remain at scene? If not, there could be a hit and run charge.

  25. Prefessionally and personally I would have done the same.

    An external pressure element to this never crossed my mind Mahons, interesting angle. Can you elaborate your thoughts as to who and why?

  26. IIRC she stayed at the scene.

  27. Paul – note she is family of embassy staff in London or a consulate. She is reportedly family of someone in a sensitive intelligence position for which the US and UK agreed to extend DI (an unusual arrangement). I could see US Intelligence services not wishing to have that arrangement challenged and pressuring her possibly on that issue. Not necessarily for nefarious reasons.

  28. Should read she IS NOT family of embassy staff.

  29. Fair point that I hadn’t thought of.

    I haven’t really been paying much attention to the case, so was her family member officialy in an intelligence position at the Embassy or did he have an official diplomatic post for political cover?

  30. I don’t think he had a diplomatic cover.

  31. I am interested in the case as it is a test of the doctrine and good for discussion. Hopefully our President in his unmatched wisdom does the right thing.

  32. “On what I’ve read thus far I see no criminal act. When the US asked Georgia to waive it the Georgian diplomat had been drinking.”

    And did she stay long enough at the scene to determine whether she had been or not?

    (That’s a question – I don’t know the details)

  33. I don’t know either. There doesn’t seem to be any indication in reports that a sobriety test was contemplated and she was apparently speaking with police at some point.

  34. If she stayed at the scene, I imagine that the police would have done a breathalyzer and that she would have stayed as long as the police wanted her to remain there.

  35. The Irish son of Irish Ambassador John J Hearne was returned to Ireland in the 1950s under protection of DI after killing a woman with his car (he had several run ins with the law). I offer it as an example that these things happen (there might have been more outrage if she had not been black).

  36. I think she’s guilty of a criminal offence, or would be if she were some local woman.

    She drove for almost quarter of a mile along the wrong side of the road, before she killed that fellow. How many other vehicles do you see over such a stretch? how many road signs? – all telling a normal driver that he’s, or she’s, on the wrong side.

    This was clearly a case of reckless driving – a crime. She should take the consequences, as I’m sure all Americans would be demanding if it were the other way ’round.

    Diplomatic immunity should be reserved for diplomats, and it isn’t at all appropriate for a case like this.

  37. However, the American and British governments and legal precedence disagree. A waiver is asked for, not a claim that she wasn’t covered. As anone whow has driven in the British Isles in a rental can attest, keep to the left is not naural to all drivers (and vice versa) and criminal prosecutions for the error are likely nonexistent.

  38. A quarter of a mile isn’t a long distance.

    I’ve driven on the left side of the road in Ireland, and found it easy to drive on the other side. But there was usually a car in front of me reminding me what the correct side to be on was.

    But I will imagine many visiting / expat drivers have driven on the wrong side of the road error one time or the other, when most all their entire driving experience has been to drive on the ( wrong ) side.

    A local woman would be unlikely to make that mistake, since she would be used to driving on the left.

  39. She is the wife of a CIA officer. That is a CIA base.

    She promised to stay in the UK while investigations continued, then bunked off. It leaves a bad taste. One day a poor American tourist will wonder why he’s been told his country is arrogant. It’s this kind of thing which comes out against someone who doesn’t deserve it.

    She would most likely face a charge of death by dangerous driving without the immunity. If sent to prison it would be for a short time.

    The law ought to be followed, but diplomatic immunity was never intended to allow spouses to get away after causing someone’s death.

  40. A quick but not definitive search indicated that locals in UK driving on wrong side faced fines and point issues, not criminal prosecution. Though I found one drunk woman who drove 23 miles the wrong way in the dark on a motorway sentenced to 9 months. I don’t see a criminal case here.

  41. Mahons

    Yep

    Unless she was driving when impaired, or intentionally driving irresponsibly by speeding, etc. it shocks the conscience to think of the possibility of criminal prosecution.

    Auto accidents happen.

  42. If locals who were used to driving on the left weren’t prosecuted, then why would anyone think of prosecuting someone not used to driving on the left for the same mistake?

    Mistakes, even those which lead to a horrible outcome, are not crimes.

  43. Diplomatic Immunity was precisely in place to avoid any act/crime. As for her purported promise to remain she was under no legal obligation to make or keep that promise. There probably hasn’t been a US waiver of DI since Tyler Kent in WW2. I’m not even sure if there has ever been a UK waiver.
    I’m not saying it shouldn’t be waived here necessarily, I am not convinced yet either way. A Pete may have hit on a possible charge.

  44. She drove for almost quarter of a mile along the wrong side of the road, before she killed that fellow.

    I don’t know the conditions of where she was driving, (rural area, signposts, populated etc), but if what’s said above is true I’d say at the very least it’s driving without due care & attention.

    On the face of it I think I’m minded to go with Pete’s 6.57.

  45. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brackley

    This I believe is the area

  46. //A quick but not definitive search indicated that locals in UK driving on wrong side faced fines and point issues, not criminal prosecution. //

    And they killed people while doing so?

    //But I will imagine many visiting / expat drivers have driven on the wrong side of the road error one time or the other,//

    There’s no excuse for continuing to drive for 400 yards, it’s dangerous driving. And where the driver comes from is irrelevant.

    Imagine some Irishman arriving in New York and killing someone while driving on the wrong side of the road: “Ah, ye see, yer honour, sure ’tis not my fault. Back home we drive on the other side, like.”

  47. And where the driver comes from is irrelevant.

    Says who?

    Should all involved in auto accidents be prosecuted?

    Anyone who makes an error behind the wheel would have been driving dangerously.

    And that would involve everyone who has ever driven a car.

  48. If that’s the area Phantom then driving for a quarter of a mild without realising it is at the very least driving without due care and attention.

    And where the driver comes from is irrelevant.

    Says who?

    Ignorantia legis neminem excusat ?

  49. “An’ besides, yer Honour”, he continues “Auto accidents happen.”

    //Should all involved in auto accidents be prosecuted?//

    No, only those who kill someone through dangerous driving.

    //Anyone who makes an error behind the wheel would have been driving dangerously.//

    That’s bullshit. There are errors and “errors”, but driving a long stretch on the wrong side of the road while ignoring the signs and other traffic is very dangerous driving – and that’s a criminal offence.

    Paul, good point, Actually, I’ve just checked the stretch of road and IS is very rural, very English with high hedgegrows on both sides etc and very little traffic and few roadsigns – as you say -, so that does mitigate dangerous driving somewhat. (although there was one, which on the right hand side she saw from the back, at the point where she killed the man.)

  50. I offered the civil as opposed to criminal penalties to show that the driving error was considered a civil matter and not a significant criminal violation as driving under the influence or reckless speed.
    As for driving on wrong side I offered the nationality as a mitigating factor, not an excuse.

  51. I don’t know if you’ve ever driven a vehicle, but where I’m from, a quarter of a mile isn’t close to being a long driving distance. Esp in an area that isn’t that built up.

    I don’t know the speed limit on that road, but if it is say 40 mph, then it would take about 22 seconds to drive 1/4 mile at that speed.

    She’s responsible for what she did, but I see zero evidence that would warrant a criminal prosecution in any just system at this point.

  52. There are errors and “errors”, but driving a long stretch on the wrong side of the road while ignoring the signs and other traffic is very dangerous driving – and that’s a criminal offence.

    How do you know that there were signs on that short stretch of road? There aren’t signs on our roads every quarter mile, what makes you think that there are signs every 1/4 in Northamptonshire

    How do you know that there was other traffic on the road at that time?

  53. How long was she actually on wrong side and how many signs or other traffic did she pass? It is not necessarily a criminal offense. And was the error a proximate cause of the accident? Was the decedent also at fault, was he speeding for example.

  54. There should not be a ( continued ) rush to judgment.

  55. From the Guardian:
    “The US Department of State’s own guidelines for law enforcement officials make it clear that the US does not believe diplomatic immunity extends to foreign diplomats committing serious or repeat driving offences in the US, either under the influence of alcohol or sober.” If she were the spouse of a UK diplomat or spy, she would probably be charged in the US. Therefore, I think, the US driver in the UK should be charged and DI was misused at least in spirit. She would receive as much fairness in a UK court as in a US court.

    There needs to be a rethink of DI world wide. It is often abused. One frequent abuse is in regard to driving and parking of those with DI. I think there are countries and certain situations where it is valid, but that does not justify its abuse.

  56. NY

    Why do you think this was an offense rather than a mistake?

  57. In the US had she been a UK person protected by DI she would not be charged absent the UK waiving immunity. As set forth in my example above the US only was able to charge a Georgian diplomat when Georgia waived immunity.

  58. DI can certainly be abused but it has to be applied liberally to retain it’s effectiveness.

  59. I don’t see any evidence that accidentally driving on the wrong side of the road is a criminal act in any US state.

    Again, it shocks the conscience that anyone would think any resulting accident would automatically be a crime, even a fatality.

    Responsible people do make mistakes, too.

  60. //Diplomatic Immunity was precisely in place to avoid any act/crime.//

    Diplomatic Immunity doesn’t avoid a crime.

    I also very much doubt it was initially agreed to avoid lawful prosecution.
    I’d say it was intended to give diplomats security against retaliation by the host country if war broke out with the diplomat’s home country etc.

    //How do you know that there were signs on that short stretch of road? There aren’t signs on our roads every quarter mile, what makes you think that there are signs every 1/4 in Northamptonshire//

    Phantom, see my 7.54.

    Remember: he who reads is always at an advantage.

    // One frequent abuse is in regard to driving and parking of those with DI.//

    That was always a huge problem on a certain stretch of motorway leading into The Hague, where diplomats drove at crazy speeds and caused all kinds of accidents.

    The Dutch responded by letting the culprit walk free but impounding all the cars that were speeding.

    // the US only was able to charge a Georgian diplomat when Georgia waived immunity.//

    Yes, and there was a hue and cry in the US when this guy caused the offence … err sorry .. error that led to a person being killed, was there not?

    An interesting coincidence is that the Georgian in question had a previous offence in Virginia, and this US “diplomat” in the present case also had previous traffic violation in Virginia.

    Another interesting coincidence is that the father of the man killed in England was caretaker at the school where the children of the women driver went. The whole lot of them: the woman and her children and, I believe, husband ,have now all had to return to the US.

  61. Your 754 shed no light.

  62. What type of violation.

  63. //What type of violation.//

    I’m not sure. But I read in one of the serious British newspapers that she had been warned by police in VA to “drive more carefully” or “stop dreaming when driving” or something to that effect.

    I don’t know how they got that background info so quick; can’t imagine Virginia cops disclosing it.

  64. The Georgian diplomat was a drunk driver, a criminal offense on its own accord. And the US response was not that he wasn’t covered by DI but a request it be waived.
    What was the driver’s violation in Virginia and how is it relevant? Or don’t you know?

  65. I since saw that the violation is not exactly known since the records were discarded after a certain number of years

  66. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/10087140/us-diplomat-wife-hit-and-run-death-previous/

  67. A police unspecified and lets admit unverified warning warning in Virginia is spectacularly irrelevant even if true to this incident.

  68. I would think so.

    There is a surprising, vengeful rush to judgment here.

  69. The Sun is a serious newspaper? And a 2006 verbal warning is somehow documented or relevant? Please.

  70. Phantom

    “Why do you think this was an offense rather than a mistake?” Mistakes can be an offense, that is what a trial will deal with. I believe the woman was in the UK for a number of years, so I find it not credible she did not know to drive on the left or that a sign was required to inform her of that basic fact of driving in the UK. I drive quite a bit in Ireland and the UK. Less that an hour after arrival from the US driving on the left becomes second nature. Why it was not with this driver can be investigated at her trial.

  71. She’s associated with American Intelligence, not a fashionable favorite of certain Europeans. Also the family is sympathetic (although the mother’s demand she be forced to testify strikes me as counter to British law, though a forgivable sentiment for a grieving parent).

  72. Wow, Americans in full Foxy Knoxy mode again. My countrywoman right or wrong.

    Cool down, lads.

    She’s back in the US.

    The State Department is happier.

    England’s roads are safer.

    Win, win.

  73. As has already been pointed out this is not the purpose of diplomatic immunity.
    In this instance, diplomatic Immunity should be waived

  74. New Yorker -I thought she was there for weeks. Not years.I’ve driven in Ireland and made wrong turns, and I assure you Brits have done the same here. You speak of trial but there has been no criminal charge suggested by the British authorities that I have seen.

  75. Noel

    “The Dutch responded by letting the culprit walk free but impounding all the cars that were speeding.” I wonder if other places do what the Dutch do. I have not read of that happening in NYC either for driving or parking but would like to see it introduced. I think ideally the drivers and parkers should be charged and that is one reason I believe a rethink of DI is warranted.

  76. Noel – we’ve said no such thing. Those who profess certainty have spoken from England. Spain and Germany.

  77. You guys have said that 25% of a mile is a long distance, that there were road signs and other cars on this terribly long distance.

    The first statement is wrong, the other two are unproven.

    I see no evidence that there should be any trial.

    And I say this as one who said that DI ( a hateful concept most of the time ) should be waived.

  78. Dave – what is the basis of your claim that diplomatic immunity does not extend to this situation?

  79. I don’t see how this accident could be classed as a criminal act unless the woman did it deliberately.

  80. There is about as much evidence of a crime here as there was of a Puerto Rico trucker strike in the aftermath of the hurricane.

    Someone deserves a free subscription to Conservative Treehouse.

  81. Mahons

    A wrong turn is a wrong turn. If your wrong turn caused a fatality do you think you should be charged?

    I read somewhere she was there for years. But even if we assume it was weeks, that is more than enough time to adjust to driving on the left.

    I don’t think criminal charges will be made until the DI issue is resolved, so I am not surprised you have not seen any.

  82. It was reported in The Independent. She was was caught for some violation in old Virginee.

    Anne Sacoolas is clearly a menace to other road users, no matter what country she’s in. Hubby Jonathan must have been up to something real shady that the US was so willing to risk having her back on American roads to protect his identity.

    //Those who profess certainty have spoken from England. Spain and Germany.//

    Mahons, Well, two out of three ain’t bad, as the man said.

  83. If your wrong turn caused a fatality do you think you should be charged?

    That wouldn’t automatically the case in any proper country.

    This is the most amazing conversation.

    So all wrong actions are crimes now!

    Better build some new jails because ATW will fill them all.

  84. Phantom

    “I see no evidence that there should be any trial.” A young man will killed because of her actions. You can argue she is not responsible, that should be done at a trial.

  85. Very many drivers have been caught speeding, or some other violation.

    So they’re all a menace to the driving community it appears.

    Amazing.

  86. I never said that she was not responsible.

    I said that I see zero evidence of a crime.

  87. New Yorker – criminally charged for a wrong turn? Even one that causes a fatality is almost never what occurs.
    Why wait for DI to be waived to issue charges, surely if they did so it would strengthen the request for a waiver. The authorities have had more than sufficient time to bring charges if they were so inclined.

  88. Noel – How was she clearly a menace? This is the only incident we can even be sure something happened. I doubt there are many road users in the UK who have no speeding tickets or been warned by police (even if it proves true) on one prior occassion. I doubt many on this post have cleaner driving records.

  89. As for her husband why was his activity shady just because it was covert? Let’s admit that bias pervades your opinions here. Had she been affiliated with the Palestinian Mission you would be blaming the motorcycle driver for denting her vehicle.

  90. Yes, the most enormous bias, error and rush to judgment, including from those who aren’t normally so completely incorrect.

  91. The “serious” newspaper entitled an article that she had a poor driving record in the US and in support of the headline cited a 13 year old $97 fine paid in Virginia for a ticket.

    I have now read that she took a breathalyzer. Her own 12 year old was in the vehicle. Might she also wanted to avoid the traditional British tabloid frenzy?

  92. Oh come off it. You guys are talking this far too seriously.
    It’s a pity about the guy and his parents; but as far as I’m concerned the rest can go hang.

    Imagine she were from Georgia or something; calm down.

    Mind you, I suppose if Anne Sacoolas (I love the name. Wonder why it was not mentioned in the few American reports I read about the case. Dont tell me it’s…. bias!) were now driving in the country where I am, I’d be concerned too…… 🙂

    I hope Jonathan at least stops her pushing their kids in the pram from now on.

    When the accident happened, she was driving her son home; now she’s driving her husband to drink.

  93. It’s common enough that cops in the South and not just the South give out bullshit speeding or other violation tickets – ie for driving 3 miles over the limit.

    It raises money for the town or even the local PD.

    This thread has included so much inventive speculation, I figured I’d add some more unfounded suppositions for the file.

  94. There are nearly 1800 auto fatalities in the UK per year. Anyone know how many are the subject of a criminal prosecution?

  95. //There are nearly 1800 auto fatalities in the UK per year. //

    Not so many – when you consider that there are around 200,000 Americans in the UK.

  96. OT
    usa bombshell
    White House letter to Pelosi:
    Trump ‘cannot permit his Administration to participate’ in impeachment investigation
    8 page letter. WH not playing ball, what happens now ?

  97. Trump doesn’t believe in the law or in any part of the Constitution

    Why should he change now

  98. Hmnn? But his supporters believe in the law non?
    Pat’s always talking about the law , usually in CAPS
    What gives?

  99. March 14, 2019 at 3:05 p.m. EDT
    One of the most famous and insightful lines Donald Trump offered on the campaign trail in 2016 came during a stop in Iowa, shortly before that state’s caucuses.

    “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voters, okay?” Trump said, mimicking firing a gun with his fingers. “It’s, like, incredible.”

    It was a comment about the robustness of his base of support, and it repeatedly has been demonstrated to be true. But we’d like to now introduce a corollary that is also true: Trump could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, and few of his voters would consider the ensuing murder trial legitimate.

    WP

  100. House goes to Court. The Supremes aren’t the same pushover as Senate.

  101. ahh ok goes to Court
    I predict Trump will be out at some point, the reason being he will have alienated the congressman and senators to such an acute degree that no-one but no-one will back him anymore.
    The Don and Rudy will be all that will be left . There comes a point where its impossible to work with the guy or even be a staffer, as its just too much of a disconnect trying to live a normal life and turning up at the WH with an over grown child who rants day and night.

  102. Trump has commented on this now. He said it was an accident, caused by driving on the wrong side of the road, stating, “We’ve all done it.”
    He also says that she has Diplomatic Immunity.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/trump-harry-dunn-anne-sacoolas-car-crash-us-diplomat-uk-a9149746.html?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR0gXkwayXdVUReBwBXazxHr4zCS6uVf8EmpZWI_aJ6_736kGPFURQDmPQ4#Echobox=1570653809

  103. I didn’t see his full remarks (he could change his opinion by the minute, ask the Kurds) but he doesn’t seem wrong. It looks to me like a tragic accident being drummed up into a criminal prosecution based on the defendant’s status as opposed to her actions.

  104. It looks to me like a tragic accident being drummed up into a criminal prosecution based on the defendant’s status as opposed to her actions.

    ???

    The basis for such a prosecution based solely on the status of the defendent?

  105. I would contend that one of the reasons people are mentioning a criminal prosecution is because she fled the country, having said she wouldn’t. People, the victim’s family included, are not unsurprisingly unhappy about that.

  106. ” It looks to me like a tragic accident being drummed up into a criminal prosecution based on the defendant’s status as opposed to her actions.”

    Driving without due care and attention is a criminal offence. Causing death by driving without due care and attention an even more serious one. Driving the wrong way down a road seems to cover that (maybe even going further into dangerous driving rather than careless). Now most likely a criminal conviction for causing death by careless driving wouldn’t carry a custodial sentence (unless the defendant had prior driving convictions). And if it did that sentence would most likely be suspended. However her decision to flee the jurisdiction would likely be held as an aggravating factor in sentencing and she may see a custodial sentence.

  107. *the custodial sentence being in the event of her diplomatic immunity being waived.

  108. She has diplomatic immunity. There was no jurisdiction over her. The British foreign Office didn’t protest her departure at the time. Someone exercising their right not to remain isn’t the same as fleeing. She also had a right under British law not to discuss matters further. Exercising her right not to remain is certainly not an aggravating factor even if immunity is waived subsequently.
    I have tried to find how many of the UK’s fatal auto accidents result in criminal prosecutions, let alone convictions. I suspect the number is extremely small.

  109. “I have tried to find how many of the UK’s fatal auto accidents result in criminal prosecutions, let alone convictions. I suspect the number is extremely small.”

    In 2016 there were 189 people convicted for death by dangerous or careless driving. Also in 2016 there were 1,792 deaths. Now a person could be convicted for causing the deaths of more than one person. But even assuming it was 1,792 different incidents it is about 10%. The conviction rates is about 80%. So that means, taking it as average, that 235 people were likely charged with it. So about 13%.

    “She has diplomatic immunity.”

    She does. She shouldn’t. But she does. No one is disputing that.

    “Exercising her right not to remain is certainly not an aggravating factor even if immunity is waived subsequently.”

    That would be for a judge to determine.

  110. *Apologies. The 189 conviction was for death by dangerous driving (157) or careless driving under the influence (32). There were an additional 230 people convicted for death by driving offences (225 for careless, and 5 for driving without a licence or insurance). So 419. It was also in England and Wales only, while the road deaths figure was for the UK as a whole.

    So the total road deaths for England and Wales is 1,647. Of those 419 people were convicted resulting in a (assuming a 1:1) 25% conviction rate. 473 were charged so a 29% charged rate.

  111. Trump is not going to lift a finger here, it’s “America First!” so she will escape justice. The bereaved family will successfully sue for millions in the US courts and Uncle Sam will bail her out. “America First!”

    But this is a useful reminder to the Brits on the eve of Brexit. America is not our friend and the same power dynamic will be in play when it comes to “trade negotiations”.

  112. Interesting, and the circumstances of those convicted and their sentence would be important to review as well. My guess is less than 5% get a custodial sentence, and if so it is for drinking, wildly reckless speed, and people with multiple prior convictions.

  113. Peter – I think justice may very well be served by honoring diplomatic immunity, and that other US Presidents would have made the same call. You speak of her as already guilty, where is the justice in that? As for millions, hold your horses. Even if we assume she is liable, a wrongful death case s valued on conscious pain and suffering

  114. And economic loss. I don’t know if he had any conscious pain and suffering, or if he had any distributees for economic loss (he was unmarried and without children).

  115. Death by dangerous driving (which includes most drink driving offences) would carry I’d imagine at least a suspended custodial sentence. And most often an non-suspended custodial sentence. The entry point for the least severe category of death by dangerous driving is 3 years custodial sentence, with a range of 2 years to 5 years. It has to be 2 years or less to be suspended I think. So in order to avoid a custodial sentence for death by dangerous driving there must be strong mitigating circumstances to both lower the sentence from 3 to 2 years and then convince the judge to suspend it.

    Certainly it would be rare for someone who has been convicted of death by careless driving to receive an suspended custodial sentence. It is the opposite sort of situation to death by dangerous driving. There would have to be aggravating factors (previously driving convictions being the most obvious) to justify imposing a custodial sentence. Most likely her offence would be a borderline careless/dangerous (driving on the wrong side of the road). A major mitigation would be that she wasn’t from the UK and so wouldn’t be used to driving on that side of the road. Most likely, should she be convicted, a suspended sentence of 1 year to 18 months, with an automatic driving ban.

  116. I don’t see how she could be civilly liable if she is not criminally liable. The offence did not take place in the United States so I don’t see how this man’s family could sue her in US courts. And I don’t think you can sue an embassy in the UK (due to diplomatic immunity).

  117. I also agree that this isn’t a Trump thing. Obama doesn’t waive diplomatic immunity. Nor would any of the potential Democratic nominees in 2020. It is virtually universally true that diplomatic immunity isn’t waived. It is a problem but ultimately the alternative is worse.

  118. Do we yet know if her driving was the proximate cause. Could he have contributory negligence? What speed was he driving, should he have had lights on? She apparently took and passed a breathalizer, what does his toxicology report say? He could very well have done nothing wrong but we don’t know yet.

  119. He was driving on the correct side of the road and she was driving on the wrong side of the road. That should be broadly enough to draw a conclusion on the proximate cause of the crash. In terms of contributory negligence I don’t know. There has been nothing released in terms of details that would suggest that he contributed to the crash. The police have CCTV footage of the crash but for obvious reasons haven’t made it public.

  120. Seamus is of course right diplomatic immunity would apply to civil claims as well. However some attempt at a financial settlement would be warranted.

  121. I was offering scenarios to remind others that we don’t have all the facts.

  122. “I was offering scenarios to remind others that we don’t have all the facts.”

    Absolutely. But we do have some facts. And can at least base limited judgement on the facts we have. If we gain more facts we can achieve fuller judgement. The only thing we know for definite is that she was driving, not under the influence, on the wrong side of the road, hit someone and that person died.

    “However some attempt at a financial settlement would be warranted.”

    I think diplomatic immunity is a golden calf that no one (even, if maybe especially, the Foreign Office) wants to see messed with. So I think an agreement could reached that the US State Department will compensate the family. The most a judge (outside of the potential for this woman having a string of driving offences) would likely impose would be a suspended sentence and she’d lose her license for two years. In the absence of waiving diplomatic immunity the effects of that should be offered – the woman in question should agree to suspend her driving license for two years. She flies back to the UK to make an in person apology to the family. I think that would be a broadly agreeable outcome, that avoids messing about with diplomatic immunity.

  123. Some compromise is necessary, perhaps along the lines you suggest. And the UK should agree to drive on the correct side of the road.

  124. Ok lawyer guys, I geddit. She’s home free. It’s tough for the victim’s family, but wtf? It’s all about the (alleged) perp’s rights, as usual.

    But the political lesson is that we see that the USA is no different to Iran when it comes to ignoring British justice. That lesson will not be forgotten.

  125. Peter – British justice includes respect for treaties and conventions, of which Diplomatic immunity has firmly been in place. The claim that the US is no different from Iran as regards to British justice is a specious claim.

  126. Again you refer to her as a perp prior to any charges let alone conviction. Are you sure you aren’t the one ignoring British Justice?

  127. Anyone who drives on the wrong side of the road Is by definition “dangerous driving “

    Anyone who turns left when they should’ve turned right is by definition dangerous driving

    Anyone who applies the brakes 100th of a second slower than the “should have” time is by definition dangerous driving

    Anyone who drives 1 mph faster than the recommended safe speed According to the manual on
    a curved road on a foggy night In December In rural Idaho is guilty of dangerous driving

    No one here Has the slightest idea of what really happened

    Every driver has made errors behind the wheel.

    There are no exceptions, And every highly skilled driver Whoever lived will back me up on that,

    Errors are not necessarily crimes

  128. In much the same way that Mahons presumes Peter, among others, has already determined this woman’s guilt of committing of a crime, so you, Phantom, seem to be jumping into the role of defending counsel, though not a very convincing one.

    No one here Has the slightest idea of what really happened

    Yes we do. We have a lot more than the slightest clue.

    As Seamus has plainly laid out for you:
    She was driving
    She was driving on the wrong side of the road
    The victim was driving on the correct side of the road
    She struck him, killing him

    Those are the facts. You may not like them, but unfortunately for you, you can’t change them.
    Apparently she remained at the scene, and agreed to be breathalysed, a standard procedure in any collision on the roads in the UK.
    According to reports, and we don’t appear to have official confirmation yet, though it hasn’t so far been disputed, she agreed to remain in the country. But she didn’t. She left the country. Had she stayed, this would not even be a topic of discussion, Diplomatic Immunity or not.
    I for one am not necessarily saying she committed a crime in any of this, but a charge of dangerous driving would not be a surprise.
    One thing is certain though: Whether she committed a crime or not, she was certainly to blame for the death.

    Errors are not necessarily crimes

    No, they’re not. But that doesn’t remove the blame from the error. What she did was wrong. She is to blame, DI doesn’t absolve her of that, and you shouldn’t be attempting to argue otherwise, with your flippant generalisations.

  129. She should be okay though; she has Trump and Phantom in her corner.

  130. Seimi your blanket acceptance of the findings of British police investigation and their reports to the press may cause grumbling in Republican circles.
    I haven’t presumed Peter’s determination, he’s written down for all to see. She might be liable but there is no finding of blame in a criminal sense.

  131. My opinion Would be identical no matter who the driver was

    For the mob, Guilt is Allocated According to the nationality of the driver, The job that her husband did, The number of signs that they imagine were allocated in a 25% of a mile stretch of road, Which they think is a incredibly long distance, Or most importantly what the British tabloids tell them to say

    Because never at any time should you deviate
    Stone her to death, because that’s what the mob says; There is no need for any knowledge, or evidence of anything blind rage Uber alles,

  132. The baying Mob here is Donald Trump, they are the Trumpers , They are every mob in the history of humanity whose minds were made up on day one and who didn’t need any evidence

  133. //For the mob, Guilt is Allocated According to the nationality of the driver, //

    And for the other mob, innocence is too. My countrywoman right or wrong.

    //Errors are not necessarily crimes//

    But they can be.

    Look, I’m surprised I have to explain this to an experienced driver, but, let’s say, if you exit a facility and immediately turn onto the wrong side of the road, that’s an error.

    If you then continue down that road on the wrong side, ignoring any signs or other traffic that should remind you of your mistake, that is careless or dangerous driving and a crime.

    Maybe we should talk less about the availability of guns and more about the availability of driving licenses in the US, where on average over 100 people are killed in road accidents EVERY DAY.

  134. Seimi your blanket acceptance of the findings of British police investigation and their reports to the press may cause grumbling in Republican circles.

    Mahons, are you saying that you dispute any or all of these facts?
    She was driving
    She was driving on the wrong side of the road
    The victim was driving on the correct side of the road
    She struck him, killing him

    Everything else in my comment was qualified by ‘according to reports’ and ‘apparently,’ except for where I state that she is to blame for the victim’s death. Are you suggesting that because the police involved are British, I should automatically blame the victim? The only people who appear to be asserting guilt or innocence depending on nationality are you and, to an even greater degree, Phantom.

    There is no need for any knowledge, or evidence of anything

    Just in case that in your angry ranting you missed it, here again are the facts:

    She was driving
    She was driving on the wrong side of the road
    The victim was driving on the correct side of the road
    She struck him, killing him

    Do you dispute any one of those facts? Any one? I couldn’t give a toss what nationality she is. The important factor for me was what she did after the incident. She fled. She told officials she would stay, but she didn’t. And now the victim’s grieving family want to know why. Is that not right and fair? Why should she be allowed to walk away from this Scot free, having killed someone through her error?

    Stone her to death, because that’s what the mob says;

    No, what ‘the mob’ is saying is that she is to blame for this young man’s death, based on the facts that have been copied out for you twice now in this comment. What ‘the mob’ is saying is that she shouldn’t have left, having said she would remain. What ‘the mob’ is saying is NOT what you think or hope ‘the mob’ might be saying.

    Maybe you should hold off on attempting to blanket insult your fellow commentators here for just a minute and take a look at the facts again, without wearing the ‘she’s American, therefore she’s right’ hat.

  135. You guys keep talking about there being signs and other traffic on that stretch road for the less than half a minute that she was on it, when you have no idea if there actually were signs or other traffic there, And there have been inciteful references to the husband’s line of work.

    Let’s hope for the sake of justice that you gents never serve on any jury. If there was a trial, you wouldn’t be allowed to make those claims of signs and traffic without evidence of some kind to support them, but here you say it again and again because you imagine it to be so. That’s not how it works in any proper justice system and you know it.

    The fact that the young man was killed is not evidence that she committed a crime, There is evidence that something terrible happened – a thing that nobody disputes.

    Unless more is learned, case dismissed.

  136. “Errors are not necessarily crimes”

    True. But driving without proper due care and attention is a crime. And not knowing the rules of the road of the jurisdiction you are presently in would follow as not driving with due care and attention.

    “Unless more is learned, case dismissed.”

    You have it backwards. She was driving on the wrong side of the road. That has already been established. That is, at the very least, careless. She was driving without proper care and attention. She killed someone. So she caused death by careless driving. If more comes to light that would help her defence then so be it. But the facts, as established, paint a clear enough picture that I believe would enable a jury to convict.

  137. You prefer some laws over others. Diplomatic Immunity is a binding law that the UK has long accepted and invoked itself. The woman had no legal obligation to stay and the legal right to change her mind IF she told police it was her intention to remain.

  138. The British protest about this was made after the story became sensationalized by the media lacking unto the grieving parents and the full identity of the driver whose husband’s occupation is deemed nefarious in certain circles.

  139. I would probably wager that she didn’t change her mind. I would think the most likely course of events is she told the police she was going to remain in the UK and the State Department came along and put her on a plane.

  140. “The British protest about this was made after the story became sensationalized by the media lacking unto the grieving parents and the full identity of the driver whose husband’s occupation is deemed nefarious in certain circles.”

    Probably true. However I would also suggest that if an American tourist (or French tourist, German tourist etc…) killed a young man by driving in a careless manner then that person would most likely be charged over the matter. So the fact that diplomatic immunity is blocking that is a story whether you like it or not. Yes there has been some sensationalising of it in by the red banner brigade. But sensible publications have also carried the story, pointing out the facts. Also given the fact that the President of the United States effectively sacked the British Ambassador to the United States does make people think the UK-US Special Relationship is an entirely one way relationship. And this, for correct or incorrect reasons, piles onto that.

  141. If so the State Department was acting in accordance with the law.
    I don’t know if another tourist without diplomatic immunity who committed the same acts would be charged criminally, you might be right.

  142. Every week, I study cases involving accidents that resulted from people erroneously doing the wrong thing — by mistake. It is very rare that one who made the sometimes fatal error is charged with failing to exercise due care

    Failure to exercise due care usually comes into play when there is an intentional bad action – Speeding, driving after drinking for four hours in the bar, Sailing to replace the balding tires

    There is no evidence here that she failed to exercise due care in any legal sense. There is no evidence that she has driven carelessly before ( Speculation of yesterday’s tabloid is not evidence )

    If every Driver drove flawlessly there would be nearly no accidents. But that’s not the world we live in.

    Anyone who wishes to discuss this subject soberly has to look at the facts and only the facts in a compartmentalized way, To leave the emotion out of it. There can’t be reckless speculation about perhaps imaginary signs and other vehicles.

    I think that a terrible event happened as a result of what appears to be a very bad error and that she did the wrong thing when she fled the country. That’s all we know

  143. Failing

  144. Noel’s point on driving fatalities here in the US is well stated. We have a much larger fatality rate than Western Europe due to causes both neutral (we drive greater distances) and damping (less safety regs, less punishment for infractions). On reflection it might account for my differing view of the likelihood of criminal prosecution potential in the UK

  145. “If every Driver drove flawlessly there would be nearly no accidents. But that’s not the world we live in.”

    Careless driving is not the absence of flawless driving. As pointed out above, to Mahons question, it would seem that about 25% of people killed on the roads see someone convicted for it. It is probably a little higher than that as a few people are probably convicted for killing more than one person.

    There are deaths by accidental but reasonable driving. The majority of deaths on the road are probably covered by it. No criminal action will arise out of it. Often they are, sad to say it, victim induced (a child running out between cars not looking each way and getting hit by someone). There are deaths then by unreasonable, careless driving. There are then deaths by dangerous driving. These are criminal offences.

    “Failure to exercise due care usually comes into play when there is an intentional bad action – Speeding, driving after drinking for four hours in the bar, Sailing to replace the balding tires”

    Most of those would probably fall under the category of dangerous driving rather than careless driving. Unintentional bad action would likely be covered by the careless group ie the person was driving in a manner that they really, really shouldn’t have been doing but it was not a deliberate action, or caused by some other deliberate action on their part.

  146. What is the penalty for driving without due care and attention?

    Driving without due care and attention carries a penalty of either a disqualification, or between 3 and 9 points. You can also be faced with a fine up to £2,500 depending on the nature of the incident.

    The worse the driving, the worse the penalty will be. The following will always be seen as aggravating features;

    Excessive speed
    Carrying out tasks while driving
    Carrying passengers or a heavy load
    Tiredness
    Causing injury
    Causing damage to other vehicles or property
    High level of pedestrians or other vehicles
    Location, such as near a school
    If you are pleading guilty it is still essential that you seek advice. If the court is wrongly of the opinion that any of these factors apply, then the sentence could be much worse than it needs to be.

    Above from a British law firms site, talking about driving with due care and attention. This driver apparently did exactly none of the things spoken of here. They don’t speak of any criminal prosecutions.

    On another section of the law firm’s site, there is discussion of dangerous driving. The incidents cited there are of things that are intentional acts of one sort or the other. No evidence that she did any of these things either

    Evidence of consumption of alcohol or drugs
    Excessive speed
    Offence committed whilst driver was disqualified / had no licence and/or insurance
    Competitive driving, racing or showing off
    Previous convictions, poor driving record and disregard for earlier sentences imposed
    Disregard for other pedestrians or road users in the vicinity; and
    Prolonged episode of bad driving.

    I think that this type of error – driving on the wrong side of the road – happens an awful lot, when Americans drive in left hand drive countries, when English tourists drive in Florida. Most of the time, the error is corrected quickly. Here, it didn’t happen quickly enough.

    Let’s stick with what we know, eh?

    https://www.ringroselaw.co.uk/personal-law/criminal-defence/motoring-offences/driving-without-due-care-and-attention-careless-driving/

    https://www.ringroselaw.co.uk/personal-law/criminal-defence/motoring-offences/dangerous-driving-charge/

  147. Above, gentle correction – there is no evidence that she was driving fast, was multi tasking, was driving with large cargo, was driving when tired or drunk, was driving through a crowd or by a school, was showing off, was racing, had no insurance, had a bad driving record, was acting with wanton disregard.

    Zero evidence of any of the above.

    There was a fatal accident resulting from a terrible error. The question is why in the world should that involve criminal prosecution.

  148. https://fox13now.com/2014/09/25/british-tourists-driving-on-wrong-side-of-road-cause-fatal-motorcycle-accident/

    WOODLAND, Utah – Police said two tourists from England were riding motorcycles on the wrong side of the road and caused an accident that killed one and seriously injured another.

    One motorcycle crashed head-on into an oncoming truck in Summit County, the other motorcycle narrowly avoided the collision.

    The crash happened near Woodland on Wolf Creek Pass (SR 35) at about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.

    Officials said one man was thrown from his motorcycle and died at the scene and the other was able to get out of the truck’s way.

    The motorcycle and truck both went off the road and down a 100-foot embankment.

    Authorities said the truck driver was flown to the hospital in serious condition.

    No prosecution or talk of prosecution by Utah authorities of surviving British biker who was on the wrong side of the road.

    Because it would have been a travesty of justice for there to be any prosecution in such a case.

  149. There was evidence she was driving on the wrong side of the road. She also caused far more than injury. Here is a prosecution from only a few days ago detailing something similar:

    https://www.lincolnshirelive.co.uk/news/local-news/motorist-accused-causing-fatal-crash-3382464

    Here is one of an American tourist (who lives in France) who killed someone after accidentally driving on the wrong side of the road:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-49972773

    This law firm actually lists driving on the wrong side of the road as dangerous driving:

    https://www.kirwanssolicitors.co.uk/services-for-you/driving-offences/dangerouscareless-driving/

    “There was a fatal accident resulting from a terrible error.”

    An error caused, based on what we know, by the careless driving of the woman in question.

  150. French driver causes accident in Ireland because he accidentally drove on the wrong side

    Gardaí accepted that this accident was simply an error in judgement with no aggravating factors.

    The judge said that this was a “very unfortunate circumstance where there was a lack of concentration on Mr David’s part” which caused a car crash.

    No mob braying for prosecutions in Galway, no making stuff up here. The cops there must be pretty smart, they know that accidents are not crimes.

    https://galwaydaily.com/courts/french-tourist-caused-car-crash-going-wrong-way/

  151. You shouldn’t be as free and easy with your blanket ‘you guys’ comments, Phantom. Nowhere have I mentioned signage or any of that. In fact, I state that I don’t know if any criminal charge would be forthcoming.
    The facts remain though. She drove on the wrong side of the road. You keep going on about the distance she travelled as being a short one. For her maybe, but for the victim, it was a lifetime.
    And then afterwards, having indicated that she would stay, she left. That in itself is not a crime, but it was wrong.
    Your final sentence in your 12.19 indicates that you feel pretty much the same as I do about this, so why constant attempts to play down what she did? Someone died because of her actions. She may not be criminally liable for that, but she certainly is morally.

  152. “No mob braying for prosecutions in Galway, no making stuff up here. The cops there must be pretty smart, they know that accidents are not crimes.”

    Read the story. He was prosecuted. Hence the fact that a judge said something at all. From your own story:

    Olivier David (45), of Bourg in France appeared before Galway District Court this week charged with dangerous driving causing a car crash, which was reduced to careless driving.

  153. //And there have been inciteful references to the husband’s line of work.//

    Simply because it was her husband’s “line of work” that enabled her to beat a retreat and avoid the consequences of her actions. If it had been the wife of a Russian or one of the many wives of a Saudi diplomat, I’m sure your tone would be very very different.

    Mahons is right. I’m sure there is at least an element of cultural differences here.
    Of all the court cases I’ve had to sit through as an interpreter, in only two the accused were Americans (which is amazing considering the size of the US populaton in Germany, compared to around 10 for the much lower Irish and hundreds from the 3rd world). But both cases with Americans – they were separate – were for traffic violations; in fact they were the only traffic violation cases I’ve been involved in. The curious thing: neither of the drivers (both extremely upright and intelligent men) were even aware they had done anything wrong. They had both acted deliberately, with vigillance and in good faith to help an unusual and complicated traffic situation.

    Unfortunately they broke the rules and caused an accident in each case and were convicted (and got a fine). I remember in one case afterwards the judges expressing regred and admiring the accused man’s honesty, how he stood by what he had done and not offered any excuses, simply because he thought he had been acting correctly all along.
    Maybe the technicalities of the rules of the road are similar in the US, but I remember both Americans being dumbfounded that they could actually be convicted of a crime for what they had done.

  154. I don’t play down her error or the enormity of what happened for one second.

    I was among the first to say that ( the hateful practice of ) diplomatic immunity should not apply here.

    There was irresponsible comment about what her husband did for a living, and talk of signs and other cars when there was zero evidence of those things.

    If such comment doesn’t deserve a swift rebuke, what does?

    This could have been a better conversation of people hadn’t made things up, etc.

  155. Anne Sacoolas will not return to the UK:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-49995867

  156. People didn’t make things up. People speculated, people gave suggestions. People didn’t just make things up. You’re making that up.

  157. There is talk on this thread about signs on that 1/4 mile stretch of road and of there being other cars on the road at that time.

    And all of that was made up.

    Nobody here is familiar with that road. No one knows of any signs or cars, its all speculation.

    It was I who pointed out the exact location, yesterday. And I don’t know if there are signs, etc.

    Please exercise due care when commenting

  158. If she had driven a couple of miles, it would have made sense to talk of signs and other cars.

    1/4 mile is about five blocks, a short distance in such an area.

    I realize that minds have been made up since the beginning. No evidence is required.

    Case dismissed.

  159. //There was irresponsible comment about what her husband did for a living, and talk of signs and other cars //

    //There is talk on this thread about signs on that 1/4 mile stretch of road //

    For God’s sake, Phantom, keep your hair on. Remember what the great Belcow says “The gentleman must learn that if he employs Zen, it will be to everyone’s advantage.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyRLF-iPJQ4

    “Nobody here is familiar with that road”

    I am.

    //No one knows of any signs or cars//

    I do.

    //its all speculation.//

    No, it isn’t.

    All of which I pointed out yesterday, but which you in your rage didn’t see, even after I’d drawn your atention to it again, because … well…

    She’s American.

    //She’s associated with American Intelligence,//

    Then God help us if they let the stupid people drive.

  160. //1/4 mile is about five blocks, a short distance in such an area. //

    A vigillant driver sees and absorbs signs everywhere, even without being conscious of it. The eyes do the thinking, and the brain responds automatically. A driver who misses them is not a careful driver.

    20 seconds or so is also a long time when you’re driving. You can have 100 reactions in that time. (just as an esteemed contributor was able to bring in an airliner in 20 seconds, I believe).
    You can make or prevent many accidents in that space of time.

    Imagine what this fellow could do in 20 sec

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWLksTAnuFE

  161. Holy Deus ex Machina Batman

    He knows that exact few blocks, and he tells us now!

  162. “Please exercise due care when commenting.”

    Aside from being advice you should take yourself, what do you mean by this?
    First you say people are making all of it up, then you say it’s all speculation. Make your mind up.

  163. Those who profess certainty have spoken from England. Spain and Germany

    WTF?

    I haven’t ‘professed certainty’ whatsoever. I had a discussion regarding the situation and din’t come down on any side whatsoever. That comment is an utterly sneering, completely contemptible untruth. Anyhow, as I seem to have been dragged into the debate:

    This is what’s beyond doubt:

    She was driving
    She was driving on the wrong side of the road
    The victim was driving on the correct side of the road
    She struck him, killing him

    Our American colleagues seem to have adopted an ‘yay, yay, USA. Foxy Knoxy all the way’ approach to this with suggestions that:

    ‘surprising rush to vengeful judgement’

    ‘bias pervades your opinions’

    ‘the most enormous bias, error and rush to judgment’

    ‘a tragic accident being drummed up into a criminal prosecution based on the defendant’s status as opposed to her actions’

    ‘Guilt is Allocated According to the nationality of the driver’

    ‘The woman had no legal obligation to stay and the legal right to change her mind IF she told police it was her intention to remain’

    ‘he’s associated with American Intelligence, not a fashionable favorite of certain Europeans’

    Wow! persecution of a woman driving down the wrong side of a road who hit and killed a young man just because she’s an American and married to a spook.

    First of all, will it be a criminal charge? It’s my understanding that she fled the country during an investigation? (and all this talk about her ‘not staying in the same place’ as opposed to fleeing is semantic sophistry. She fled the country during an investigation despite allegedly telling police she would remain. That’s flight in anyone’s book)

    The fact of the matter is that we probably won’t ever know what happened as DI is shielding her from having to participate in the investigation. All perfectly legal of course.

    Someone died as a result of her driving and she fled the country during an investigation. What she did may not be illegal but by no standard is it justice either.

  164. Paul – I’ve reread this thread and I was in error as to “certainty” eminating from Spain. My apologies, and I claim Diplomatic Immunity from further prosecution.

  165. No problens Mahons.

  166. The victim’s mother was yesterday invited to the White House and met Trump. He told her he would do exactly the same thing if it had been his son who died.

    He then sprung it on her that the driver who killed her boy was waiting in the next room and would she like to meet her?

    The mother declined.

  167. Wow.

    I hope that at some point she finds some peace

    I hope that at some point for both of them find some peace.

  168. And I’d give Mr. Trump credit for trying

  169. I see that Trump had the press including camera/video crews at the ready to record the desired by him meetings between the Dunns and the driver?

    The family were not happy with that. Understandably so.

    This sounds like an attempt to exploit them.

    Not OK, not one bit OK.

  170. I understand the President also offered to turn the inquiry over to Turkey.

  171. https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/trumps-sick-surprise-for-grieving-british-parents/

    How devoid of empathy and common sense must someone be to think that this was the appropriate way to handle this matter? Trying to force the meeting between the parents and their son’s killer was tone-deaf enough as it was, but trying to get them to meet in public in front of cameras is just sick. Attempting to stage a phony reconciliation at this point makes no sense, and I would think any halfway decent person should understand that. This ugly episode illustrates what is wrong with the president very well. We see the same pointless cruelty and tawdry desire to put on a show, and we see the same utter lack of decency that we have come to expect. Unfortunately for the country, the president’s attempt to spring this sick “surprise” on the Dunns still manages to shock, but it doesn’t surprise us

    Everything is a transaction. Everything.

    I’m sorry that this happened to them, after what happened before.

    Unimaginable.

  172. I hope that at some point for both of them find some peace

    One’s a grieving mother whose son was killed and the other’s a coward whose actions resulted in a young man being killed who then cravenly ran away from co operation in the investigation.

    I hope that both don’t find peace. I hope the coward’s actions haunt whatever conscience she has every day of her life.

  173. He told her he would do exactly the same thing if it had been his son who died.

    I’ll bet you pounds to peanuts that that absolutely wouldn’t be the case.

  174. Wasn’t he speaking of the Dunns traveling to pursue the issue and not to let it go?

    Why wouldn’t he do that?

  175. Paul – you mean she isn’t covered by the Good Friday Agreement?

  176. If she were she’d be extradited to serve two years Mahons:

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime-and-law/john-downey-extradited-to-uk-over-murder-of-two-soldiers-1.4048044

  177. Surely not, Downey intentionally murdered two people. And lacked DI.

  178. Well he allegedly killed two soldiers and he’ll face trial for it.

    Unlike DI the GFA does what it says on the tin.

  179. Allegedly of course. But if he did would it lower him in your esteem?

    Diplomatic Immunity is what it is, Ireland is a signatory and had invoked it.