Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bryant Decision is Just

The charges against Michael Bryant were dropped this week after a lengthy investigation into last summer's accident that killed cyclist Darcy Sheppard. At the time I quickly identified with the victim, he was my age and by some accounts it sounded as if the driver tried deliberately to harm Mr. Sheppard. I said to myself, "I hope they nail this guy to the wall." Turns out it's a good thing we have a legal system.

Michael Bryant seems to have been the target of a random assault from an angry and violent man. I saw in the Toronto Star's coverage that even Darcy Sheppard's father was satisfied with the result. Today's Hamilton Spectator editorial is right, justice has been served:

If anything, Bryant and the charges laid against him were subject to more scrutiny by the justice system because of his prominence. A prosecutor from B.C. handled the case. The investigation was exceptionally thorough and complete. The explanation for withdrawing the charges was lengthy and detailed.

It's part of human nature to try to assign blame for tragic events such as Sheppard's
death. Withdrawing the charges neither diminishes the tragedy nor does it declare open season on cyclists.

Charges are withdrawn regularly in courts across the province, generally with less public airing than Bryant's charges received. That is part of the justice system. In this case, the system worked.


Mike said...

If Darcy was a picture perfect man or woman, I guess your argument would be different????

Bryant initiated the first CONTACT. I was appalled to read in the executive summary that Darcy was obviously not seriously hurt when Bryan tried to over run him. What a BS. And the explanation was that the car stalled and jumped forward when Bryant restarted it. What another piece of BS. Bryan OBVIOUSLY stepped on it with the cyclist in front of him NOT THREATENING him or his wife. I bet you anything you want - if Bryant turned off the car and left the scene - nothing would have happened. Yet, he bulldozed the cyclist intentionally and is walking free after killing him consequently.

Prosecution did not present Bryant's behavioral issues where he snapped on his subordinates as documented previously, but they accepted hear-say similar "evidence" against the dead man. What a joke...

This should have gone through the trial proceedings and if he walks, he walks.. This way no one wins..

Patrick O'Neil said...

Arguably, there wouldn't be an argument because it woulnd't have escalated as it did.

Mike, I'll admit you probably read more about this than I did. I read 3/4 of an article in the dentist's office and formed my opinion.

On your last point I don't think we're that far apart. I am glad that the justice system investigated it as fully as they would in any other case and that they came to a conclusion that was almost certainly different than it would have been if we let a media witch hunt ensue.

If the prosecuter didn't believe it was worth going to trial then the 9 month investigation was probably enough.