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PostPosted: Tue Jun 16, '09, 10:47 pm 
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090616/ap_on_re_us/us_pastor_s_wife_slain

*Cue lawyers and stupid people calling for another game to be banned.*

I love the part about how this case was apparently heard without a jury. And also how the prosecution seems completely biased against this kid, from calling for the maximum sentence, disputing his feelings of guilt and remorse, to seeming remorseful that his age makes him ineligible for the death penalty. :fiery: Condolences to the family...and the kid too, for losing his mother like that and because this process seemed biased against him.

And also, if this shooting happened in 2007, then theoretically, this teen would've been too young to play Halo 3 according to rating, as it's rated M17+. It's also probably safe to assume (though not certain) that he had played the previous Halo games, rated the same. So...once again...why was he playing these games in the first place? What happened to responsibility and parents checking ratings?

The kid surely does deserve to be punished, he murdered someone, that's undeniable. But I can't help but think this is going to be yet another case that some people will leap on to ban violent games because of the one player in a million. I'm still not a fan of games like Halo and many other shooters (excepting Metroid Prime), but I don't want to see them banned or restricted any further. Games are rated for a reason.

I guess what aggravates me the most is that this...just seemed totally biased. :grumpy:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, '09, 2:38 am 
That's the best thing about Australia's game and film rating system there is abosultly no way you can miss a rating on a video game. We have very big colour coded ratings that stand out more than the game's cover themselves.

Example:
Image
This is the Australian version of the ESRB M17+ rating: MA15+.

This has APPARENTLY reduced young kids playing Grand Theft Auto IV and other similar games. I Personally doubt it however. :roll:


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, '09, 2:54 am 
That's tragic, I really can't sympathize with the kid at all. Have to say I'm siding with the prosecution on this one. Seems like a person with extreme tendencies towards violent behaviour. I'm glad that he's actually remorseful about what he did, but for goodness sake lock him up and throw away the key for the benefit of society.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, '09, 3:03 am 
What we have here is a case of the Associated Press writing a poor story, possibly designed to incite people against gaming just as you suggest it might, CW. I suppose they were focusing on the sentencing since that's the most recent aspect of the story, but they really should have given more detail about the case.

I remembered reading a more in-depth account of what happened some time ago, so I did some digging through old topics and found these links:
Daniel Petric killed mother, shot father because they took Halo 3 video game, prosecutors say
Pastor's son charged in mother's murder, father's shooting
The first article here is rather long, but I really recommend reading it. It will put this in an entirely different perspective. The parents acted responsibly within reason; they did make some mistakes, but failing to watch out for the kid in regard to game content was not one of them.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, '09, 4:16 am 
Awesome, Thoul. Had I had time, I would've gone digging to find more on this earlier, but you did that work for me. Looking at these articles, the one I found and posted is pretty poorly written and to me, at least, seems even LESS objective than it was before.

More information is always good. It does seem the parents, for the most part, acted totally reasonably and took away Halo as they personally disapproved with it since their kid was too young. I'm glad to see that happening, it's what I wish more parents would do to keep younger kids away from violent games instead of blaming someone else and trying to get the games banned. That being said, now I really do wonder why this happened. I'm still not convinced that Halo itself had much to do with it, as I wonder how much he managed to play it before committing these crimes. I get the sense it wasn't enough to really affect him too much, but I might be wrong on that and maybe he was one of the relatively few gamers who have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality. He seemed to be a well adjusted guy as far as I can gather, so why this happened is beyond me.

However, I'm still steamed that he had no trial by jury. Why?

6th amendment wrote:In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed


Make no mistake, I do agree with Tweeg that he should be locked up for a good stretch of time. He murdered someone, nothing is changing that. But I still can't call this particular trial fair as he had no jury. No idea what precisely to do about that other than a costly retrial, so I doubt anything will be done. At the very least, it seems that there's no disputing that he committed a crime, as opposed to uncertainty over it. But I'd like to know why there was no jury.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, '09, 4:44 am 
According the second article I linked, he waived his right to a jury trial. I missed that myself until just now, but there's the answer to that one.

I don't think the games were responsible, but this kid was definitely not well mentally. He seems to have been seriously addicted to the games. The articles above talk about about him playing for extended periods, sneaking out to buy a game, even refusing to stop playing at the cost of being kicked out of his home. That's pretty extreme. If his parents should have done anything different, it would have been recognizing the addiction altering his mental state, seeking treatment for that, and not putting Halo III next to a real gun.

All of which is not to say that I think his sentence is undeserved, as I do believe his actions had to have been premeditated to some extent. I just think this guy needs some very heavy therapy or something, because he was seriously messed up in the head to steal a gun, kill his mother, try to fake it as his father doing that, try to hide it from his sibling, nearly kill his sibling, steal a car, and run from the police over a video game.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, '09, 5:37 am 
I'm completely missing where it says he waived his right to a jury. I scoured both articles several times and never saw it. Maybe after I get some sleep I can find it...and not misread the articles.

Still no answer as to why, precisely, and I doubt there ever will be as I read more. I read some of the comments on one of the articles (second one, I think) and they offer a lot of the speculation/opinions that we have here. But what they do above all else is clarify a point made by the second article...stories conflict in this case all over the place. Some of the posts say that he WAS getting treated for unspecified mental problems, while others say he was oversheltered and his crime was a reaction to that. Others say he was mentally ill and couldn't have been getting treated for it and others say he's just a dangerous nutcase. I'm really having trouble wrapping my head around it and determining what is and isn't true, and then how much of a direct role, or lack of a role, Halo may have had in his crimes other than the obvious as something that he wanted that was taken from him.

Either way...he does need to be removed from society in some form. I would hope it's in form of getting taken to a State Hospital or other psychological institution to be locked up and receive therapy so he can have a second chance later on.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, '09, 12:19 pm 
Oh, my mistake on the jury thing. It wasn't that article, it was one linked in the first article. With so many, I got them mixed up. Here is one about the defense, which mentions waiving his right.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, '09, 1:05 pm 
I read this. I can't say I believe games are to blame. I think there was something else going on in the home that caused him to do what he did. Heck, I love violent games with alot of blood and gore, but I would never think of doing something like that. I remember reading the part where the kid said he was sorry and his father forgave him. I know the man is a pastor but I think that simple human emotions would tend to prevent you from accepting an apology, atleast right away.
But that's just my thought, everyone is different afterall.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, '09, 1:44 pm 
Anyone who states that they're violent behavior is due to video games is, in my opinion, an idiot. If you really want to bring that up, look at all the violence that many sports have brought out in people. It doesn't matter what medium someone is subjecting themselves to but a matter of that person's ability to rationalize [which this country is sorely lacking these days] the situation. I'll admit that I have outbursts when something goes wrong in a game but I realize it's just a game and if it gets bad, I turn off the bloody thing and take 10.


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