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Nope, Alec Baldwin Shouldn't Be Prosecuted
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Minor Deity
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posted
I am astounded that the New Mexico prosecutors are going after Alec Baldwin for manslaughter. From NYT:

quote:
But on Thursday prosecutors said they would charge him with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the killing of the cinematographer, Halyna Hutchins, 42, saying they believed he had a duty to ensure the revolver was safe to handle.

“We’re trying to definitely make it clear that everybody’s equal under the law, including A-list actors like Alec Baldwin,” Andrea Reeb, a special prosecutor appointed by Santa Fe County’s district attorney to help handle the case, said in an interview. “And we also want to make sure that the safety of the film industry is addressed and things like this don’t happen again.”


I would never convict based on what I know of this case. It sounds like what happened is that an inexperienced weapons expert was on set for the sole purpose of making sure the firearms were safe. SHE loaded the gun, not Baldwin. The assistant director told Baldwin the gun was cold. And he's responsible to ensure that the gun is not loaded or if it is loaded, it is a blank and not a live round?

Oh, but the prosecution says Baldwin made criminal mistakes. First, he pointed the gun at the victim. Mmmm, but did he? He pointed it at the camera, and she was standing next to it. But even if he did point it at her, they were setting up a shot and she wanted to know what it would look like. How does that make him criminally reckless?

Second, the prosecution says he pulled the trigger. He disputes this, saying he pulled the hammer back and did not pull the trigger. Well, I want to see the ballistics evidence that can distinguish between those two things after the fact. And if he did pull the trigger, there is no evidence at all that he deliberately pulled the trigger.

And let's not forget the fact that there seems to be no standard practice on set for what precautions an actor should take. Some say they check the guns they use; others say they rely on the armor. So what is the basis for this clear duty that is the foundation of this prosecution?

This burns me up. We have people accidentally shooting one another all over this country. We have kids getting their parents' guns. We have parents giving their children guns. Yet we're going to prosecute Baldwin?
 
Posts: 19777 | Location: A cluttered house in Metro D.C. | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
czarina
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i agree, cindy. it's crazy. i certainly hope he is acquitted of all charges, but what an ordeal to be put through.


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Posts: 21469 | Registered: 18 May 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Agreed. It makes no sense.


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Posts: 13611 | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The jury will let him off if it goes that far.
The film industry needs a kick in the pants like this.


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Posts: 25773 | Location: Still living at 9000 feet in the High Rockies of Colorado | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting politics here.

The DA wants to make a name, and this case could be a vehicle. But it's very risky for all the reasons Cindy poses. DAs have fallen from grace, and worse, for using the law in reckless ways to ruin people.

On the other hand, the state, and the city of Santa Fe, just want the case to go away. The film industry brings in millions every year. Heck, I have an AD renting my place in Santa Fe at the moment! The industry spends a lot of money there and they want more and more of that business coming to the Albuquerque / Santa Fe axis.
 
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quote:
We have people accidentally shooting one another all over this country. We have kids getting their parents' guns. We have parents giving their children guns. Yet we're going to prosecute Baldwin?


This! (and the other things you said!


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Posts: 18766 | Location: not in Japan any more | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Wasn’t Baldwin a producer on the film and responsible for the hiring of an inexperienced armorer? Absent that fact, I’d imagine the prosecutorial decision would have been different.
 
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I’m confused. I thought the producer procures funding and handles business matters for a film, and the director is the one who decides what happens on set. But I don’t really know.


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Posts: 13871 | Location: The outer burrows | Registered: 27 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Quirt, the hiring of the armoror wasn’t something the prosecutors identified as a factor.

Besides, getting the title of producer beside your name does not mean you are actually doing anything. Sometimes it’s just a perk. I somehow doubt Baldwin himself was reading resumes and interviewing candidates.
 
Posts: 19777 | Location: A cluttered house in Metro D.C. | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here's the viewpoint of a veteran armorer:

quote:
And ultimately, he [Baldwin] did break the three cardinal rules of handling a gun on a film set. You always point it in a safe direction, and you’ve got to define what safe is. You always keep your finger off the trigger, which according to the pre-rehearsal roll they did before lunch, his finger was on the trigger in that instance. And then lastly, you always treat the gun as if it’s loaded. And if that were the case, when those people decided to stand in front of him lined up, four people, he hopefully would have had the good sense to say, “Excuse me, folks, you just move out of the line of sight of this gun.” Even though he knew it was safe, and it was just blank or empty in that instance. There is so much fault to go around on this.

….

I think a lot of it boils down to the producers. They ignored pleas for safety.





https://variety.com/2023/film/...-merrick-1235495918/

It looks like they charged everyone in the chain of custody for the gun ... the armorer, the assistant director who handed the gun to Baldwin (he pled), and Baldwin.

The thing I find mystifying is why they didn't go after whoever brought the live ammo onto the set. That seems to me to be the first and perhaps most significant problem. I don't know movie sets, but I'd imagine there's no good reason to have live ammo on the set, or if there is it should be coated in some kind of neon paint so there's no mistaking it.
 
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"I've got morons on my team."

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Do they even know who brought the live ammo to the set?

The AD got off with a lighter slap (six month probation, no manslaughter charge), I think, which may make the prosecutors case more difficult against the others. The person who failed to check the gun, yet called out "cold gun" loudly, would seem to bear a lot of the responsibility.

And then there is this angle:

Prosucutor's "strange play"

to threaten him into a plea deal.

I still don't see how they get a NM jury to convict on a manslaughter charge.
 
Posts: 12644 | Location: Williamsburg, VA | Registered: 19 July 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's quite the Freudian typo.
 
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"I've got morons on my team."

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Big Grin

I guess I should leave it ...
 
Posts: 12644 | Location: Williamsburg, VA | Registered: 19 July 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes, those are the rules for handling a gun.

Are those the same rules that are taught on every movie set and even this movie set?

And aren’t those the rules that are violated in every firearm accident?

And how come Dick Cheney wasn’t prosecuted when he shot his buddy in the face? Unlike Baldwin, he loaded the gun, knew it had live ammunition in it, aimed it, and pulled the trigger on purpose.
 
Posts: 19777 | Location: A cluttered house in Metro D.C. | Registered: 20 April 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Beatification Candidate
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quote:
Originally posted by Cindysphinx:
And how come Dick Cheney wasn’t prosecuted when he shot his buddy in the face? Unlike Baldwin, he loaded the gun, knew it had live ammunition in it, aimed it, and pulled the trigger on purpose.


I was not aware that he aimed it and pulled the trigger on purpose. If that was the case, he should have been charged.

Big Al


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