Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bicyclist Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter

In what is being reported as a first in U.S. legal history, a bicyclist who hit and killed a pedestrian after riding recklessly has pleaded guilty to manslaughter in San Francisco.

The Washington Post reports:
Under the unusual plea deal last week, Chris Bucchere, 37, would not serve any jail time and instead would be sentenced to three years of probation and sentenced to 1,000 hours of community service in the death of Sutchi Hui of San Bruno, District Attorney George Gascon said.
“Our goal is to send a message to cyclists about safety,” Gasc√≥n said. “Just because you are riding a bicycle doesn’t mean all bets are off. All of the rules of the road that apply to everyone else apply to you, too.”
A software engineer from San Francisco, Bucchere had been riding recklessly and had run three red lights when he struck Hui as he and his wife crossed a street in the Castro District on March 29, 2012, prosecutors said. Hui died four days later of injuries from the collision. His wife was not hurt...
Hui’s family has filed a civil suit against Bucchere regarding the fatality. Gascon said the victim’s family did not want to see Bucchere incarcerated and prosecutors did not think a judge would sentence him to jail time, so they offered probation and community service in the plea deal. Gascon added that they did not want to risk a possible not guilty verdict at a trial.
“We believe this is the best outcome for this type of case,” he said.
Gascon said his office had done research and didn’t find any other cases in which a prosecutor had obtained a manslaughter conviction against a bicyclist.
The entire story from the Washington Post is available here.

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