Saturday, May 13, 2017

Private citizen demands on court lead to charges of Amtrak train engineer for 2015 crash

The family of someone killed in the May 2015 Amtrak derailment sought a private criminal complaint against the engineer, causing a judge to order Brandon Bostian charge,d in Pennsylvania criminal court,  after local prosecutors had decided there wasn’t enough evidence to prove some sort of criminal negligence beyond a reasonable doubt.  ABC News has a detailed story here.

For the train engineer, this is an excruciating case.
This sounds highly unusual, perhaps vengeful, for private citizen to overrule a charging decision by a prosecutor (or grand jury).  What if such criminal procedire was possible in the Ferguson MO case?

Positive train control would have prevented the accident, on an Amtrak route I have ridden many times personally. But when people drive trucks or trains for a living, there is always this personal criminal liability risk.

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