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  1. #1
    Pandaren Monk Sugarcube's Avatar
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    Tennessee bill would give immunity to drivers who "accidentally" run over protesters

    https://edition.cnn.com/2021/03/04/u...rnd/index.html

    A newly proposed bill in Tennessee would make it even more difficult to protest in the state -- by making obstructing a highway a felony and giving immunity to drivers who unintentionally injure or kill those in the way.

    The HB13 bill, which was introduced in the Tennessee General Assembly in February, builds on legislation that already exists in the state.

    It is already illegal to obstruct a "highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, elevator, aisle, or hallway," but doing so results in a Class A misdemeanor.

    The newly proposed bill would make that a Class E felony, punished with up to six years in prison. At the same time, the bill would give anyone operating a vehicle who "unintentionally causes injury or death to another person" blocking a pathway complete immunity from prosecution for the injury or death.

    Tennessee tried to implement a similar bill in 2017, but the House version did not pass the Civil Justice Committee and the Senate version did not make it out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    Other similar bills have been proposed in legislatures across the country, but most have not passed.

    CNN reached out to state Sen. Jack Johnson and Rep. Ron M. Gant, the sponsors of the Senate and House versions of the bill respectively, for comment. Jackson's office deferred to Gant's office, saying the bill is not yet moving in the Senate.

    In a statement, Gant claimed the new bill would protect Tennesseans by instituting "law and order."

  2. #2
    Merely a Setback JohnBrown1917's Avatar
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    The law and order of legalizing murder.
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    The election has passed and 58 million working class Americans stood up and proved that they are in fact your racist uncle and jerk co-workers.
    They really can't help but show disdain for the working class.

  3. #3
    The Undying Breccia's Avatar
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    I'm looking forward to seeing the people who voted for this, sent to jail for six years for blocking a hallway.

  4. #4
    I'm sure everyone will be shocked to learn that the GOP hates free speech.

    "I didn't intend to kill those protestors, your honor. It's their fault they were standing where I happened to be pointing my car when I pressed the accelerator."

  5. #5
    Void Lord Felya's Avatar
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    Does this mean that someone hitting a pedestrian with their car, can argue that the pedestrian was protesting, because they wore a MAGA hat?
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  6. #6
    Brewmaster Sorensen's Avatar
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    Sounds like it would be ok to hit a cop if the happened to be in the street.
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  7. #7
    Up to 6 years seems very very unreasonable.
    "In order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance." Paradox of tolerance

  8. #8
    Merely a Setback Sunseeker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorensen View Post
    Sounds like it would be ok to hit a cop if the happened to be in the street.
    Kinda sounds like the bill would make it okay to hit anyone who happened to be in the street. Were they blocking it? Well they're dead so ya know, they musta been.
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    People in cars cause accidents. Accidents in cars cause people.
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  9. #9
    Not sure I see a purpose here. Legit accidents aren't felonies in most states, any deaths resulting from such accidents aren't murders; no intent or deliberation that define the term. A useless bill that should die in committee.

  10. #10
    The Undying Breccia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dezerte View Post
    Up to 6 years seems very very unreasonable.
    I suspect the high maximum sentence is intended to "encourage" protestors to take "only" a few months in jail for protesting.

    So yeah, scummy as fuck.

  11. #11
    I wonder, how often do you protest on highways? In Germany protesting is done in inner cities and never allowed on highways/country roads. This law wouldn't be an issue in Germany. Especially since protests (most protest are state approved, because the city is responsible to provide security and traffic management around the protest via the police) automatically would suspend this law. And certainly driving over someone in a reckless/intentional manner is always a crime. Any Supreme Court worth its salt would toss any case out the window that tried to establish a different precedence.

    Now, if someone jumped on the highway and got injured/killed in the process, that's on him, not the driver. At those speeds you can't really do anything about someone running in front of your car.
    Last edited by Slant; 2021-03-09 at 02:36 PM.
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  12. #12
    Titan Lenonis's Avatar
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    Man the GOP isn't even interested in pretending to not be hypocritical sociopaths. The party that screams about how life is precious and immoral ending life is suddenly wants to legalize murder.

    Also interested to hear how those evangelicals would rationalize this legislation. I'm pretty sure "Thou shalt strike down protestors" isn't one of the ten commandments.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Lenonis View Post
    Man the GOP isn't even interested in pretending to not be hypocritical sociopaths. The party that screams about how life is precious and immoral ending life is suddenly wants to legalize murder.
    GOP was always clear about life having value only until its popped out of their mother. From that moment, its every man for himself.

  14. #14
    Is it like some major issue that highways get protested on? I can at best recall one maybe two cases of that happening, but it doesn't exactly seem like some event that occurs to the extend that you'd need expanded laws on it.
    Formerly Howeller, lost my account.

  15. #15
    Around here protesting on a major highway is a death sentence.

  16. #16
    Titan Lenonis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Verdugo View Post
    GOP was always clear about life having value only until its popped out of their mother. From that moment, its every man for himself.
    Yeah it's pretty clear it's a pro-birth stance not pro-life. But if you bring that up you get screamed at so...still hypocritical douches.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Howel View Post
    Is it like some major issue that highways get protested on? I can at best recall one maybe two cases of that happening, but it doesn't exactly seem like some event that occurs to the extend that you'd need expanded laws on it.
    Protesters often try to go on the interstates here in Chicago. Usually doesn't last very long before the police force them off. They like to march up Lake Shore Drive as well. Again, doesn't often last long.

    Freedom of assembly apparently doesn't extend to putting a whole lot of people in danger (nor, IMO should it).

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Slant View Post
    I wonder, how often do you protest on highways? In Germany protesting is done in inner cities and never allowed on highways/country roads.
    The colloquial use of highway as "road where people go really fast without stoplights" isn't what "highway" usually means in a legal sense:

    Highway: means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way when any part thereto is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.
    https://www.lawserver.com/law/state/...e_55_chapter_8

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Lenonis View Post
    Protesters often try to go on the interstates here in Chicago. Usually doesn't last very long before the police force them off. They like to march up Lake Shore Drive as well. Again, doesn't often last long.

    Freedom of assembly apparently doesn't extend to putting a whole lot of people in danger (nor, IMO should it).
    Ah, then it makes a bit more sense to legislate stuff like this.
    Formerly Howeller, lost my account.

  19. #19
    The Undying Breccia's Avatar
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    Already there is a follow-up.

    Kentucky is trying to make it illegal to insult the police.

    ...Accosts, insults, taunts, or challenges a law enforcement officer with offensive or derisive words, or by gestures or other physical contact, that would have a direct tendency to provoke a violent response from the perspective of a reasonable and prudent person.
    "Oh, so they're making it a crime to try to bait the police into attacking you."

    Yes.

    "Okay, I can see that. Will it also be illegal to try to bait other people into attacking you?"

    Um...(flips through bill)...no?

    "Hmm. So, let's say someone insults a cop and the cop then responds with, oh I don't know, choking them to death. Could the cop then say 'he broke the law, my actions were not assault but the legal use of force in making an arrest'?"

    I suspect so, yes.

    "A luxury the police would have, that nobody else would have?"

    Yes.

  20. #20
    Titan Lenonis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Howel View Post
    Ah, then it makes a bit more sense to legislate stuff like this.
    Except it doesn't. If the protestors start heading to a highway the police divert traffic and then get them off before they re-open. I can't think of a time where a protest in Chicago had a vehicle accident.

    But then again we don't really have sudden spontaneous protests - the police are often informed and there along with them to ensure things stay orderly.

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