Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Senser verdict

Well, I have to admit surprise when the guilty verdicts came in today for Amy Senser. I genuinely thought that it would be very difficult to meet the legal standard of proof "beyond a reasonable doubt" when the prosecutors had to prove she KNEW that she had hit someone. I don't know if any of the jurors will talk about the deliberations, but of course it would be very interesting to learn their reasoning.

There were a number of parts of her story that, individually, seemed plausible. For example, easing her text messages, leaving the concert because of a headache, not seeing the victim, getting lost, etc. But perhaps the thinking was that, "Well, one of those exculpatory things might make sense, but there are just too many, in aggregate, to make her story plausible." Or maybe she just didn't sound convincing, I don't know.

The next part will be the victim's family pursuing a civil suit against Senser, which should be a slam-dunk, given the guilty verdict in the criminal case. The Sensers are probably best advised to seek an out-of-court settlement, given that such settlement would probably be paid by their liability insurance carrier. If they go to court, they risk not only compensatory damages, but punitive damages as well, and punitive damages are unlikely to be covered by insurance.

I heard local attorney Ron Rosenbaum on KFAN radio today, and he said something that disturbed me a bit. He said that virtually all of the attorneys he knew felt Senser would be acquitted, while almost all of the non-lawyers he knew felt she would be convicted. I took this to mean that I am starting to think like an attorney, which I don't necessarily  consider a positive development.

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