Yantis Ruling: No Intent Means No Crime
by Shari Dovale
On November 1, 2015, rancher Jack Yantis was shot and killed by two Adams County deputies. Deputies Cody Rolland and Brian Wood, who were wearing body cameras, have given statements that were contrary to eyewitness testimony.
The camera footage will not be available, as Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, who acted as a special prosecutor, said that no video or audio recordings exist as the body cameras were either ‘full’ on memory or not turned on.
Wasden issued a statement on Friday, July 29, 2016, that he does not intend to bring charges against deputies in the killing of Yantis.
U.S. Attorney Wendy Olson said Friday that the Nov. 1 death of Jack Yantis was a tragedy, but the evidence doesn’t show the deputies intended to break the law. So, another US Federal official has declared that without INTENT, there is NO CRIME.
This brings the issue back to the forefront. What is intent? I am not an attorney, but I understand some basics. There is a difference between specific intent and general intent.
Specific intent means that the suspect definitely knew what they were doing, and intended to commit the crime. The prosecution must show that the defendant purposely or knowingly committed the crime at issue.
General intent refers to the intent to do that which the law prohibits. It is not necessary for the prosecution to prove that the defendant intended the precise harm or the precise result that occurred.
Therefore, it is perfectly acceptable to the legal community that a defendant can be tried under a lesser-charge, if there is doubts about intent. It happens all the time, at least to the lower class of regular people.
If you are in the reigning, upper class of government hierarchy, such as Hillary, you can walk away from any charges just by saying “Oops, I didn’t mean to trash 30,000 classified emails.” This concept, also, seems to extended to include the Idaho Law enforcement community.
The Statesman has done a pretty good job of pulling together a database of officer involved shooting fatalities in Idaho since the beginning of this century. It shows that not only are officer involved shootings on the rise, but the officers are safe from prosecution.
There have been 54 such cases in Idaho, 4 are still being investigated. However, of the remaining 50 cases, officers were cleared in all of those deaths.
I am not against law enforcement. Quite the contrary, I am very pro-cop. But it is disheartening to see the divide that the government is placing between the citizens and LEOs. The LEOs are being placed above the law, where there will be no consequences for their behavior. They are not afraid to go too far.
If a regular citizen was put in the same situations, where they feel that self-defense, or defense of a loved one, required them to fire a weapon and kill someone, they would automatically be taken into custody and charged. The charges would start at murder, then work their way down to manslaughter. This would be determined on INTENT.
The Federal government has very specifically created a division within this country. This division has caused LEOs to be afraid of the citizens as much as the citizens are afraid of the police. This situation can only get worse before it gets better.
We need the Federal and State governments to remember who they work for. The citizens have lost the trust and faith in their government officials. It is the responsibility of these officials to regain that trust, not the citizens to give it blindly.
The Americans Are Coming!