When will guilty people be held liable for their actions and not be allowed to sue their victims for damages caused by the criminal’s illegal actions?
In 2012, 90-year-old Jay Leone found a burglar in his home in California.
“According to Leone, the incident began when Cutrufelli kicked in the door, of his Marin County home. Leone said he was ordered not to move as the house was scoured for valuables. But after a while, Leone insisted that he had to use the bathroom, and convinced his captor to let him go, CBS San Francisco reported.”
“It was a ruse. Leone had a .357 revolver stashed in the bathroom. He grabbed it and ran back and pointed it at the burglar.”
“The burglar fired once, hitting Leone in the cheek.’
“‘He opened up on me,’ said Leone. ‘He got me on the first shot’.”
“Leone, a former Marin County Sheriff’s deputy, paused before returning fire. The gunman begged for his life, but Leone emptied his weapon anyway.”
“‘After he shot me, I looked him straight in the eye,’ said Leone. ‘He says, ‘Don’t kill me. Don’t kill me… I’ve got a daughter!’ I said, ‘f- you … pow, pow, pow, pow!’”
Samuel Cutrufelli, the criminal, then sued Leone for returning fire and shooting him.
Years ago, 2 young teenaged boys carried a ladder and placed it up against a 10-foot block wall topped with razor ribbon, and climbed into an electrical substation. The substation was clearly marked with signs on the outer wall waring of the danger and high voltage inside. I know because I helped build that substation. We built he wall, the placement of razor ribbon on top, cutting all of us installing it, and we put the signs, as required by law and company policy, on the outside of the block wall.
After illegally trespassing in the locked substation the boys got electrocuted, killing one and severely injuring the other. The parents then sued the electric company, claiming they didn’t take enough action to warn and protect their substation from trespassers. They collected $25 million from the electric company.
More recently, the family of an illegal alien from Mexico sued US government over what they claimed was the wrongful death of 16-year-old Cruz Velazquez Acevedo.
In 2013, Acevedo was trying to smuggle liquid meth over the border into the US. When he was stopped by US Customs and Border Protection agents, the teen told them it was just apple juice. The officers told him if it was just apple juice then he should drink it. Not wanting to get caught with the illegal drug, the teen quickly gulped down the two vials of liquid meth.
A few minutes later, the liquid meth hit his system hard, driving his heartrate to over 220 beats-per-minute. His fever hit 105º. Two hours later, Acevedo was dead from the overdose of the liquid meth.
Afterwards, both CBP officers that were present said they did not believe the liquid was just apple juice, but tried to call the teen’s bluff. The family claims the two officers ‘coerced and intimidated’ the teen to drink the drugs. In their lawsuit filed against the US government, they alleged:
“…violations of constitutional rights, including the right to not be subjected to punishment without due process. It further accused government officials of inadequately training CBP officers.”
Eugene Iredale, the attorney for the family described the officers’ treatment of the teen as ‘the most inhuman kind of cruelty’.
Acevedo’s family ended up receiving a settlement of $1 million for their son’s criminal and stupid actions. The boy was intentionally trying to smuggle illegal drugs into the US. He knowingly drank the liquid meth when he could have refused and confessed to his crime. But no, the teen was a criminal who acted stupidly and died as a direct result of HIS actions, not those of the officers.
While Iredale’s cut of the million-dollar settlement was not disclosed, it just sounds like he is one of those lawyers who will stoop to the lowest level to make a buck. One can’t help but wonder is that part of his Harvard education.
Criminals should be held responsible for their actions, not their victims. In this case, the US government was the victim of the teen’s illegal drug smuggling, yet they paid for it. One million dollars goes a long way in Mexico, so you wonder how many more similar cases will happen in hopes of huge payouts?