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Man freed after fatal Toyota crash 'tried everything' to stop car

BCR

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Man freed after fatal Toyota crash 'tried everything' to stop car - CNN.com

A jury convicted Lee of criminal vehicular homicide in 2007, and he was sentenced to eight years in prison.


Lee had always maintained his innocence, saying the 1996 Camry accelerated uncontrollably before it crashed into two vehicles, killing a man, his 10-year-old son and a 6-year-old girl.
This kind of makes my blood boil, Juries seem to be way too trigger happy when it comes to convicting people. I hope he gets a nice compensation for his prison time and wins the law suit against Toyota.
 

danarhea

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Man freed after fatal Toyota crash 'tried everything' to stop car - CNN.com



This kind of makes my blood boil, Juries seem to be way too trigger happy when it comes to convicting people. I hope he gets a nice compensation for his prison time and wins the law suit against Toyota.
Juries are just using common sense. How were they supposed to actually believe that a vehicle magically started accelerating on its own?
This kind of comment just makes my blood boil. People seem way too trigger happy to become outraged at people, after the fact, for using common sense to make a seemingly sound judgement call.
 

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d0gbreath

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This guy has been in a living nightmare for the last 3 years. Anyone driving a Toyota could have been in his shoes.
 

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You haven't seen anything until you have seen the legal system and jury pools here in Texas, also known as the nation of Hang 'em High.
 

The Mark

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Hmm, I drive a 94' Camry...

It runs decently, for being 16 years old...
 

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Juries are just using common sense. How were they supposed to actually believe that a vehicle magically started accelerating on its own?
This kind of comment just makes my blood boil. People seem way too trigger happy to become outraged at people, after the fact, for using common sense to make a seemingly sound judgement call.
Yeah, who could have known that years later we'd know that Toyotas did that. Now they do. I don't blame the system for it.

I actually had that happen to me two years ago in my 2007 Lexus. I'd put the winter mats in the car and went merrily on my way for several months....when, out of the blue, my car accelerated to 85 mph on I290 (Chicago). Couldn't stop the car. Sounded like it was going to explode. Smoke pouring all over the road. I was finally able to get the car over to the shoulder thanks to some truckers that actually blocked the traffic behind me and kept turning off the engine until the car finally quit. I was verrry lucky. It's a long story. And people think it can't happen to them. But it sure as hell can.
 

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Yep, jump on Toyota.
U.S. Study Indicates Driver Error in Most Toyota Crashes - WSJ.com
"A government safety examination of Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles involved in crashes attributed to sudden acceleration so far has not yielded evidence of flaws in Toyotas while pointing instead to driver error. "
When the issue of sudden acceleration hit the news, many jumped on Toyota. Seems that in the majority of cases the driver was in error and not the vehicle. Wonder in this case if the vehicle had the "black box" that records info prior to impact. It it does, it will be interesting to see if this person actually did everything possible.
 

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Yep, jump on Toyota.
U.S. Study Indicates Driver Error in Most Toyota Crashes - WSJ.com
"A government safety examination of Toyota Motor Corp. vehicles involved in crashes attributed to sudden acceleration so far has not yielded evidence of flaws in Toyotas while pointing instead to driver error. "
When the issue of sudden acceleration hit the news, many jumped on Toyota. Seems that in the majority of cases the driver was in error and not the vehicle. Wonder in this case if the vehicle had the "black box" that records info prior to impact. It it does, it will be interesting to see if this person actually did everything possible.
Well, in my case is was a combination of two things: driver error and faulty design. The snow mat was meant to be fastened down to the floor. Managing the fastening system was awkward and rather difficult. My fiance' did it for me when I put the winter mat in the car. I suspect that when I had the car washed (any number of times B4 the incident) the mats were pulled out, washed, and then just thrown down on the floor. (Operator error.) The mat itself was too thick. If it DID slide (which they DID) it interfered with the operation of the gas pedal -- causing insane acceleration. The fix from Toyota on the recall was a MUCH thinner mat.
 

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Well, in my case is was a combination of two things: driver error and faulty design. The snow mat was meant to be fastened down to the floor. Managing the fastening system was awkward and rather difficult. My fiance' did it for me when I put the winter mat in the car. I suspect that when I had the car washed (any number of times B4 the incident) the mats were pulled out, washed, and then just thrown down on the floor. (Operator error.) The mat itself was too thick. If it DID slide (which they DID) it interfered with the operation of the gas pedal -- causing insane acceleration. The fix from Toyota on the recall was a MUCH thinner mat.
No disagreement on the floor mat issue. The mats should have been secured and made thinner from the start.

I remember reading Popular Mechanics and other car magazines that tested Toyota when they were in the news. Every test done showed that the brakes could stop the car even at full throttle. This started my thinking that most drivers just don't apply the brakes hard enough or long enough. Most safety tips were to brake like hxxx, put it in neutral, or even turn the ignition off.
 

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No disagreement on the floor mat issue. The mats should have been secured and made thinner from the start.

I remember reading Popular Mechanics and other car magazines that tested Toyota when they were in the news. Every test done showed that the brakes could stop the car even at full throttle. This started my thinking that most drivers just don't apply the brakes hard enough or long enough. Most safety tips were to brake like hxxx, put it in neutral, or even turn the ignition off.
Believe me, I was standing on my brake pedal. Squealing....white smoke pouring...Honestly, it was horrific. I even thought to put it into neutral, but what I didn't have the presence of mind to do was to take my foot off the brake when I did so. So, obviously, I was seriously thrown forward, the car was bucking like a bronco. I got "scared" instead of staying smart and put it back in drive. I "think" I must have put it back into neutral when I got over closer to the side...that's the only way I can figure out I had the nerve to shut off the engine. What was running thru my mind was that if I turned off the ignition, my steering would lock up and I'd lose my brakes. It really was YIKES!! When I did get over to the side, I did turn off the engine. But it re-started. Off. Re-started. Off. Re-started. Now, they tell us that you have to hold the auto-start-button in for 10 seconds or something or it'll do just that.
 

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This thread could also spin off into a discussion of juries, as well. I have served on several, and it's the problem that people are coerced into being members of a jury. They just want to get the trial over so they can go home and get on about their lives. If they can do anything to end the trial, then a conviction of the poor acused is the quickest way out, especially if it involves something like a far-fetched story as this one. No one knew about run away Toyotas a few years ago.
 
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This thread could also spin off into a discussion of juries, as well. I have served on several, and it's the problem that people are coerced into being members of a jury. They just want to get the trial over so they can go home and get on about their lives. If they can do anything to end the trial, then a conviction of the poor acused is the quickest way out, especially if it involves something like a far-fetched story as this one. No one knew about run away Toyotas a few years ago.
From what I've seen on DP, this thread could spin off into a discussion about sardines.
 

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This thread could also spin off into a discussion of juries, as well. I have served on several, and it's the problem that people are coerced into being members of a jury. They just want to get the trial over so they can go home and get on about their lives. If they can do anything to end the trial, then a conviction of the poor acused is the quickest way out, especially if it involves something like a far-fetched story as this one. No one knew about run away Toyotas a few years ago.
Ummmmm..... okay... Your state needs to be investigated for improper practices then.

In order to convict a person the trial must go to completion and then be decided upon by a jury.
The jury cannot hand down a guilty verdict before the trial has completed.
Thus juries convicting to end the trial quickly is a non-point, and just an excuse as to why juries convict people.

Im sorry, but its not logical that a 10 year old car with no seriously known to that point problems would run away on its own. We are talking about REASONABLE. I feel its not a REASONABLE doubt to have that the vehicle ran away on its own, especially when the defense attorney screwed up and said that the defendant has his foot on the accelerator when it was not the story that the defendnat wanted to try to get off on. It is not the job of a jury to determine whether or not a defense attorney is doing a good enough job and rule based upon that. It is the job of a jury to take the evidence, either direct or constructive, and make a decision based upon the evidence, and whether or not the evidence presented shows that the defendant met the elements of a crime.

I don't blame the jury, I blame the evidence, and the representation of the evidence through the work of the prosecution and defense attorneys.
 

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Why exactly is he being released, other than because some people bought the hype about Toyota's accelerating on their own? Is there any new evidence that he wasn't at fault?
 

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Why exactly is he being released, other than because some people bought the hype about Toyota's accelerating on their own? Is there any new evidence that he wasn't at fault?
I was wondering this too. Was there evidence that his car was faulty?
 

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Why exactly is he being released, other than because some people bought the hype about Toyota's accelerating on their own? Is there any new evidence that he wasn't at fault?
The article posted also states that the reviewing judge found that his defense was inadequate due to mistaking his own client's testimony in relation to his foot being on the accelerator.

I think I read something like that in there, too lazy to go re-read it.
 

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The article posted also states that the reviewing judge found that his defense was inadequate due to mistaking his own client's testimony in relation to his foot being on the accelerator.

I think I read something like that in there, too lazy to go re-read it.
The judge cited that as a reason, but it seems like he's just throwing that in in order to justify his reversal of the verdict. Ineffective assistance of counsel is a very high threshold to meet, and is normally raised right after the trial is over. Here, nobody brought it up until after a reporter heard about the Toyota hype and made a big stink about it a full three years after the conviction.
 

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The judge cited that as a reason, but it seems like he's just throwing that in in order to justify his reversal of the verdict. Ineffective assistance of counsel is a very high threshold to meet, and is normally raised right after the trial is over. Here, nobody brought it up until after a reporter heard about the Toyota hype and made a big stink about it a full three years after the conviction.
Well, he was released and the state had the option of granting him a new trial but the District Attorney refused to hold a new trial in the case.

I don't buy into the Toyota Accelerating on its own bull**** either, so i don't know if this was some sort of political grandstanding on the behalf of the judge or what....

But I think three years is going to have to be good enough in this case.
 

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Ummmmm..... okay... Your state needs to be investigated for improper practices then.

In order to convict a person the trial must go to completion and then be decided upon by a jury.
The jury cannot hand down a guilty verdict before the trial has completed.
Thus juries convicting to end the trial quickly is a non-point, and just an excuse as to why juries convict people.

Im sorry, but its not logical that a 10 year old car with no seriously known to that point problems would run away on its own. We are talking about REASONABLE. I feel its not a REASONABLE doubt to have that the vehicle ran away on its own, especially when the defense attorney screwed up and said that the defendant has his foot on the accelerator when it was not the story that the defendnat wanted to try to get off on. It is not the job of a jury to determine whether or not a defense attorney is doing a good enough job and rule based upon that. It is the job of a jury to take the evidence, either direct or constructive, and make a decision based upon the evidence, and whether or not the evidence presented shows that the defendant met the elements of a crime.

I don't blame the jury, I blame the evidence, and the representation of the evidence through the work of the prosecution and defense attorneys.
I don't know where you get that assumption from my post that the jury decides the case before the trial is over, but the jury members don't want to be there. Making $30 a day is hardly enough money when several hang sheet rock for a living and can make $200 a day or more and then they are coerced into being a juror. The crap about that it's their civic duty in a free country doesn't fly with most, and definitely doesn't fly with me. If you will check with Niel Boortz, he doesn't think much of coerced jury duty, either. It then becomes a crap shoot on whether the defendant ever receives a fair trial. The jury members want to go home so they deliberate a little bit and convict him. They go around the room and poll their fellow members, and it's unanimous. If he's here in the court, he's guilty.
 

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Why exactly is he being released, other than because some people bought the hype about Toyota's accelerating on their own? Is there any new evidence that he wasn't at fault?
Well, I hesitate to post this after posting about my Toyota experience.....but, I've never been shy.

A number of years ago, I had the engine running in front of my mom's house waiting for my husband to hop in the car. As he got in, I put the car in D and stepped on the brake. The car started forward, I stomped on the brake. He held on for dear life while I continued to stomp on the brake as he was only half inside the car. The car was burning rubber trying to peel off as he reached inside and turned off the engine.

My foot had been on the accelerator. I was soooo convinced my foot was on the brake, that I never would have ever let it go. I thought the car was haunted.

If I was ever on a jury and someone testified similarly that this is what happened to him, I'd buy it -- 'cause it happened to me. Once you think you're stepping on the brake, nothing will change your mind. (I was cold sober, BTW.)
 

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I would say even though I don't own one, I am biased towards Toyota, they help Kentucky's economy a great deal so I can't say to much bad about them although I think a lot of the Toyota hate could be manufactured as a means to boost American auto sales, I say w/e they're free game.

Sucks what happened to this guy and his family though.
 

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I don't know where you get that assumption from my post that the jury decides the case before the trial is over, but the jury members don't want to be there. Making $30 a day is hardly enough money when several hang sheet rock for a living and can make $200 a day or more and then they are coerced into being a juror. The crap about that it's their civic duty in a free country doesn't fly with most, and definitely doesn't fly with me. If you will check with Niel Boortz, he doesn't think much of coerced jury duty, either. It then becomes a crap shoot on whether the defendant ever receives a fair trial. The jury members want to go home so they deliberate a little bit and convict him. They go around the room and poll their fellow members, and it's unanimous. If he's here in the court, he's guilty.
A. Ive seen plenty of not guilty sentences handed out by a jury.
B. Deliberation isn't supposed to take days, contrary to television. A jury two weeks ago in court deliberated for a total of 3 hours and was determined hung and the case had to be re-tried.
C. Hung juries don't occur when everyone just decides he is guilty and leaves.

So no, Actually having seen several jury trials, and testifying in several as well, the longest part of the trial is the part they cannot control.... the actual trial.
 
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