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Rice University Jogging Loop


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When did Americans become such pansies? Any physical harm at all? Maybe you're right though, maybe it's good none of the "victims" had a centerfire pistol. Because it would have been just too much awesomeness had those darn kids actually been killed in retaliation like they should have been, am I right?

Kids? Seriously? Those fools are some grown ass adults. You can't explain their behavior with "kids will be kids." I bet if these were students from another university, they'd be labeled as troublemakers with the potential to become violent thugs. Why stick up for them just because they're "Rice nerds"?

Taking the life of other people is definitely a good way of eliminating welts and bruises. Had I known it was appropriate, I'd have carried a nine when I was nine. Whenever a bully gave me an indian armrub, I could have busted a cap in his ass and screamed at his corpse, "That's what you get for causing physical harm!"

Nobody is saying it's appropriate. What I believe is that when a gun carrying law abiding citizen or police officer is fired upon with a real gun or BB gun, they don't have the time to say "wait, let me go walk up to the shooter and ask if their gun is real so I can decide whether or not to respond with real bullets." When it's perceived that your life is in danger, split second decisions are made. If the Rice shooters had been fired upon with real ammunition, it would've been a horrible thing that nobody should have to go through, but they wouldn't exactly be blameless little angels either.

Edited by JLWM8609
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I'm not going to spend too much time trying to convince you to think my way about this issue, but surely you must be daft if you can't see the difference between a BB gun and those other guns. Can you discern a difference between a 12 gauge and an ICBM with a nuclear warhead?

The world exists in degrees and clines, not polar absolutes.

If you maliciously shoot someone with a 12GA, I think you should get the death penalty. If you order that an ICBM be launched on a rival country or city, I think that you should get the death penalty. It has nothing to do with the amount of damage you actually inflicted; it's that you were willing to inflict possibly-deadly damage in the first place. Clearly that is anti-social behavior, and if you're going to go around doing that kind of thing, society has no use for you except that you are euthanized, with your body chopped into tiny bits and processed into chicken feed like so many cats and dogs at BARC.

Edited by TheNiche
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That's probably why they did it at Rice and not at MacGregor Park.

Thanks, for that line, I needed a good laugh. Very true line. The only thing I have to say, as a native, 4th generation Houstonian & Texan, is that we don't take too kindly to getting shot at with any kind of gun. They did that in the wrong place.

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Whoa. I seem to have touched on a nerve here. For the record, I didn't say those kids (and yes, they're kids - lest we forget our own levels of impetuosity and foolishness at the same age) didn't break a law and deserve punishment. However, the punishment recommended for a felony aggravated assault charge is hardly commensurate with the crime of shooting people with BBs. Some people around these parts are displaying the worst characteristics of bloodthirsty mob justice. Saddling someone for the rest of their lives with a felony for a dumb decision made when young and stupid shouldn't be a decision made capriciously. Just because what they did made you angry doesn't mean these kids shouldn't be afforded the beneficence of a just legal system. It's our duty as citizens of this country to use logic and not emotions to uphold justice.

As for Falling Down, vigilantism is also a crime. Is that one more allowable in your eyes? Is that a crime you find justifiable in action? I bet those of you so intent on throwing the book at these kids for violating the law break the law yourselves in a million different ways on a regular basis. How about a little moral relativism and some compassion? Pope John Paul II was able to forgive the man who tried to take his life (with real bullets!), and while I'm not trying to suggest anyone in Texas is as upright a man as the pope, especially that pope in particular, perhaps we could learn something positive from his example.

Had any of those "victims" required anything more than a band-aid and a cold compress, I might feel differently. Perhaps someone can enlighten the rest of us as to the dastardly outcome of these heinous crimes. Did anyone end up in the ICU? Were any eyes shot out? How many people even know if the gun was a pump air gun or a CO2 gun? How many facts about this case do any of you self-appointed executioners even know? Considering I don't know anything outside what the newspaper's written, I'll reserve my judgement for a time when I'm considerably more informed on the subject. Perhaps the rest of you can do the same.

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Whoa. I seem to have touched on a nerve here. For the record, I didn't say those kids (and yes, they're kids - lest we forget our own levels of impetuosity and foolishness at the same age) didn't break a law and deserve punishment. However, the punishment recommended for a felony aggravated assault charge is hardly commensurate with the crime of shooting people with BBs. Some people around these parts are displaying the worst characteristics of bloodthirsty mob justice. Saddling someone for the rest of their lives with a felony for a dumb decision made when young and stupid shouldn't be a decision made capriciously. Just because what they did made you angry doesn't mean these kids shouldn't be afforded the beneficence of a just legal system. It's our duty as citizens of this country to use logic and not emotions to uphold justice.

Yeesh, they're not being sentenced yet. They will be tried on the charge and given a fair trial to determine whether or not they are guilty of felony aggravated assault. Or more likely, they'll plead out to a misdemeanor like assault.

Had any of those "victims" required anything more than a band-aid and a cold compress, I might feel differently. Perhaps someone can enlighten the rest of us as to the dastardly outcome of these heinous crimes. Did anyone end up in the ICU? Were any eyes shot out? How many people even know if the gun was a pump air gun or a CO2 gun? How many facts about this case do any of you self-appointed executioners even know? Considering I don't know anything outside what the newspaper's written, I'll reserve my judgement for a time when I'm considerably more informed on the subject. Perhaps the rest of you can do the same.

You haven't reserved judgment, you have already decided that they should not be charged with aggravated assault.

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Yeesh, they're not being sentenced yet. They will be tried on the charge and given a fair trial to determine whether or not they are guilty of felony aggravated assault. Or more likely, they'll plead out to a misdemeanor like assault.

You haven't reserved judgment, you have already decided that they should not be charged with aggravated assault.

Fair enough, I suppose I did pass judgment, but at least my judgment erred on the side of "Innocent until proven guilty," and not the other way around. Can you see a difference, and can you understand why that's important to maintain a society built upon the rule of law? In a society like ours, one not founded upon a common religion, ethnicity or culture, the only thing that binds us together is law. Justice can't be meted out arbitrarily and based on emotions. Criminal cases must be decided beyond all reasonable doubt, and none of the information given proves that in the least, not for any of the "criminals."

As for the charge vs sentence thing goes, try telling anyone who has so much as been charged with a felony that their life hasn't been irrevocably altered by it, regardless of the ultimate verdict. Having a felony charge on their record pretty much sentences a person to a harder life. You know, chances are good the families of these Rice students can probably afford reasonably good attorneys, and will likely be able to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor assault (which it most definitely appears to be). It's unfortunate, had the kids been a little less blessed with opportunity, and they couldn't afford quality attorneys, they'd likely be stuck with the felony for the remainder of their lives. I suppose, if the DA wanted these kids to ultimately end up with a misdemeanor, they should have been charged with a misdemeanor. I have a real problem with justice being granted only due to some underhanded backroom wheeling and dealing. Justice shouldn't be decided the way trinkets are purchased at a Matamoros market.

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Fair enough, I suppose I did pass judgment, but at least my judgment erred on the side of "Innocent until proven guilty," and not the other way around. Can you see a difference, and can you understand why that's important to maintain a society built upon the rule of law? In a society like ours, one not founded upon a common religion, ethnicity or culture, the only thing that binds us together is law. Justice can't be meted out arbitrarily and based on emotions. Criminal cases must be decided beyond all reasonable doubt, and none of the information given proves that in the least, not for any of the "criminals."

We're not his trial, we're just internet pundits. They will be given their fair trial or they will plead out.

As for the charge vs sentence thing goes, try telling anyone who has so much as been charged with a felony that their life hasn't been irrevocably altered by it, regardless of the ultimate verdict. Having a felony charge on their record pretty much sentences a person to a harder life. You know, chances are good the families of these Rice students can probably afford reasonably good attorneys, and will likely be able to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor assault (which it most definitely appears to be). It's unfortunate, had the kids been a little less blessed with opportunity, and they couldn't afford quality attorneys, they'd likely be stuck with the felony for the remainder of their lives. I suppose, if the DA wanted these kids to ultimately end up with a misdemeanor, they should have been charged with a misdemeanor. I have a real problem with justice being granted only due to some underhanded backroom wheeling and dealing. Justice shouldn't be decided the way trinkets are purchased at a Matamoros market.

They have been charged with aggravated assault because the facts seem to indicate that is what they have done. They allegedly committed assault with a firearm, albeit an ineffective one. A DA charges with the highest crime he feels likely to convict on and then he has the option of pleading down with them if he's sympathetic to their situation or if he thinks he's unlikely to convict. If they don't plead down, a fair jury of their peers will decide if they are guilty of aggravated assault.

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Whoa. I seem to have touched on a nerve here. For the record, I didn't say those kids (and yes, they're kids - lest we forget our own levels of impetuosity and foolishness at the same age) didn't break a law and deserve punishment. However, the punishment recommended for a felony aggravated assault charge is hardly commensurate with the crime of shooting people with BBs.

I can cite plenty of things that I did wrong when I was in college. I flunked tests and even a few courses. I stuck my foot in my mouth plenty of times around women. I pissed off coworkers by being a know-it-all. These errors had consequences, I learned from them, and probably others around me learned things as well from my crap examples. But I never once got around to joyriding, shooting at pedestrians with an air rifle.

As you suggest, the consequence should be commensurate with the offense. If you touch a hot stove, you need to know that you're going to get burned; and if you haven't figured it out, then perhaps you're just dumb enough to need to be burned in order to teach you the lesson. Assualt with a deadly weapon seems like an appropriate charge, however I'm sure that they'll receive leniency in sentencing.

...as for the Pope comments, screw that guy. He isn't the boss of me.

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Nor me. However, I still think the example is relevant.

Why does it matter who sets the example, then? Examples get set all the time. Sometimes it's a religious authority figure, other times its a judge, and othertimes still it is nature itself. Sometimes the bad guy sets the example (and gets away with it); other times a good example is inflicted upon him. I think that we can agree upon that examples clearly influence human behavior.

...all the more reason to make an example of these fools.

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Why does it matter who sets the example, then? Examples get set all the time. Sometimes it's a religious authority figure, other times its a judge, and othertimes still it is nature itself. Sometimes the bad guy sets the example (and gets away with it); other times a good example is inflicted upon him. I think that we can agree upon that examples clearly influence human behavior.

...all the more reason to make an example of these fools.

Earlier I wrote I wasn't going to spend too much time trying to convince anyone else to think like me on this issue. I should have stuck with that. The mob always wants to see other people suffer, and frankly, I don't really care very much about what happens to these kids. My big beef is just that the charge seems trumped up for (what appears to me, based on the same limited info everyone else has) something so inconsequential. Somehow, I guess because I disagree with the District Attorney, I've become these kids' HAIF defense attorney. But, even considering I really don't care, I still firmly think that not understanding the degrees of difference between a BB gun, a child's toy, and an actual firearm is beyond ridiculous. But, whatever. The DA has given his team an unwinnable case. No matter what the court of public opinion thinks, aggravated assault this ain't, not unless there's some horrendous detail that's been left out of the Chronicle.

Also, you seem a bright individual, so you probably don't need a lesson in the proper application of the law, but considering your need to "make an example of these fools," you may not have heard that the law is supposed to apply equally to all citizens. People shouldn't be made an example of, neither for deterrence nor for political posturing. I speak of ideals, of course, and not reality. I readily admit this. But, we've got to start somewhere, and foaming at the mouth for the blood of children because they acted like children is an irresponsible application of authority. Should they be taught a lesson? Of course. That's the purported purpose of our justice system, right? Deterrence and reform, right? Or, is it punishment? Is it all three? Well, that's a question that's yet to be resolved in this country, and it's not one that we'll solve here.

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The mob always wants to see other people suffer

That's a bold assertion. Prove your categorical statement.

My big beef is just that the charge seems trumped up for (what appears to me, based on the same limited info everyone else has) something so inconsequential.

Clearly there are only so many different kinds of charges to choose from for a variety of crimes. If there's any doubt of that, how about you peruse the database of sex offenders, research the definitions of the charges that they were brought up on, and use your imagination to figure on what else they could've done without upping the charges. ...now, more than likely, their sentences tend to reflect the actual heinousness of the charge brought against them in the individual case; but again, there is a practically infinite universe of possible variations on a theme that qualify for the same charge. Aggravated assault is similar, and I believe that that is an appropriate description of the crime committed.

I still firmly think that not understanding the degrees of difference between a BB gun, a child's toy, and an actual firearm is beyond ridiculous.

I owned numerous air rifles, a Ruger 10/22 and a black powder rifle growing up. The crooked cop next door kept my personal backyard rifle range open, and he occasionally took my friends and I out to his ranch to shoot off his AR-15, Benelli M1 Tactical Shotgun, and various other firearms. Do those qualify as child's toys? That's pretty much how I used them. ...only I didn't shoot pedestrians. Not even once, not even by accident. I wasn't that antisocial or reckless. Now, if I can manage not to shoot people as a child with what I've demonstrated are merely "child's toys", you'd think that some Rice students could manage that as well.

It has nothing to do with what came of it, but with what could have come of it and the extent to which they have demonstrated that they're a menace to society.

Also, you seem a bright individual, so you probably don't need a lesson in the proper application of the law, but considering your need to "make an example of these fools," you may not have heard that the law is supposed to apply equally to all citizens.

That these people are fools would appear to be self-evident. I'm not suggesting that they be treated any differently than any other category of person that committed the same act.

foaming at the mouth for the blood of children because they acted like children is an irresponsible application of authority. Should they be taught a lesson? Of course. That's the purported purpose of our justice system, right? Deterrence and reform, right? Or, is it punishment? Is it all three? Well, that's a question that's yet to be resolved in this country, and it's not one that we'll solve here.

These "children" are old enough to vote, are old enough to fight foreign wars, and are old enough to own firearms. If they demnostrate such poor judgement, not only do I want to ensure that they can't vote, that the military won't accept them, and that they can no longer own firearms, but I would very much desire to ensure that they will never enter the workforce with anything more than a community college degree. Persons of such poor judgement and character should not be empowered with education so that they can go on to put others in even greater danger; let their slot at Rice go to someone more deserving.

At its core, the purpose of law and law enforcement is to protect society from individuals that exhibit antisocial behavior. If deterrence and reform are possible (and sometimes they are, sometimes not), that's a nice bonus.

Edited by TheNiche
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That's a bold assertion. Prove your categorical statement.

Clearly there are only so many different kinds of charges to choose from for a variety of crimes. If there's any doubt of that, how about you peruse the database of sex offenders, research the definitions of the charges that they were brought up on, and use your imagination to figure on what else they could've done without upping the charges. ...now, more than likely, their sentences tend to reflect the actual heinousness of the charge brought against them in the individual case; but again, there is a practically infinite universe of possible variations on a theme that qualify for the same charge. Aggravated assault is similar, and I believe that that is an appropriate description of the crime committed.

I owned numerous air rifles, a Ruger 10/22 and a black powder rifle growing up. The crooked cop next door kept my personal backyard rifle range open, and he occasionally took my friends and I out to his ranch to shoot off his AR-15, Benelli M1 Tactical Shotgun, and various other firearms. Do those qualify as child's toys? That's pretty much how I used them. ...only I didn't shoot pedestrians. Not even once, not even by accident. I wasn't that antisocial or reckless. Now, if I can manage not to shoot people as a child with what I've demonstrated are merely "child's toys", you'd think that some Rice students could manage that as well.

It has nothing to do with what came of it, but with what could have come of it and the extent to which they have demonstrated that they're a menace to society.

That these people are fools would appear to be self-evident. I'm not suggesting that they be treated any differently than any other category of person that committed the same act.

These "children" are old enough to vote, are old enough to fight foreign wars, and are old enough to own firearms. If they demnostrate such poor judgement, not only do I want to ensure that they can't vote, that the military won't accept them, and that they can no longer own firearms, but I would very much desire to ensure that they will never enter the workforce with anything more than a community college degree. Persons of such poor judgement and character should not be empowered with education so that they can go on to put others in even greater danger; let their slot at Rice go to someone more deserving.

At its core, the purpose of law and law enforcement is to protect society from individuals that exhibit antisocial behavior. If deterrence and reform are possible (and sometimes they are, sometimes not), that's a nice bonus.

Ugh. I really should have stuck with my initial impulse and left the weightier parts of this topic alone. I simply do not care about it enough to delve deeply into a debate about ethics or the practical nature of a common legal system. Frankly, I agree these kids acted foolishly, recklessly and without regard for other people, and as a result, deserve to be punished. Again, my contention is the charge seems overwrought considering the minimal impact of the crime. Perhaps we come from two different worlds on this, but what you perceive as dastardly, heinous and evil, I see as something not too far away from what I'd have done as a kid, albeit at a younger age. Perhaps that's why it's easier for me to forgive them. While you were responsible as a kid, I was reckless and impetuous, and I had little regard for the well-being of other people. But, then an amazing thing happened. I grew up. I matured. And, I'm eternally grateful the majority of the sins of my childhood don't follow me to this day.

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Ugh. I really should have stuck with my initial impulse and left the weightier parts of this topic alone. I simply do not care about it enough to delve deeply into a debate about ethics or the practical nature of a common legal system. Frankly, I agree these kids acted foolishly, recklessly and without regard for other people, and as a result, deserve to be punished. Again, my contention is the charge seems overwrought considering the minimal impact of the crime. Perhaps we come from two different worlds on this, but what you perceive as dastardly, heinous and evil, I see as something not too far away from what I'd have done as a kid, albeit at a younger age. Perhaps that's why it's easier for me to forgive them. While you were responsible as a kid, I was reckless and impetuous, and I had little regard for the well-being of other people. But, then an amazing thing happened. I grew up. I matured. And, I'm eternally grateful the majority of the sins of my childhood don't follow me to this day.

You are talking about the difference between a child and an adult, legally speaking. You may think of them as just "kids" but legally speaking they are adults responsible for their actions.

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You are talking about the difference between a child and an adult, legally speaking. You may think of them as just "kids" but legally speaking they are adults responsible for their actions.

Agreed. The law is the law, and all. Responsibility and maturity come about with the passing of a birthday, according to the law.

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Oh hey, they were also jumping out of the car and beating people down.

Rice University and Houston Police are still searching for the suspectsinvolved in a series of shootings around the campus. One of thosevictims, was shot four times with what appears to be a BB gun. Shespoke exclusively to 39 news about the lesson she never thought shewould learn on campus.

"I'm still just kind of shocked about it," said Karen Frankenfeld, a sophomore at Rice.

Frankenfeld said she was walking back from Rice Village alone Mondayafternoon, when all of sudden she heard several popping sounds.

"I felt it before I saw anything," she said. "I thought I was being shot by a gun and I turned my face."

at that point, the sophomore student said a man got out of the car where the shots were fired and started assaulting her.

"They were just screaming profanities from the car and they stopped ata stop light," Frankenfeld said. "They pushed me down, kicked me in theribs - then got back in the car and drove away."

You can still see the bruises left on her arm where she was hit withpellets. Frankenfeld was so concerned with trying to protect herself -she didn't get a good look at her attackers or the car they were in.

It appears neither did any of the other victims. "We've gotten a lot ofreports anywhere from 1-4 suspects and the variety of description alsowide," said Captain Dianna Marshall of the Rice University CampusPolice Department.

Making it that much more difficult for Rice University Police to track down these suspects.

Captain Marshall says the first reports came in on Sunday. By Monday,she says there were a total of 8 reports some happening on theoutskirts of campus near the jogging trail.

Others took place off campus with one report of a driver getting shot at while driving on I-45.

"We are trying to exchange info with HPD to see if the same suspectsand the vehicle is the same - the same set of suspects," Marshall said.

What if it had been a gun, that's what i keep asking myself," Frankenfeld said.

A wake up call for the student who said she had always felt safe on andaround campus, but now vows to never let down her guard. "Just beingattacked all of a sudden like that, makes you reassess your life andthink about your level of security and reminds - you aren't safe allthe time," Frankenfeld said.

Campus Police did send out a notice to students telling them to be morecautious when walking around or near campus. They also added morepatrols around the areas where the shootings happened.

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Well hey, you did say you were a big fan of the rule of law. smile.gif

I am a fan of law, even if I'm not a fan of all laws. I suppose the problem here lies in the inherent rigidity of law. In order to aid in the functioning of society, laws must be enacted to work for the greater good among the greatest proportion of the population. That always necessarily leaves people with the low mental maturation of these Rice students adrift. While legally they're adults, I think it's more than safe to say, judging by their actions, they're really children. That's why I agree 100% they deserve to be punished for their crimes, but I also feel the charges are blown out of proportion.

Oh hey, they were also jumping out of the car and beating people down.

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Well, that adds an entirely new dimension to this argument. This behavior is no longer the folly of youth and is, as many others have said, dangerous and anti-social. Fair enough, everyone, throw the book at 'em.

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Well, that adds an entirely new dimension to this argument. This behavior is no longer the folly of youth and is, as many others have said, dangerous and anti-social. Fair enough, everyone, throw the book at 'em.

Wait, wait...this isn't over yet. Are you saying that it was not OK when they engaged in violent activity that could've broken a rib, but it was OK when they engaged in violent activity (using a weapon) (from a moving vehicle) (against pedestrians without any capacity to defend themselves) that could've put out an eye?

Honestly, I'm a whole lot more willing to be lenient on basic unarmed assault than I am with armed assault combined with the misuse of a motor vehicle.

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A few perspectives from nearly thirty years at Rice:

1. The last statement I saw identified only one of the four suspects as a Rice student, and her arrest was "pending."

2. It doesn't happen very often, but Rice students have been charged and convicted with major crimes. Felony theft and felony arson are two which come to mind.

3. This is in no way condoning any illegal action, but after crossing the jogging track twice a day for many years, I can certainly understand how there might be frustration between drivers and runners. Some runners run obliviously in front of moving cars.

4. Did I read correctly that no BB's or Airsoft pellets had been recovered? Wonder if an air gun could be made to work with small, appropriately sized fragments of the crushed granite surface?

5. While criminal convictions are rare at Rice, stupid college student behavior is pretty much as common there as elsewhere. I can easily see how a college student might not think that plinking a few joggers from a car with an air gun is that big a deal. Again, not saying I agree, just having been a college student and then having been around them for a long time. "You should have known better" is easy to say in hindsight, but if people really did we'd never have to say that, would we?

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A few perspectives from nearly thirty years at Rice:

1. The last statement I saw identified only one of the four suspects as a Rice student, and her arrest was "pending."

2. It doesn't happen very often, but Rice students have been charged and convicted with major crimes. Felony theft and felony arson are two which come to mind.

3. This is in no way condoning any illegal action, but after crossing the jogging track twice a day for many years, I can certainly understand how there might be frustration between drivers and runners. Some runners run obliviously in front of moving cars.

4. Did I read correctly that no BB's or Airsoft pellets had been recovered? Wonder if an air gun could be made to work with small, appropriately sized fragments of the crushed granite surface?

5. While criminal convictions are rare at Rice, stupid college student behavior is pretty much as common there as elsewhere. I can easily see how a college student might not think that plinking a few joggers from a car with an air gun is that big a deal. Again, not saying I agree, just having been a college student and then having been around them for a long time. "You should have known better" is easy to say in hindsight, but if people really did we'd never have to say that, would we?

Look, jumping out of the car, throwing people to the ground and kicking them in the ribs, shooting one person four times with a BB gun, this is hooligan behavior and is not even marginally understandable. "They should have known better" doesn't even begin to cover it. This was not a conflict between joggers and drivers, this was joyriding nonsense. They were shooting at cars on the freeway and on Main St as well. Recovering BBs is not all that important, you're not going to get any ballistic confirmation from that, and besides the ladies have already confessed and ratted out their boyfriends.

Caitlyn Barnett, the Rice student, was arrested on either Thursday or Friday according to the Rice paper. She posted bond immediately and was released. As far as I can tell the guys are still in jail.

Edited by kylejack
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I believe BBs were recovered in the vehicle of one of the girls.

I also cross the jogging track twice a day and yeah, I just assume they're going to go so I hold back until I'm certain it's clear. I've never felt so frustrated as to pop 'em though :P

Now the speeding cars on the inner loop road that don't yield to pedestrians - that's another story!

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5. While criminal convictions are rare at Rice, stupid college student behavior is pretty much as common there as elsewhere. I can easily see how a college student might not think that plinking a few joggers from a car with an air gun is that big a deal. Again, not saying I agree, just having been a college student and then having been around them for a long time. "You should have known better" is easy to say in hindsight, but if people really did we'd never have to say that, would we?

College pranks that violate the law ought to at least be entertaining and basically harmless. For instance, when some Rice students reversed the direction that the statue of William Marsh Rice faces, that was illegal, it caused damage to the campus, but it was also kind of funny and didn't hurt anybody. One could say that the act contributed to the culture of the campus in a positive way. So I'd be totally cool with it if charges weren't pressed.

This is a totally different case. It is a violent crime committed against people. I don't have much sympathy for the perpetrators.

Edited by TheNiche
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Look, jumping out of the car, throwing people to the ground and kicking them in the ribs, shooting one person four times with a BB gun, this is hooligan behavior and is not even marginally understandable. "They should have known better" doesn't even begin to cover it. This was not a conflict between joggers and drivers, this was joyriding nonsense. They were shooting at cars on the freeway and on Main St as well. Recovering BBs is not all that important, you're not going to get any ballistic confirmation from that, and besides the ladies have already confessed and ratted out their boyfriends.

Caitlyn Barnett, the Rice student, was arrested on either Thursday or Friday according to the Rice paper. She posted bond immediately and was released. As far as I can tell the guys are still in jail.

OK, I didn't make the connection with the beating or the freeway shooting. My bad. No, there's no way to defend that.

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College pranks that violate the law ought to at least be entertaining and basically harmless. For instance, when some Rice students reversed the direction that the statue of William Marsh Rice faces, that was illegal, it caused damage to the campus, but it was also kind of funny and didn't hurt anybody. One could say that the act contributed to the culture of the campus in a positive way. So I'd be totally cool with it if charges weren't pressed.

This is a totally different case. It is a violent crime committed against people. I don't have much sympathy for the perpetrators.

Oh, yes, the Willy's Statue prank has passed into campus legend. Especially since the perpetrators paid their fine (basically, the cost of having the statue restored to its proper orientation) by selling T-shirts and then donated the extra money to the School of Engineering for a scholarship. I was there, by the way, I saw it. It was turned back by early afternoon, though.

There are plenty of Rice shenanigans which were rather dangerous, though. I remember witnessing (not participating in) bottle rocket wars between colleges, and certainly the use of high-powered catapults called "gazilchers" was fairly common.

As I said in the message above, though, I didn't realize how bad it was. Jumping out of the car and beating up people or shooting at cars on the freeway cannot be defended.

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Wait, wait...this isn't over yet. Are you saying that it was not OK when they engaged in violent activity that could've broken a rib, but it was OK when they engaged in violent activity (using a weapon) (from a moving vehicle) (against pedestrians without any capacity to defend themselves) that could've put out an eye

That's the gist of it, yes. You see, I can sense some humor in the BB thing, but not the beating thing. I can see the BB incidents, standing alone as having some element of cheekiness and whimsy. The beatings, on the other hand, they're just dark and malicious.

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Look, jumping out of the car, throwing people to the ground and kicking them in the ribs, shooting one person four times with a BB gun, this is hooligan behavior and is not even marginally understandable.

Exactly. Throw the book at them. I cannot imagine how a Rice student could be that stupid. They will not only have a police record but they just ruined getting a degree from one of the most prestigious schools in the US, because I guarantee she will be tossed out. 

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The last of four people accused in BB gun attacks near Rice University has turned herself into authorities.

[...]

Barnett is out after posting a $30,000 bond.

http://www.khou.com/news/local/stories/khou090928_jj_bb-gun-shooters-arrested.1c590f77e.html

10f5dm9.jpg

Bonnie Mugg (upper left), John Chargois (upper right), Paul Helton (lower left) and Caitlin Barnett (lower right)

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Oh, yes, the Willy's Statue prank has passed into campus legend. Especially since the perpetrators paid their fine (basically, the cost of having the statue restored to its proper orientation) by selling T-shirts and then donated the extra money to the School of Engineering for a scholarship. I was there, by the way, I saw it. It was turned back by early afternoon, though.

There are plenty of Rice shenanigans which were rather dangerous, though. I remember witnessing (not participating in) bottle rocket wars between colleges, and certainly the use of high-powered catapults called "gazilchers" was fairly common.

Bottle rocket wars and the use of catapults is cool if all the participants are free to opt out. Otherwise, I'd consider it a form of harrassment and wouldn't rule out the possibility of assault if someone trying to get out of the fray was seriously injured.

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c-spank-paddle.png

I was about to make a comment about your suggestion that the suspects, if convicted, might be spanked. ...and then I got to thinking that the comment I had in mind might be construed as sexual harrassment, so I bit my tounge. ...and then I got to thinking that some of the things we've been saying might be interpreted as slander.

With that in mind, I hereby retract all comments made in this thread without exception and apologize to those accused in this case.

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Exactly. Throw the book at them. I cannot imagine how a Rice student could be that stupid. They will not only have a police record but they just ruined getting a degree from one of the most prestigious schools in the US, because I guarantee she will be tossed out.

Just because they are smart, doesn't mean they have common scene.

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  • 4 months later...
Former Rice student Caitlin Barnett was sentenced to two years of community supervision on Jan. 26 for an assault she committed while enrolled at the university. Although Barnett had originally been charged with the felony of aggravated assault, the charges were downgraded by the judge, and Barnett received deferred adjudication in lieu of a guilty sentence.

[...]

Although Barnett was originally charged with a felony, a plea bargain facilitated by her lawyer, Houston attorney Dorian Cotlar, negotiated the charge down to a less-severe Class A misdemeanor, the maximum sentence for which is one year in prison. In exchange for Barnett's guilty plea, Judge Susan Brown of the 185th district court deferred adjudication on the case, instead sentencing Barnett to two years of community supervision, commonly known as probation, and fining her $500.

[...]

The other defendants in the BB shooting also received deferred adjudication and a fine of $500. However, they were ordered to undergo five years of community supervision instead of two, as their charge remained a felony instead of a misdemeanor.

Under the terms of her community supervision, Barnett must refrain from violating any laws, report to a community supervision officer once a month, submit to random drug tests and refrain from any contact with the victims or fellow perpetrators in the case. Barnett must also perform 10 hours of community service each month and participate in two programs, one aimed at reforming juvenile offenders and another addressing weapons safety.

http://media.www.ricethresher.org/media/storage/paper1290/news/2010/02/05/News/Barnett.Sentenced.For.Bb.Gun.Shootings-3865484.shtml

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Nothing new. Our whole justice system, from parking tickets to capital murder is built on how much money you're willing to spend.

Hooray for free enterprise! Capitalism wins again!

Or, maybe there were facts in the case we weren't privy to as armchair lawyers that exonerated her from the worst of the crimes, but we don't know that do we?

BTW, she did get kicked out of Rice for this incident. A state college degree is rarely as valuable in terms of long-term earning potential as a degree from a prestigious private university like Rice. So, sure she got off with a slap on the wrist, but she also just screwed up her entire future.

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Hooray for free enterprise! Capitalism wins again!

Or, maybe there were facts in the case we weren't privy to as armchair lawyers that exonerated her from the worst of the crimes, but we don't know that do we?

BTW, she did get kicked out of Rice for this incident. A state college degree is rarely as valuable in terms of long-term earning potential as a degree from a prestigious private university like Rice. So, sure she got off with a slap on the wrist, but she also just screwed up her entire future.

Her "entire future" being "screwed up" pales in comparison to the trouble the others will have in life with a violent felony conviction on their record.

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Her "entire future" being "screwed up" pales in comparison to the trouble the others will have in life with a violent felony conviction on their record.

Yeah, but again, we don't know all the details of the case. If everyone's culpability was equal, then the others got a pretty rotten plea bargain. If the other three were the ones who committed all the actual beatings, and Barnett was nothing more than a witness to her poorly chosen friends' crimes, then justice was meted fairly. Then again, we don't know. Saying the sentencing was unfair and casting it as a battle between the rich and the poor is merely speculative.

While I don't agree with the sentence, I'm sure they will screw up their probation.

Why? Do you suppose these are inherently bad people incapable of growing into better people? Or, are you making a sharp criticism of our justice system and the flaws inherent in the entire concept of rehabilitation?

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Why? Do you suppose these are inherently bad people incapable of growing into better people? Or, are you making a sharp criticism of our justice system and the flaws inherent in the entire concept of rehabilitation?

Depending on the nature of the offense, people will "generally" continue their behavior until they are caught again. In this case, a couple of them MIGHT have learned their lesson and gotten a talking to by their parents, but I doubt the others will be that bright.

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Depending on the nature of the offense, people will "generally" continue their behavior until they are caught again. In this case, a couple of them MIGHT have learned their lesson and gotten a talking to by their parents, but I doubt the others will be that bright.

What evidence do you have for this cynicism? Do you really think it's true just because someone does a bad thing they are inherently bad people? Ricco, I guarantee you've broken the law in your life. Are you a bad person?

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Depending on the nature of the offense, people will "generally" continue their behavior until they are caught again. In this case, a couple of them MIGHT have learned their lesson and gotten a talking to by their parents, but I doubt the others will be that bright.

What evidence do you have for this cynicism? Do you really think it's true just because someone does a bad thing they are inherently bad people? Ricco, I guarantee you've broken the law in your life. Are you a bad person?

I don't think that people that do a bad things are people that need a mental adjustment. Period. Whether or not this does make them fly straight is yet to be determined, but how many times have we seen people commit crime in their youth continue the pattern before they finally make the news?

I've broken a few traffic laws in the past, but all were not intentional (except for that incident outside of Pecos, Texas...but that's a different story), but I have never zoomed down the Freeway at 90mph for thrills.

Am I a bad person? That's not for me to say, but then again, ask anyone's opinion about anyone and you'll eventually get someone who doesn't like them.

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but how many times have we seen people commit crime in their youth continue the pattern before they finally make the news?

A handful, but I'd venture to say they're the exception to the rule. Besides, there's no way to track that sort of data anyhow. All we can do is track the recidivism rate of people who get caught committing crimes, not all the people who commit crimes period, and certainly not ALL the people who commit crimes multiple times without getting caught. I think your critique should be directed at the institutions that are supposed to reform criminals but instead train them to be better criminals. Or, perhaps your criticisms should be leveled at the society that ostracizes individuals for their past errors, effectively making it impossible for them to get ahead by any means other than criminal means. Or, perhaps you should vent your ire against the reactive government which imposes ridiculous, heavy-handed and draconian laws that do little to make life better for us honest folk while increasing our tax burden by filling our jails with more and more people.

Besides, your question can be worded oppositely: How many times have we seen people who've never previously committed a crime commit a heinous act that made the news? (This happens quite frequently - especially with serial murderers and white collar crimes.)

Edited by AtticaFlinch
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  • The title was changed to Rice University Jogging Loop- Air Powered Weapon Shootings
  • The title was changed to Rice University Jogging Loop

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