Discussion Topic: Are Hunting Accidents Crimes?

It’s a tough question. On one hand, prosecuting hunting accidents might force the irresponsible few to take safety more seriously–perhaps even encourage responsible hunters to be extra-cautious. On the other hand, how can you punish a man who’s just accidentally killed his own son?

From the Associated Press:

By the time the game warden arrived, Kevin Kadamus was sitting down and holding his 17-year-old son in his lap, a blanket covering the boy’s bloodied body.

_”He was trying to talk to his son, encouraging him to hang on,” Warden David Gregory said.

_Jacob Kadamus couldn’t hang on. With a 12-gauge shotgun, his father had mistakenly shot him in the torso on the opening day of Vermont’s turkey hunting season. He died at the scene.

_Now, Kevin Kadamus must cope with more than remorse and grief. The 45-year-old computer consultant and father of three has been charged with manslaughter. . . .

_Barry Latzer, a criminal law expert at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said such shootings “are very tough cases, very gray-area cases.”

_”It sounds as if it was just a pure accident,” he said. . . .

_But [game warden David] Gregory said he refuses to call such cases accidents . . . .

“I’ve never seen a 17-year-old boy who looks anything like a turkey,” he said.

Be sure to check out the full story, then tell us your reaction.