Michigan Shooting Case: Avoid Overcharging

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In the face of public outrage, prosecutors are seeking to write the law rather than enforcing it. Their overreach serves no one’s long-term interests.




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P
rosecutors in Oakland County, Mich., have announced that the parents of 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley have been charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection with his alleged shooting spree at Oxford High School earlier this week, in which four students were killed and seven other people were wounded. According to the latest reporting, the parents — James and Jennifer Crumbley — have gone missing and are now the subject of an intensive dragnet, as if they had planned and executed the mass murder themselves.

A few quick thoughts.

First, the legal requirements imposed by speedy-trial laws usually have the effect — often, an undesirable





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