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Halo 3 Criticized In Murder Conviction

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the master-chief-charged-as-an-accessory dept.

The Courts 839

oldwindways writes "An Ohio teen was found guilty of murdering his mother and shooting his father in the head after they took away his copy of Halo 3. One has to wonder if this is going to have any effect on the games industry. Clearly, the AP thought they could stir up something controversial by asking the IP owner for a statement: 'Microsoft, which owns the intellectual property for the game, declined to comment beyond a statement saying: "We are aware of the situation and it is a tragic case."' I suppose the good news is they did not accept his insanity plea, so no one can claim that Halo 3 drove him insane. Even so, I don't think anything good can come out of this for gamers." Unfortunately, it seems somebody can claim that the game was a contributing factor; the judge who presided over this case said he believes that the 17-year-old defendant "had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever." GamePolitics has further details from the judge's statement. It doesn't help that the boy's lawyers used video game addiction as a defense.

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Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a game. (5, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446025)

he believes that the 17-year-old defendant "had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever."

If someone as old as 17 doesn't understand this basic fact of life, then there's obviously something wrong that has nothing to do with the video game.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (4, Insightful)

VShael (62735) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446057)

Hey, plenty of 17 year olds don't believe death is forever.

They're called "religious".

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (5, Funny)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446095)

You know it's flamebaiting to speak about people respawning millenia ago.

ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446269)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTFO.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If the name "Clarus" means nothing to you, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real Mac users [atspace.com] . Keep your filthy PC fingers to yourself.

Re:ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446337)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, YOU MUST HAVE A LIFE.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, YOU DON'T USE SAFARI'S GOAT-PORN FEATURES TO THEIR FULLEST.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, YOU'VE FOUND THAT MACS AREN'T INTUITIVE.
If the name "Clarus" means nothing to you, YOU MUST NOT KNOW THE GUY WHO FUCKS ME IN THE ASS.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real Mac whiners [thebestpag...iverse.net] . Keep your filthy PC fingers to yourself.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446379)

Let alone the time Jesus accidentally telefragged Simon.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446517)

Is / was respawning punishable by death and would that count for camping?

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (5, Interesting)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446301)

Notably, the boy's father is a minister [wnlag.org] . The church has not updated the web site, obviously.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (4, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446371)

"Hey, plenty of 17 year olds don't believe death is forever.

They're called "religious". "

Kinda hard to sell suicide bombing and similar sports any other way.

Christian Killers: Blame Christianity? (-1, Offtopic)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446419)

There is no doubt that many of the soldiers responsible for the recent death and destruction in Fallujah are Christians. And there is no doubt that many Americans who call for more death and destruction in Iraq and elsewhere are Christians as well. Christian Killers.

The phrase should be a contradiction in terms. If someone referred to Christian adulterers, Christian drug addicts, Christian prostitutes, Christian pimps, Christian gangsta rappers, or Christian acid rockers, most Christians would get an extremely perplexed look on their face. But when Christians in the military continue killing for the state, and Christians not in the military call for more killing in the name of the state, many Christians don't even raise an eyebrow.

In some respects, this is the fault of religious "leaders." Christians in the pew are in many cases just blindly following their pastors, priests, elders, and ministers who, instead of preaching the gospel, are preaching the same pro-war politics their congregation hears on the Sean Hannity radio show or else they are not denouncing the debacle in Iraq for what it is: unscriptural, immoral, and unconstitutional. Conservative religious leaders are in some cases nothing more than cheerleaders for George Bush and the Republican Party.

But even if a Christian hears nothing but pro-war propaganda from the pulpit, it is still no excuse, for Christians have access to the truth if they will just put forth the effort to look for it. They have a Bible they can read for themselves. They have the example of some principled Christian leaders who have opposed the debacle in Iraq from the beginning. They have an abundance of alternative news sources to receive information from besides the pro-war propaganda they get from the Fox War Channel and the War Street Journal. It is unfortunate that some Christians won't read anything unless it was written by some other Christian they know and usually agree with. God forbid that they should read something by someone outside of their denomination, circle, or "camp" - or even worse, someone they consider to be a nominal Christian or not a Christian at all.

To justify their consent or silence, and to keep their congregations in line, Christian leaders repeat to their parishioners the mantra of "obey the powers that be," a loose paraphrase of Romans 13:1, as if that somehow means that they should blindly follow whatever the president or the government says, and even worse, that it overturns the commandment "Thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13; Deuteronomy 5:17), which is repeated in the New Testament (Matthew 19:18; Romans 13:9). The way some Christians repeat the "obey the powers that be" mantra, one would think that they would slit their own mothers' throats if the state told them to do so.

No one, Christian or otherwise, would fault a man for killing another man in self-defense. Only the most diehard pacifist would refuse to act in self-defense if he was attacked. This would have to include the protection of one's family as well.
Accidents happen. And sometimes someone is tragically killed. This does not make the perpetrator a murderer.

Most Christians would wholeheartedly agree with these first two propositions. The problem is with war; specifically, the fact that all wars are not created equal. The vast majority of wars in the world's history have been destructive, unjust, and immoral.
Obviously, an aggressive, preemptive war against a country with no navy or air force, an economy in ruins after a decade of sanctions, and that was no threat to the United States is not a just war.

A Christian fighting for the U.S. Government in Iraq doesn't fall under any of these circumstances.

After Bush launched his nebulous "war on terrorism" by having Afghanistan bombed back to the Stone Age to supposedly rid the world of Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, and the Taliban, he announced to the world his "axis of evil" and went to war against Iraq to, depending on what day it was, rid the world of the evil Saddam Hussein or because Iraq violated U.N. resolutions or to destroy Iraq's supposed stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction or because of the perceived connection between al-Qaeda and Iraq or to liberate the Iraqi people or to bring democracy to Iraq.

Christians who support or remain silent about Bush's "war against terrorism" are terribly inconsistent. If the state were to say: "Here Christian, put on this uniform, take this gun, go to your hometown, and kill your father," Christians would recoil in horror and refuse to obey the state. But if the state were to say: "Here Christian, put on this uniform, take this gun, go to Iraq, and kill someone else's father," I am afraid that many Christians would reply, "When does my plane leave?"

Why is it that the same Christian who would not do the former, has no qualms about doing the latter?

Christians who voted for George W. Bush (even if it is true that he was in fact the lesser of two evils - a dubious proposition), or make excuses for his invasion of Iraq, are supporting a man with blood on his hands (Iraqi blood and American blood). The fact that the president himself never killed anyone is irrelevant - Adolf Hitler never gassed a single Jew.

To say, as some Christians do, that because "The LORD is a man of war" (Exodus 15:3), and God allows wars between nations, that it is honorable for Christians to enthusiastically participate in U.S. wars of aggression is about the most profound demonstration of biblical ignorance that one could manifest.

"Cursed be he that taketh reward to slay an innocent person. And all the people shall say, Amen" (Deuteronomy 27:25).

Jesus Christ (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446479)

Were you trying to bore us to sleep, or is this simply your penchant for unchecked verbosity?

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (1)

m0s3m8n (1335861) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446067)

Excellent point. I thought childhood tantrums stopped around age 4.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (5, Funny)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446109)

he believes that the 17-year-old defendant "had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever."

If someone as old as 17 doesn't understand this basic fact of life, then there's obviously something wrong that has nothing to do with the video game.

Clearly Halo 3 is at fault. If they had some non-respawning game types this would never have happened...

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446183)

I play halo3 alot (mid 20s here) and one thing thats annoying is the amounts of kids playing it

they so young and squeaky that its hard to tell whether its a girl or a pre-pubecent boy talking over the headset

one has to wonder how they get their hands on the game

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (3, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446303)

One has to wonder how it's a difference for you ;D

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (1)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446443)

they act like douchebags whose balls havent dropped

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446189)

Doesn't mean it can't be true, though. 17-year olds SHOULD know that death is permanent (and that even if it wasn't, you still wouldn't just kill people), but that doesn't mean they all DO.

Also, video game addiction IS a real phenomenon. Seriously, people read far too much into the word "addiction"; it really just describes a certain set of symptoms that can be tied to any particular trigger.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446289)

Doesn't mean it can't be true, though. 17-year olds SHOULD know that death is permanent (and that even if it wasn't, you still wouldn't just kill people), but that doesn't mean they all DO.

By then the parents or the school should have explained that already. Hm, wait, bad parenting + child killing the parents... I believe we got us some natural selection!

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446461)

Psychological addiction isn't the same as physical addiction, but I'll agree it's pretty 'real'. However I'd also make the assertion that as a minor, his "addictions" are the responsiblity of his parents as much as his own.
Of course, the fact that as a society we're quite happy about the idea of games that promote violence and armed assault is something to be questioned, there's no doubt in my mind that having your own child murder you is essentially a 'flunk' in the 'basic parenting coursework'.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (5, Informative)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446195)

Unfortunately, there will always be idiotic trials. This reminds me of the infamous Judas Priest trial [totse.com] where "experts" tried to present evidence that an album by the heavy metal band Judas Priest contained subliminal messages that drove two youngmen to suicide.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446243)

If someone as old as 17 doesn't understand this basic fact of life, then there's obviously something wrong that has nothing to do with the video game.

Obviously. Nobody is arguing that completely normal people would go postal by playing Halo 3. If I said "All you people on slashdot are a wsate of oxygen and should go kill yourself" there won't be mass suicides, but someone already suicidal really sitting on the fence just might. So here we got a borderline psychotic, serious trouble separating famtasy from reality and he's on the fence. Was Halo 3 the push? How much should you pad the world to make sure he doesn't get a push? Or is it him, if anyone had realized how serious his issues are, that should have been put in a padded room? There's a line somewhere there, but I think what 99%+ of the population handles well should never be outlawed. The rest is just triggering some secret freak-out button that can't really be helped. Or rather, those people should be helped if possible.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446341)

If I said "All you people on slashdot are a wsate of oxygen and should go kill yourself" there won't be mass suicides, but someone already suicidal really sitting on the fence just might.

O rly?

All you people on slashdot are a wsate of oxygen and should go kill yourself.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (5, Funny)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446417)

This shall be the last post you hear from me, you insensitive clod!

Tag these stories (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446465)

graspingatstrawslaw

Re:Tag these stories (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446501)

I imagine Strawslaw is like Coleslaw, but made out of hay.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (1)

Zouden (232738) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446245)

I think the point the judge was trying to make is that the boy hadn't thought things through. Sure he knew if he killed his parents they'd be dead forever, but he probably didn't realise that eventually he'll get bored of Halo, but he'll always miss his parents.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (3, Interesting)

artg (24127) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446255)

So how is that games, with all their attempts to imitate real life physics and interaction, can't get this simple thing right ?
People should stay dead when they're killed (except maybe if they're zombies ..), and take weeks to recover if wounded. If that means the game gets slowly less interesting as it empties of characters, that's fine. And if you're killed, you don't get to play the game any more. Maybe you could play a different character afterwards.
You might think this would ruin the game, make it useless - but it wouldn't. It would raise the stakes for the player (don't you find a life lasts much longer in an arcade game, when you have to pay for more) and speed up the turnover of the game, raising the income for the writer. Some things would have to change to make the game saleable, but ultimately it would be more involving.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (5, Insightful)

Bangz (1294126) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446323)

Games aren't meant to be simulations, they're meant to be fun.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446415)

So - if you apply this to space games it wil take about 50.000 years only to play the intro...

Sounds great!!!

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446279)

yep, the kid knew mommy and daddy would never respawn...like the games...

now he gets a life of tax paid housing and college education...

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446391)

now he gets a life of tax paid housing and college education...

If by "college education" you mean "will be someone's bitch before his first day in prison is over" then yes, he's going to get a college education.

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (3, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446295)

Yeah, I know he was living up in Ohio but come one ...

Guns don't kill people! God do!

Re:Sure, 17 year-olds believe this because of a ga (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446489)

It seems that nobody here is concerned by a young man killing his parents beyond the effect it might have on video games.
Looks like the kid wasn't the only one who lost contact with "reality".

Or... (5, Insightful)

Spad (470073) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446031)

"An Ohio teen was found guilty of murdering his mother and shooting his father in the head after they took away his [thing that he really liked]"

If he had a caffeine addiction and his parents took away his Coke would that mean that it was the fault of the Coke that he murdered them?

Re:Or... (3, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446069)

If he had a caffeine addiction and his parents took away his Coke would that mean that it was the fault of the Coke that he murdered them?

What if he had a cocaine addiction and his parents took away his cocaine?

What if he was an alcoholic and his parents took away his booze?

It's just a matter of defining clearly what constitutes a deranged mind and what is conscious murder intention and/or idiocy. With no regard to the cause of the derangment, nor whether it's chemical or not.

That clear definition is quite harder to produce than it might seem.

Re:Or... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446153)

As far as I know, such arguments have no legal bearing. A planned murder is first degree murder, even if you took away the crackhead's stash. Such issues might be considered during sentencing.

The insanity defense is something *very* different. The key point, per Wikipedia, is that the defendant must be "incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong at the time the offense was committed."

Re:Or... (2, Interesting)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446173)

As far as I know, such arguments have no legal bearing. A planned murder is first degree murder, even if you took away the crackhead's stash. Such issues might be considered during sentencing.

Yes, but a large number of crimes of that kind also suggest the possibility of a prohibition on crack.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446205)

What are you babbling about now?

If you want to go there, let's see some drug-related murder figures before and after said drug was made illegal.

Re:Or... (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446235)

I'm not saying addictive substances should be illegal.

I just worry that if too many people start using the "The game made me do it" defense, the government might consider controlling games even without any proof of addictive effects, as there's no clear definition of what is addictive and what isn't.

Re:Or... (4, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446353)

I'm so fucking upset about this matter, the situation among youths of today is absurd!

I mean, come one, how the fuck can you fail murdering your own dad?! How hard can it be? Learn to finish something damnit, lazy ass kids of today!

Re:Or... (4, Funny)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446505)

I mean, it's not like he didn't have Halo 3 to practise his headshots :)

Spawn point (5, Funny)

Mushdot (943219) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446037)

"I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever."

The Spawn Point defence should be filed along with the Chewbacca defence in the big book of crazy law.

Re:Spawn point (3, Insightful)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446311)

I wonder if there is a Rapture defense?

I don't care anymore (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446039)

Video Games, Movies, The Media... they all get blamed for some moron's actions. It's just another thing for politicians to hang their hat on and say "I'm fighting the good fight."

Insanity vs Stupidity. (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446045)

the 17 year old is clearly too damn ignorant to live.

Why can't the law do something about that? If someone is so freaking retarded that they are sane, but STILL a danger to themselves and society, why can't we just put them out of their misery with a bullet?

Or as someone once said, take the safety stickers off of everything, and let matters attend to themselves?

Re:Insanity vs Stupidity. (1)

Pvt_Ryan (1102363) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446203)

Or as someone once said, take the safety stickers off of everything, and let matters attend to themselves?

QFTT to be perfectly honest.

He is clearly retarded and under equal opportunities he should be tried and executed like a normal person.

I suppose if his dad had kept the game somewhere OTHER than the gun safe and perhaps kept the key to the gun safe on his person or hidden this would never have happened

Alternatively, (2, Funny)

Extremus (1043274) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446225)

we can transform The Darwin Awards in The Darwin Olympics.

Anime: more educational than games (5, Funny)

Shin-LaC (1333529) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446051)

The judge who presided over this case said he believes that the 17-year-old defendant "had no idea at the time he hatched this plot that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever."

I can see why playing Halo (or, indeed, most games, with the notable exception of NetHack) might make you believe that. If only he had watched anime instead, he would have been taught the cruel reality of murder [imageshack.us] .

Re:Anime: more educational than games (1)

freedom_india (780002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446265)

Well, i get upset at seeing Congress and its antics, i go crazy and shoot a dozen people.
Would congress dissolve itself?
Because that is what the congress critters will start doing now to Halo and Games.
The first amendment should be congress should not involve in citizens activities unless authorised in writing by ALL constituents.

guns (3, Insightful)

kisak (524062) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446053)

Would this murder have happened if it would have been harder for the kid the get hold of a gun?

Re:guns (3, Informative)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446113)

For what it's worth: "Prosecutors contend that Daniel stole his father's key to the lockbox where the gun was kept and retrieved the semiautomatic pistol along with a copy of the sci-fi video game 'Halo 3' that his parents had confiscated from him before the shooting." (link [chroniclet.com] )

Re:guns (2, Insightful)

aarggh (806617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446117)

I'd be guessing from the article as he had the intent and planned it for weeks it would have been a stabbing or bashing if he didn't have the gun.

Re:guns (1, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446439)

It's quite a bit harder to kill somebody (especially two people) by stabbing or bashing than by shooting.

Re:guns (0)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446141)

Would this murder have happened if it would have been harder for the kid the get hold of a gun?

Why? Do you think it would be very hard for you to kill someone who really (really) doesn't expect you to kill him, with a knife? Or a fork? Or even a chair?

Surprise is a great advantage. I think that even unarmed, I could kill almost any person without professional fighting training if they thought I was directly related to them and had known me for a long time.

Re:guns (4, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446287)

Well, it is harder to kill someone with a fork than with a gun.
It is still possible but it requires no hesitation, no emotion, and a minimal physical strength.
In case one of these criterion is missing, a gun can help. With a gun you can kill someone out of anger, while filled of contradictory emotions, while crying and without really wanting it. That is how must murders are made. As you pointed out, when carefully planned, a murder do not require a gun. Guns are too noisy and too easy to track down.

Re:guns (4, Funny)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446329)

somebody is watching a little too much Dexter. :)

Re:guns (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446347)

Well, aparently the kid did plan the murder to look like a murder-suicide.

I do admit that convincing the judge about the supposed murder suicide being committed with a fork, would be a bit of a stretch.

Re:guns (1)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446441)

Do you think it would be very hard for you to kill someone who really (really) doesn't expect you to kill him, with a knife? Or a fork? Or even a chair?
Depends on whether you're Steve Ballmer.

Re:guns (2, Funny)

tychovi (1221054) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446401)

Hmmm, lets ask Lizzy Borden.

Re:guns (5, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446405)

About a third of murders don't involve firearms. Areas with widespread legal firearms ownership tend to have less crime than areas with severe gun restrictions. Finally, if someone is that nuts, operating an axe, shovel, hatchet or any number of other hand tools is no great obstacle.

Lizzie Borden was just a chick, but did a "hatchet job" quite smartly (and beat the rap too).

So why was the insanity plea denied? (1, Insightful)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446071)

If the judge believes he didn't know his parents wouldn't respawn, and that he was addicted to the game, why did he find him guilty? Perhaps, it was a case of his opinion being based on something other than the evidence presented? Either way, I don't think one can realistically blame the game, the guy must have already been insane to think real life would be like Halo.

Re:So why was the insanity plea denied? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446261)

To be fair, his dad did survive a headshot, that sounds much more like Halo than real life to me!

Re:So why was the insanity plea denied? (4, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446351)

Good question.

Probably because the legal definition of insanity in order for it to be a defence isn't "The person did something that nobody in their right mind would consider appropriate, they're therefore insane". It's "The person was not aware that what they were doing was wrong, they're therefore insane".

Were this not the case, most of the world's prisons would be significantly less crowded and most of the world's mental hospitals significantly more crowded.

Whether or not this is right and proper is something I leave to the peanut gallery.

Re:So why was the insanity plea denied? (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446451)

I wasn't saying the former. Obviously that is a ridiculous measure of insanity, as you note. I was saying that since the judge believes that he didn't realize that he was murdering his parents( in the sense of he thought they wouldn't really be dead, as in gone forever) it does seem like legal insanity. He didn't know what he was doing (permanently killing his parents). Ergo he isn't responsible. Adding an addiction to this would only then serve to further exculpate him, insofar as his act might not have been entirely free, although I have no idea whether this last point establishes legal insanity or is just a consideration in sentencing.

Society is too quick to justify and remove blame! (2, Insightful)

aarggh (806617) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446075)

GOD forbid anyone should be held responsible for their actions, or be expected to have any kind of grip on reality. I think people maybe need to realise that sometimes it's not the TV's fault, or the computers fault, or anyone else's fault, perhaps some people really have no concept of consequences until they are sharing a cell with Bubba. I'm pretty sure they are able to catch with reality real quick then.

Where's the logic ? (2, Insightful)

Davemania (580154) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446077)

Let me get this, this kid probably have some kind of anger problem, he manage to get a gun, he is 17 and still have problem distinguishing reality but lets focus on a video game.

murder weapon? (4, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446089)

"On the night of the shooting in October 2007, Petric used his father's key to open a lockbox and remove a 9mm handgun and the game, the court heard."

Okay, why hasn't anyone even mentioned the "9mm handgun"? To my simple, unAmerican mind, that seems far more like a murder weapon than the video game.

Talk about elephant in the room.

Anyway, I expect the usual 800-post NRA/2nd Amendment gun nuts vs rational people thread.

Only in America.

Re:murder weapon? (3, Insightful)

MiKM (752717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446277)

Anyway, I expect the usual 800-post NRA/2nd Amendment gun nuts vs rational people thread.

Don't forget the people who think that every gun is evil. I don't have any need to own a handgun or rifle, but I support the right of people who do, provided they are responsible (as the father seemed to be, considering that the gun was stored in a lockbox). Yes, the kid used a gun to kill his parents. However, he could also have just used a butcher knife from the kitchen.

Re:murder weapon? (1)

FinchWorld (845331) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446299)

Okay, why hasn't anyone even mentioned the "9mm handgun"?

Guns don't kill people, the Master Chief does?

Re:murder weapon? (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446315)

How is bringing up the 2nd amendment relevant? Isn't blaming this on the gun just as illogical as (or even more so than) blaming it on the game. This is a perfect case of "people kill people". As was noted he could have used a butcher knife, especially given that the parents closed their eyes expecting a surprise; He wouldn't have even needed to overpower them.

Re:murder weapon? (2, Insightful)

wisty (1335733) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446457)

You can't just point a butcher knife at somebodies head, and pull the trigger.

Stabbing is not so likely to kill as shooting, as the victim can often fight back, staunch the wound, and call for help.

There is a reason why soldiers are armed with a gun, instead of a knife, or a front loading rifle like the 2nd amendment was written for.

Re:murder weapon? (1)

quickOnTheUptake (1450889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446493)

well if someone is standing there with eyes closed (as his parents were) waiting for a surprise, it's not too much harder to slit his throat than to shoot his head, and most people with a slit throat neither fight back nor successfully staunch the wound.

Re:murder weapon? (1)

MiKM (752717) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446497)

One of the reasons for the 2nd amendment was to act as a safeguard against a tyrannical government.

Re:murder weapon? (1)

shiftless (410350) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446433)

How is this insightful? If anything it is Flamebait. (And ironic as well.)

Stupid people (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446091)

When will there finally be a time where the court doesn't favor stupid people at the cost of smart people. Thinking that the parents would not remain dead forever if he killed is stupid. Stupidity should not be rewarded in court. People who contribute a computer game to society are not stupid, and those are the ones that should be rewarded, for their work. Just the same as how people who are smart enough to create and sell a microwave oven shouldn't lose money to people who are so stupid to try to dry their baby in it.

The judge's statement (5, Informative)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446097)

FTA:

"The Court must enter a finding of guilty on the counts set forth in the indictment. That being said, it's my firm belief as a human being - and not as a jurist - that Daniel does suffer from a serious defect of the mind.

"This Court's opinion is that we don't know enough about these video games. In this particular case, not so much the violence of the game because I believe in the Halo 3, what it amounts to is a contest to see who can shoot the most aliens who attack.

"It's my firm belief that after a while the same physiological responses occur that occur in the ingestion of some drugs. And I believe that an addiction to these games can do the same thing. The dopamine surge, the stimulation of the nucleus accumbens - the same as an addiction. Such that when you stop, your brain won't stand for it.

"The other dangerous thing about these games, in my opinion, is that when these changes occur, they occur in an environment that is delusional. Because you can shoot these aliens, and they're there again the next day. You have to shoot them again. And I firmly believe that Daniel Petric had no idea, at the time he hatched this plot, that if he killed his parents, they would be dead forever."

Another article notes... [chroniclet.com]

During the first day of testimony on Monday, his father, the Rev. Mark Petric, said his son had apologized to him and he has forgiven Daniel, who was 16 at the time of the shootings. The elder Petric told Lorain County Common Pleas Judge James Burge, who is hearing the case instead of a jury, that Daniel told him and his wife, Sue Petric, to close their eyes because he had a surprise for them. According to prosecutors, Daniel Petric then shot both of his parents, killing Sue Petric and wounding Mark Petric. When he came to a few moments later, Mark Petric said, he saw that his wife wasn't moving, and Daniel was trying to place a 9 mm handgun in his hand.

So the son was trying to frame the father for murdering the mother. Seems to indicate that he knew death was permanent...

Pardon? (2, Insightful)

dabadab (126782) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446101)

I was not aware of the fact that Microsoft also makes guns. Or did he shot his parents dead with the Xbox controller?...

Re:Pardon? (1)

dhavleak (912889) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446149)

Excellent point!

Re:Pardon? (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446155)

I was not aware of the fact that Microsoft also makes guns. Or did he shot his parents dead with the Xbox controller?...

Maybe not xbox's, but I would not be surprised to learn there's been homicides by wii controller.

Re:Pardon? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446503)

Maybe not xbox's, but I would not be surprised to learn there's been homicides by wii controller.

They may be more entertaining than humans, but TV sets aren't people. A valid defense of homicide charges.

he is a sociopath, or worst (5, Informative)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446111)

The problem here is clearly the teen which is a sociopath, not the fact he played halo 3. It was halo 3 his parent withdrew, but it could have been a red toy car, or whatever he was using at that time. Once you are in your teen you are supposed to be able to separate fantasy to reality, and to know that death is definitive. If you don't even know or realize that, then you clearly have a mental problem. The guy was 15 at the time he shot his parents.

Miscellaneous quotes : (http://news.aol.com/article/ohio-teen-killed-mom-over-video-game/302589)
Petric may have been addicted, but the evidence also showed he planned the crime for weeks, said Burge, who found the teenager guilty of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and other charges.

Deputy prosecuting attorney Anthony Cillo argued during the trial that the teenager had planned to make it appear to be a murder-suicide by putting the gun in his father's hand.

The Judge is a Moron.... (2, Insightful)

Klootzak (824076) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446115)

Quoted from this article [chroniclet.com] :

When he came to a few moments later, Mark Petric said, he saw that his wife wasn't moving, and Daniel was trying to place a 9 mm handgun in his hand.

Prosecutors contend that Daniel stole his father's key to the lockbox where the gun was kept and retrieved the semiautomatic pistol along with a copy of the sci-fi video game "Halo 3" that his parents had confiscated from him before the shooting.
(I snipped a section here)

Prosecutors say Daniel later confessed to the shootings and said he tried to make it appear to be a murder-suicide.

His Defense lawyer is grasping at straws for a reduced sentance, if the kid didn't realize his parents wouldn't be DEAD... WTF would he try and frame his Dad?!?!

switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446121)

"An Ohio teen was found guilty of murdering his mother and shooting his father in the head after they took away his bike. One has to wonder if this is going to have any effect on the bicycle industry. Clearly, the AP thought they could stir up something controversial by asking the IP owner for a statement: 'Microwheels, which owns the intellectual property for the bike, declined to comment beyond a statement saying: "We are aware of the situation and it is a tragic case."' I suppose the good news is they did not accept his insanity plea, so no one can claim that driving his bike drove him insane(..). Even so, I don't think anything good can come out of this for bikers."

One word... (3, Funny)

Shivinski (1053538) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446131)

PWNED

Mod me down, it was worth it :P

Re:One word... (1)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446467)

PWNED Mod me down, it was worth it :P

Point blank in the head, and he doesn't even manage to kill the guy. Can't blame THAT one on the lag.

Chris Rock (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446175)

In his immortal words ... "Whatever happened to craaazzzyyyy ?"

Re:Chris Rock (1)

daveime (1253762) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446211)

Hate replying to myself, but I found the actual script for that classic ... maybe we could include the "Chris Rock prosecuting argument" to counter the "Chewbacca defense" ?

What happened to crazy?

What, you can't be crazy no more?

Did we eliminate ''crazy'' from the dictionary?

Fuck the records. Fuck the movies. Crazy!

When l was a kid, they used to separate the crazy kids from everybody.

When l was a kid, the crazy kids went to school in a little-ass bus.

They had a class at the end of the school... and they used to get out of school at 3pm.

Just in case they went crazy... they would only hurt other crazy kids.

And we was all safe.

I can see the warning label (4, Funny)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446191)

This game is so awesome, you'll kill anybody who takes it away from you!

(It's that good).

Enough of this (1)

isaacklinger (966649) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446199)

Enough of this. People have been killing each other over for thousands of years. Sometimes over territory, sometimes over possessions, sometimes for no reason at all.

Killing over a copy of a violent videogame is no different than killing over a copy of a violent film.

This is just spin-doctoring. Quit publicizing everything that has a title that matches "videogames AND violence".

Re:Enough of this (1)

kaizokuace (1082079) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446357)

Killing over a copy of a violent videogame is no different than killing over The Holy Grail.

that sounds about right.

US second amendment (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446239)

This is not a problem with the game, this is a problem with the US second amendment.

I have worked in the UK within the games industry on and off for 17 years.

From helping out in a video games retailer, when I was Tweleve, to working for a top five global publisher.

I have probably played more FPS's that 95% of the gaming community.

It has never crossed my mind to get a gun and shoot someone in the real world.

Oh but wait I live in the UK, where gun control is strict.

Its not just the access to guns that causes the problem, its the attitude that a massively out of date law creates in many Americans minds.

You don't see lots of British farmers sons going on killing sprees.

Right had my rant I'm off to kill some more Covenant.

Careless parents, as usual? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446293)

In every "gun is a basic right" thread I read comments what I believe to be whines about how every gun holder is responsible and how it is a privilege to own a gun, yadda, yadda. Quite frankly I think that the truth shows us something quite different. It seems to me as if most gun holders approach this as "its my right to bear arms and as such its a natural thing to do or to have". And that attitude is IMO the soul cause for incidents like these.
So they locked the game away in the gun locker? Or did they store the guns in the game locker? Either way; was it really that hard to imagine that the kid would go after the game? Better yet: is it common to treat guns the same as an ordinary PC game? Granted; this could be turned around by stating they possibly treated the game as if it were as deadly as the guns it was locked in with.
Either way; I sense carelessness. Its IMO obvious that they didn't treat the guns as special that they should be kept locked away by themselves. Instead they seemed to dump other stuff in there. And that attitude is IMO the road to disaster. Don't treat guns as something casual, they're not. And in that statement: don't treat gun lockers as ordinary lockers either, they're not.

Why in this situation must the melodrama occur (1)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446297)

One has to wonder if this is going to have any effect on the games industry.

No kidding. I've been furiously working on quake skins of my folks in the days since this came to light.

Dad, meet, the "shambler".

That'll teach them for taking away my red stapler.

Ever taken someones sigerets. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446339)

I wonder how many times that has resulted in death.

Why single out games? (1)

DrXym (126579) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446349)

Sounds like the judge is confused about cause and effect. Is it a game that cause the guy to become delusional, or was he susceptible to delusions in the first place?

Who knows what triggers a nut to commit a violent act but if someone is susceptible, it could be religion, a pop song, a glance from their neighbour, a movie star, a game, a character from a book. Are we to criticize all of those things on the offchance that some delusional person might hurt themselves or others?

That's not to say that games or whatever can get off without doing anything. I think all online games, at least on consoles should have controls that limit or at least advise how long someone should be able play them. For example it should be possible to restrict kids to a maximum amount of time of play per day. And adults should still be warned by popups how long they've played with occasional advice to take a break.

The game made me do it; the new defense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26446393)

Just blame a game, don't dare blame yourself and take responsibility for your actions.

This way you play the victim card and get a mere slap on the wrist like hit & run Bishop O`Brien.

Hogwash (1)

Sobrique (543255) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446425)

It's nothing to do with a game. It's two parents completely failing in their responsiblity to bring up a child adequately.

Basics of parenting include: Don't let your children have firearms. Also teaching them the difference between right and wrong. Or at least, the consequences of being a psychopath.

The game has nothing to do with it, these "parents" have just been admonished for their failure. Although, it's a little bit harsh to get shot in the face, there is no one they can blame but themselves for having so completely screwed up this child that he's able to do such a thing.

What a load of crap. (1)

rhook (943951) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446499)

I guess I should have gone on a rampage the likes of which this country has never seen by now considering all the violent games I have played over the last 15 years or so. Not to mention all the violent movies I watch. Give me a break.

Bad news for gamers? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446507)

I think not.

How about a gaming scene where games based on murdering thousands of nameless, faceless opponents aren't common place? I know video games don't make kids violence, but, it *really* does look bad when you've got crazy ass kids blowing other people away and it turns out they've spent most of their free time playing FPSes.

Frontal lobe not entirely wired up + Gun (1)

fialar (1545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26446515)

Our brains wire themselves from back to front from babies and our frontal lobe isn't fully wired until age 25. The frontal lobe of the brain controls (paraphrased from Wikipedia): "...the ability to recognize future consequences resulting from current actions, to choose between good and bad actions (or better and best), override and suppress unacceptable social responses, and determine similarities and differences between things or events."

It's quite obvious he had severe anger management issues, couple that with the fact that he's a teenager and wouldn't be thinking of the consequences of his actions, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Video game addiction is real. When you can't get your fix, you act just like a drug addict. I was the same with World of Warcraft over 2 years ago. I didn't kill anyone over it. I think if the gun had no been around in the house, this tragedy could have been averted.

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