Alec Baldwin to be Charged With Homicide - As Predicted

Pointing Gun at Another Can Create Both Civil and Criminal Liability
WASHINGTON - Oct. 17, 2023 - PRLog -- Alec Baldwin will finally be charged with homicide [involuntary manslaughter] for the fatal shooting of a "Rust" cinematographer.

This is what was predicted two years ago by two law professors at GWU who said that the actor would be charged both civilly and criminally for the shooting.

The following was written in October 2021:

Baldwin, who killed a person when a gun he was holding on the set of "Rust" went off, is almost certainly civilly liable for negligence, and could even face criminal charges, say two law professors who are also successful litigators.

Baldwin is so clearly negligent - simply for pointing even a gun believed to be "cold" at people, and perhaps also for other reasons - that he likely would be found legal liable if a civil suit were to filed against him, says public interest law professor John Banzhaf, who teaches the law of civil liability, and has been successful in high profile civil cases.

Yes, Alex Baldwin could also be charged criminally, writes Jonathan Turley, another professor of public interest law at the GWUy Law School, and a noted criminal defense attorney.

Even very young children are taught never to point any gun at another; a basic and common sense rule emphasized over and over again on movie sets, and thus one which would establish the standard of care any person - much less for an experienced movie actor and producer - would know, argues Banzhaf, who has been called the "Law Professor Who Masterminded Litigation Against the Tobacco Industry,"  a "King of Class-Action Lawsuits," and "a Driving Force Behind the Lawsuits That Have Cost Tobacco Companies Millions of Dollars."

The criminal law professor also maintains that Baldwin could be charged with involuntary manslaughter for "the commission of a lawful act which might produce death . . . without due caution and circumspection"; a 4th-degree felony with a possible penalty to 18 months behind bars.   Pointing a gun at a person, even if it was reasonably believed to be "cold," might not be seen as exercising "due caution and circumspection," suggests Banzhaf.

Especially in light of prior events on this movie set and in the movie industry generally, and because this crime of involuntary manslaughter does not require proof of a "specific intent," this charge probably could be sustained; although, for a variety of possible reasons, it might never be brought, notes Banzhaf.

But so long as it is clear that Baldwin did in fact point a gun at others, his violation of the fundamental adage of never pointing even a gun at another would seem to make him clearly liable, argues Banzhaf.   @profbanzhaf

GW Law
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