In law, the concept of summary judgment is usually subject to controversy. This is evident in this case, where the appellant wants the application of a summary judgment upheld, based on specific aspects of the case.
However, the decision to prefer summary judgment depends on numerous factors, such as previous rulings, facts in the case as well as the ability of the court to handle the case without necessarily going to trial. For this case, the defense argues that there are certain obvious facts and thus the case is within the jurisdiction of the court to determine.
Therefore, the court ought to grant the defense motion for a summary judgment, based on the strength of the case. To prove this, the defense counsel chooses to focus on two areas the in previous cases have been subject to controversy. These are inference to actual knowledge of visible intoxication and the issues of causation of crime. The arguments in this case are analyzed Vis a Vis the biblical worldview and are found to be wanting.
The defense counsel finds fault with evidence that can be used to infer actual knowledge of visible intoxication based on several fact. To begin with, there is no indication of any activity by the accused that indicates visible intoxication. Investigations had revealed that the accused was overly chatty.
However, in a previous ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court, this kind of evidence cannot be used to determine visible intoxication. Additionally, inference of actual knowledge of visible intoxication cannot be based on the amount of alcohol consumed.
Despite the fact that the bar tender served the accused with exceedingly large amounts of alcohol, the bar tender is only liable of damage might have occurred as a result of negligence, an allegation not made in this case.
There is also inference of circumstantial evidence. However based on ruling from previous cases, circumstantial evidence cannot be used to infer actual knowledge of visible intoxication.
Facts in this case indicate that there is no sufficient evidence to indicate inference of actual knowledge of visible intoxication. As previously ruled by the Indiana Supreme Court, where there is no sufficient evidence to infer actual knowledge of visible intoxication, the matter ought to be dealt on the basis of law. Thus a trail is not necessary.
Other than the lack of sufficient evidence, the defense counsel argues that intoxication cannot be treated as a proximate cause of harm caused by the accused. This argument is based on two major facts. The accused had previously exhibited behavior that indicated beyond reasonable doubt that he intended to cause harm to the victims.
The accused exhibited jealousy and hatred towards the victims. As a result, harm caused to the victims seems to this seems to emanate from premeditated actions. In light of these assertions, any harm caused to the victim cannot be directly attributed to intoxication.
Secondly, there is sufficient evidence to indicate that the accused had the intension of causing harm to the victims. In this regard, injuries and the subsequent death that occurred cannot are not treated as foreseeable consequences as a result of intoxication. In light of this, it can be concluded that any harm that occurred is as a result of malicious intent to cause harm, rather than intoxication.
The defense counsel presents a plausible argument that there is no sufficient evidence to infer actual knowledge of intoxication. This however does not prove that the accused was not visibly intoxicated at the time he was being served with alcohol. This argument is based on four simple facts.
To begin with, based on scientific facts, the amount of alcohol consumed can be used as inference of visible intoxication. Secondly the drinks were served in quick succession, implying that the accused would have been visibly drunk within a short time. Thirdly, the conduct of the patron before leaving the tavern also indicates the he was visibly intoxication.
Lastly, the actions of the patron after leaving the tavern up to the time he committed the crime indicated that he was intoxicated. Contrary to argument by the defense counsel, there is enough circumstantial evidence in this case which proves that the actions of the accused are as a result of begin intoxicated.
Additionally, borrowing facts from a previous ruling, it is possible to infer actual knowledge of visible intoxication based on credible circumstantial evidence. In light of this, and the fact that there is credible circumstantial evidence, the prosecution thereof ought to consider that inference of visible intoxication can be derived from circumstantial evidence. Therefore, based on these assertions and the fact that there are varied interpretations of the law, this case therefore precludes summary judgment and thus ought to go to jury trial.
As indicated earlier, there is evidence of varied interpretations of law. This also implies that there are differing versions of the truth. The US Supreme Court ruling indicates that a judge cannot determine a case in which there are differing versions of the truth. In light of this, the case ought to be decided by a jury.
Additionally, the defense counsel overlooked certain facts which indicate intoxication as proximate cause harm. This argument is based on three major facts. To begin with, there are reasonable inferences from which the jury can utilize to determine that intoxication actually led to the crime. It is evident that the accused harbored malicious intent to cause harm. However, it cannot be established whether the accused caused harm as a result of malicious intent based on the events leading to the accident.
Between consumption of alcohol and the occurrence of the accident, the accused caused a series of accidents, all attributed to drunk driving. Subsequently, the accident in which the victim was involved was as result of drunk driving rather than malicious intent to cause harm.
Additionally, based on previous ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court, any action that is conventionally attributed to intoxication is treated as a foreseeable consequence. In light of this, the harm caused by the accused is foreseeable consequence of intoxication. Since it is evident that the accident occurred as a result of intoxication, it can therefore be concluded that intoxication was a proximate cause.
From the arguments presented on both sides, it is possible to make the following assertions. It is quite agreeable that this is a complicated case which deserves a fair trial. However, the defense counsel mainly focuses on preventing the case from going to trial since there are possibilities of losing the case. The defense hopes to achieve this by exonerating the accused and the bar tender of any liability.
It is evident that the bar tender allowed the accused to take numerous alcoholic drinks in quick succession, knowing that it will lead to intoxication. This is because the bar tender had the duty to protect patrons from harmful behavior. Thus the bar tender ought to have refused the accused from consuming alcohol to the extent that it would have caused reasonable intoxication.
Therefore, in disagreement with the defense counsel, it is imperative to state that the bar tender liable to any harm caused through negligence. Even though it is agreeable with the defense’s argument that the harm caused was as a result of malicious intent, it can be concluded that the combination of intoxication and malicious intent aggravated this unfortunate event. It is therefore important that each of the parties to be held acceptable for the consequences of their actions.
It is also possible to disagree with counterarguments to the defense. For instance, the appellee argues that intoxication, rather than malice, is to blame for the accident that caused injuries and death. This is despite there being sufficient evidence to prove that there was initial intent to cause harm. The primary purpose of this argument seems to be focused on exonerating the accused personally from the consequences of his actions. A trail however, is likely to reveal the whole truth and apportion blame appropriately.
The manner in which the questions were responded reveals very little influence of the biblical world view. It is evident that each of the parties takes the vow of innocent despite there being evidence to the contrary.
For instance the bar tender assumes innocence of his actions, but as explained by Beckett and DeMoss (1999), the ethics and motives of a business ought to be based on Deuteronomy 6:5 which assert that one ought to love his or her neighbor as one loves oneself. His actions are negligent and not prove such love to the patron.
Additionally, the accused blames alcohol, rather than his malicious intent to commit crime. This implies that no one willingly takes responsibility for ones own actions, which is against biblical teachings.
Within the American Justice System, the relationship between the guilt and innocence seems to be inversely proportional. The more guilty one party is the more innocent the other part becomes. This is an inappropriate method of resolving conflict, since it focuses on proving ones innocence and the condemning others, as opposed to accepting liability for ones actions. This implies that there is little chance of forgiveness (Blair and Montecalvo, 1999).
However, as explained by Hanna (2004) all sinners are equal before God and that they are justified through Gods grace upon confession of sins. This implies that God does not condemn, but saves sinners. In this case, conflict resolution ought to be approached with the intension of forgiving, accepting liability for ones own actions and restitution, rather than blaming and condemnation.
It is evident in this case that the biblical approach to conflict resolution is largely ignored within the American Justice System. Conflict resolution is based on vengeance and the presumption of ones innocence, regardless of the level of guilt. This usually leads to condemnation of those found guilty. However, from a biblical perspective all people are equal before God. Since sinners are justified through Gods grace, conflict resolution ought to be based on forgivingness rather than condemnation.
Beckett, J. and DeMoss, T. (1999). The Christian world view of business and occupations. Web.
Blair, C. and Montecalvo, L. (1999). The Christian world view of Christian unity. Web.
Hanna, J. ( 2004). Justified. Retrieved from http://ltbs.tv/magazine/
Biblical worldview on conflict resolution