Lapses in the sense of personal responsibility: Water
By now we've all heard about the silly Jennifer Strange water intoxication fatality, resulting from a radio show contest.
Okay, stupid contest. And while she signed a release, it's certainly no real surprise that the decedent's family is suing the radio station. And no one's really surprised that the radio station fired all the folks involved in the gag. Ten of them, apparently. While I personally think that the lawsuit should be found for the defendants (who did have her sign a release, and didn't tie her down), I don't think that firing the employees that created such bad press for your radio station is a bad idea. Though, of course, I suppose that there are inevitably going to be some wrongful termination suits. Why not? It's California. That's what they do.
Comes now the Sacramento County S.O., who is performing a criminal investigation.
And now we're into CrazyLand.
Look, I know that the sheriff is elected, and that there are Outraged Citizens (read: voters) who demand an investigation. This is sheer political grandstanding. But the easiest way to handle this is to turn it over to the DA to refer to a grand jury to no-bill this whole incident and all involved. The woman was offered a dadgummed video game for drinking bottles of fricking drinking water! Had the water been tainted, or not what they had initially claimed, then I might see a case. Had she been forced and coerced against her will to drink it, I would see a case. But they repeatedly offered her a chance to quit (In fact, that was what the whole premise of the stupid contest was-- you could quit whenever you want, but then you wouldn't get the free prize.), and even offered her a consolation prize to make her quit. So convincing were they, that they actually got her to quit early! She won the consolation prize by quitting, which simply proves that they weren't holding some kind of power over her will.
I have no doubt that the criminal investigation will either be dropped as unfounded, or referred to the DA who will drop it, or referred to the grand jury, who will drop it. If by some bizarre set of strange circumstances, charges were filed and it went to trial, I'm quite sure that the case would be dismissed. Or failing that, found Not Guilty.
Tell me that my certainty is not unfounded. Please Gawd just tell me that....