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December 2005
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Bad law, bad prosecution

In Kenner, Louisiana, a tragedy happened.
Rebecca Doussan (age 26) and her twin sister Rachel were injecting cocaine. Rebecca left the apartment to get some more, and when she returned, discovered her sister drowned in the bathtub, with the water still running and the bathroom door locked.

The autopsy found that Smith died as a result of drowning, associated with the toxic effect of cocaine, [police spokesman] Gallagher said.

Now Rebecca is being charged with 2nd degree murder for supplying Rachel with drugs which “”turn out to be the direct cause of death.”
Can someone tell me what the point of this prosecution is?

  • Punishing Rebecca? She was punished more by the death of her twin sister than any jail sentence could possibly hope to accomplish. It’s also not like there’s any question that Rachel took the cocaine willingly.
  • Deterrance? How can this law or prosecution thereof provide any deterrance? Will someone think “Oh, I’d better not give my sister drugs because if she dies I could get in trouble.”? Even assuming anyone knows about this odd provision, they’re not going into a drug experience expecting death as an option, so deterrance is out.
  • Providing closure to the crime victim and their family? Oh wait, that’s right, this law is punishing the “crime victim’s” family.
  • Using up excess tax funds lying around by prosecuting and jailing Rebecca?

It’s just stupid.

The twins’ father, David Doussan of Metairie, said learning his daughter was booked with murder was “like getting hit by a truck again.”

“It’s indescribable the pain I’ve been through since the death of my daughter last year,” he said.

She “loved her sister dearly and would never do anything to hurt her,” David Doussan said. “She would give her arm for her sister.”

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