‘Manslaughter’ hard to prove and other commentary

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Pausing J&J vax is a net harm and other commentary

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From the right: ‘Manslaughter’ Hard To Prove

The manslaughter charge against Kim Potter, the cop who accidentally shot Daunte Wright, strikes National Review’s Robert VerBruggen as “morally appropriate” but possibly difficult to prove legally. Minnesota’s statute says a person is guilty of second-degree manslaughter if he or she causes someone’s death by “culpable negligence whereby the person creates an unreasonable risk, and consciously takes chances of causing death or great bodily harm.” Yet “Potter consciously thought” she was using a Taser “designed to incapacitate rather than kill.” And if that’s the case, as law prof Richard Frase notes, “how can we prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she consciously took chances of at least causing great bodily harm”? Minnesota might want to rethink its homicide laws.

Foreign desk: Afghan Pullout Will Be ‘Ugly’

President Biden has decided to bring all US troops home from Afghanistan, as Madiha Afzal and Michael O’Hanlon at USA Today point out. Yet a “gradual ongoing drawdown” proves there’s “no need to rush completely for the exits before giving the fledgling peace process a real chance.” The Trump administration promised a withdrawal once the Taliban met several conditions, and until it does, “we should feel no obligation” to leave. Any quick troop exit is likely to be “ugly, including ethnic cleansing, mass slaughter and the ultimate dismemberment of the country.” America must wait to withdraw “in a way that enhances the prospects for peace and stability in Afghanistan” because “the alternative is almost certainly a greater risk not only to Afghans, but also to Americans.”

Libertarian: Tuning Out ‘Systemic Racism’

Repeated e-mails “from my daughter’s elementary school” and the district bureaucracy alerted Reason’s Matt Welch to the latest segment of the city Department of Education’s three-part “teach-in” on “Segregation in Our NYC Schools,” nudging parents “to explicitly support the specific set of sometimes radical alterations to school policies that activist educators are pushing through” to racially reengineer schools. Yet it’s “an odd moment” for such discussion, since parents are focused on “when school buildings can finally fully reopen, instead of being overwhelmingly part-time,” and the “race and class disparities in learning loss” thanks to remote classes are “profound.” And the larger obsession with “systemic racism,” with the “potentially frightful cost to expressing skepticism,” is having perverse results, including pushing dissenters to become “more reactionary” and feeding populism.

Media watch: Press Is Infrastructure for Biden

The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake blasted Sen. John Cornyn for wondering “whether President Joe Biden is really in charge,” when the WaPo “routinely sought out anonymous sources to warn readers” President Donald Trump was out of control, notes Tim Graham at Townhall.com. Backing up Cornyn’s question: Biden does few interviews, his public comments are mostly scripted, and he’s had just “one press conference during his 84 days in office.” Yet “he has zero fear of his low availability to the press being a problem with ‘mainstream’ reporters, since about 99.96 percent of them surely voted for him.” Heck, “White House chief of staff Ron Klain routinely retweets the ‘mainstream’ reporters, implying that he endorses their helpful pro-Biden spin.” Bottom line: “The press is now just ‘infrastructure’ for Biden.”

Pandemic journal: Fraidy-Cat Bureaucrats

The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood, like 7 million Americans, has “the Johnson & Johnson vaccine percolating through my tissue.” And though the “sensation of rising immunity to COVID-19” feels “good,” with the feds’ pause, the jab could be “a limited-edition commodity, like a final gulp of Coke Classic.” The problem is that bureaucrats “adopt a fraidy-cat level of caution.” Yet if you’re “unwilling to accept one-in-7-million odds of death” because of a blood clot, “you should be unwilling to drive six miles to the vaccination site.” Indeed, the pause “will make many people doubt vaccines irrationally.” Instead of practicing their “strange paternalism,” the feds should simply “issue an advisory” and let people make up their own minds.

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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