The Alaska state troopers are reportedly "miffed" about the woman who went overboard from the Veendam a couple weeks ago. They don't think HAL should have made this statement a day or maybe two later...
"Based on evidence and information to date, it does not appear to be foul play," spokeswoman Sally Andrews said from Seattle. "From what we have seen to date, it appears to be a suicide. Of course, the final determination will be made by the investigating authorities with whom we are cooperating fully"
I don't understand the defensiveness of the troopers in this case. Holland America reviewed the video and said what it looked like to them, but they also clearly said "but we are waiting for the state trooper investigation and we are continuing to work with them"
Now - *if* HAL was not continuing to work with the troopers that would be different, but that is NOT what the troopers said. They are miffed (that was the word the Anchorage paper used) that HAL said what they thought it looked like.
And? They were witnesses on the scene. I have nothing against Alaska State Troopers, I hope they make the perfect determination of what happened, we are all waiting to see what they have to say. But the truth is they don't investigate many cruise issues - usually its the FBI. HAL security and their parent corp are far more familiar with such cases than Alaska state troopers are.
What do you think about this - Did Holland America jump the gun by making the statement you see above?
After serving on a jury, it is my opinion others should not to 'publish' opinions of a crime until the full investigation has been completed.
Obviously, HAL wanted to protect it's name and their is nothing wrong with their intention.
However, if the police or FBI have not made a determination if this was a crime or not, it could have severe consequences when it comes to a jury who has seen the 'news'. Many believe the 'news' and use that to determine the outcome of a trial.
This might possibly be why the police were miffed? Did they ask HAL not to say anything?
I am a law enforcement officer and I do not see a problem with the statement HAL made. They were simply giving an opinion with a disclaimer to calm their customers. If it looked like a random murder by someone that hates cruisers, I would expect HAL to report that information as well. We are adults and can use our brains to form opinions and make decisions. I for one only believe 10% of the stuff I hear on the news and 90% of what I see with my own eyes. It is nearly always in the best interest of people to call it as you see it or rumors will rule the day!!!
The problem is that when the cruise lines say nothing you then get hordes of cruise industry bashers (who are notorious for distorting the truth in unbelievable ways) who come out every time and insist it was a crime, usually committed by a crew member.
For those of you who don't know you would be amazed at the tactics of a few but very vocal community of people who are out to destroy the cruise industry simply because they have found it can be profitable to do so. They put up web sites advertising lawyers who will sue the cruise lines on your behalf.
The cruise lines used to stay silent in all of these cases, but the innuendo making them into the villains got so unbelievably out of hand they were actually forced to start making comments in their own defense - which are also the truth.
Yes, it is a shame if it taints a jury pool, but that is also PRECISELY what the cruise bashers have been trying to do for years - paint the cruise industry as inherently bad and dangerous to society just so lawyers could eventually win huge judgments in cases against cruise lines.
And it did not matter if it is was a passenger on passenger crime, these detractors would always go after the deep pockets, trying to sue the cruise lines for "contributory negligence."
If someone referred to you as a villain often enough, you would also start defending yourself.
I've asked this question several times of different people and don't think I've ever had it fully explained to me:
If I, as a citizen, am called to testify in a trial, I'm sworn in and under the law must tell the truth about what I saw or know.If I fail to do so, I'm committing perjury and can be fined and / or jailed for same.
Why aren't lawyers held to the same standards? They can come up with the most hair-brained schemes to try to get their clients off the hook and many times they do. I once heard an attorney say his job was to create doubt in the minds of the jury and then exploit that doubt by all means possible.
Being retired from the insurance claims business, I've testified in several cases from arson to a couple of murder cases. It's sometimes unbelievable how some of these defense attorneys can come at you to try to discredit the truth you've told--if I'm held to the standard of telling the truth, why are attorneys given so much leeway in skirting the truth to try to win a case, whether it be a criminal case involving prison time or a civil case involving monetary damages?
Example-- several years ago here in my town a " juvenile " had killed a cab driver when he was 16 years old. Shot him in the back of the head and robbed him for the sum of $ 10.00. Since he was a " juvenile " he only served a few years and was out. He had been out less than 6 months--went into a store-- ordered an18 yr.old employee and the older man who was the owner into the back room after robbing them. He then shot the 18 yr. old in the head, killing him. The owner ran for the back door, was shot twice in the back but was still able to get out and escape being killed. He survived, identified the killer and when it went to trial, the killer's lawyer argued that the store owner had killed the 18 year old employee, had tried to kill the defendant ,who took the gun away from the owner and shot him in self defense!! The jury didn't buy it but therein lies my question--how can an attorney fabricate some scheme such as this and actually try to make it stand up in court-- I know there must be some attorneys out there who surely would give an honest answer as to why they ( attorneys ) are not held to the same standards as witnesses and have to tell the truth in any lawsuit?
I would surely appreciate an honest answer.
Thanks in advance,
It is a very good question, and I am not a lawyer. All I can say is this: there are facts and then then are theories, and then there is hard evidence and then then there is circumstantial evidence.
In your case the boy lost because no one bought the lawyer's story. There was probably a lot of contrary evidence such as gunpowder blowback on the shooters hand (or lack thereof on the grocer's hand), etc.
A lawyer can say anything is a possibility, but he has to back it up with evidence. I basically think we have a very good court system in the U.S., in terms or rules of evidence, for example.
I do think we are far too litigious in the U.S. however, and it is far too easy to bring a lawsuit with no penalty to anyone who sues simply to harass. In other nations, if you bring a frivolous lawsuit you can be made to pay the winning side's lawyer's fees and a penalty for wasting the time of the court. The U.S. would do well with such a law.
I know to some my little harp re/ attorneys and their lack of truth telling in handling their cases may not seem to be cruise connected but on one hand it is.
If attorneys, who are everyday chipping away at the cruise industry, finally breach the dam, then the lawsuits will be beyond anything you can imagine. The cruise lines are considered to have " deep pockets ". That's where the attorneys head--not for what is right or wrong, but where the bank vault lies and they want the keys to the vault. When that happens, many of us won't be able to afford to cruise.
Let's all cruise as often as we possibly can now for I fear in a few more years the attorneys will have brought down the cruise industry.
Just my opinion, which means nothing to anyone but me and I do hope I'm wrong !
I have written SO many editorials about this I think I have outdone anyone in the industry, which has made me a target by certain people. These cruise bashers are ruthless in my opinion, and the way they characterize us as the bad guys is almost laughable.
Of course, I am not talking about people with legitimate cases. I am talking about the people running massive campaigns to paint the image of the cruise industry as corrupt and lawless. Nothing could be further from the truth, the cruise industry has grown up legitimately within the context of international maritime law and contributes well over $35 billion to the U.S. economy every year.