Monday, January 14, 2008

Family of Talovic Victim Barred from Addressing Court

The defendant who sold Sulejman Talovic one of the guns he used in the Trolley Square shooting was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison. The Salt Lake Tribune has its coverage here.

The most intriguing aspect of the sentencing was the position taken by the family of one of Talovic's victims, who asked Judge Kimball to speak at the sentencing. When the request was denied, the family (with the help of former federal judge Paul Cassell) asked the Tenth Circuit to intervene. Notably, the government did not file a brief on behalf of the victim's family.

As an aside, one wonders what the legal import in the arena of tort law would have been had Kimball found there was a sufficient causal nexus to warrant classifying the family as a victim. Would the gun manufacturers' liability suddenly expand due to such a ruling? Would the gun retailers similarly be faced with issues of liability given the causal nexus?

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