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Old 01-29-2014, 06:33 PM #1
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Default Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

I just came across an article where someone was convicted for pointing with a green laser pointer at a police helicopter. Obviously you should never point at aircraft but it's the first time I read about someone actually going to jail for that.

The news is in german: NonstopNews Meldung

Little summary for non-german speakers
- In July 2010 he pointed for about 5 minutes at a police helicopter which was looking for stolen cars on the autobahn.
- Pilots had some kind of protection against residual light and tracked the man to his house where the police found him and the laser pointer.
- Now he was convicted for "attempted dangerous interference with air traffic and attempted injury" (or something like that.. I can't translate legal terms).

Sentence is 8 month of jail without parole, the reasoning was that much worse things could have happened, e.g. if it had been a rescue helicopter or the pilots didn't have eye protection..

Pretty harsh sentence I think, but appropriate none the less if the laser was pretty powerful (which I assume it was, but the article does not mention it).

What do you think?



Last edited by Grayn; 01-29-2014 at 06:35 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:41 PM #2
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Default Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

Dude did it for 5mins straight...... Yeh, not a good idea.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:47 PM #3
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Default Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

Should be longer. People dont realize the dangers of lasers.
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Old 01-29-2014, 07:48 PM #4
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Default Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

I don't think the sentence is too harsh(based on US laws). According to US laws, such crime would reward you with 1+ years in jail and/or fines to top it off.

Nevertheless, since this occured in Germany their laws are most likely different as are the procedures/penalties to handle crimes. Don't get me wrong, 8 months in Jail sure dosen't seem like a whole lota fun, but then again....causing an aircraft crash is even worse.

Just my 2 cents on the matter
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Old 01-29-2014, 08:39 PM #5
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Default Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

I think it's the Russian prisons that are without compare (gulag)

I think in Europe people recieve shorter sentences for the same crime that would get them a longer sentence in the U.S.

I could be wrong but I think you can be sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for intentionally pointing a laser at an aircraft like that, though I have not heard of anyone getting a sentence that lengthy

remember, U.S.A. is number 1.

number 1 that is, in highest prisoners per capita and total prisoners. this begs the question, are Americans more criminally inclined than other people? if it's in the genes, then shouldn't the Australians be worse? (penal colony descendants). Or is it a problem with the system and have more to do with social and economic inequalities? my bet is with the latter,

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Old 01-29-2014, 09:52 PM #6
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Default Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

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Originally Posted by Shakenawake View Post
I could be wrong but I think you can be sentenced to 5 years in federal prison for intentionally pointing a laser at an aircraft like that, though I have not heard of anyone getting a sentence that lengthy
In the article it also says that (in Germany ofc) you can get 6 months to 10 years. In that perspective the sentence is just a bit above the minimum.
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Old 01-29-2014, 10:04 PM #7
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Default Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

Frankly I think the guy got off light--
I see no big diff between pointing a gun or shooting at but missing a heli. the guy is for sure, deranged at the least- he found it funny but may no longer be laughing- maybe it was so 'harsh' to send a message with no confusion about this incident. Point a gun at me and if i have mine - I will not assume you are just kiddin' so the last thing that my go thru your mind will be a 9mm slug.. shoot to kill --dead men make poor witnesses in court.

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Old 01-30-2014, 08:45 PM #8
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Default Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

He pointed at a chopper for at least 5 minutes? Not harsh at all. Give him two years and a paddlin'.

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Old 01-30-2014, 09:02 PM #9
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Default Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

Harsh? Are you F'ing kidding me?! IMO it should be 5 years at least. Lasers are no joke when it comes to vision so if you think its harsh then stare into a laser for 5 minutes and report back how harsh you think the sentencing is then
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:03 PM #10
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Default Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

Quote:
Originally Posted by Livinloud View Post
Harsh? Are you F'ing kidding me?! IMO it should be 5 years at least. Lasers are no joke when it comes to vision so if you think its harsh then stare into a laser for 5 minutes and report back how harsh you think the sentencing is then
It's its a *high* powered laser you don't even need 1 minute to be blind
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:07 PM #11
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Default Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

In Australia any laser above 1 mw is deemed to be a weapon. So 8 months is pretty light on! Might get shot over here for the same offence!

Just to set the record straight Shakenawake, Australia May have been used by the Britts as a penal colony but the people of this nation certainly are not made up of convict descendants. Humans are born with a nature to steal, lie, cheat etc. it is Not something we needed to be taught!
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:12 PM #12
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Default Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

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Originally Posted by Tha Greenlander View Post
It's its a *high* powered laser you don't even need 1 minute to be blind
My point exactly, OP doesnt understand the dangers of lasers -_-
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:30 AM #13
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Default Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

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Australia May have been used by the Britts as a penal colony but the people of this nation certainly are not made up of convict descendants. Humans are born with a nature to steal, lie, cheat etc. it is Not something we needed to be taught!
I know, I didnt mean to imply anything bad about the continent/island, or it's peoples, though many fun things are illegal there. I realize only a small percentage would actually be able to trace back to then. you're right, people come pre-made with all those bad things, add nationalism to the mix...
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Old 01-31-2014, 07:01 AM #14
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Default Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

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Originally Posted by Shakenawake View Post
number 1 that is, in highest prisoners per capita and total prisoners. this begs the question, are Americans more criminally inclined than other people? if it's in the genes, then shouldn't the Australians be worse? (penal colony descendants). Or is it a problem with the system and have more to do with social and economic inequalities? my bet is with the latter
It also has to do with poorly constructed laws such as mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent crimes such as drug possession, a culture and law system that favors incarceration over rehabilitation, a lack of reintegration support for released offenders that often sees people returning to prison, and the the prison-industrial complex that has a lot of people getting rich on incarcerating people. It's absolutely ridiculous that we house people for $65/day to sit around doing nothing for crimes that are relatively benign (pot possession), or sentence people to harsher sentences for such crimes than for other, more violent crimes. We could give illegal drug users $20,000 worth of drugs per year and still be ahead.

Furthermore, ex-prisoners are essentially dumped outside the gates to begin anew, with no support to make them useful citizens again. I used to scoff at some of the prisons in Europe that looked more like hotel resorts for rehabilitation rather than prisons. However, I think they have it right if the goal is to reintegrate people back into society as useful members. But here we don't do that much. If we're not going to bother, why not just execute many of the people in our prisons who are essentially dead to society anyway? Isn't that the basic goal of those 20-50 year or life sentences? What do you even do after you leave prison when you're 55 after committing some crime when you were 25? Your entire productive life has been wasted in a cage, and your future is equally as sad. You'll probably turn to crime again, as there's nothing else you can do.
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Old 01-31-2014, 12:29 PM #15
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Default Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

I worked as a Corrections Officer for 7 years here in Michigan's prison system. You'll never ever in your wildest dreams imagine how much money and how many people get abused and wasted inside a correctional facility.

prison is con college nothing more
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Old 01-31-2014, 03:24 PM #16
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Exclamation Re: Harsh sentence for pointing at helicopter in Germany

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Originally Posted by Livinloud View Post
My point exactly, OP doesnt understand the dangers of lasers -_-
Hit the nail on the head. The Fed's aren't gonna wait til one ditches. Here's some perspective of the current market rate for 'painting' the POPO in terms of mins, secs and no. of hits : HERE

"On July 25 2013, Santodomingo was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison, for the January 28 2013 lasing of a helicopter. A green laser beam was aimed at Dallas Police Department’s Air One at least four times over 10 minutes. The beam led back to Santodomingo’s house, where ground officers arrested him. The 22-year-old admitted to aiming at the helicopter, saying 'he wanted to see how far it would go. He pleaded guilty on February 28 2013."

"On July 22 2013, Michael A. Smith, Omaha, Nebraska, US, was sentenced to two years in federal prison to be followed by a 3-year term of supervised release. He had been convicted April 24 2013 of aiming a laser at an Omaha police helicopter “six or seven times” on July 11 2012. The police were looking for the source of an earlier red laser aimed at a Southwest Airlines flight that was landing in Omaha. According to one news report, Smith had previously been fined $9,000 by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration."

"On May 12 2012, Nicholls aimed a blue laser pen at a police helicopter for about six minutes. On July 16 2012, he pleaded guilty to one count of recklessly or negligently acting in a manner likely to endanger an aircraft or people in an aircraft. He was sentenced to six months in jail."

"On August 16 2010, Radu Moldovan, 28, Romanian migrant, working in UK, illuminated an RAF Tornado jet for up to ten seconds. He pleaded guilty to culpably and recklessly endangering a military aircraft on September 16 2010. 4 months in prison."

"On December 8 2007, Gerard Sasso, 52, Medford, Massachusetts, US, lased a Massachusetts state police helicopter at least five times. He denied using the laser until police saw a laser pointer on his bedside table. Eleven lasers were seized from his apartment. Sasso was found guilty January 11 2011 of willfully interfering with an aircraft operator with reckless disregard for human life and making false statements. 3 years in prison."
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HOW TO GET ALONG & BE ACCEPTED AT LPF (by Daguin)
COMPLETE GUIDE TO OWNING LASERS (by Livinloud)
MADE IN LPF - SUPPORT YOUR FELLOW LASERISTS FIRST!(by Wannaburnstuff)
6 WAYS TO AVOID SCAMS (by Tech_Junkie)
TRADES, FEEDBACK & DISPUTE RESOLUTION
LASER OWNERS PLEDGE (by Hakzaw1)
4 LASER SAFETY: (by Livinloud)
No matter the power, lasers should be treated like a loaded gun with these steps :
• ALWAYS keep the safety glasses/goggles on when operating lasers.
• ALWAYS keep the laser pointed away from humans, animals, cars, trains, air planes, etc.
• ALWAYS keep the laser “unloaded” until one is ready to use it (don’t store it with batteries inside).
• ALWAYS keep the finger away from the power button until one is ready to use it.
If one follows these simple rules, there will NEVER be any accidents involving lasers.
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