BGH judgment in the Berlin Raser trial

BGH judgment in the Berlin Raser trial
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D the Berlin district court imposed life imprisonment on February 27, 2017 against the two defendants Hamid H. (28) and Marvin N. (25) for murder in the act of dangerous bodily harm as well as a life-long driving license withdrawal. The presiding judge thereby followed the prosecution's requests. With this ruling, participants in an illegal car race with a fatal outcome were convicted of murder for the first time in Germany.

However, the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) overturned the judgment in 2018 due to legal errors and referred it back to the regional court. In March 2019, the judges there again ruled on life imprisonment for murder. The two defendants in custody again appealed. In particular with the decision against the second driver Marvin N. there were legal concerns. Here the defense lawyer and the federal prosecutor's office applied for the judgment to be reversed - now this case has to be tried again before the Berlin Regional Court. The verdict against Hamid H. remains - the judges saw three murder criteria fulfilled: the victim was defenseless and innocent, the high speed was dangerous to the public and the defendant's selfishness was rated as a lower motive.

In the district court -Proceedings, the defense pleaded for convictions for negligent homicide for one driver and endangerment of road traffic as well as negligent bodily harm for the other defendant. She argued that participating in an illegal car race should not be equated with an intention to kill. The two men assumed they had everything under control. A psychologist had described the person who caused the accident as 'massively overestimating herself' in court. The race was about winning and upgrading the ego, he was not aware of any guilt, according to the German press agency.

Accident car was thrown 72 meters

During the night On February 1, 2016, Hamid H. and Marvin N. had an illegal race on Berlin's Kurf├╝rstendamm with their cars (Audi A6 TDI and Mercedes-AMG CLA 45). They drove over eleven traffic lights at speeds beyond 150 km /h, most of which were red. At the level of the Memorial Church, the Audi collided with a jeep that was driving out of a side street at a green light. The vehicle was thrown 72 meters and overturned several times. Michael W. (69), the driver of the jeep, was dead on the spot. At the time of the accident, the Audi was said to be between 160 and 170km /h, the Mercedes 138 km /h. Both drivers were slightly injured in the accident, one co-driver had to go to hospital with shock and injuries.

Participation in an illegal car race was classified as an administrative offense at that time and punished with a fine of 400 euros and a one-month driving ban. In the case of fatal accidents, the perpetrators were usually charged with negligent homicide and often then sentenced to a fine or a suspended sentence. Law tightening was implemented in late 2017 in response to a number of accidents in illegal street racing. Street race organizers and participants face severe fines and up to two years in prison under the new law. In addition, if people are injured or even killed in a street race, a prison sentence of up to ten years is possible. The new version of the law also provides that the vehicles of those involved can be confiscated, and the driver's licenses can be confiscated.

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