Let's quickly clarify something before we get down to the details- reality television star Dog the Bounty Hunter (real name: Duane Lee Chapman) is not personally suing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie but what he is doing is throwing his celebrity support behind a family that is suing Christie, among others. Twenty six year-old Christian Rodgers died earlier this year when he was reportedly shot by Jules Black. So where does Chris Christie come into the lawsuit? For his role in why Jules Black was on the streets with a gun at all. While Black had recently been booked and in custody on a weapons charge, he was released on a new state bail law that allows for a pretrial release (previously an accused would have to pay a fee).
Philly.com quotes Dog the Bounty Hunter on his interest in this case and opposition to New Jersey's Bail Reform and Speedy Trial Act, "I wanted to help support the Rogers family and send a message to Governor Chris Christie that law enforcement officers like myself across the country think he should be ashamed of himself for ignoring our advice and passing the dangerous fake reform that I believe led to the tragic murder of Christian Rodgers."
Of course the stated goal of the Act was not to place dangerous criminal on the street but to free up the prison population and eliminate bail requirements for minor crimes- a requirement that had a huge impact on certain minorities that could not afford even low bail amounts. Chapman believes that in eliminating the bail requirement, the Act is "killing people."
Here's some key things to understand about this wrongful death case:
- A wrongful death case is a civil lawsuit for money and totally independent of the criminal charges Black will also face for the deadly shooting.
- Chris Christie, Attorney General Christopher Porrino and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation are all named defendants in the suit brought by the Rodgers family not because they physically killed Christian Rodgers but because the family believes that in sponsoring and passing the new Bail Law, they played a major role. More specifically, the only reason Jules Black was even out of custody the night of the killing is because of the Bail Law
- In order to succeed in the claims of this case, the Rodger's family will have to not only make the connection between the Bail Act and the death but also show that enacting the bail act was negligent and a breach of their duty to their citizens.
Wrongful death lawsuits can take many forms. At Walch Law, we are here to help you with your legal and financial needs following the unjustified killing of a loved one. We have the experience you want on your side. Fill our our contact us for today to schedule your free consultation-- we are available 24/7.