German Wings 4U9525: Why this rush to judgement?

Ever since the French prosecutor’s press conference this morning, there has been a rush to judgement and the guilt of Andreas Lubitz is taken as being proved beyond any doubt. It may well be so but the rush leaves me feeling a little uncomfortable. There has even been a competition in the media to use ever more sensational adjectives. “Mass murderer” and “killer” are common. But what the French prosecutor actually said is:

According to Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin, Lubitz acted “for a reason we cannot fathom right now but which looks like intent to destroy this aircraft. He voluntarily … allowed the loss of altitude of the plane, which he had no reason to do. He had … no reason to stop the pilot-in-command from coming back into the cockpit. He had no reason to refuse to answer to the air controller who was alerting him on the loss of altitude,” 

Maybe there are no other alternatives and all the conclusions being reached are perfectly justified. Maybe the sounds of his breathing which are being used to state that he was fully conscious and breathing normally are absolutely conclusive. Maybe there was no possibility that he could have been incapacitated and still have that breathing pattern. Maybe his 5 month break from his training for what a friend has called “depression and burn-out” is conclusive proof – as the media seem to assume – that he was mentally disturbed.

Maybe.

Now the assumption of his guilt itself will colour the consideration of any mechanical fault or any other possibility.

I would have preferred to have seen a more considered elimination of all other alternatives before this unseemly rush to judgement. Rushing to name him the killer and the mass-murderer will not help any of the victims. But it could lead to incomplete investigations of other relevant areas.

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2 Responses to “German Wings 4U9525: Why this rush to judgement?”

  1. German Wings 4U9525: Could Andreas Lubitz even be innocent? | The k2p blog Says:

    […] I wrote a few days ago that though the guilt of Andreas Lubitz was being taken as proved beyond all reasonable doubt, I felt that even if it was so, the French prosecutor was rushing a little too fast to judgement. I wrote then: […]

  2. Leslie Lauger Says:

    Is not it unusual for authorities to say five days after the crash that the black box containing the flight data recording may never be found? The other black box was found, why can’t the other be found. There is no body of water for it to be lost in. Besides that black boxes are brought up from the ocean. Also, I see large pieces of the plane in the debris. Why would any authority five days after the crash let the media know that the second black box may never be found? This announcement goes with the first announcement that the co-pilot did it, and did it on purpose. This makes me uncomfortable also.

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