Dick in the Pokey

From Holden:

Dick Cheney better keep praying for Harry Whittington.

If the man wounded by Dick Cheney dies, the vice president could _ in theory at least _ face criminal charges, even though the shooting was an accident.

Dallas defense attorney David Finn, who has been a state and a federal prosecutor, said Wednesday that a Texas grand jury could bring a charge of criminally negligent homicide if there is evidence the vice president knew or should have known “there was a substantial or unjustifiable risk that his actions would result in him shooting a fellow hunter.”

“The risk must be of such a nature and degree that it got to be pretty outrageous _ that a reasonable person would have to say, `I am not pulling the trigger because this other guy might be in front of me,'” Finn said.

The charge carries up to two years behind bars, but with no previous felonies Cheney would be eligible for probation, the former prosecutor said.

Mark Skurka, first assistant district attorney of the three-county area where the shooting took place, said prosecutors did not have an investigation under way.

“If something unfortunate happens, then we’ll decide what to do, then we’ll decide whether we’re going to have an investigation or not,” Skurka said.