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Alec Baldwin is Charged With Involuntary Manslaughter and Facing Up 1 1/2 Years in Prison

Mark Sagliocco. Getty Images.

It's been well over a year now since a cinemaphotographer was killed on the set of a movie that Alec Baldwin was producing, one that had Alec Baldwin was the star of, and with a bullet that allegedly came out of the barrel of the gun that Alec Baldwin was holding, but claims he didn't fire. 

In fact, it's been almost 15 months of investigations into the incident. To put that in perspective, The Warren Commission looked into the Kennedy Assassination beginning on December 5, 1963. That investigation involved multiple government agencies, rumors of shadowy conspiracies, interviews with hundreds of eyewitnesses, experts in everything from medicine to ballistics, and possibly untold numbers of crime figures, foreign government agents, traitors within our own ranks, and so on. And they released their findings - flawed and suspect though they might be - by September 27th of the following year. So five months less time than it's taken local law enforcement what happened on a movie set in New Mexico with about a couple of dozen people looking on. And presumably cameras rolling. 

In that time, we've gotten a handful of dreadful, ill-advised statements and unhinged iinterviews from Baldwin. His insane and creepy social media posts, some of which involve artificial sweetener. The victim's family suing him, him calling them greedy and only motivated by money, after which he counter-sued them. The whole story has been a 9.0 on the Crazy Celebrity Richter Scale, shaking everything and everyone involved to the foundation. With the exception of the law enforcement looking into it. They've taken their sweetass time deciding what to do. Until now:

Source - Alec Baldwin was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Halyna Hutchins. 

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, who was the armorer on the film ‘Rust,’ was also charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter. …

New Mexico First Judicial District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies announced the charges Thursday morning, more than a year after Hutchins' tragic death. …

"Involuntary manslaughter in New Mexico is a Class D felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison," former Assistant U.S. Attorney Neama Rahmani explained to Fox News Digital. "If Baldwin is convicted, I can see him being sentenced at or near the max."

"Baldwin has a strong defense case, and I can see him pushing the case to trial for legal and public relations reasons," he continued. "He has to think about his acting career in addition to doing time. But if he rolls the dice and loses at trial, the judge may hammer him for causing Hutchins' death."

Because everything is ridiculous now, there were people on one side calling Baldwin a murderer and saying he should get the death penalty. Then people on the other end of the spectrum saying he's a victim of circumstances and anything less than moving on and forgetting the whole thing would be unfair to this American treasure who's brought us so much joy. When, as always, the right thing to do was nowhere near those extremes. 

According to Mirriam-Webster, Involuntary Manslaughter is "manslaughter resulting from the failure to perform a legal duty expressly required to safeguard human life, from the commission of an unlawful act not constituting a felony, or from the commission of a lawful act in a negligent or improper manner." It sounds like that definition was written specifically for this case. It's beyond absurd to say that Baldwin "murdered" anyone, since that involves intent. Hutchins didn't die as a result of some elaborate, Knives Out-style plot to put a loaded gun on a movie set. 

Nor was it just an honest mistake that could've happened to anyone. It was negligence. Shoddy precautions in a workplace where people are hired specifically to make sure the environment is safe.  Baldwin's name is in the credits as Producer, which puts him in charge. Same as if an employee is killed in the transmission shop you own or your family's pizza place.

Assuming all the facts and events as they've been reported so far are accurate, I honestly can't see how you can argue this isn't the right outcome. Charge him with Involuntary Manslaughter. Give him his day in court. Let a jury decide.

Regardless, it's a like a Greek tragedy. A guy who had it all. Fame. Looks. Brains. Incredible amounts of talent. Brought down by one act of on-the-job carelessness. Maybe brought about by cutting corners, arrogance, or as the Ancients would've called it, "hubris," that ended some poor young woman's life. Tremendously sad.

Of course it bears repeating that it's saddest of all for Halyna Hutchins and her loved ones. And justice for her and them is all that matters. But to a much, much less degree, it's bad for all of us who've loved this artists' work. If he goes to jail for 18 months, moments like these will never feel the same: