Federal Constitutional Court approves verdict against Ku'damm speeders
Created: 2022-12-16Updated: 2022-12-16, 12:28 p.m
Vehicle parts lie after an illegal car race in Tauentzienstraße.
© Britta Pedersen/dpa/archive image
A driver wants to cross a street at night when the light turns green.
He has no idea that two racers are racing there at up to 170 kilometers per hour - and has no chance.
The case has occupied the judiciary for years.
Does the death driver deserve the maximum penalty?
Karlsruhe - Almost seven years after a fatal car race on Berlin's Ku'damm, the Federal Constitutional Court has approved the murder verdict against one of the two speeders.
The judges in Karlsruhe did not accept his constitutional complaint for a decision, as they announced on Friday.
The man was not violated by his sentence to life imprisonment in his constitutionally guaranteed rights.
The judgment had been final for two and a half years.
The then 26-year-old spontaneously and an acquaintance had an illegal race on February 1, 2016 shortly after midnight in the middle of Berlin on Kurfürstendamm and Tauentzienstrasse.
At an intersection near the Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) he rammed a car that came out of a side street and was green at 160 to 170 kilometers per hour.
Its driver, a retired doctor, had no chance.
He died at the scene of the accident.
The case also caused a stir because the Berlin district court had initially sentenced both speeders to life imprisonment for murder.
That had never happened before.
The Federal Court of Justice (BGH) overturned this first judgment in its entirety.
The second Berlin trial ended in 2019 with two life sentences for murder.
In June 2020, the BGH then confirmed this judgment for the actual death driver.
The core question was always whether the speeder really had intent to kill.
Because for a conviction as a murderer, the perpetrator must at least have recognized that someone could die as a result of his actions and have come to terms with it.
In its second judgment, which was confirmed by the BGH on this point, the regional court assumed that there was a conditional intent to kill on the last leg.
Both would have wanted to win the race - "no matter what the cost".
The men would have known that the bonnet and airbag of their high-horsepower cars would protect them in the event of a collision with a crossing vehicle.
In the opinion of the constitutional judges, there is nothing to object to in this delimitation.
They also see no violation of the principle that the punishment must be proportionate to the seriousness of the crime and the fault of the perpetrator.
The regional court took into account his personality, his attitude towards driving and the self-assessment of his driving skills.
The second so-called Ku'damm racer, who did not collide with the victim's car, has now been sentenced to 13 years in prison for attempted murder.
His case had to be heard a third time because the BGH saw no evidence of complicity.
Since 2017, speeders who kill people in illegal races can be jailed for up to 10 years.
For the Berlin case, however, this new criminal offense came too late.
(Az. 2 BvR 1404/20) dpa