Worawee Meepian/Getty Images

Who makes the decision to pursue criminal charges?

May 15, 2019 - 4:00 am

By Amy E. Feldman, Judge Technology Solutions

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Two men shot each other just for fun. Is that a crime? 

Two grown men in Arkansas donned bullet proof vests and took turns shooting each other with a .22-caliber semi-automatic rifle. While they seem to have beaten Darwin and his silly theory that only the strongest, smartest go on to procreate, they didn't beat the authorities who arrested them both for aggregated assault. 

But if they each were willing participants and they didn't want to press charges, why were they arrested? Because while a person can file and maintain a civil lawsuit (for money) against a wrongdoer, the decision to pursue criminal charges isn't necessarily up to the victim. 

Authorities decide when a crime has been committed and if there's enough evidence to prove the case, because otherwise victim intimidation would likely increase if a person could get off scott-free if his victim doesn't want to file charges. 

In this case, the neighbors were glad that these numbskulls won't be playing with guns in the backyard and probably hope their next game will involve playing in traffic.