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View Poll Results: Where does fault lie?
Criminal charges should be filed. Stewart is finished in racing. 30 11.11%
Should lose a lawsuit, but Stewart can salvage his career. 8 2.96%
Tragic accident, blame on both sides. 68 25.19%
Jeff Ward shouldn't have walked on the track. 164 60.74%
Voters: 270. You may not vote on this poll

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      08-12-2014, 09:48 PM   #89
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I am curious as to what you all think of this article

"USA Today


Tony Stewart could still face criminal charges for running down Kevin Ward Jr. with his sprint car, even if the three-time NASCAR champion didn't mean to kill Ward, hurt him or even scare him.

Ontario County Sheriff Philip Povero, who announced on Tuesday that the investigation is continuing, has said that his initial findings have turned up nothing that would indicate criminal intent in the crash at the Canandaigua Motorsports Park.

But legal experts agree that does not mean Stewart is in the clear.

The NASCAR star could be charged with second-degree manslaughter under New York law if prosecutors believe he "recklessly caused the death of another person," with negligent homicide another possibility, according to criminal law professor Corey Rayburn Yung of the Kansas University School of Law.

"The question over whether someone was reckless is a factual one, and one a prosecutor might let a jury decide," said Yung, who also posts at the Concurring Opinion blog.

Athletes in competition often do things that would get the average person arrested — think two boxers in the ring, or a baserunner sliding into second with his spikes high. But sometimes an act is so far outside the bounds of accepted sporting behavior that it becomes a crime, as former major leaguer Jose Offerman learned when he was charged with felony assault for rushing the mound — swinging a bat — after he was hit by a pitch in a minor league game.

So Stewart would not expect to be charged for the car-on-car bump that sent Ward spinning into the wall. But if, for example, he were to tell police that he saw Ward on the track and tried to shower him with dirt or otherwise send him a message, a first-degree manslaughter charge could be a possibility, Yung said.

In a 1949 case that Yung uses in his class, midget car racer Joseph Sostilio was found guilty of manslaughter after he tried to squeeze a four foot-wide vehicle through a two-foot opening at 40 mph, crashing into another car and sending it into the one driven by Stephen D. Bishop. Bishop's car flipped three times and he was killed.

Sostilio's conviction was upheld on appeal by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Noting that a violent or aggressive act on a football field or in a boxing ring is not necessarily a crime, Justice Henry Tilton Lummus wrote: "In the present case physical contact was not an essential part of the racing of automobiles."

That was a half-century ago, and racing has changed. Trading paint is a part of the sport, and it's not even uncommon these days for racers to leave their cars to confront rivals after a crash, which Ward appeared to be doing when he was killed.

"In sports we tend to allow all sorts of conduct we'd never allow in another circumstance," Yung said. "But this isn't a collision. It's not in that ballpark; it's something you don't expect. This is a more complicated scenario. We're assuming Stewart didn't mean to do this, and yet a death resulted."

Whether Stewart's actions were part of racing depends on what the police investigation finds. Unlike the cars Stewart drives on the NASCAR circuit, the sprint cars have no radios or instrument data recorders that could tell authorities exactly what was happening when Stewart hit Ward.

Povero would not say how Stewart described the accident, but he said Monday he has reviewed two videos and spoken to Stewart.

"The worst thing that could happen for Stewart is if his story doesn't seem to match other evidence," Yung said. "Because then it might call into question his own story."

Povero's previous comments that he found no criminal intent all but rules out the possibility of a first-degree murder charge, which would essentially require a confession that Stewart was trying to kill Ward. For second-degree murder, prosecutors would need to prove Stewart was reckless in combination with a "depraved indifference to human life."

"Mr. Stewart has fully cooperated with the police officers that are investigating," Povero said in a news conference shortly after the race. "He was visibly shaken by this incident, and has promised his continuing cooperation in this investigation."


After the investigation is completed, Povero said, the evidence will be turned over to the district attorney as a matter of routine. Even if he is cleared by prosecutors, though, Stewart could face a civil suit.

Although the standard of proof is lower than in a criminal case, the civil court would also consider Ward's state of mind at the time of the accident and whether he was also negligent in venturing into racing traffic on a dark track in a dark suit.

But Stewart would also have to weigh the damage to his image and career — with his own team, tracks and millions in endorsements — making a quick settlement likely."
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      08-12-2014, 09:55 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by 954Stealth View Post
I am curious as to what you all think of this article

"USA Today


Tony Stewart could still face criminal charges for running down Kevin Ward Jr. with his sprint car, even if the three-time NASCAR champion didn't mean to kill Ward, hurt him or even scare him.

*snip*
Sounds like they are digging up something to get people to read their outdated newspaper.

According to some nobody at a low ranked law school.....
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      08-14-2014, 01:38 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by su_maverick View Post
Sounds like they are digging up something to get people to read their outdated newspaper.

According to some nobody at a low ranked law school.....
Actually sounded just right to me.

If Stewart did gun the engine, and the rear did step out, that's either involuntary manslaughter or negligent homicide. Intent is not necessary, just negligence. A pro gunning the engine while going past someone at 40 MPH under a yellow would constitute that. As the author says, the worst case scenario is if Stewart told the police he didn't gun the engine, and videos show otherwise. That kind of stuff will tick a prosecutor off.

At least some of Ward's family is very angry. As the author says, there will be a lawsuit. And Stewart will pay rather than have a public trial.

So I think the author got it right.

BTW, US News and World Report rated Yung's school at #68 out of 200 or so. Hardly low. He got his law degree from UVA, rated eighth. And has had a number of articles printed in Law Review Journals. Not that this analysis requires a star.

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      08-14-2014, 08:31 AM   #92
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Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
Actually sounded just right to me.

If Stewart did gun the engine, and the rear did step out, that's either involuntary manslaughter or negligent homicide. Intent is not necessary, just negligence. A pro gunning the engine while going past someone at 40 MPH under a yellow would constitute that. As the author says, the worst case scenario is if Stewart told the police he didn't gun the engine, and videos show otherwise. That kind of stuff will tick a prosecutor off.

At least some of Ward's family is very angry. As the author says, there will be a lawsuit. And Stewart will pay rather than have a public trial.

So I think the author got it right.

BTW, US News and World Report rated Yung's school at #68 out of 200 or so. Hardly low. He got his law degree from UVA, rated eighth. And has had a number of articles printed in Law Review Journals. Not that this analysis requires a star.
Not trying to pick a fight but #68 out of 200 for law schools might as well have you at the bottom.

My reaction to the article was that it was purely a fluff piece that does nothing to actually enlighten readers.

The only piece of evidence that could hurt Stewart is if it is shown that he acted in a way that was abnormal for the situation that he was in and in disregard for human life. The fact that Ward placed himself into an extremely dangerous situation and even moved to be directly in the line of Stewart would render a civil trial very tough to prove unless there is sufficient evidence for a criminal one (Stewart did something intentionally that lead to the death of Ward).

Im not on the side of either driver. I think Stewart is a hothead and I think Ward followed suit and did something incredibly stupid that cost him his life. That is why I said that most of the blame (whether the death was intentional or not) should fall on the governing bodies for these racing series. It is their job to make sure that rules and regulations are in place to ensure that this does not happen no matter the state of mind of the driver.

- There should be a rule in place that all drivers must remain in their cars unless in an emergency situation
- Once Ward exited his car and walked onto the track, there should have been an all-stop ordered until he was taken away.
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      08-14-2014, 07:54 PM   #93
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These drivers blip the throttle, and use throttle to turn the cars.

Even if Tony did hit the gas, it was probably to get the car to turn to try and avoid hitting Ward.

Even if Tony HAD maybe swerved and tried to roost Ward, something I could see a hot-head doing, we know Tony would never actually try to hit Ward, and so it becomes a terrible accident, caused by two hot-heads.

Short of Tony intentionally wanting to kill Ward, and literally running him down on purpose, I can't put any blame on Tony because none of this would have even been possible if Ward had'nt gotten out of his car and jumped in front of Tony's car.
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      08-14-2014, 08:59 PM   #94
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Tony will probably end up paying the family an undisclosed amount of money. I actually think he would have good chance winning in court, if sued.
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      08-14-2014, 11:27 PM   #95
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I thought that 'Ward shouldn't be on the track' is so obvious i'm sick if seeing people write this.... my God.

I'm amazed people are forming such strong opinions on what might be a few frames of video between the #45 car passing and Wark getting hit.

I really wonder if there's on board video from Stewart's car.
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      08-14-2014, 11:58 PM   #96
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I just read that Tony Stewart is retiring from NASCAR and all racing activities, and is selling his half interest in Stewart-Haas Racing.
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      08-15-2014, 01:01 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by Tom Droze View Post
I just read that Tony Stewart is retiring from NASCAR and all racing activities, and is selling his half interest in Stewart-Haas Racing.
good one.
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      08-15-2014, 01:17 AM   #98
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^
Yup
If anyone knows Tony, he would never do something like that.
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      08-15-2014, 05:53 AM   #99
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Originally Posted by Tom Droze View Post
I just read that Tony Stewart is retiring from NASCAR and all racing activities, and is selling his half interest in Stewart-Haas Racing.
Guilty conscience? Assuming he has one - I believe most people are only now starting to see the true colors of someone who they thought they knew..

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      08-15-2014, 07:22 AM   #100
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I will say in a race red mist takes over a lot of drivers and leads to stupid, regrettable behavior. But I believe Stewart being an a old vet has more control than that despite his reputation. He had nothing to gain and everything to lose. I have a feeling Stewart will say he didn't see him until the last second. Look at how visibility is minimized by the right side wing endplate, it's like driving with a 4x8 plywood blinder on your right side.

Terrifying to see Ward's body twisted like that, the safety workers look tells the story that he was likely dead already. Even though the yellow flag was out the cars were still doing what looks like 60 mph, Ward may have gotten knocked under by the anti-overlap bar and wrapped under the rear wheel, and then throw. A horrible, sad accident.

I'll be interested and surely shocked by what the press and public who don't know racing turn this into. We love destroying celebrities, especially ones with a history of bad behavior.

Stewart is not going to be the same person after this.

http://jalopnik.com/what-we-dont-kno...-cr-1619025270
This is the best post here. Sprint cars have terrible visibility. Throw in a night race at a local track with poor lighting, banking, in a curve, variable traction that sprint tracks have, and some dumb-ass 20-year old hot head driver who breaks the first rule they teach in drivers school (stay in your car), and someone ends up getting killed and the other has his career altered because of it. And a media frenzy to persecute an innocent celebrity in a sport they know nothing about and are too stupid to understand you can't apply the dynamic attributes of a street car to that of a race car, let alone a Sprint car on a sprint track.

There's no issue here. The kid got out of his car on a race track, decided to confront a car (thinking he's confronting the driver), and put himself in a situation to get killed. Story over.

Stop turning this thing into the JFK assassination...

Last edited by Efthreeoh; 08-15-2014 at 07:28 AM..
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      08-15-2014, 09:10 AM   #101
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Cory Sparks says NASCAR driver appeared to turn away from Kevin Ward Jr.

http://autoweek.com/article/nascar-s...-avoid-hitting

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A fellow driver is coming to NASCAR star Tony Stewart’s defense.

Cory Sparks, who was competing in the race where Tony Stewart struck and killed Kevin Ward Jr., told the Rochester Warner Cable News that from his perspective, Stewart did everything he could do to avoid Ward.

“From what I saw, Tony did everything in his power to turn down away from Kevin to avoid him,” Sparks told the Rochester news station on Wednesday.

At the time of the collision, Sparks was a few cars behind Stewart. He also said the video that has been going around does not tell the whole story.

“People say that they heard the engine rev up and he gassed it,” Sparks said. “In a Sprint Car, the only way to steer is you steer with the rear wheels as much as you do the steering wheel. In my opinion, what he did was he gassed it to turn down away from him.”

Sparks also stated that visibility in a Sprint Car, especially from the right side, isn’t great.

“Kevin was wearing all black. A black fire suit, a black helmet, which in normal situations isn’t a big deal, they are to go with the colors of your car. It was a tragic accident and a mistake was made,” Sparks said.


Stewart did not race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race in Watkins Glen last week, and it is unclear if he will race at Michigan this week.
The driver a couple of cars behind Stewart knows much more about the accident and Sprint Cars in general than the speculators on the internet? It does make "reasonable doubt" to there being a crime committed more difficult to prove.
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      08-15-2014, 10:36 AM   #102
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New rule implemented as hoped for
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      08-15-2014, 11:10 AM   #103
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1MOREMOD View Post
New rule implemented as hoped for
What is said rule....stay in the car? I don't think it matters if it is a rule or not! It was a "rule of thumb" before that everyone should adhere to for safety reasons. I would listen to reasonable "rules of thumb" the same as strict rules that kept me safe. This goes for all sports.

Last edited by happos2; 08-15-2014 at 11:56 AM..
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      08-15-2014, 12:07 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
This is the best post here. Sprint cars have terrible visibility. Throw in a night race at a local track with poor lighting, banking, in a curve, variable traction that sprint tracks have, and some dumb-ass 20-year old hot head driver who breaks the first rule they teach in drivers school (stay in your car), and someone ends up getting killed and the other has his career altered because of it. And a media frenzy to persecute an innocent celebrity in a sport they know nothing about and are too stupid to understand you can't apply the dynamic attributes of a street car to that of a race car, let alone a Sprint car on a sprint track.

There's no issue here. The kid got out of his car on a race track, decided to confront a car (thinking he's confronting the driver), and put himself in a situation to get killed. Story over.

Stop turning this thing into the JFK assassination...
If sprint cars have terrible visibility, it applies to all of them, not just Tonys car, right?
So answer this question, how come everybody else, who was driving under the yellow flag, with reduced speed, about 40mph i believe, was able to see that kid, but Tony did not?
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      08-15-2014, 12:17 PM   #105
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happos2 View Post
What is said rule....stay in the car? I don't think it matters if it is a rule or not! It was a "rule of thumb" before that everyone should adhere to for safety reasons. I would listen to reasonable "rules of thumb" the same as strict rules that kept me safe. This goes for all sports.
Just saw it on sports center. Basically stay in car, stay in line no weaving behind lead car during incident and so on. No penalty set.
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      08-15-2014, 02:23 PM   #106
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If sprint cars have terrible visibility, it applies to all of them, not just Tonys car, right?
So answer this question, how come everybody else, who was driving under the yellow flag, with reduced speed, about 40mph i believe, was able to see that kid, but Tony did not?
The video I saw showed just 1 car go by Ward before Tony came around the track. So the first driver had a better view, or didn't see the kid and just got lucky and didn't hit him. Ward aggressively walked towards Tony's car. Maybe Tony just didn't see him due to ambient lighting conditions and the 1st car blocking the initial view of Ward that Tony may have had. Or maybe Tony may have been checking other traffic that was around him. I find it funny that posts are going into the video and the sound alignment of throttle applications etc.; it's like the grassy knoll theory of JFK's murder. Sprint car tracks are a combination of rubber, grease, oil, dirt, and ruts. It's hard to predict what a sprint car will do when give sudden inputs of brake or throttle. There are just too many variables involved here to make a determination that Stewart had any ill intention to use his car as a device to scare the kid and ended up accidentally running him over. Had the kid stayed in his car like he should have, he'd be alive now, but he made the decision to walk out on the track; he put himself in jeopardy.
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      08-15-2014, 03:26 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
The video I saw showed just 1 car go by Ward before Tony came around the track. So the first driver had a better view, or didn't see the kid and just got lucky and didn't hit him. Ward aggressively walked towards Tony's car. Maybe Tony just didn't see him due to ambient lighting conditions and the 1st car blocking the initial view of Ward that Tony may have had. Or maybe Tony may have been checking other traffic that was around him. I find it funny that posts are going into the video and the sound alignment of throttle applications etc.; it's like the grassy knoll theory of JFK's murder. Sprint car tracks are a combination of rubber, grease, oil, dirt, and ruts. It's hard to predict what a sprint car will do when give sudden inputs of brake or throttle. There are just too many variables involved here to make a determination that Stewart had any ill intention to use his car as a device to scare the kid and ended up accidentally running him over. Had the kid stayed in his car like he should have, he'd be alive now, but he made the decision to walk out on the track; he put himself in jeopardy.
After rewatching this video several times, i have to agree with you. Ward did walk toward Tonys car very aggressively. A suicide move.
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      08-15-2014, 03:53 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by su_maverick View Post
.The fact that Ward placed himself into an extremely dangerous situation and even moved to be directly in the line of Stewart would render a civil trial very tough to prove unless there is sufficient evidence for a criminal one (Stewart did something intentionally that lead to the death of Ward).
One more (and last) time. Criminal liability is not contingent on intent. The terms negligent homicide and involuntary manslaughter are appropriately descriptive. If Stewart nailed the gas at 40 MPH under yellow, since there is absolutely no need, that would be enough. As a pro he is well aware what 600 HP at 40 MPH on dirt can do. Witness the guys spinning at Indy on the pace lap.

Making the "lack of intent can still be criminal" thing clear (it's widely misunderstood by the media) is one reason the article is a good one.

If he is found guilty or pleads to any crime at all, the civil case is a slam dunk. In any event a multimillion dollar settlement is no doubt better for Stewart than a trial.

Whether they have strong legal significance or not, Stewart's reputation and past actions are going to make any process more difficult for him. They'll almost certainly be admissible, as a "pattern of conduct".

The lawyer quoted in the article is clearly not in the bottom of his profession. Law school professor (even at a school rated 68th of 200) with several publications puts him well into the top 10%.

Finally, Stewart would definitely be looking that way, if only to see how badly the other car was messed up. The idea any pro would be staring straight ahead, ignoring the scene, like a racehorse with blinders, is not credible.

Everything turns on one question. Did he nail the gas? If not, everything everybody says about the difficulty of proving something beyond a reasonable doubt, is true. But if he did, that's enough, intent to harm Ward or not. I'll bet the video is good enough to show wheelspin, and that the prosecutor has forensic scientists studying it in detail.

Last edited by 128Convertibleguy; 08-15-2014 at 04:14 PM..
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      08-15-2014, 04:18 PM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 128Convertibleguy View Post
One more (and last) time. Criminal liability is not contingent on intent. The terms negligent homicide and involuntary manslaughter are appropriately descriptive. If Stewart nailed the gas at 40 MPH under yellow, since there is absolutely no need, that would be enough. As a pro he is well aware what 600 HP at 40 MPH on dirt can do. Witness the guys spinning at Indy on the pace lap.

Making the "lack of intent can still be criminal" thing clear (it's widely misunderstood by the media) is one reason the article is a good one.

If he is found guilty or pleads to any crime at all, the civil case is a slam dunk. In any event a multimillion dollar settlement is no doubt better for Stewart than a trial.

Whether they have strong legal significance or not, Stewart's reputation and past actions are going to make any process more difficult for him. They'll almost certainly be admissible, as a "pattern of conduct".

The lawyer quoted in the article is clearly not in the bottom of his profession. Law school professor (even at a school rated 68th of 200) with several publications put him well into the top 10%.

Finally, Stewart would definitely be looking that way, if only to see how badly the other car was messed up. The idea he'd be staring straight ahead, ignoring the scene, is not credible.

Everything turns on one question. Did he nail the gas? If not, everything everybody says about the difficulty of proving something beyond a reasonable doubt, is true. But if he did, that's enough. I'll bet the video is good enough to show wheelspin, and that the prosecutor has forensic scientists studying it.
I think I was not clear enough about 'intentional'. The difference is where 'intent' is carrying out an action where a particular outcome is desired and 'intentional' as in he did something outside of what can be expected given the circumstances that lead to the death despite that not being his intention.

I have no clue what Stewart did or didnt do and I am not trying to argue the facts (whatever they may be). All I am saying is that a wrongful death suit may be very hard to prove if the evidence gathered does not show that Stewart did anything out of the ordinary for a driver in his situation.
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      08-15-2014, 04:40 PM   #110
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When I saw what happened I saw 2nd degree murder case closed, He killed him he could of swerved away or hit the brakes! a human is no challenge for a car ever...even a newly licensed driver would know to steer away, and a pro race driver does'nt and he hit the gas?? please... again case closed.
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