Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin speaks on the phone in the parking lot outside the Santa Fe County Sheriff's Office in Santa Fe, N.M., after he was questioned about a shooting on the set of the film "Rust" on the outskirts of Santa Fe, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin fired a prop gun on the set, killing cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounding director Joel Souza, officials said. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)
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By Andrew Dalton, AP

Alec Baldwin on Friday asked a judge in New Mexico to dismiss a five-year firearm sentencing enhancement in the charges against him, saying it is unconstitutionally based on a law passed after the shooting on the set of the film “Rust.”

“The prosecutors committed a basic legal error by charging Mr. Baldwin under a version of the firearm-enhancement statute that did not exist on the date of the accident,” a court filing from Baldwin’s attorneys said.

Baldwin and Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, the weapons supervisor on the set of the Western, were charged last month with felony involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins.

Hutchins died shortly after being wounded during rehearsals at a ranch on the outskirts of Santa Fe on Oct. 21, 2021. Baldwin was pointing a pistol at Hutchins when the gun went off, killing her and wounding the director, Joel Souza. Hutchins’ parents and sister filed a lawsuit over the shooting Thursday, after a similar suit filed by her husband and son was settled.

Baldwin’s attorneys also filed a motion on Tuesday to disqualify the special prosecutor in the case, asserting that her position as a state lawmaker constitutionally prohibits her from holding any authority in a judicial capacity.

Baldwin’s legal team is mounting an aggressive legal fight against the charges before he has even made his initial court appearance, which is scheduled to take place by videoconference later this month. Baldwin has not been arrested.

“Another day, another motion from Alec Baldwin and his attorneys in an attempt to distract from the gross negligence and complete disregard for safety on the ‘Rust’ film set that led to Halyna Hutchins’ death,” district attorney’s spokeswoman Heather Brewer said in an email.

She added that the prosecution team “will review all motions — even those given to the media before being served to the DA. However, the DA’s and the special prosecutor’s focus will always remain on ensuring that justice is served and that everyone — even celebrities with fancy attorneys — is held accountable under the law.”

The manslaughter charges against Baldwin and Gutierrez-Reed include two alternative standards and sets of penalties, and a jury can decide which to pursue, according to prosecutors.

One version would require proof of negligence, which is punishable by up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine under New Mexico law.

The second alternative is reckless disregard of safety “without due caution and circumspection.” It carries a higher threshold of wrongdoing and includes the gun enhancement that could result in a mandatory five years in prison.

But legal experts said Baldwin has a strong chance of seeing it thrown out.

“This is a violation of the ex post facto clause of the constitution,” said Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers. “The government can’t pass a law and retroactively punish someone under that law. The judge is likely going to toss that enhancement and so Baldwin is just looking at a maximum sentence of 18 months in jail.”

In court documents, the district attorney’s office said reckless safety failures accompanied the film production from the outset, and that Baldwin’s “deviation from known standards, practices and protocol directly caused” Hutchins’ death.

They cited Baldwin’s failure as an actor to appear for mandatory firearms training prior to filming and his decision as a producer to work with Gutierrez-Reed, who was an uncertified and inexperienced armorer.

Baldwin’s attorney Luke Nikas said when the charges were announced that they were “a terrible miscarriage of justice.” He said Baldwin relied on the professionals with whom he worked and “had no reason to believe there was a live bullet in the gun.”

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78 COMMENTS

    • Literally came here to say exactly this. I’m so glad this happened to Baldwin. He deserves every second of having to deal with this. That’s his real punishment. We all know the Hollywood elite can duck charges like the rest of us breathe air, so I genuinely hope that whatever shred of a concise this blowhard has is getting absolutely crushed by the weight of his arrogance and idiocy.

      • This thing with Alec Baldwin is why all guns need to be banned. There are people out there that dislike guns and aren’t going to learn the behavior and handling necessary to keep them and others safe. As a result, there are always going to be “some” gun violence that can’t be prevented without a complete full ban. To prevent the next Alec Baldwin gun violence death, more laws are needed to ban them nationwide and on the movie set as well, to keep everyone safe, at least from gun violence.

        • the problem with idiots like you is that you only know what you have been told and you only listen to like minded idiots.
          somewhere there has to be a bridge with your name spray painted on it.

        • This is the fake dacian. You can tell because he can spell and punctuate.

          The real dacian lacks iq and education.

        • Some people will never learn to drive safely either. And yet we aren’t attempting to ban cars to prevent car “violence”.

        • Our nation, and our Constitution, do not guarantee us so much as a shred of safety, they guarantee our freedom. If that isn’t good enough for you, you may leave.

      • Baldwin does appear to be guilty of gross negligence resulting in a death. This is manslaughter and would merit time in prison, as well as financial liability to the family.

        I do think these mandatory “firearms enhancement” laws and charges are bullsh!t. What difference does it make if you commit manslaughter with a gun vs a knife, or other object?

        I was on a jury a decade ago (before I understood the legal principle of jury nullification) where we convicted the accused of second degree assault (plus a firearm enhancement) for shooting another guy.

        The man that got shot seemed like scum, and wasn’t seriously injured (barely grazed). Nonetheless, the shooting wasn’t legally justified (fight over money between two drug dealer types started by the shooter).

        After the verdict was announced (and before the sentencing) , the jury had a private session with the judge. Someone asked the judge about the likely sentence. The judge said 2nd degree assault was around 6-9 months, and the firearms enhanced a mandatory additional 2 years. It seems crazy that someone commiting 2nd degree assault with a hammer, sword, or battle axe, would get 6-9 months, while someone using a gun would get 30-33 months.

        I think we were wrong to convict him of that enhancement, since it is derived from an arbitrary, capricious, and unjust law (not a lawful law). If I had a do-over I would have gone jury nullification on that unjust enhancement and only convicted of the second degree assault.

    • Does this mean that law abiding citizens can keep their bump stocks, pistol braces, etc….?

      If so, I hope the court upholds Baldwin’s request and it can be used legally overturn anti-gun laws.

      • I can see it now: “Court rules the Constitution is relevant.”

        We could do all kinds of things with that precedent.

    • Maddmaxx,

      Meh, the U.S. Constitution is a “living and breathing” document, what it means now is different than what it meant 240 years ago.

      And that silly ex-post-facto clause is a historical anachronism which should not apply in our modern times.

      • uncommon_sense:
        “And that silly ex-post-facto clause is a historical anachronism which should not apply in our modern times.”
        WRONG, and I am disappointed that you, of all people, uttered that nonsense.

        • “WRONG, and I am disappointed that you, of all people, uttered that nonsense.”

          Mockery is sometimes subtle; makes it more fun. If a person has to mark mockery, sarcasm, ridicule. it takes the enjoyment out of the comment.

        • Sam I Am: “Mockery is sometimes subtle; ”
          Not even subtle in this case Sam. Some people have to be hit between the eyes with a 2×4 to get the point.
          I find it endlessly fascinating, that even my most outrageous comments will inevitably result in someone taking them seriously.
          (In other venues, I respect TTAG too much to do it here.)

        • I am not a fan of sarcasm/mockery in print, since that type of utterance needs tone of voice to identify it. When a body posts a written comment, I have a tendency to take that comment for what it’s worth. However, if that comment by uncommon_sense was intended to be sarcasm, I stand corrected. Nevertheless, I still very much appreciate it when the commenter LABELS the sarcasm or just doesn’t use sarcasm in print.

    • Yeah, but…I’ll give him this: IF he’s right and he’s being charged with a law passed only after the shooting, yeah, he’s got a point.

      IF that’s what happened.

      • “Yeah, but…I’ll give him this: IF he’s right and he’s being charged with a law passed only after the shooting, yeah, he’s got a point.”

        Apparently, Baldwin is being not being charged, at all. Does an ex post facto law matter, at this point? If he isn’t being charged, what is his standing to challenge being charged with an ex post facto law? Without the state actually issuing an arrest warrant under the newly effective law, where is the damage, the loss?

  1. “The government can’t pass a law and retroactively punish someone under that law.

    And what law was passed AFTER asshat killed the girl that he’s being charged with? OBTW isn’t that exactly what the ATF is doing right now with pistol braces?

    • “This is a violation of the ex post facto clause of the constitution,” said Neama Rahmani, president of West Coast Trial Lawyers. “The government can’t pass a law and retroactively punish someone under that law.”

      – This is a real violation of the constitutional prohibition regarding ex post facto law.

      “OBTW isn’t that exactly what the ATF is doing right now with pistol braces?”

      – No. ATF states that pistol braces are illegal as of the date the law is effective, not before. A person can be properly charged with possession after the effective date, but not for possession prior to the effective date.

      • So prior possession was ok, but subsequent possession isn’t ok? How does that NOT meet the definition of an ex post facto law?

        • Because that’s not what ex-post facto means.
          Example I’ve given before:
          You drive down the road yesterday at the posted speed limit, say 55MPH.
          Today, the .GOV changes the posted speed limit to 45MPH.
          Ex post facto is charging you for speeding (driving 55MPH) yesterday, since that is 10MPH over the new speed limit. If you continue to drive 55MPH after they change the posted speed limit, and are charged with speeding, then it’s not ex-post facto.

          If ATF is successful in a “rule” change indicating pistol braces attached to pistols are SBRs as of a particular date, then ownership of said pistol brace on a pistol is an NFA violation as of that particular date. They would not be charging you for possession of an unregistered SBR prior to the enactment date.

          If ex-post facto meant what you thought it meant, then every law passed, by definition, would be ex-post facto….

        • “So prior possession was ok, but subsequent possession isn’t ok? How does that NOT meet the definition of an ex post facto law?”

          Think about it. Under the conception that a change of legality, for any activity/reason is ex post facto, pretty much all law is ex post facto (changing from legal to illegal). Also it is quite curious that the entire host of lawyers haven’t hit upon the idea that a change in legal status of an activity/item is always ex post facto.

          Ex post facto means that under a new law, one can be charged for doing something that was legal in the past.

          For instance:You legally owned a machine gun in 2012. You legally sold that machine gun in 2017 (for a handsome profit). In January 2023, possession of any machine gun is banned, illegal, a crime. If the 2023 law is ex post facto, you could be charged with owning a machine gun in 2016…even though you sold it in 2017. Under the regulation/law regarding pistol braces, you can only be charged with possessing a pistol brace after the effective date of the pistol brace ban, not with owning/possessing a pistol brace you sold/transferred/destroyed prior to the effective date of the pistol brace. ban.

        • Except . . . those examples you both give involve “doing something” affirmatively (‘continue to drive’) AFTER passage of the new law. Possession does not. You can stick a legal item (pistol brace, bumpstock, e.g.) in your closet & do absolutely nothing with it, not touch it, not move it, not even look at it & you’re saying that after passage of an anti-possession law, that would be a crime. The speeding example involves additional behavior AFTER passage of a law, and the machine gun example presumes the new law to be EPF. Neither are the same.

      • Law against murder has existed for a long time, maybe thousands of years. He cocked the hammer. He pointed the gun at a coworker and pulled the trigger. The coworker died. He should be under arrest. All the BS to obscure the facts notwithstanding, that is pretty simple.

        • “He should be under arrest. All the BS to obscure the facts notwithstanding,…”

          Have you no heart for the elites? The work hard to achieve a status where they have special privileges, and get special treatment. What’s the point of being elite if you can’t flaunt your status? I mean, c’mon man.

    • That’s reinterpretation of their earlier interpretation of an existing law. A better parallel is the Lautenberg Amendment, which retroactively punished domestic abuse convicts (many of whom may have pled guilty to get the case resolved, never imagining that years later it would result in a lifetime ban on gun ownership).

    • Disgusting clown has repeatedly told everyone how magnificent he is. He said he would never point a gun at someone. That’s his training you know. He has more sense than to do that. Stupid bass turd…

  2. ““The prosecutors committed a basic legal error by charging Mr. Baldwin under a version of the firearm-enhancement statute that did not exist on the date of the accident,”…”

    I so want to see his hide nailed to the side of the proverbial barn and get the 5 years, after all the crap he has said over the years.

    It will be real interesting if the armorer turns state’s evidence on his arrogant ass… 🙁

  3. Breaking News: Baldwin discloses that he is, in fact, a constitutional law scholar, just like Barrack O’Bummer. And, if he had a son, he would look just like Barrack!

  4. Nobody would like to see the pompous, criminally negligent jerk nailed to the wall for what he did more than me.

    But I think his attorneys do have a point. The shooting happened in October 2021. Change to the enhancement statute to remove a “brandishing” element (which would not have been present in this case) was passed effective May 2022, and his alternative charge under that law was laid thereafter. That’s pretty much the textbook definition of an ex post facto law.

    I can’t believe the “special” prosecutor in a high profile case like this missed that. Is the fix in?

    • Never assume rinky dink prosecutors know what they’re doing. Him winning this point could potentially benefit all you brace boyz 😀 Who wooda thunk?

      • No. As Sam pointed out above, the brace regs, while stupid and likely illegal for all sorts of reasons, are not an ex post facto law.

        An ex post facto law changes the law to punish you for acts that occurred in the past; i.e., to change the law to retroactively make past conduct a crime. The brace regs are making possession of an unregistered brace *after* the effective date a crime.

        Now, there are a lot of legal arguments why that doesn’t fly. But the constitutional prohibition of ex post facto laws isn’t one.

        • “The brace regs are making possession of an unregistered brace *after* the effective date a crime.”

          Thanx !!

    • “I can’t believe the “special” prosecutor in a high profile case like this missed that. Is the fix in?”

      Still, 18 months means state penitentiary time, not cushy county lockup, so there is some solace in that.

      He should still have ample opportunity to get his backside stretched in new dimensions… 🙂

    • Yeah, ex post facto is in fact prohibited. It means you do something we don’t like and we pass a law making it illegal and charge you with violating the law after it was passed. Long standing legal principle. However that has never stopped eager beaver prosecutors from bulldozing ahead. It’s the legal principle called “fling enough shit against the wall some of it is bound to stick.”

      • “Yeah, ex post facto is in fact prohibited. It means you do something we don’t like and we pass a law making it illegal and charge you with violating the law after it was passed.”

        Kinda not quite. Think you mangled the statement you wanted to make.

        Ex Post Facto is making a law effective today, and charging you with violating the law prior to the effective date.

        Given the hundreds of thousands of laws in enacted since 1791, under your concept, why have there not been thousands of lawsuits challenging those laws as EPF?

  5. It would make one wonder given the person here if the New Mexico authorities are not playing a game to make the outcome be in Baldwin’s favor. Remember this is a Democrat state and it took them over a year to file charges on something you and I would have already gone to trial on and be behind bars. Never trust these people in a Blue State. I would think most prosecuting attorney’s wouid know that applying a law retroactively (like the ATF is doing with pistol braces) is certainly not fair and hopefully they are basing their case on existing New Mexico law.

  6. A real man wouldn’t have pulled the trigger and if a real man made a horrible mistake the real man would apologize profusely and take responsibility. Alec Baldwin isn’t even close to being a real man. Unfortunately I don’t see this hypocrite spending one single day in confinement. Heck they haven’t even arrested him and his first court appearance is by video conference. Rules for thee and such…

    • This is 100% correct. Instead of covering his ass he should of just taken responsibility.
      Instead he lied not realizing that many people had the same gun. YouTube tests etc.
      That the gun that he pulled the trigger on would be tested and found to be in perfect working order.
      He tried to act his way out of it when he should have been showing some remorse.
      He won’t do a day but lets see what happens to the armorer, she’ll do time.
      “They cut corners, ridiculously, every which way. And they get away with it.”
      “Baldwin is among the six credited producers on Rust, which had a reported budget of just $7 million.”
      Quote by Actor Michael Shannon

    • Exactly.

      …his initial court appearance, which is scheduled to take place by videoconference later this month. Baldwin has not been arrested.

      Must be celebrity privilege. Any of us “accidently” shoot some in one of those “The gun just went off!” would be arrested immediately. Doubt we’d get to play the back and forth long game in judicial proceedings either.

      • You got that right. If you weren’t able to post a million dollar bail you would be languishing in some county jail in New Mexico.

  7. So the real question is, Do we get to see the movie that took down the liberal POS, of course when it is done.

    • I personally don’t care, I could watch The Unforgiven or Tombstone again.
      The remake of The Magnificent Seven was not bad and in all 3 movies mentioned,
      nobody got “accidentally” shot and killed.

      Screw Alec Baldwin, he had two good roles.
      The Hunt for The Red October and his cameo in Glengarry Glen Ross.

  8. He’s a Jerk, but he’s got bucks, & a lot of high class lawyers & contacts,
    I think he might get his hands slapped, & maybe have to dispose of some of his $$$$$$$, but since he’s a so called celebrity, I don’t see any jail time.
    Sad , cause like so said up there ☝️, he’s a jerk.

    • I’m really really hoping he is convicted. He messed up and his failures no matter how hard he tries to deflect responsibility are obvious. Upon his conviction, I certainly hope he gets 30 days. He needs to be chopped down to size.

    • NORDNEG said, “He’s a Jerk, but he’s got bucks”!
      “He’s a Jerk” – No argument from me.
      “he’s got bucks”…….therein lies a character flaw. That is, if he wasn’t so tight with those bucks he would have taken care of business on the set and the shooting may not have occurred. He squeezed the bucks rather than spending to insure a much greater degree safety. In short, he sacrificed safety to save money and in the process a life was lost due to his arrogance. It appears that he is one of those who think that if they know how to hold a gun and pull the trigger that there is no need for further training including safety training. Of course, we on TTAG know better. Many will not even entertain/consider the idea of any safety training and that too can end in deadly consequences e.g., the movie set of Rust. People with this mindset are dangerous and an accident looking for an opportunity.

  9. I GUESS BALDWIN ; ELITE ??
    PROVES AGAIN NEVER POINT A GUN AT SOMEONE , YES WAS MAKING A MOVIE WHATEVER ..
    ONCE PULL THE TRIGGER CAN’T TAKE IT BACK …
    AT LEAST 18 MONTHS AND ANYONE ELSE ON THAT MOVIE SET …

  10. I would need to read the exact wording of the law as written. Some laws can be used against crimes the preceded their writing if the case has already been decided, some cannot.

    One of the biggest things Alex has against him is his reported lack of concern in paying attention during any firearm training.

    Still, I doubt much will happen to him.

    • Old law (in place at the time of the shooting) provided a sentencing enhancement if you recklessly brandished a firearm and wound up shooting someone. Baldwin never “brandished” the weapon (as that term is defined under the law), so the old law couldn’t have supported a charge against him.

      New law removed the brandishing element, and allows for a sentencing enhancement for recklessness with a firearm. That’s the alternative count they have charged him with.

      Look’s like application of an ex post facto law to me.

    • The brace rule, should it go into effect, does not violate the ex post facto clause of the US constitution and it’s been explained why multiple times in this discussion thread.

  11. There is no single person in the world that deserves what he is getting more than him. All that anti gun dribble that he spouted has come back to bite him in the buttocks. Hah !

    • Poor Minerva, the obvious difference that you TDS sufferers seem unable to grasp, Trump NEVER actually SHOT anyone…

    • MinorLiar,

      If anyone else had posted that totally irrelevant comment, I would have thought they were retarded. In your case, the existence of severe mental retardation was demonstrated long before that literary brain fart emerged on this forum.

      At least your chronic and probably terminal case of TDS is consistent. As is your stupidity. Go fornicate yourself, vigorously. With a rolled-up copy of the Democratic Party platform. You aren’t even clever enough to be a decent troll. You’re nothing more than a STUPID Leftist/fascist propagandist, desperately in search of relevance.

  12. @RockThisTown
    “The speeding example involves additional behavior AFTER passage of a law, and the machine gun example presumes the new law to be EPF. Neither are the same.”

    One can decry “possession” laws for a number of reasons, but activity, or lack of activity are irrelevant in determining if a law is EPF. It is the period of vulnerability that matters. Thus, both the speeding law example, and the machine gun example, are illustrative, regarding the date of applicability under a law. The constitution does not declare a law EPF only if it violates a natural, human and civil right.

    • Correctamundo!

      Laws are passed all the time that criminalize the future possession of stuff that was legal before the law was passed. E.g., designer drugs that are created to act like illegal drugs but aren’t chemically a Sch. I drug. But once the authorities figure it out, they add the “loophole” drug to the list, and possession is thereafter criminalized.

      Does that mean that if you had a stash before the law changed, you could get charged for the past possession? No, because that would be a classic EPF law.

      But does it mean that you get to legally keep your once-legal stash after the updated law goes into effect? Of course not.

      Now, can such a change in the law raise other potential legal issues (notice, due process, Fifth Amendment “takings” without compensation)? Potentially, especially if the law has 2A implications.

      But ex post facto ain’t one.

      • “But does it mean that you get to legally keep your once-legal stash after the updated law goes into effect? Of course not.”

        Thanx !!

      • You can not punish someone for a crime committed before a law is ratified…The enhancement was passed After Baldwin shot the woman… They cannot enforce that law on Baldwin..Ex post facto does apply because the law was passed “after the fact (act)”..No law is retroactive…They only want Baldwin to plead out..

        • “You can not punish someone for a crime committed before a law is ratified…The enhancement was passed After Baldwin shot the woman… They cannot enforce that law on Baldwin..Ex post facto does apply because the law was passed “after the fact (act)”

          In this instance, we do seem to have a clear example of EPF law. Presuming, of course, Baldwin has officially been charged under the enhancement.

          Wonder if threatening to charge under the enhancement is permissible, so long as the authorities never actually file the charge?

  13. @AR Libertarian
    “I find it endlessly fascinating, that even my most outrageous comments will inevitably result in someone taking them seriously.”

    “Fascinating” is a kind word.

  14. 18 months? Better than nothing. At least we’d be keeping one more commie Dem off the streets for a while, after all, the only good one is a dead one.

  15. @The TTAG Shadow
    “I am not a fan of sarcasm/mockery in print, since that type of utterance needs tone of voice to identify it. ”

    Thinking you didn’t appreciate Johnathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal”.

  16. His Legal Team’s right on this, but really all they can do is get that charged dismissed in preliminary Hearings. They’re demand that the Prosecutor be dismissed as well should be ruled as a step too far..

    His legal Team did screw up though. They just lost a very good reason for an appeal in pointing this out. Had they kept their mouths shut, they would have a very good challenge to a conviction.

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