MIKE MASTERSON: The size of a lifetime

Price of life

It was predictable that lawyers would be lining up to file civil actions seeking at least $100 million against the owner of the duck boat that sank in a storm on Missouri's Table Rock Lake two weeks ago. Seventeen of the 31 aboard died, including four children and five other members from one Indiana family.

What were their lives worth? If Issue 1 as proposed on Arkansas' November ballot was law in Missouri, an arbitrary price tag of $500,000 would be imposed on the value of the life of every child and person lost in the tragedy. Our trial-by-jury system basically would be rigged since jurors would no longer be able to evaluate the egregiousness of the conduct. The artificial limit set by Issue 1 would apply to all, regardless of age or occupation.

As basically common-sense folks, I believe our voters will continue to trust Arkansas jurors to decide these important issues, rather than politicians and the special interests who influence them. A one-size-fits-all price tag on the value of human life is immoral and shameful.