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Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:29 PM

Unstable ground: The fine line between self-defense and murder

CNN reviewed four deadly force cases, each with a unique set of circumstances that tested the boundaries of Stand Your Ground laws. Each also raises questions about where the line is drawn between legitimate fear and vigilantism.

Is the use of deadly force justified when the attacker has no weapon and doesn't touch the person who feels threatened? If an intruder has been subdued, is shooting him or her justified? Can a person chase someone down and then claim self-defense? Are Stand Your Ground laws necessary or were existing laws enough?
http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/29/us/stand-your-ground/?hpt=hp_c1


Balanced piece from CNN on Stand Your Ground and Make My Day laws.

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Reply Unstable ground: The fine line between self-defense and murder (Original post)
Starboard Tack Apr 2012 OP
saras Apr 2012 #1
gejohnston Apr 2012 #2
rrneck Apr 2012 #3
Meiko Apr 2012 #4

Response to Starboard Tack (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:52 PM

1. Easy questions. No, no, no, existing laws are too lax

 

The first case is a psycho killer who shot under utter trivial provocation and then made shit up.

"He said witnesses at the scene told him that Adkins "went beserk" on his son, raising his hands and yelling: "What the hell, you almost hit me" and to "watch where the f*** you're going."

That's not going berserk. That's a fairly reasonable response to someone in a car who's stupid and careless enough to nearly kill people through inattention.

#####################################3

"And a few days earlier, while they were away, someone in a camper parked in front of their house, used their hose and left the water running." OH MY GOD, I HAVE TO SHOOT SOMEONE!

############################################

Gonzales confronted the boys and, holding a shotgun, asked them what they were doing in his home, attorneys said. He ordered the boys to get down on their knees.

He told one boy to "drop it," prosecutor Druker said. A bag of Cheetos fell to the floor. The boys testified at trial that Gonzales then smacked them with the shotgun.

"They had hits all over their body," Druker said. "He then had them all laying face-down, subdued. These kids weren't going to go at him. He was screaming at them."

Another psycho killer, offing someone over a bag of Cheetos.


These are NOT good test cases. They demonstrate that there needs to be a big, fat, wide DMZ between legal, acceptable behavior and shooting someone, whether in self-defense or not.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:20 PM

2. hardly balanced

the writer might have been trying to be balanced, but failed in basic research.
Is the use of deadly force justified when the attacker has no weapon and doesn't touch the person who feels threatened?
depends if it is a disparity of force. Bare hands kill more people than "assault weapons"
If an intruder has been subdued, is shooting him or her justified?
no, I don't know of any jurisdictions that allows summery executions
Can a person chase someone down and then claim self-defense?
If you break off the chase and then are attacked.
Are Stand Your Ground laws necessary or were existing laws enough?
Stupid question, there are many states, like California and Utah, where SYG is existing law and has been before Florida.

The CNN article is inaccurate. Illinois SYG has been in place since 1961 by law. Other states like Washington, Utah, California, Oregon, Kentucky have been SYG by common law even before that.
In the article, it mentions the Workman. Their case has nothing to do with SYG. Castle Doctrine, but not SYG. If the article is accurate, it would be justifiable even under DTR from the home (the opposite of Castle Doctrine).

The Texas case has nothing to do with SYG either, it is a protect your property case based on a law from the 1970s.

Also, don't they learn to use dictionaries in school anymore or is newspeak standard English now? Only one case might be described as vigilantism.

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Response to Starboard Tack (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:20 PM

3. What is the difference

between an unproveable claim of immanent death and an unprovable claim of an attempt to retreat? In either case the survivor can claim justification if there is no evidence to support or refute the claim?

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Response to Starboard Tack (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:45 PM

4. Wow, that was a long read.

 

1st case- The shooter should be prosecuted and spend some time in jail. He totally overreacted. He had the power to defuse the situation at any time, He could have simply rolled up his windows or driven away. You don't shoot and kill someone because you think they are armed.

2nd case- The owner of the property should not have went outside and confronted the individual, this is the critical point in the altercation.He could have closed the door and waited to see what would happen. Firing a warning shot is useless and in many places it is illegal. Once the man entered their house it was case closed. There was a struggle and the man was shot and killed, game over. Armed or not he forced his way into someones home and at that point there is no requirement for you to retreat.

3rd case-You never shoot anyone in the back, period. This guy lost control of the situation and was forced to shoot someone. He should not have been standing close enough to the invaders that one of them could lunge at him. Even if all the boys decided to run what was the shooter going to do? shoot them all. This needs to go to court and be looked at by a jury.

4th case-Once the person runs it's all over. You cannot chase a person down and shoot them, sorry. Turning the guy lose was the wrong thing to do.

During any confrontation emotions are running high but you have to be able to control the situation if you are carrying a gun. You must retreat if at all possible if you can do so safely. It is also important to practice "situational awareness" and this goes for everyone, armed or not. It is dangerous to be walking or driving around with a cell phone or IPOD in your ear not paying attention to what is going on around you. Many confrontations could be avoided by the use of "situational awareness techniques.

It is always a bad situation when a person is forced to kill another. The regret, the smothering emotional burden, the legal issues. It is never a clean and cut deal. Along with using a firearm comes a lot of responsibility, to yourself and those around you. Who have to know when to escape and when to stand your ground, that takes training and practice, yes I actually think people who carry weapons should take extra training classes. It makes you a safer and better prepared gun owner. For myself I have attended several handgun training courses and they have all been very helpful. I would suggest training for anyone about to buy a gun as well as those who already do.

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