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Old October 2, 2012, 12:32 PM   #12
Brian Pfleuger
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Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Central, Southern NY, USA
Posts: 18,791
It's almost impossible to same in any certain way what would even be legal or illegal in these situations, and it's almost guaranteed to vary from one locality to the next.

For instance, here in NY, by the letter of the law, at least, it's not neccesarily illegal to shoot a fleeing person who has committed certain felonies.

Unfortunately, what really matters is case law, not so much the "letter" of the law. The only way you're going to know case law is if you're either an attorney who routinely deals with these cases or you PAY a lawyer to research them for you. Being that these instances are so rare, I'm not sure there's even such a thing as a lawyer that deals with them routinely and I have yet to hear anyone volunteer to pay a lawyer to research it.

The easiest and wisest answer is that you don't shoot/chase or otherwise harass a fleeing perpetrator. Yes, we can all come up with scenarios that defy the rule but that's the origin of the phrase "The exception that proves the rule"... you can't have exceptions if the rule isn't valid.
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