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Old July 20, 2009, 03:01 PM   #26
OldMarksman
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Lucky, you betcha! But I would rather lean heavily in favor of giving him the benefit of the doubt and the blame for much of what happens (including collateral damage) to the perp, every bit as much as if Durden was a cop himself.
Agree!

And any criminal responsibility for collateral damage would accrue to the perp.

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It's very easy to cast doubt & Monday morning quarterback but all that does is give prosecution more to work with the next time around --
I'm afraid I can't agree. They don't need help and reasonable discussion won't help them. They already have the law, the case law, the investigative reports, and all of their professional education. They know that one cannot use deadly force to defend property in Virginia, and they know that handling a gun with alcohol in the bloodstream is not a good idea.

In this case they apparently concluded that Durden reasonably believed that he had to defend his life, and they believed they would have difficulty getting a conviction. And at the risk of making a value judgment, that is, in my humble opinion, a good thing.

But: the comment in the original post was "the decision not to prosecute can aid in decision making when deciding to shoot or not to shoot".

Had the decision been illustrative of a matter of law (and I don't see how anything sort of an appellate court decision could be), that might be true.

However, it is apparent that Durden was just plain lucky. For me, the decision would not even embolden me to go into harms way on the point in the dark of the pre-dawn hours even if I were stone sober, rather than letting the police--trained, in coordination with other officers, and paid to do so--handle it.
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Old July 20, 2009, 05:09 PM   #27
Ricky B
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I've yet to meet a prosecutor interested in the facts; they are only interested in what they can make 'fit' their desired story.
Just out of curiosity, how many prosecutors have you actually discussed cases with?
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Old July 20, 2009, 05:45 PM   #28
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An ethical prosecutor will not discuss cases with individuals not connnected to the case. A prosecutors job is to prosecute cases of law violation. He also has a budget to work with and it is in counties best interest that he not take on cases that he feels there is not enough clear evidence to convict. The OJ Simpson trial was a good case in point. The prosecutor cost the citizens of the county millions of dollars in a case that he clearly could not win. Was he guilty? I think so. But what I think or what you think does not matter. The only thing that matters is what the jury thinks. And yes, I have discussed this type of situation with both prosecutors and defense attorneys, not the outhouse lawyers on this forum.
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Old July 20, 2009, 06:00 PM   #29
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I have had prosecurtors discuss a case with me but after the jury had reached a verdict and only how the law was applied and what could or couldn't be introduced as evidence. The budget as well as public opinion (see the Duke LAX case) can influence a decision to prosecute and a case such as this which was very questionable and would fall under that public opinion battle was one that was not worth going through with. I hate to inject reace into this but since I have not heard of Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and company being involved I am assuming that that were of the same race.

All of these thiings come into play, Most prosecutors are ethical but they are not immune to outside influences including budget.
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Old July 20, 2009, 09:00 PM   #30
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An ethical prosecutor will not discuss cases with individuals not connnected to the case.
Which is one reason I asked the question of jg0001, who said "I've yet to meet a prosecutor interested in the facts; they are only interested in what they can make 'fit' their desired story." I was wondering if there was a factual basis for that claim.

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The OJ Simpson trial was a good case in point. The prosecutor cost the citizens of the county millions of dollars in a case that he clearly could not win.
Um, you must not have watched the trial. The case was a winner for the prosecution. It was a case of jury nullification.
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Old July 20, 2009, 09:14 PM   #31
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Ricky B

Did you not read in my post where I stated that it doesn't matter what you or I think? The only thing that counts is what the jury thinks and that case was a loser all the way. What counts is can the case be won and at what cost. That is the decision of the local prosecutor, not TFL Forums. The case was NOT a winner for the prosecution. FACT: OJ aquitted FACT: woulda, coulda, shoulda, never amounts to anything.
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Old July 20, 2009, 09:54 PM   #32
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How do you know I haven't had my own case(s) to contend with? Sharing anymore than that is a bit much for a public board.
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Old July 20, 2009, 11:18 PM   #33
Ricky B
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Did you not read in my post where I stated that it doesn't matter what you or I think?
Did you not read your own post! Apparently not.

What you said, what I quoted, and what I quote again in part now is "a case that he clearly could not win."

When you say something like "a case that he clearly could not win" you are offering your opinion. Now maybe you don't think before you offer an opinion, but I am certainly willing to give you the benefit of the doubt and say that you do. And you told the board, including me, what you thought.

If you feel free to offer your opinion, I feel free to offer mine. And I certainly don't appreciate being chastised for it, particularly when you started the discussion by saying that the prosecutor brought "a case that he clearly could not win."

Now as to the point you were making, namely, "The prosecutor cost the citizens of the county millions of dollars in a case that he clearly could not win," you are cockeyed to imply the prosecutor was wrong to bring the case. The prosecutor had a duty to bring the case since the evidence against OJ was overwhelming. It didn't overwhelm the jury, for sure, but any fair-minded person had no doubt who the culprit was. The fact that the jury was closed-minded has no bearing on the merits of the case.

As for your contention that "The only thing that counts is what the jury thinks," that is your standard. Whether the prosecutor in fact wins or loses is up to the jury, but the standard for bringing a case is not your standard.
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Old July 20, 2009, 11:21 PM   #34
Ricky B
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How do you know I haven't had my own case(s) to contend with? Sharing anymore than that is a bit much for a public board.
I have no way at all of knowing what your experience with prosecutors is. That's why I asked.

If, as you imply, you have been a defendant in cases that you thought were unfairly prosecuted, you will, I hope, forgive me if I consider you to be a biased source and discount your claim that "I've yet to meet a prosecutor interested in the facts; they are only interested in what they can make 'fit' their desired story."
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Old July 20, 2009, 11:51 PM   #35
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Ricky B

It's too bad that you got your knickers in a twist because I proved you wrong. All the rationalizing in the world will not change the facts. FACT: OJ Aquitted FACT: The prosecutor wasted millions of dollars when any fool knew that due to many reasons that I will not post on here, he would be aquitted. Maybe you think that that is good value for the taxpayer but I don't. I hate to bust your bubble Alice but every day all across this country there are criminals that are not prosecuted because the case cannot be won, not because they are not guilty. Getting back to the OP. Did you ever consider the fact that the prosecutor did not wish to pursue the store owner because he felt that the jury would be sympathetic to him? The bottom line is that these things get beat to death on here for what? For NOTHING. 99.9999% of the back and forth on here is a mute point because the general public is not aware of all aspects of these cases so it becomes a woulda, coulda, shoulda excercise in futility. There is a lot of good information to be had on this site but these case studies are a joke. A bad joke at that. And that my friend is all that I have to say about this subject unless you feel the need to escalate the rhetoric.:barf:

Last edited by Sportdog; July 20, 2009 at 11:59 PM.
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Old July 21, 2009, 12:05 AM   #36
Ricky B
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I proved you wrong.
Who knew you were a comedian?
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Old July 21, 2009, 12:23 AM   #37
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Ricky B

I not only knew that I was a comedian but I also knew you were an a**hole.
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Old July 21, 2009, 12:27 AM   #38
Ricky B
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Sportdog

Since you have degenerated into nastiness and foul language, I won't discuss matters further with you. That's not to say I won't point out matters of agreement or disagreement in future posts, but I won't waste my time explaining myself to you.
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Old July 21, 2009, 12:40 AM   #39
Sportdog
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Ricky B

Good. I tried to tell you in post #35 that I was done with it unless you chose to escalate the rhetoric. You couldn't leave it alone so I responded in kind, which I will in the future if you decide to harass my postings. Good night. (Maybe)
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Old July 21, 2009, 06:49 AM   #40
OldMarksman
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FACT: OJ Aquitted FACT: The prosecutor wasted millions of dollars when any fool knew that due to many reasons that I will not post on here, he would be aquitted. Maybe you think that that is good value for the taxpayer but I don't. I hate to bust your bubble Alice but every day all across this country there are criminals that are not prosecuted because the case cannot be won, not because they are not guilty.
Is this a suggestion that the state should not have pursued charges against Simpson?

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Getting back to the OP. Did you ever consider the fact that the prosecutor did not wish to pursue the store owner because he felt that the jury would be sympathetic to him?
Commonwealh's Attorney Ferguson is quoted in the article as having said the following:

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“Mr. Durden was confronted with a very dangerous situation created by Roop and was legally justified in using deadly force as he genuinely believed that Roop had a firearm and that his own life was in danger,” Ferguson wrote.
....

“The physical and forensic evidence support Mr. Durden's account of the incident.”
And...

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“In addition, from a practical standpoint, I am convinced that a Suffolk jury would not convict Mr. Durden of criminal misconduct under the facts of this case.”
Is not the phrase "under the facts of the case" rather important here? Is there any indication that Mr. Durden was guilty of criminal misconduct? Risky and probably unwise behavior, no doubt, but criminal misconduct?

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...the general public is not aware of all aspects of these cases...
That's largely true here, also.

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...so it becomes a woulda, coulda, shoulda excercise in futility.
That depends, I think, on the objective of the discussion. The OP suggested that the decision could aid in decisions whether to shoot. But the Commonwealth's Attorney's decision offered nothing on what a man should have done, and what could happen is always a key part of decision making. For those reasons, I don't thing the decision helps in any other situation. However, the few reported facts do indicate to me that Durden's actions that morning were not the wisest available to him.
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Old July 21, 2009, 07:38 AM   #41
pax
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*sigh*

How in the world we got from "Store Owner Shoots Burglar" to "OJ Simpson Trial," I'll never know.

Closed for puerile bickering and thread drift. PMs inbound!

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