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Old March 19, 2007, 02:19 PM   #1
ulmer
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Dateline and the AZ Hiker Self-defence

Anybody see that Saturday? A school teacher-hiker in what appeared to be a clear case of self-defence was convicted in Flagstaff of second-degree murder. He shot a crazy who came at him in the wild. The attacker was unarmed but was shot under the rules of self-defence. The NRA footed part of the guy's legal bills. The 8-person jury didn't like he used a 10 mm. AZ is now reconsidering the law because of this case, but my 17 years in that state taught me the stupidity of law enforcement and social services there. A narrow-minded mentality prevails.
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Old March 19, 2007, 02:36 PM   #2
markj
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There was a one hour time diff in this as well that didnt help him out at all.
the prosecuting side had a lot of folks come up and say what a good old boy this guy was etc.......

Hiking in the wild I would want a 10mm or other large caliber weapon. A .22 would not cut it there.
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Old March 19, 2007, 02:53 PM   #3
Danase
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I actually read Mr. Fish's story in a gun magazine a few weeks ago. I watched part of the dateline episode but I had to leave. The guy had a very crappy lawyer to say the least. The lawyer didn't do much to help him out. No expert witness was called to testify or anything. The only good that came from this is that AZ changed their laws now.
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Old March 19, 2007, 03:25 PM   #4
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I'm not one to keep up with news or laws too much.
I do remember hearing this case though.

What law(s) changed?

Nevermind:
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15199221/page/6/
Arizona law was changed recently, in part, because of this case. Now, instead of a defendant having to prove he acted in self-defense, the burden is on the prosecutors. They must prove a defendant did not act in self-defense. Arizona’s Supreme Court is expected to rule later this month on whether the new law applies to a similar case. That ruling could affect Harold Fish’s appeal.

Last edited by westphoenix; March 19, 2007 at 04:15 PM.
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Old March 19, 2007, 03:28 PM   #5
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http://www.azdailysun.com/articles/2...cal_news_9.txt
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Old March 19, 2007, 04:58 PM   #6
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It is obviously monday morning quarterbacking for me to say anything, . . . I was not there. But, . . . I am concerned about the distance at which Mr. Fish began shooting.

I guess in a perfect world, . . . perhaps a warning shot slung over his head may have turned the attacker back, . . . no one knows for sure.

I only know for sure that I used a warning shot in downtown Saigon some 40 years ago, . . . the guys may have been up to no good, . . . but when my 7.62 round from my M14 went over their heads, . . . they went the other way, . . . and all I did was cause my shift sergeant to bounce down under his rack. The look on his face later on was worth it all

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Old March 19, 2007, 06:41 PM   #7
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Someone is actually voting against this bill!
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Old March 19, 2007, 08:49 PM   #8
westphoenix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dwight55
I am concerned about the distance at which Mr. Fish began shooting
How far?
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Old March 19, 2007, 09:48 PM   #9
Steve in PA
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It was NOT a clear case of self-defense.
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Old March 19, 2007, 09:59 PM   #10
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This thread seems to deal more with the legal aspects of Mr. Fish's case than with any tactical or training issues. Moving to legal & political.
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Old March 19, 2007, 10:08 PM   #11
applesanity
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While I can't make a call on the case because the episode was biased and there was so much he-said he-said in the trial, I couldn't help but smack my forehead at some of the comments made.

"Mr. Fish didn't help the victim after the shooting."

"Mr. Fish used hollow-point bullets. Those bullets are designed to cause the most damage. Those bullets are designed to kill."

And what did the judge say? Something like "this is beyond tragedy!" Real impartial there, buddy.

If the case was some petite lady shooting a 7 foot tall ex-con with his pants down at his ankles and a knife in hand, well no brainer. Fish's case was a bit more ambiguous. Although I agree that the burden of proof should be on the prosecuters, not the defense.
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Old March 20, 2007, 06:05 AM   #12
habeuscorpse
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The burden of proof was being thrown to the prosecution before the governor of AZ vetoed the bil. She being a former federal prosecutor herself.
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Old March 20, 2007, 07:33 AM   #13
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Quote:
And what did the judge say? Something like "this is beyond tragedy!" Real impartial there, buddy.
I didn't have a problem with the judges comments as I think he saw the case much in the same way some of the interviewed jurors saw the case, a trajedy where Fish appeared to have overreacted in his use of lethal force that resulted in a homicide. That was the trajedy. Apparently, the arguments were not convincing that Fish needed to use lethal force.

Here, it should be noted that the judge's comments were made AFTER the jury turned in the verdict. Judges often comment on the results of the case at that time.

I never understood why Fish discharged his gun as warning shots against the dogs, but not against his attacker, then claimed when he was being charged by the attacker that the dogs were also threatening him. He commented in the interview that he had the man coming at his screaming he was going to do him harm and the dogs were snarling at him, all the while yelling that he didn't shoot the guy's dogs. If the dogs were that much of a threat, why didn't he shoot the dogs? What happened to the snarling dogs once he shot their owner?

Yes, a couple of the jurors thought the use of hollowpoints was bad, but that was secondary to the fact that they didn't think he should have shot his supposed attacker in the first place. They felt the shooting was at a point when lethal force was not necessary. The aspect of the hollowpoints was simply adding insult to the event.
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Old March 21, 2007, 02:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
The burden of proof was being thrown to the prosecution before the governor of AZ vetoed the bil. She being a former federal prosecutor herself.
http://www.azdailysun.com/articles/2...cal_news_9.txt
Quote:
The current bill to make the 2006 change apply to all cases that were pending on the day the 2006 law took effect was approved 29-0 by the Senate on Feb. 20 and 42-17 by the House on Monday. With the House's action, the bill could go to Gov. Janet Napolitano as early as Tuesday. It would take effect immediately if she signs it.
Isn't that a veto-proof majority? Did she actually veto the bill?
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Old March 21, 2007, 02:31 AM   #15
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Good lord...are people bringing up the Fish case again? The worst part of the first post is the characterization of the victim as a "crazy person." This was not a clear case of self defense. There was evidence of previous disputes, the distance the shooting were done from were questionable, there were stories of "attacking dogs" but no dogs were shot, etc.
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Old March 22, 2007, 10:50 AM   #16
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Question

I saw the TV episode. I was curious as to what last poster meant by evidence of previous dispute. Anyone fill me in?

My own reaction if I was on the jury - or the TV jury as it was - was Not Guilty because of the bruden of proof having to be beyond a ressonable doubt. I wasn't sure what had happened, which would be enough to give me reasonable doubts.

Anyone know, as well, if this kind of case involving a possibly ture self-defense act, but a CCW still convicted of a major crime, is rare? Kind of scared me as an about-to-be CCW, both the thought you could be wrongly indicted and convicted, or - if it wasn't a mistake to convict - the milisecond judgement to shoot and the consequences of making a mistake. Your world hangs on the slightest error - as does the person's on the other end of the gun......
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