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Old July 10, 2009, 07:52 PM   #1
bbqbob51
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Castle Doctrine, Dan Rather Reports

Just got done watching the Dan Rather Reports show on the Castle Doctrine. I thought the show was pretty compelling and thought provoking. I am glad I live in a state (Maine) that passed the Castle Doctrine law but it is interesting how some people interpreted the law in other states. One shoplifter who stole a 12 pack of beer from a convenience store was chased down and killed in the parking lot by a store clerk. The clerk was prosecuted but in a poll of the public supported the clerk's action better than 5 to 1.
Even though I think the shoplifter was asking for something drastic to happen to him by pulling the criminal act, he probably didn't deserved to die. The owner of the store invoked the Castle Doctrine supporting the clerks action.
In another case cited a robber in a clown mask (who had robbed other stores) and was armed was also chased down and shot by a clerk. Insofar as that case I say good riddance, his was bound to hurt or kill some innocent eventually if allowed to keep pulling off these robberies.
My feelings are we have the right to protect ourselves and our loved ones from harm in all situations but do find it hard to justify shooting someone for $15.00 worth of merchadise. All this has inplications for those amongst us that conceal carry. Any thoughts...opinions?
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Old July 10, 2009, 08:24 PM   #2
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One shoplifter who stole a 12 pack of beer from a convenience store was chased down and killed in the parking lot by a store clerk. The clerk was prosecuted but in a poll of the public supported the clerk's action better than 5 to 1.
That's pretty hard to believe. 5 out of 6 people think it's ok to chase down a shoplifter and shoot him? Heck, even I don't think that's ok and I'm a radical.
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Old July 10, 2009, 08:25 PM   #3
Bartholomew Roberts
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The owner of the store invoked the Castle Doctrine supporting the clerks action.
Castle Doctrine is typically the idea that a man's home is his castle and in his home he has no duty to attempt to retreat before using lethal force in self-defense. Even ancient common law that created the duty to retreat before using lethal force recognized Castle Doctrine in most cases.

The modern Castle Doctrine laws have broadened that to remove the duty to retreat in any public place where you have a right to be; but as far as I am aware, none of them say you can chase down a shoplifter and shoot them.

Generally the public doesn't really understand the nuances of Castle Doctrine very well. In many cases, the same actions/shootings would have been perfectly legal under previous laws.
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Old July 10, 2009, 09:04 PM   #4
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As I said they are prosecuting the clerk that shot the guy with the beer so the DA also thinks it was wrong. I was a bit off when I said the public favored his action by 5-1, if I recall if was better than 80% supported the Clerk with 13% thinking he did wrong with 1 or 2 % (if I recall) with no opinion...better than 4-1 actually. This happened in Jackson Mississippi.
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Old July 10, 2009, 10:55 PM   #5
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In legal terms, killing someone over shoplifting even a $50 bottle of scotch is going overboard. As a society we have said that unless the criminal endangers someone's life, lethal force cannot be used.¹

In realistic terms, the person who comes in and steals a six-pack of Bud-Light is thinking it's only an $8 theft. But to that store owner, it's the total cost of ALL those thefts every month that make the difference between earning a living or not being competitive and losing his business.

One problem is that the thief expects others to act in a certain way towards him. If he's caught by the clerk who gives him a mighty whack to subdue him, he cries "foul!" -- then claims it was unprovoked and his own blows were "defensive". If he gets his face rammed into the pavement in a tackle, he wants to sue the store for his dental work and may convince a DA that excessive force was applied.

People somehow forget that this guy is a thief - a person who thinks he has more right to your property than you do. He thinks he can show disregard for the laws of society, then claim he shouldn't be punished because others didn't "follow the rules".

A local gas station attendant was robbed one morning a few years back. The guy threatened with a small .22 handgun. When he reached into that sliding drawer underneath the "bulletproof" glass, the clerk retracted the drawer hard and locked it place with a metal pin. Broke the lad's wrist. He threatened to sue the station because doing that was "unfair" and it hurt him. :barf:


¹ Exceptions still exist for cattle rustling, killing of livestock and bulk theft of produce in some states.
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Old July 10, 2009, 11:17 PM   #6
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Another benefit of 'castle doctrine' is the family of the BG can't sue you in civil court if the shoot was ruled justifiable.
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Old July 10, 2009, 11:22 PM   #7
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Another benefit of 'castle doctrine' is the family of the BG can't sue you in civil court if the shoot was ruled justifiable.
Not necessarily so. In any event, an acquittal in a criminal case doesn't bar a successful civil suit. Remember OJ Simpson?
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Old July 10, 2009, 11:49 PM   #8
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I have no moral or ethical problem with killing over property. The item represents more than simply the market value. Nothing I own is worth your life. You take my TV, I take your life.
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Old July 10, 2009, 11:55 PM   #9
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All I can say....wow.

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You take my TV, I take your life.
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Old July 11, 2009, 03:58 AM   #10
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The matter of mental health comes to question........
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Old July 11, 2009, 05:24 AM   #11
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Not necessarily so. In any event, an acquittal in a criminal case doesn't bar a successful civil suit. Remember OJ Simpson?
AZ, no civil liabilty for justified acts.

BUT, there is no way chasing down a thief and shooting him in the back can be a justifiable action, in my eyes. Of course, my opinion is only one of millions.
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Old July 11, 2009, 05:47 AM   #12
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I can't in any way take from this that the clerk in question was justified, but like you have all suggested, there is a bigger issue here. Would YOU shoot someone over your stolen property. And if so... is there a market value limit to determine your actions? I would never dream of sending one downrange for a crappy computer, but if you stole my thousands of dollars worth of TV I would be mad as hell. I think in any case, chase down the perp if you'd like and a good whomp to the head should do the trick. I don't think I could kill a man for petty theft.

But I'm not Clint Eastwood and no one's after my Gran Turino.
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Old July 11, 2009, 06:17 AM   #13
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Not necessarily so. In any event, an acquittal in a criminal case doesn't bar a successful civil suit. Remember OJ Simpson?
I didn't know that California had castle doctrine. I didn't know that his criminal trial determined that he killed anyone. As far as his legal trial went, the killer of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Brown were by somebody other than OJ Simpson, nor was it determined that he was acting lawfully.
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Old July 11, 2009, 08:13 AM   #14
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last time I heard, California had the 'rule' that if you had a

back door and someone came in your home and was fixing to kill you and all your loved ones you had to run out the back... or go to jail....

but I could be wrong, I was 'once' before.
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Old July 11, 2009, 09:53 AM   #15
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not sure of a dollar limit

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is there a market value limit to determine your actions?
I am not sure if you can put a market value. but money does equal time. for some people $15 equals two hours of there life gone. For others its only ten minutes. So it is relative.

I know if some one stole from me, that takes time away from my family. Granted material objects can be replaced, but missed time with love ones cannot. The theft of $15 may not be much, but if that $15 causes me to have to work another 30 minutes and miss my sons first steps, or his first words, then yes that thief has taken something from me that can never be replaced.

Am i going to be angry? Yes, am i going to kill them, probably not. but they are taking more from me then just $15 dollars. time is irreplaceable.
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Old July 11, 2009, 10:03 AM   #16
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In any event, an acquittal in a criminal case doesn't bar a successful civil suit. Remember OJ Simpson?
OJ was found not guilty of murder, not innocent by reason of self defense.
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Old July 11, 2009, 11:00 AM   #17
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I didn't know that California had castle doctrine. I didn't know that his criminal trial determined that he killed anyone. As far as his legal trial went, the killer of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Brown were by somebody other than OJ Simpson, nor was it determined that he was acting lawfully.
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OJ was found not guilty of murder, not innocent by reason of self defense.

1. CA goes a step beyond the castle doctrine, which typically applies in the home. CA is a stand-your-ground state, which applies outside the home.

2. Outside of the insanity defense, in which the jury may render a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity, in most states there are only two possible verdicts: guilty or not guilty. There is no "innocent." There is no "not guilty by reason of self-defense." There is no "here's why we found him not guilty." It is "guilty" or "not guilty." And not guilty does not mean innocent. It means nothing more than the prosecution did not prove its case satisfactorily.

The fact that a defendant offers a claim of self-defense does not mean that is why the jury acquitted him. It could be an act of jury nullification, or it could be that the jury felt that the prosecution did not prove its case to begin with.

The standard in a criminal case is beyond a reasonable doubt. The standard in a civil case is by a preponderance of the evidence. In other words, more likely than not. That's a lower standard than required for a criminal case.

In some states, like CA, the defendant does not have to prove self-defense. All he has to do is show that there is enough evidence to provide a basis for the jury to find self-defense. That evidence can come from prosecution witnesses. In such states, the prosecution has to negate self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt.

Therefore, in some cases, a criminal acquittal means nothing as to the potential civil liability.

The fact that OJ did not assert a self-defense claim is beside the point. The issue in his criminal case is whether he was the culprit. The criminal court jury said not guilty. As we all know, that doesn't mean he wasn't the culprit. The civil court jury, using the lower standard of proof that applies in a civil case, said he was the culprit.

That's why I said "not necessarily so."
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Old July 11, 2009, 11:24 AM   #18
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You take my TV, I take your life.
Care to think that through? Posting that online should get you a few extra years if you actually do that..
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Old July 11, 2009, 12:30 PM   #19
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I think freak show makes a very valid point. I work hard to get the stuff I own. It is mine and I'll do as I see fit to protect it. Market value means nothing. Say I have an old busted tv, that is essentially wothless at market value. To many of you, protecting that with a firearm is not ok. But what if it is the only memory/keepsake I have of my parents/loved one. Something tragic happened to them and the tv is the only thing I have left that connects with them emotionaly for me. Now am I maybe a little more justified protecting that tv with force? Or maybe you have a loved one in the Armed Forces who falls in battle. All you have left of them is their dog tags. Not worth diddly at market value but you may be against having them stolen.

Point being it is my property and someone is stealing it from me. Why should I have to worry what "value" society places on it to guage how much force I can justify to protect my propety? Personal moral values should only limit your own actions. Just because you feel that thief has more right to your property cause he wants it doesn't mean I should feel the same.
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Old July 11, 2009, 12:55 PM   #20
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I'm not so sure about running someone down and killing them over some item. But, since I moved my elderly Mom in with me a few years back a stranger in the house will be dead.
I saw the Dan Rather piece also. I guess it depends a lot on where you live as to how one might exercise this right. Where I live I probably couldn't catch someone anyway unless I could get the 4 wheeler cranked in time.
I don't own any objects I would take a life over. It's the act of invasion of my space that would put a BG's life in peril.
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Old July 11, 2009, 01:09 PM   #21
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1. CA goes a step beyond the castle doctrine, which typically applies in the home. CA is a stand-your-ground state, which applies outside the home.
OJ wasn't attacked at his home, so Castle Doctrine protection would not apply. This thread is specifically about Castle Doctrine, is it not?
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Old July 11, 2009, 01:15 PM   #22
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Care to think that through? Posting that online should get you a few extra years if you actually do that..
I am an adult capable of rational, independent thought. I wouldn't type anything on the Internet that I would be ashamed to say in court.

Quote:
OJ wasn't attacked at his home, so Castle Doctrine protection would not apply
.
Read the statement again. CA doctrine applies outside the home as well, so that would mean OJ would have been covered under the doctrine. Michigan does this as well as Florida, Colorado and a few other states. It's nothing new.
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Old July 11, 2009, 02:33 PM   #23
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The fact that OJ did not assert a self-defense claim is beside the point. The issue in his criminal case is whether he was the culprit. The criminal court jury said not guilty. As we all know, that doesn't mean he wasn't the culprit. The civil court jury, using the lower standard of proof that applies in a civil case, said he was the culprit.
The point we are trying to make is some states, such as Florida, protect you from civil liability in a self defense situation. OJ never claimed to have killed 2 people in self defense, therefore his case has nothing to do with the discussion on self defense, castle doctrine and civil liability.

Yes, someone can still file a civil motion against you in a self defense shooting in Florida. However, the State makes it very difficult to get past that point. If you can find a lawyer to take your lawsuit, odds are the judge will toss it out. Even if you get to trial, should you lose, you get to pay for everything, your lawyer, the defendant's lawyer, court costs, travel, hotels, meals, even lost wages should the defendent miss work while trying to sue you. Not too many ambulance chasers like those odds.
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Old July 11, 2009, 03:12 PM   #24
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Rather Not

Dan Rather has proven himself to be a manipulating liar. He is not credible enough to report on the county fair.
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Old July 11, 2009, 09:26 PM   #25
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Dan Rather has proven himself to be a manipulating liar. He is not credible enough to report on the county fair.
Yeah... there's that too. You won't get much argument from me on it.

As I mentioned earlier, it's rather difficult to see justification for shooting someone for petty theft (shoplifting) alone. Chasing him down to retreive your stolen property and/or apprehend him is certainly permissible. And if the struggle becomes life-threatening then the thug has committed a 2nd crime which may be worth shooting him for.

We should always object to any lawyer-ese statement to the effect of "If Mr. X hadn't chased Mr. Thug it wouldn't have escalated..." or "Mr. Y, by confronting Mr. Burglar you provoked him to..." as wrong-headed thinking.

Criminals should be challenged when it is reasonable to do so. As criminals, they know what they're doing is unlawful and when challenged have only two legitimate options - surrender or flee. If he surrenders and behaves himself, I'll treat him properly. If he flees he does not present a danger and chalks up a "close call".

Government officials who claim that citizens should not confront criminals are, in theory, trying to reduce injuries to the citizens. However, if the criminal knows he stands little chance of being apprehended by an overworked, understaffed PD, who is left to stop his crimes? Only the citizen who has his own interests in mind.
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