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Old November 26, 2014, 12:00 PM   #1
Lavan
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District Attorney decision making???

Do you think that if a CCW holder shoots someone in a self defense shooting that the DA considers that since the shooter was.....approved.... by local law enforcement to carry his weapon, that some leeway is granted in comparison to same circumstance but the shooter is NOT licensed?

Personally, I would think that a DA would consider a chain of lawsuits involving the authorizing agency if they chose to prosecute a legal CCW holder.

What do you think?


(This is, of course, predicating it on a pretty solid justified shoot)
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Old November 26, 2014, 12:08 PM   #2
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So many hypothetical scenarios, but in general if the person wasn’t breaking any laws by possessing a gun I don’t think having a permit/license would make much difference.
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Old November 26, 2014, 12:24 PM   #3
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This is, of course, predicating it on a pretty solid justified shoot
There really isn't any such thing. If a life has been taken, the situation merits a thorough investigation. Factors that may have seemed insignificant at the time may come back to bite the shooter in unexpected ways.

You really can't predict how a prosecutor will see it, nor how they will proceed.
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Old November 26, 2014, 12:32 PM   #4
Lavan
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Points acknowledged, but I know that DAs discuss cases with the police and take their conversations into consideration while making decisions.

It's just MY OPINION that the issuing agency judgment would color a DA decision to prosecute or not.


WHICHEVER.... IN ANY CASE...... the shooter WILL face civil action.
Ain't no doubt in my mind on that!

Interesting speculations.....
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Old November 26, 2014, 03:28 PM   #5
Arizona Fusilier
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And I have heard people opine that the desire to obtain a permit and the study of the legal ramifications of carrying a weapon......are proof that someone wants to shoot somebody.

I have little doubt some DAs feel that way as well. Whether they act on that emotional inclination in the performance of their duty is hard to prove.
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Old November 26, 2014, 05:41 PM   #6
OldMarksman
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Posted by Lavan:
Quote:
Do you think that if a CCW holder shoots someone in a self defense shooting that the DA considers that since the shooter was.....approved.... by local law enforcement to carry his weapon, that some leeway is granted in comparison to same circumstance but the shooter is NOT licensed?
No.

Quote:
Personally, I would think that a DA would consider a chain of lawsuits involving the authorizing agency if they chose to prosecute a legal CCW holder.
Why?

The authorizing agency made a decision on the basis of the applicant's record as of the time of issuance.

What the licensee does after that is completely irrelevant.
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Old November 26, 2014, 05:49 PM   #7
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As a general rule, the DAs responsible for charging decisions are not the same folks who would be defending the agency or officials responsible for issuing or approving licenses. IOW, even if something like the "chain of lawsuits" did cross the DA's mind in making the charging decision, I'd expect it to have been to be a rather fleeting thought.

Also, I suspect that if you dig into the statutes of the issuing states, you may well find that the legislature probably granted statutory immunity to the issuing agency. Like this:
Quote:
The state, a county or city, or any employee of the state, county, or city is not liable for any civil damages resulting from the issuance of a license pursuant to a provision of this subchapter.

Ark. Code Ann. § 5-73-303 (West)
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Old November 26, 2014, 09:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Do you think that if a CCW holder shoots someone in a self defense shooting that the DA considers that since the shooter was.....approved.... by local law enforcement to carry his weapon, that some leeway is granted in comparison to same circumstance but the shooter is NOT licensed?
No.
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Old November 26, 2014, 09:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Do you think that if a CCW holder shoots someone in a self defense shooting that the DA considers that since the shooter was.....approved.... by local law enforcement to carry his weapon, that some leeway is granted in comparison to same circumstance but the shooter is NOT licensed?
I don't think you can generalize.

Some prosecutors might even go after a permit-holder more vigorously because they don't agree with permits and see them as a sign of premeditation. I would expect such foolishness from Harris County, Texas, unless they've changed their attitudes recently. (I just generalized, didn't I?)
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Old November 26, 2014, 10:07 PM   #10
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In my limited experience, a DA makes that decision based on the totality of the situation. In most cases, though, the question of whether a homicide was justifiable is independent of whether the firearm used was carried or even owned legally. There have been many cases in which a shooting was ruled justifiable, yet the shooter was brought to trial for possessing/carrying the gun because he was a felon or had no license.

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Old November 26, 2014, 10:49 PM   #11
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I don't think it really figures into the decision. However, it might be one of a multitude of factors if there is a question as to why the shooter was carrying; i.e., was he out looking for trouble? A license holder might be a bit more credible if he says, "I always carry because muggers and robbers don't make appointments. That's why I got my license."
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Old November 26, 2014, 11:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
...some leeway is granted in comparison to same circumstance but the shooter is NOT licensed?
I wouldn't think so.

The license doesn't tell the DA anything he wouldn't be able to find by running the criminal record of shooter. That's something that I would expect to be done in any situation where one citizen shoots another and there's absolutely any question at all about whether the shooting was justified.

The license might predispose the early responders in favor of the licensee, assuming that the license in that state indicates a background check has been passed. But once it gets to the point that the DA is looking at the case, more should be known about the shooter than the mere fact that he has a license.
Quote:
...are proof that someone wants to shoot somebody.
I actually think this is a more likely outcome--though still not particularly likely. Some DAs would be more likely to prosecute someone with a license because they don't like the idea of people carrying guns.

My feeling is that the license will either be a complete non-issue or might actually prejudice the DA against the license holder. I can't come up with a reasonable explanation for how it might play in favor of the license holder in the long term.
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Old Yesterday, 01:37 AM   #13
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lavan
It's just MY OPINION that the issuing agency judgment would color a DA decision to prosecute or not.
The issuing agency almost certainly won't be around to discuss you with a prosecutor if you are in a shooting. I think it's safe to say that in a majority of states the licenses/permits are issued by some state agency. (Maine is the state police, New Hampshire is the state police, Florida is the Department of Agriculture. Pennsylvania is the county sheriff.) The issuing agency doesn't know you from Adam. All they know is that your name didn't ring any alarms when they ran your background check.

How would that affect a prosecutor's decision, and why would he even contact them other than to verify that your license/permit is valid and current?

My non-resident Florida permit gets me reciprocity in about 30 states. If I am involved in a self-defense shooting in Texas, do you think a Texas prosecutor is going to get any idea of who I am or what I'm like from the Florida Department of Agriculture?
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Old Yesterday, 09:50 AM   #14
kraigwy
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Quote:
WHICHEVER.... IN ANY CASE...... the shooter WILL face civil action.
Ain't no doubt in my mind on that!
Not necessarily, in some states like Wyoming, it the shooting is ruled justified you can't be sued civilly.

As to whether the prosecutor confers with the LE officer who investigated the case, takes into account the opinion of the officer or it will bite him in the butt.

I've been involved is cases where the prosecutor ignored my advice and the judge dismissed the case before the defense even got present his case.
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Old Yesterday, 01:44 PM   #15
Lavan
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Good on Wyoming

It seems that most here think that the DA and the police operate separately, which they DO.
On the surface.
But I know from experience and knowing people in the arena that they DO also discuss many cases between the agencies.

Maybe they don't let any of those discussions color their actions, but I was just curious to see the opinions of others.

Thanks for replies.
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Old Yesterday, 02:17 PM   #16
chesterfield
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As far as I know shootings like that are always referred to the grand jury, at least here in Texas. Now you may or may not get arrested at the scene depending on particular situation. IIRC one of the first SD shootings by a CCW holder in Dallas involved a man in his car at a red light that shot someone trying to carjack him. The alleged carjacker died and the shooter did get arrested but was eventually no billed by the grand jury. That may have been one of the "test cases" for the new CC laws in Texas.
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Old Yesterday, 07:51 PM   #17
Aguila Blanca
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Originally Posted by chesterfield
As far as I know shootings like that are always referred to the grand jury, at least here in Texas.
Ah, yes. Kirk's first law of the Internet: "If it's the law in Texas, it must be the law everywhere."

George Zimmerman's case when he shot Trayvon Martin was not presented to a grand jury. It was referred to a special prosecutor.
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Old Today, 01:11 AM   #18
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What gave you the idea that I think "if it's the law in Texas it must be the law everywhere"? I never said that. I didn't even state that this is, in fact, the law here. I said "As far as I know" which leaves open room for correction or clarification. I get the impression that you have a low opinion of Texas, why is that?
As far as the Trayvon Martin case goes the Governor of Florida appointed a state attorney as special prosecutor to determine if charges should be filed. The special prosecutor then declined to present the evidence to a grand jury.
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