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Old February 22, 2012, 05:34 PM   #1
baccusboy
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Man aquitted in SD shooting after spending 112 days in jail

It certainly does seem that this man got the short end of the stick, and it fits the case for a bill now working its way through the Iowa Legislature that would expand current law to specify that a potential victim in a violent situation has no duty to retreat. Unfortunately, this man is now homeless.

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/art...e=home_oneline
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Old February 22, 2012, 05:57 PM   #2
Bartholomew Roberts
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Interesting story. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old February 22, 2012, 06:18 PM   #3
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A sobering story, and a life wrenching event for Mr. Lewis. The continuing lesson for us is that we don't have the final say about whether our use of lethal force was justified, and if there's a dispute on the question, it's not a "good shoot" until the jury says so. Some further example are --

This couple, arrested in early April and finally exonerated under Missouri's Castle Doctrine in early June. And no doubt after incurring expenses for bail and a lawyer, as well as a couple of month's anxiety, before being cleared.

Larry Hickey, in gun friendly Arizona: He was arrested, spent 71 days in jail, went through two different trials ending in hung juries, was forced to move from his house, etc., before the DA decided it was a good shoot and dismissed the charges.

Mark Abshire in Oklahoma: Despite defending himself against multiple attackers on his own lawn in a fairly gun-friendly state with a "Stand Your Ground" law, he was arrested, went to jail, charged, lost his job and his house, and spent two and a half years in the legal meat-grinder before finally being acquitted.

Harold Fish, also in gun friendly Arizona: He was still convicted and sent to prison. He won his appeal, his conviction was overturned, and a new trial was ordered. The DA chose to dismiss the charges rather than retry Mr. Fish.

Gerald Ung: He was attacked by several men, and the attack was captured on video. He was nonetheless charged and brought to trial. He was ultimately acquitted.

Some good folks in clear jeopardy and with no way to preserve their lives except by the use of lethal force against other humans. Yet that happened under circumstances in which their justification for the use of lethal force was not immediately clear. While each was finally exonerated, it came at great emotional and financial cost. And perhaps there but for the grace of God will go one of us.

And note also that two of those cases arose in States with a Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground law in effect at the time.
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Old February 22, 2012, 06:23 PM   #4
divil
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Glad to hear the guy is free, but there is as easy and obvious way he could have avoided the shooting - by not remaining at the scene. It amazes me that people will pull a gun, and then go about their business when the bad buy runs away.

If you pull your weapon, your first order of business (after escaping) should be to contact the police.
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Old February 22, 2012, 06:40 PM   #5
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Wow the city and the apt complex handled that poorly. Feel bad for the guy. They apt complex clearly did not care about their tennent. Geese I wonder why the server couldn't find him at the apt. The city should have allowed him to show up for the eviction hearing. Typical gvt they can go about costing someone most of their savings with impunity but if someone fails to pay a minor to let or so they hit you with tons of interesting fees and penalties.
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Old February 22, 2012, 07:14 PM   #6
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Is there no legal or civil recourse for Mr. Lewis? If I were him somebody would be coming up with my all my lost wages and reimbursement for my lost personal property. Then I might not sue them for every form of damages my creative attorney can think up.
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Old February 22, 2012, 07:21 PM   #7
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Towe
Is there no legal or civil recourse for Mr. Lewis?...
In general there would not be.
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Old February 22, 2012, 07:25 PM   #8
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I was actually coming here to post this, glad someone already has. I live here in Des Moines so I saw this on the local news today. It makes me sick whenever I read something like this. The guy was clearly in physical danger (2 guys approaching him with no regard for the gun in his hand). who the heck would advance and proceed to attack a man his is armed and yelling for the aggressors to move away?! Anyone who is that reckless sounds like a dangerous individual.

It's really hard to have a good opinion of people/legal system when stuff like this happens. Thank God for jury trials.
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Old February 22, 2012, 07:36 PM   #9
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The Judge says...

Quote:
Sarcone said: “I don’t know why people are afraid of jury trials. I’m not.”
Well... theres a shocker! Coming from the Judge... I'd like to hear ANY person who has ever had to defend themselves say the same.
Nevermind the expense, nerve racking, total life disruption and possible implosion of ones finances.
That stupid position and opinion voiced publicly should be enough to bounce him right off the bench.
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Old February 22, 2012, 08:18 PM   #10
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Wow. That is insanity. Poor guy.

Stories like these make me wish I had a nice pile of cashola sitting around waiting to do some philanthropizing with.
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Old February 22, 2012, 08:22 PM   #11
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Poor guy, there should be a way for him to sue the crap outta that city...at least get back what they caused him to lose while they had in wronging locked up.
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Old February 22, 2012, 08:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Glad to hear the guy is free, but there is as easy and obvious way he could have avoided the shooting - by not remaining at the scene.
Yeah, and then face felony hit and run charges. I am not sure he would have been a whole lot better off. This guy got the shaft stuff like that happens every now and then.
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Old February 22, 2012, 09:23 PM   #13
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While I'm on his side for the shooting aspect - he was attacked, gave fair warning, said get away from me, etc - it would still appear that he was the idiot that turned left from the right lane infront of the drunk after racing with him, causing a wreck, then shot the drunk for wanting to give him a beatdown for the left turn wreck thing.
Overall the entire event seems like a collision of poor choices by all involved.
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Old February 23, 2012, 11:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Yeah, and then face felony hit and run charges. I am not sure he would have been a whole lot better off. This guy got the shaft stuff like that happens every now and then.
That would obviously not have happened. He was attacked, he drew a weapon, and that scared the attackers off. Then for some incomprehensible reason, he got out and started evaluating the damage to his car. Why? How do you go from fighting for your life to checking for dented fenders? That's insane.

The bottom line is, if you pull a gun, your only defense is that you were in fear for your life. So the rest of your actions had better be consistent with that, or else you're going to draw suspicion - and rightly so.
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Old February 23, 2012, 12:06 PM   #15
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Guilty until proven innocent.
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Old February 23, 2012, 12:15 PM   #16
Dashunde
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He probably - in hindsight - would have had no problems with the hit and run issue... the other guy was drunk, may not have even reported it, and if he did the guy would have been justified in leaving for safety due to the drunks aggressivness.

Theres a difference between leaving the scene to ensure your own safety and fleeing to avoid the cops or consequenses of the accident.
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Old February 23, 2012, 12:53 PM   #17
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I am in full sympathy with this poor guy. Sure, there are things he could have done better, but he had a lot on his plate. I don't think many people would do everything right under all that stress.
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Old February 23, 2012, 01:51 PM   #18
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This won't stop until there are consequences for the prosecutor, politically if not legally. Immunity needs to find it's limit.

I certainly hope there is a civil suit and that they lose their pants.
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Old February 23, 2012, 01:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
I don't think many people would do everything right under all that stress.
Right, yet he apparently did. They were warned, and despite the myopia/amnesia/alzheimers of the prosecutor, he did in fact use force as a last resort.
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Old February 23, 2012, 01:57 PM   #20
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These states with retreat laws or where shooting someone in self defense is an affirmative defense is just nuts. You shouldn't have to go to court and defend yourself like a criminal for shooting someone who is intent on harming you.

Thank god I have an understanding employer who is also a lifelong friend of the family so god forbid this ever happened to me I know my job would still be here when I got out.
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Old February 23, 2012, 07:02 PM   #21
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In reference to the Sand your ground law:

Quote:
What Lewis’ case shows is that current law works, Sarcone said: “I don’t know why people are afraid of jury trials. I’m not.”
Lewis spent 112 days in jail, lost his home and everything he owned, couldn't fight the evicition.

Geee why would Lewis or anyone else be afraid of a jury trial.

Its not the Jury that bothers me, its the people who get you to that point.

Everyone that carries should think about Concealed Carry Insurance.

My pensions come whether I'm in jail or not, my wife wont be hurting, but I don't want to miss my granddaughters ball games because I spent 112 days in jail waiting for a jury to free me.
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Old February 23, 2012, 07:40 PM   #22
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Sounds to me like the city and the apt complex and DA just made this fella a soon to be millionaire after he sues the crap out of em and I would. No one should have to go through that ever.
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Old February 24, 2012, 12:07 AM   #23
Frank Ettin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnxdshooter
Sounds to me like the city and the apt complex and DA just made this fella a soon to be millionaire after he sues the crap out of em...
Probably not. Such lawsuits are very rare, in part because they very seldom get anywhere. The applicable legal standards would support recovery only in the most extraordinary cases.
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Old February 24, 2012, 02:08 AM   #24
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To add to the list of interesting cases, there was an article yesterday about a trial beginning for a Philly police officer, who shot a man while he was off-duty.

The officer had been assaulted by one or two males in a group of seven or eight; as the crowd acted more threatening he drew; when one of the group said "he won't shoot," the officer shot him.

A Philly DA named Barry said that since the officer only had some facial bruising, it was obvious he wasn't really threatened, and he should have gone inside and called 911.

This assumes, of course, that the officer could have safely retreated through the crowd, and that disparity of force was not a legitimate concern....
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Old February 25, 2012, 12:52 PM   #25
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It is sickening to see a person have to endure the red tape that he did.

All said he has a chance in small claims court against the apartment company. They knew for a fact that he was in jail. That is exactly why they were evicting him. Secondly it was unlawful for them file eviction against him before he had his time in court. He may be able to recover some of the value of his belingings, and his deposit. What the apartment company did definately violated his rights. Even though the county did cary it out. His rights as a renter were violated.
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