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Old June 13, 2012, 10:05 PM   #101
thallub
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So yea, I'd convict him of murder (as they did.) And personally I say it was an easy case. I would not loose a minute sleep convicting this guy.
+1
Same here.
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Old June 13, 2012, 11:45 PM   #102
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The defense made a motion to dismiss the case claiming they had clearly shown all the elements of self-defense. The judge denied the motion and the defense decided not to call ANY witnesses.
Wow, that is really telling all by itself.

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A quick highlight of some of the testimony so far:

1. The man who is laughing who rushed Rodriguez is Johnson, a Houston firefighter. He had a blood alcohol level of 0.27 when he was tested. He was injured severely enough that they put him into an induced coma, and the combination of alcohol and coma apparently came with a fair amount of memory loss of the incident.
I think that was the most crucial aspect of the conflict in that everything sort of hinged on Rodrigquez being rushed. He claimed to have shot out of self defense and he was fending off an attack (not saying it warranted lethal force), but was the "attack" of him actually an act of self defense on behalf of the party goers dealing with a threat? He had already brandished at that time and was opting to remain in the area as a threat. They certainly did not back down and in fact pursued the threat as Rodriguez had apparently backed up some distance (but still was not leaving and was still acting in a threatened manner - that he had a gun made his backing of inconsequential. It may not be prudent or good form to advance on a threat like that, but not illegal.

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3. Ken Ellis, one neighbor, testfied there were four shots fired total. Two close together and then two separate shots a little later. He also testified that this was the first time there was a party at this place in three years, so I am not sure where the preexisting hostility that Rodriguez had for Danaher mentioned in other neighbor's testimony came from.
Pre-existing hostilities don't have to come from the same set of circumstances as the current hostilities. People get mad at their neighbors for all sorts of reasons.

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...he brought a gun to ANOTHER persons house to argue with them
I have no problem with the guy taking a gun to another person's house to complain. That actually would be the prudent thing to do. Turning the situation around quite a bit, had Rodriguez been killed by a bunch of drunk guys when he went to a party and complained about the noise and it was noted that he had a CHL but did not bring his gun, no doubt we would have thought him stupid for not letting the cops handle it and stupid for leaving the gun at home as he should have known that complaining to the neighbors likely would not be taken very well by the neighbors.

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The SYG law was designed for those minding their own business and someone comes up and assaults them. It was NOT to go around provoking fights and then 'standing your ground'.
While it certainly was not for provoking fights (http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodo...l/SB00378I.htm), nothing in the law says or indicates people have to be minding their own business for SYG to apply.
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Old June 14, 2012, 01:27 AM   #103
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...y-Danaher.html

Yes , he got what he deserved. 'Stand your ground' doesn't mean you can do anything you want !
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Old June 14, 2012, 06:08 AM   #104
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I'm glad the jury convicted him. This guy was a murderer. He might have caused damage to the SYG law, did more work for the anti-gun than for gun owners. sad.
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Old June 14, 2012, 08:22 AM   #105
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He got what he deserved,and I think they need to have a talk with his CHL instructor.

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Old June 14, 2012, 08:32 AM   #106
Brian Pfleuger
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I doubt there's any problem with his instructor.

We talk about these deadly incident "buzz words" (though I never thought of them as such until now) on this forum, all the time.

This guy thought those words were his Get Out of Jail Free card rather than ideas or thoughts to be communicated to LE after a deadly encounter.

I wonder how this will affect other cases, where people ARE genuinely in fear of their lives. Won't be hard for the prosecutor to be like "Yeah, that's what he said too, sorry, your magic words don't work any more."

Those phrases do, suddenly, seem very cliche.
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Old June 14, 2012, 09:40 AM   #107
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It does bring up a good training discussion, especially for those who train CHLs. It is important to convey that there aren't any set of "magic words" that are going to get you out of a bad situation.

Another thing I don't think gets enough emphasis is non-verbal communication. For example, your open palms facing towards a potential threat, hands forward about chest high (like "Hands up" done halfway) is pretty much universally recognized as a non-confrontational gesture - at the same time, it keeps your hands where you can block attacks or begin presenting a weapon if necessary.

One of the few good things about this case, is that it provides a really valuable teaching point - especially with the available video.
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Old June 14, 2012, 10:30 AM   #108
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Somewhere I read that his instructor was something like a radio personality in the area, known for blather on the airwaves. Plus, in his class he did emphasis the magic words, get out of jail nature of SYG, in fear of my life, etc.

But I can't find that post here or elsewhere anymore. Didn't come up in the Googles.

Anybody remember that.
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Old June 14, 2012, 12:04 PM   #109
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This guy thought those words were his Get Out of Jail Free card rather than ideas or thoughts to be communicated to LE after a deadly encounter.
EXACTLY!

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Old June 14, 2012, 02:04 PM   #110
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From another list that I asked about the instructor -TX law seems to protect the instructor - Gov
Code ยง411.208:

(a) A court may not hold the state, an agency or subdivision of the state, an officer or employee of the state, a peace officer, or a qualified handgun instructor liable for damages caused by:

(1) an action authorized under this subchapter or a failure to perform a duty imposed by this subchapter; or

(2) the actions of an applicant or license holder that occur after the applicant has received a license or been denied a license under this subchapter.

(b) A cause of action in damages may not be brought against the state, an agency or subdivision of the state, an officer or employee of the state, a peace officer, or a qualified handgun instructor for any damage caused by the actions of an applicant or license holder under this subchapter.

(c) The department is not responsible for any injury or damage inflicted on any person by an applicant or license holder arising or alleged to have arisen from an action taken by the department under this subchapter.

(d) The immunities granted under Subsections (a), (b), and (c) do not apply to an act or a failure to act by the state, an agency or subdivision of the state, an officer of the state, or a peace officer if the act or failure to act was capricious or arbitrary.
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Old June 14, 2012, 04:32 PM   #111
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I think even without that statute, you would have a hard time showing proximate cause.
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Old June 14, 2012, 05:03 PM   #112
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While it certainly was not for provoking fights (http://www.capitol.state.tx.us/tlodo...l/SB00378I.htm), nothing in the law says or indicates people have to be minding their own business for SYG to apply.
Well DNS... if you are not provoking the fight and you are legally there, yea you are minding your own business.

He had an ongoing FEUD with them. He went there with a camera for 20 minutes. He told people how to evade the SYG law with language.. the same language he used in the 911 call. He argued with them. So he was not 'minding his own business.'

SYG law is for those who do not provoke and thus are minding their own business.

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Old June 14, 2012, 05:44 PM   #113
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Glenn

The radio personality you are thinking of is Jim Pruett, he was on the radio here in Houston back in the 90's and now owns a local gun shop in Cypress Tx. They had him on one of the news channels as a local firearms and CHL experts reviewing the video tape from this shooting.

In his interview he basically told the reporter that Rodriguez should get off because he told the guy that was shot everything that he was taught in his CHL and that was all he needed to do to justify using deadly force.

I can believe that he actually thinks that way. His shop is less than a mile from my home and a neighbor who was not very familiar with pistols was interested in getting his CHL. He went to Pruett's shop and asked him about the CHL and several pistols. He asked Pruett what he carried and Jim takes out his pistol, then another and another. After it was all over he had about 4 pistols and something like 8 knives layed out on the counter and told my neighbor that is what he carries everyday. I told my neighbor to take his CHL class somewhere else and he did.

I haven't been in his shop for over two years and do not plan on ever going back. He is way over priced and the only guy that worked there that had any snap up and quit. The last time I was in his shop one of his workers was carrying a Beretta 92f in single action on their hip. I asked him if he thought he was carrying a 1911 and he told me that was just how he liked to carry it. I turned around and walked out and have never been back.
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Old June 14, 2012, 05:52 PM   #114
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Maybe the shooter will sue the "instructor".

Then there'll be a big sale at a gun shop, one less fool with business cards and one less fool on the street.

Then we can all get some sleep.

On another note, this is one of the problems with stand your ground laws in general. (The Florida law is even worse.)

A better approach is to write law about what we can't do, not what we can do.

P.S. As I wandered away, thinking about this, I was thinking it wouldn't be very easy to write a reasonable law about when it would be legal to stand your ground and when it wouldn't. Which sort of reinforces my point-- if the law doesn't say I can't do it, I should be able to do it without worrying about the law. Which is the way I'd like it. If you can't define a law about when I have to retreat, I should be free not to do so.

And when you set out to write that law, it seems to me it would be very difficult to write.
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Old June 14, 2012, 06:10 PM   #115
Bartholomew Roberts
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On another note, this is one of the problems with stand your ground laws in general. (The Florida law is even worse.)
I don't see a problem with the law here. It worked as designed. The only problem is Rodriguez did not have a solid understanding of the law regarding use of deadly force in Texas. Also, it seems like Rodriguez was more focused on a "When can I shoot someone?" mindset instead of a "When MUST I shoot someone?" mindset.

Quote:
If you can't define a law about when I have to retreat, I should be free not to do so.
Which is pretty much how the Texas law is written... if you are:

1. In a place where you have a legal right to be;
2. Have not provoked the fight; and
3. Are not engaged in a crime

then you do not have to retreat in order to claim self-defense... however you still have to show all the elements required for self defense (Something a hypotehtical reasonable person would see as an immediate threat of death or serious bodily injury).
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Old June 14, 2012, 06:28 PM   #116
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^^^
EXACTLY
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Old June 14, 2012, 06:34 PM   #117
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There are two problems I see there: one is, as this case demonstrates, idiots live among us. When Idiot A pays Idiot B to teach him about firearms, the body count goes up. Add a poorly written law, a particularly stupid instructor and a wanna-be killer, and the antis get maximum fuel for their fire for the least investment.

Two is the view that, quite simply, we don't need a law to stand our ground. A law that says it's okay to do so doesn't help you. Ask Rodriguez if you don't believe me. It's much too easy to show that, at the very least, there will usually (if not always) be doubt about whether you "provoked the fight."

Far better to leave the burden of proof where it belongs. We only need laws when (and if) it's illegal to stand our ground.

That philosophical distinction may seem subtle, but it's important, at least to me. The main reason I find it important is because it makes law that restricts the actions of a law abiding citizen more difficult to write, and that, above all, is what I want.
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Old June 14, 2012, 06:42 PM   #118
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The whole point of SYG is to prevent prosecutions in cases where prima facie evidence suggests valid self-defense, and to remove a duty to retreat from consideration so long as other factors indicate valid self-defense.

Those two goals are worthwhile. Legal costs incurred are likely to be much higher, when prosecutors aren't restrained from charging despite an appearance of lawful self-defense.

Rodriguez failed the prima facie test. The shooting didn't look remotely good.
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Old June 14, 2012, 07:03 PM   #119
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I suggest there would have been doubt had he been bright enough not to film his own confession.

We'd have been right back at he-said-they-all-said then. And the case could have gone forward, or even worse, hinged a jury of one.

In this particular case, he'd have been standing there chanting "I'm in fear for my life" instead of "I'm in fear for my life and I'm standing my ground", and hopefully, he'd still be going to prison tonight.

Like filing a lawsuit, nothing prevents a prosecution except a prosecutor. What a stand your ground law might prevent is a conviction or a trial.

On the other side, I've been thinking about stand your ground laws and the other people in this case.

Do you think they needed a law to protect them from the state regarding their actions that night?

And I disagree, vehemently, that those goals are worthwhile.

We should not require protection from prosecution. Prosecution that we need to be protected from indicates that it's far, far to easy for the state to prosecute us, and to pass laws that limit our freedom.

The burden must remain on the state, and never on the citizen. Better to let a thousand guilty men go than to convict one innocent man.
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Old June 14, 2012, 07:11 PM   #120
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To me, this case represents the duty that we as instructors have to vet our students provide correct information. Rodriguez was taught a (mis)interpretation of SYG by a layman. Coupled with Rodriguez's apparent mental illness, this became an avoidable tragedy. It has been my experience that the questions a student asks are a window into their motivation for taking the class. I train people with Simunitions, so when someone lights up the role player, we watch him VERY carefully.
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Old June 14, 2012, 07:15 PM   #121
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Doc, I don't believe anything can be done to prevent whackjobs from being whackjobs.

If it hadn't been stand your ground, he'd have found another way.
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Old June 14, 2012, 07:58 PM   #122
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Imust say my last reply was wrong..

I just herd today that this guy was convicted of murder...I wonder if they took in account of his fellow fire fighters testimony was a factor in his conviction???do to they thought he would eventually shoot someone do to his paranoia....I did not see that until later on and boy was I wrong......
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Old June 14, 2012, 09:37 PM   #123
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For one thing, while the video helped the prosecution, there were direct witnesses to the shooting and its lead-up, and there were indirect witnesses (with regard to the incident) who testified to statements the defendant had made prior to the incident which showed state of mind (and possibly premeditation).

So, I doubt the results would have been different without the video.

As to whether an ideal law would make it harder for the state to decide to prosecute - that would be fantastic, but until somebody comes up with a workable way to do that, I'll keep SYG in the states that have it, thank you much. I would not mind at all, though, if they changed the name of that set of laws from "Stand Your Ground" to "No Duty to Retreat." Different connotation, and sometimes connotation is important.

And, Jammer Six, Florida law does actually prevent prosecution if the facts in evidence support a self-defense claim. The case-that-shall-not-be-discussed notwithstanding, the law is supposed to prevent charges from being filed, and lawsuits from being brought.
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Old June 14, 2012, 10:16 PM   #124
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My point. It doesn't work, because it can't work.

Preventing charges from being filed isn't an attainable goal. Or, for that matter, a goal I would want.
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Old June 14, 2012, 10:23 PM   #125
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It may not be a goal you want. However, since prosecutors have (and realistically must have) qualified immunity for their prosecutions, there really is no other practical way to prevent bogus prosecutions.

And if you don't think bogus prosecutions occur, look up Janet Reno's history as a prosecutor in S Florida. She is not the only example of a prosecutor who would charge anybody who used a gun, but she is a glaring one.

Anything that makes prosecutors decide that charging for political gain, advancement of a political agenda, or publicity is likely to ultimately embarrass them is just fine in my book.

As I see it, SYG and related laws simply force a prosecutor to be conservative about which cases to charge, and discourage the charging of questionable cases.
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