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Old June 27, 2012, 06:56 PM   #1
Daggitt
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Raul Rodriguez Sentenced To Long Prison Term

MSN is reporting that Raul Rodriguez has been sentenced to a bunch of time. Evidently in Texas , if you choose to ,"Stand your ground" the ground better be yours .Not your neighbors driveway. People do some real wild things don't they. What do you folks think about the Jury's verdict? I found it strange the guy reportedly told the 911 dispatcher ,"I'm standing my ground here." Almost sounds like a kid walking in a liquor store and stating he's there to make a lawful purchase of alcohol. I thought it sounded like Rodriguez thought as long as he said he was standing his ground he could shoot who he wants. I think there is a lot more to it than reciting some words. Unfortunate because the antigun folks use this kind of stuff to their advantage.
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Old June 27, 2012, 08:35 PM   #2
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It is truly unfortunate that someone died because (and you did ask opinions) Mr. Rodriquez tried to gerrymander the law to intentionally a neighbor he didn't get along with. That type of attitude IMHO gives honest citizens a bad name and only leads to more restrictions on the good guys.

Ditto on Naterstein.
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Old June 27, 2012, 10:16 PM   #3
Aguila Blanca
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Ditto all of the above. Rodriguez stood in front of his neighbor's house for something like 20 minutes, video taping the entire time, while flashing his sidearm to make certain the party animals knew he was armed. Then he recited all the magic words ("I'm in fear for my life here," and "I'm standing my ground") as if the words by themselves could create a free fire zone around the asshat.

The intent of a stand your ground law is to allow someone who is assaulted and who is genuinely in fear for his life to use deadly force in self defense without having to make an instantaneous decision as to whether or not he might possibly be able to escape ("in complete safety") rather than defend himself. I watched the Rodriguez video, and it was obvious that he was NOT in fear for his life. Further, he was not assaulted -- he initiated the confrontation.

I read in the newspaper today that his wife claims he regrets the incident and that he cries at night. I have no sympathy for him. I think his only regret is that he didn't get away with playing the magic "stand your ground" card the way he thought he was going to.
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Old June 27, 2012, 11:44 PM   #4
Tom Servo
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A link to the story is here, for those unfamiliar with the case.

This was clearly a badly motivated shooting, and was not covered by Castle Doctrine as defined in any state I know of.
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Old June 28, 2012, 06:24 AM   #5
Aguila Blanca
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In lobbying jurors for a lenient sentence, defense attorney Bill Stradley blamed the tragedy on his client's misunderstanding of the state's "stand your ground" law. Something he predicts will happen with other Texas gun owners in the future.

"And they will find themselves, like Raul Rodriguez, charged with murder," said Stradley, according to the Houston Chronicle.

"Raul believed he had a right to be where he was. But he had two seconds to make that call, to pull that trigger."
BS.

Rodriguez didn't have two seconds to "make that call." He had twenty minutes ... the entire time he was standing in front of his neighbors' house, running his mouth and his video camera. The bottom line is that "stand your ground" laws are not a license to create a conflict and then shoot your way out of a situation of your own making. I just don't see that as being difficult to understand.
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Old June 28, 2012, 08:29 AM   #6
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I am thinking justice was served here even as it is sad to see so many lives ruined and ended over such a trivial matter.

A cautionary tale for those who think that their weapon is a magical totem to protect them and that the law will shield them if they recite certain sacred words.

The law does not give you the right to use your weapon to try to impose your will on people who are simply offending you and not causing you serious harm.
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Old June 28, 2012, 09:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
BS.

Rodriguez didn't have two seconds to "make that call." He had twenty minutes ... the entire time he was standing in front of his neighbors' house, running his mouth and his video camera. The bottom line is that "stand your ground" laws are not a license to create a conflict and then shoot your way out of a situation of your own making. I just don't see that as being difficult to understand.
I see this differently and am of much more of the opinion that the problem was that he wasn't actually in fear for his life. You may be right, of course. It would be interesting to hear what the jurors felt about the case and find out the basis for their decision as there were multiple factors at work.

He didn't use SYG law to create a conflict, but instead created conflict and then chose to stand ground after brandishing and continuing to provoke the neighbor and guests.

SYG laws are not a license to create conflict, but at the same time do not create loss of any other rights either.

Yeah, he chanted that he was standing his ground. He chanted that he was in fear for his life. He could have chanted passages from the Bible or from Harry Potter. Invoking such words does not make them real.
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Old June 28, 2012, 11:39 AM   #8
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It wasn't his ground.
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Old June 28, 2012, 11:56 AM   #9
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DNS, I don't live in Texas, so maybe you can clarify this point:

In Florida or Georgia, and I'm pretty sure in Missouri, too, brandishing a weapon and provoking those around me while doing so would fall under either "assault" or "assault with a deadly weapon." Seems to me that would put me on the wrong side of a Stand Your Ground scenario right off the bat.

So, if a person acted as you described (brandishing, and provoking), what would Texas consider that to be?
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Old June 29, 2012, 09:24 PM   #10
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So, if a person acted as you described (brandishing, and provoking), what would Texas consider that to be?
Aggravated assault, a 2nd-degree felony.

Rodriguez could have safely disengaged and gone back to his home at any point prior to the shooting. I don't see him getting much clemency.
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Old June 29, 2012, 09:44 PM   #11
Aguila Blanca
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Originally Posted by Double Naught Spy
I see this differently and am of much more of the opinion that the problem was that he wasn't actually in fear for his life. You may be right, of course. It would be interesting to hear what the jurors felt about the case and find out the basis for their decision as there were multiple factors at work.

He didn't use SYG law to create a conflict, but instead created conflict and then chose to stand ground after brandishing and continuing to provoke the neighbor and guests.

SYG laws are not a license to create conflict, but at the same time do not create loss of any other rights either.
I think we are really in agreement, for the most part. I have commented in earlier posts that Rodriguez's behavior was not that of a man in fear for his life. And that's what I meant about 20 minutes rather than two seconds. The whole time he was standing in front of the neighbors' house, swapping insults with a bunch of drunks, he could easily have just left. He had already called the police -- why not let them handle it? And once matters deteriorated to the point where he started talking about "I'm in fear for my life here," he could have left. Yes, he was apparently on a public street and had a right to be there -- but it was HE who had initiated the argument with the other people. Stand your ground is not (IMHO) intended to allow idiots to create conflict situations and then claim they had to use a gun to extricate themselves.

IMHO this was no different from the application of self defense laws to consensual combat. The laws of some states discuss that directly, in other states I suppose it's gotten to only through case law and precedent. The underlying concept is that if two people agree to step outside and settle a beef, if one of the parties ends up getting has posterior whupped he canNOT then claim self-defense and use deadly force in an attempt to avoid the whupping he asked for when he agreed to fight.

In the Rodriguez case, he didn't draw his weapon in response to an attack. HE took a gun to a verbal dispute, HE brandished a gun, and HE started talking about how he was going to defend himself LONG BEFORE anyone actually assaulted him (if anyone did).
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