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Old July 2, 2013, 02:50 PM   #1
ZVP
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Justified in shooting?

Sounds simple but a lot of factors are at play!
I am disabled, heck a 9 year old girl could knock me over!
The other nite I just missed a couple punks trying to steal my Truck!
I awoke ans still sleepy didn't get dressed armed and moving fast enough to confront them!
When I got up they were gone due to the front porch light coming on and the screen door noise.
Now had I caaught them all I could justifilably do is hold them at gunpoint till the police got there.
Unless:
They moved against me to do me harm.
One or both displayed a weapon.
But what if they just tryed ti run?
Heck I couldn't shoot. I also am in such bad shape I couldn't tackle one either!
I'd have been left standing there with my Model 36 waving bye-bye!
Maybe it's best I didn't get out there or someone woulda got hurt or worse!
The trucks steering colum is wiped out but there's insurance to cover that
Maybe God had it planned right for my sake?
BPDave
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Old July 2, 2013, 04:17 PM   #2
markj
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Call 911.

Quote:
Now had I caaught them all I could justifilably do is hold them at gunpoint till the police got there
Kidnapping is a life sentance here and in other states.
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Old July 2, 2013, 04:29 PM   #3
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Shooting someone is a life sentence, even if exonerated and ajudged "Justified". Best thing that could happen to YOU is that they run away.


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Old July 2, 2013, 04:44 PM   #4
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Re: Justified in shooting?

Quote:
Originally Posted by markj View Post
Kidnapping is a life sentance here and in other states.
And citizen arrests are legal in most (all?) states as well. Justification for such varies, but saying that holding them until the police arrives constitutes kidnapping is jumping the gun.
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Old July 2, 2013, 04:55 PM   #5
serf 'rett
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Can the threat of deadly force be used to detain, if the crooks don't threaten?

That's a real corker!

May depend on your state and/or local laws.

Makes one miss the good ol days, when the choices were simple, when you caught someone was trying to steal your horse.
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Old July 2, 2013, 05:03 PM   #6
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Have to disagree with most on here so far.
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Old July 2, 2013, 05:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Shooting someone is a life sentence, even if exonerated and ajudged "Justified". Best thing that could happen to YOU is that they run away.
Certainly depends on the jurisdiction, but by and large, shooting someone is not a default life sentence. You made a blanket statement that doesn't include variation of circumstance or state laws. Plus, there is no sentencing until a finding of guilt.

Quote:
Kidnapping is a life sentance here and in other states.
Also a blanket statement that isn't exactly correct. In Iowa, kidnapping can result in a life sentence if a Class A felony, not more than 25 years for a Class B felony, and not more than 10 years and $10K fine if ruled a Class C felony.

http://coolice.legis.iowa.gov/cool-i...code&input=710

http://kidnapping.uslegal.com/state-....oolcL6gu.dpuf
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Old July 2, 2013, 05:56 PM   #8
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Hmmm. I am not an attorney but it is pretty evident that no one else here is either. Most of the larger libraries have copies of that state's code; I suggest going to the library (not a quickie search on "the net") and read a few of your own state's laws on homicide, murder, self defense, citizens arrest, detention after an observed felony, manslaughter, etc. You might be in for a few surprises.

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Old July 2, 2013, 05:58 PM   #9
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You have to prove "self defense" it could get pretty grey. and get expensive and risky.
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Old July 2, 2013, 06:03 PM   #10
Double Naught Spy
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LOL, there is nothing wrong with the internet if you look of proper sites. Going to the library isn't going to yield information any different on a particular state's code than going to the state's own website and looking up the code there.
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Old July 2, 2013, 06:15 PM   #11
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I don't like to tell others what they should or could do but I will say that [I] will use a firearm to protect my life or the life of a family member. I will not use a firearm to capture anyone.
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Old July 2, 2013, 06:20 PM   #12
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^^^^This!!
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Old July 2, 2013, 06:39 PM   #13
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IIRC, in Tx it is legal to shoot anyone if they are in the middle of committing a felony.

One story comes to mind where the home owner shoots the bad guys as they are running away, kills one (maybe both, I dont remember) and no charges were filed because the bad guys were in the middle of committing a felony.

Maybe some Tx guys can jump in and confirm
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Old July 2, 2013, 07:44 PM   #14
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Hi, 00 Spy,

True, and maybe I am old-fashioned, but internet searches tend to look up keywords and see only one section of the law. With law books in front of you, you can see better the interrelation of the laws and sections of the laws. It is pretty common for one section of the law to track to another, either supporting or even seeming to contradict another, and it is not easy to correlate everything you need to know using a web search.

Lawyers and researchers will use on-line searches to find the pertinent laws and do the preliminary looking, but I think they will all end up with a table full of open law books.

Jim
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Old July 2, 2013, 08:17 PM   #15
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Sgt Lumpy has very wise words. He's not saying you'll go to prison forever. He's saying if you have to shoot someone you will personally live with that for the rest of your life.

He is right, the best thing that can happen to you is the punks run away and get caught before they can cause another crime. To that end, I recommend a good security camera.

If you hold them at gunpoint, in some states, it may be legal (threat of force is not the same as using force). However, it is an empty threat as you can't then shoot them if they decide to get up and run away.
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Old July 2, 2013, 10:41 PM   #16
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You have to look at your local laws.
As far as I am concerned you are justified in shooting them. But I'm only concerned as far as stating my opinion based on my personal hatred for thieves.
The local law may come down on you very hard, even if they do come in and start beating the daylights out of you. Depending on where you are.
You also may have to deal with their gang, their friends and family. You can imagine the 'mommy dears' whining and crying about how their innocent little babies were such good kids.
So it probably would not be a good idea to shoot them (depending on your jurisdiction), even as much as I would like to see that.
But check on your local self defense courses and firearms courses.
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Old July 3, 2013, 02:59 AM   #17
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I think we can all take a lesson from George Z if there are any questions about when you might not want to shoot.

Sadly the laws in this country regarding use of deadly force to protect property need to change. In many areas they are pretty much ignored anyway. Even in California I remember during the LA Riot I was in Koreatown taking photos (and I had a pistol on my belt and a shotgun in my car) and nobody was messing with the Koreans on their roofs and in front of their shops with automatic weapons.

Last edited by Frank Ettin; July 3, 2013 at 10:59 AM. Reason: delete snark
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Old July 3, 2013, 08:39 AM   #18
Double Naught Spy
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Quote:
I think we can all take a lesson from George Z if there are any questions about when you might not want to shoot.
Using this logic, then you could argue that any case in which the shooter ends up going to trial is a case lesson about whether or not you should shoot.

Then again, a bunch of people involved in such shootings are acquitted. No verdict in for the case you cite so it really doesn't apply here as due process is ongoing.
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Old July 3, 2013, 09:33 AM   #19
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Isn't there the legal defense of disproportionate of force?
Multiple young criminals vs one disabled victim, whether they are armed or not?
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Old July 3, 2013, 10:18 AM   #20
plinkz
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text of the statutes is not enough

Getting back to reading the law at the library. I'm not an attorney, but I have some relevant experience. A lot (most?) of the law is not in the actual statutes, but in court precedents (case law) that expand on what is in the statutes. For example, the fourth amendment (statutory law) lays out general limitations on searches and seizures by government, but it is the case law that gives you the details, such as whether police can search a container in a car, etc. In addition, you have the issue of whether a case has been appealed to a higher court and has been ruled on. Those factors determine in what places it is legal to do a certain action.

I guess my point would be that when you try to explore the law on your own, you can easily come to wrong conclusions.
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Old July 3, 2013, 10:33 AM   #21
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I second call 911 & let the police handle it.
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Old July 3, 2013, 10:48 AM   #22
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I don't think it is legal to use deadly force if the thieves are running away without your property, not even here in Texas. That you were able to run them off, save your property and not have to use your weapon is the best outcome you could have.
Let the police handle it from there would be my advise. I might use deadly force to protect my property if needed but would have to weigh the loss against the legal costs that are sure to follow. Poor George Z. has found out all about that.
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Old July 3, 2013, 11:04 AM   #23
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Quote:
g.willikers] Isn't there the legal defense of disproportionate of force?
Multiple young criminals vs one disabled victim, whether they are armed or not?
Yes and no. More precisely, I haven't gone looking for "disproportionate force" in SD statutes, but I'm not aware of any that specifically name it. However, most states' SD statutes refer to a "reasonable belief" on the part of the shooter that death or serious bodily injury (or some similar language) could result. Accordingly, disproportionate force can be weighed into the reasonableness of the shooter's belief that he or she was about to suffer death or serious bodily injury.
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Old July 3, 2013, 11:18 AM   #24
Frank Ettin
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Let's keep Zimmerman out of this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by g.willikers
Isn't there the legal defense of disproportionate of force?
Multiple young criminals vs one disabled victim, whether they are armed or not?
It's called "disparity of force." It goes to the question of whether one or more assailants reasonably have the ability to cause lethal harm. But to support a claim of self defense, one still would need to show that the alleged assailants reasonably manifest an intent to immediately cause death or serious injury.

In the OP's case he puts himself in a potentially legally vulnerable position by going out of the house to confront someone -- especially since he has physical limitations. Often the better course would be to call 911, stay in the house, observe and prepare to be a good witness, take photographs, and be prepared to defend yourself if attacked.

Let's understand the basic reality of the use of force in self defense.
  1. Our society takes a dim view of the use of force and/or intentionally hurting or killing another human. In every State the use of force and/or intentionally hurting or killing another human is prima facie (on its face) a crime of one sort or another.

    1. However, for hundreds of years our law has recognized that there are some circumstances in which such an intentional act of violence against another human might be legally justified.

    2. Exactly what would be necessary to establish that violence against someone else was justified will depend on (1) the applicable law where the event takes place; and (2) exactly what happened and how it happened.

  2. The amount of force an actor my justifiably use in self defense will depend on the level of the threat.

    1. Under the laws of most States, lethal force may be justified when a reasonable person in like circumstance would conclude that a use of lethal force is necessary to prevent the otherwise unavoidable, imminent death or grave bodily injury to an innocent. And to establish that, the actor claiming justified use of lethal force would need to show that the person against whom the lethal force was used reasonably had --

      1. Ability, i. e., the power to deliver force sufficient to cause death or grave bodily harm;

      2. Opportunity, i. e., the assailant was capable of immediately deploying such force; and

      3. put an innocent in Jeopardy, i. e., the assailant was acting in such a manner that a reasonable and prudent person would conclude that he had the intent to kill or cripple.

    2. "Ability" doesn't necessarily require a weapon. Disparity of force, e. g., a large, young, strong person attacking a small, old, frail person, or force of numbers, could show "Ability."

    3. "Opportunity" could be established by showing proximity, lack of barriers or the like.

    4. "Jeopardy" (intent) could be inferred from overt acts (e. g., violent approach) and/or statements of intent.

    5. And unless the standard justifying the use of lethal force is met, use of some lesser level of violence might be legally justified to prevent a harmful or offensive, unconsented to contact by another person.

  3. If you have thus used violence against another person, your actions will be investigated as a crime, because on the surface that's what it is.

    1. Sometimes there will be sufficient evidence concerning what happened and how it happened readily apparent to the police for the police and/or prosecutor to quickly conclude that your actions were justified. If that's the case, you will be quickly exonerated of criminal responsibility, although in many States you might have to still deal with a civil suit.

    2. If the evidence is not clear, you may well be arrested and perhaps even charged with a criminal offense. If that happens you will need to affirmatively assert that you were defending yourself and put forth evidence that you at least prima facie satisfied the applicable standard justifying your act of violence.

    3. Of course, if your use of force against another human took place in or immediately around your home, your justification for your use of violence could be more readily apparent or easier to establish -- maybe.

      1. Again, it still depends on what happened and how it happened. For example, was the person you shot a stranger, an acquaintance, a friend, a business associate or relative? Did the person you shot forcibly break into your home or was he invited? Was the contact tumultuous from the beginning, or did things begin peaceably and turn violent, how and why?

      2. In the case of a stranger forcibly breaking into your home, your justification for the use of lethal force would probably be obvious. The laws of most States provide some useful protections for someone attacked in his home, which protections make it easier and a more certain matter for your acts to be found justified.

      3. It could however be another matter to establish your justification if you have to use force against someone you invited into your home in a social context which later turns violent.

      4. It could also be another matter if you left the safety of your house to confront someone on your property.

  4. Good, general overviews of the topic can be found at UseofForce.us and in this booklet by Marty Hayes at the Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network.

  5. Sometimes a defensive use of lethal force will have grave consequences for the defender, even when ultimately exonerated. For example --

    • 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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Last edited by Frank Ettin; July 3, 2013 at 07:10 PM. Reason: correct typo
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Old July 3, 2013, 07:09 PM   #25
kgpcr
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Again I ask the question. Do I have to shoot to protect life?? If you cant reply a resounding yes you should not shoot. Just that simple. You better think twice before you go out and hold some one at gun point. What are you going to do if you tell them to get down on the ground and they tell you to pound sand?? Now what??
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