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Old December 30, 2009, 11:24 AM   #21
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,749
Originally Posted by Skans
...There seems to be one element to this discussion that is missing that might entice a shooter who acted in self defense to call in the shooting. The police could look at the evidence and decide not to even charge the shooter with anything - if it's a clear cut case. Or could they? From what I've read, most folks who clearly shoot in self defense are never even arrested or charged with a crime. Is this correct, or am I wrong on this point? If there is a good chance that a shooter who clearly shot in self defense will not be arrested or charged, if he promptly calls 911 and cooperates with the police, then this is a huge incentive to take this path rather than the other. But, if you can plan on being arrested, charged, and tried regardless - I still think there is a decision to be made of whether or not to even report the shooting.
It does seem that if you use a gun in self defense, most of the time the matter will not wind up going to trial. This is based on reports of DGU published in the press and such sources as the NRA's "The Armed Citizen" column, and similar sources.

That doesn't necessarily mean that you won't get detained, or even arrested, that you won't get "taken downtown", that you won't want a lawyer. It also doesn't mean that you won't feel like you've "been put through the wringer" to some extent.

But I'm convinced that if you handle the aftermath properly, and that includes reporting the event right away, your chances of a good outcome are substantially improved. And in most cases, when the prosecutor evaluates the situation he will conclude that there is no case to take to trial.

Originally Posted by Skans
...If the shooter decides not to report the shooting death, perhaps because there are no witnesses or whatever reason, then he has no immediate concerns (legally speaking) unless and until he is somehow connected with the shooting. Then (I believe) the prosecutor will have to jump through all sorts of hoops to attempt to prove all of the elements of his case,....
Aside from that fact that is something an honest, upstanding individual would not even consider doing, what would your life be like if you did something like that? You'd be constantly looking over your shoulder wondering when the police would catch up with you. You'd never know if you were in the clear. You'd never know whether or not there were witnesses you didn't see or some other pieces of evidence that will ultimately connect you to the shooting.

What I understand from discussions with Massad Ayoob is that things often don't turn out well at all for folks who run or folks who have lied.
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