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Old January 24, 2010, 07:46 PM   #53
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,811
Originally Posted by maestro pistolero
Originally Posted by fiddletown
First, if it was an otherwise justifiable shooting, a trigger job alone is not going to result in conviction.
Thank you. That was my entire point.
But you're missing the point that you won't be on trial solely because of a trigger job. You will be on trial because there were other factors, other evidence, that led the grand jury to conclude that there was probably cause to believe that the shooting was not justified, or that led the prosecutor to believe that he could overcome your self defense claim.

Remember, if it happens to you, there is no way you can know ahead of time whether in your particular case there will be ample evidence to support your claim of self defense or if, when the smoke clears, the evidence will be sparse that you were justified in using lethal force.

Everyone who has ever been on trial after a self defense shooting thought as he pulled the trigger that he was right -- that he had no choice. But the fact that he wound up on trial shows that in the aftermath the prosecutor found good reason to challenge the claim of justification and to believe that he could get a jury to agree.

If you are on trial, you and your lawyer will need to deal with any number of factors which, in some aggregation, could incline the jury against you resulting in a guilty verdict sending you to jail. In Harold Fish's case, using a powerful gun (10mm) and JHP ammunition, were two such factors. In another case, could a factor be altering a gun by having the trigger made so light that a qualified police armorer would testify that the trigger is unsuitable for a service weapon? Quite possibly. But then again, it's only a factor it you have chosen to do it.

As I mentioned previously, a 4 to 5 pound trigger on a 1911 shouldn't be a problem. I could find several qualified police armorers who will testify that such a trigger is suitable for a service 1911. And if one can't shoot a 1911 with a 4 to 5 pound trigger well, he needs some training and practice.

Originally Posted by C Philip
... it might be better not to claim self defense, leading to the question posed in this thread. Might it be better not to claim self defense and make the prosecution prove everything?
I don't think so. Some of the reasons why that's not a good idea were discussed at length in that thread. And Boston T. Party doesn't think it's a good idea either:

"...I am not recommending that anyone flee the scene of a justifiable homicide,...In fact, after reviewing the precautions such a flight will require, most of you will properly conclude that it's far too involved and risky to succeed -- and that's my point here. Call 911; don't flee..." (Boston T. Party, Boston's Gun Bible, Javelin Press, 2002, pg 5/2)

And --

"...Criminals have a better practical chance of getting away with ...flight because they have prior experience (you don't), they can plan for it (you got surprised , and thus retrospectively left many inadvertent clues). They have the immediate support of the criminal underworld (you don't). They are ruthless (you are just an average person), they feel no guit (you will, at least in the form of doubt)...." (Boston T. Party, pg 5/10)
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