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Old June 19, 2010, 12:03 PM   #1
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Join Date: July 31, 2009
Posts: 642
Self-defence in VA

I saw this mentioned on-line and cannot find the source now. It is the opinion of the appeals Court on VA on a shooting. Essentially two persons with previous interactions were driving down the street in separate cars, a fellow from one car shot at the defendant and he fired back. He was charged and convicted of the shooting but the case was reversed on appeal. Even though the two guys had previous conflicts the Judge said in this case the defendant was an innocent party and had no requirement to retreat. VA does not have a Castle law only court precedents for self defense.

The review covers a lot of case law in VA on what constitutes self defense and when you have to retreat as well as shooting innocent bystanders. Used the shoot out at the OK Corral, as an example. As well as a case where a person was not convicted of shooting a police officer because the officer shot first. In this case the officer was in plain clothes and made an illegal stop. The defendant in that case did have a gun drawn when the officer fired, but because the officer was the original aggressor he was found to be in the wrong in the shooting.

The innocent bystander issue essentially was that if you are in a situation where you have to shoot in self defense you can can not be found criminally liable for hurting an innocent bystander. Of course civil liability is a whole different issue.

The OK Corral came up because the trial judge said Portsmouth was not the OK Corral.
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