Stand Your Ground Defense Fails Again

Discussion in 'Legal and Activism' started by Doc3402, May 20, 2013.

  1. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

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    Personally, I think this case reeks. I can't tell you why yet without ruining the story.

    Link To Story
     
  2. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Witnesses said the fight had ended before the boy produced the weapon and shot at the gang. The threat had ended and he was no longer in danger of peril.
     

  3. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

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    Close, but you're not quite there. Admittedly, I do have an unfair advantage because I live in the same city. Let's just say the injuries were not consistent with a retreating individual. I believed the science at the time, and I still do. Witnesses can be very unreliable. Unfortunately for the kid the judge is ignorant of the science involved, or he may have doubted the witness testimony, too.

    No, what gets me is that Swing'em Soud said he was "razor close" to granting the S-Y-G defense, but later he splits the difference on sentencing because of the kids age at the time of the crime. This kid has already served 3 years for something he did as a juvenile. Add in that what he did was a reaction to a fight that was brought to him, and in reality, had nothing to do with him. Why not give him the minimum 5 years with time served if it was that close a call on S-Y-G?

    In case you're wondering, our judges are elected, and "They're Tough On Crime"
     
  4. Fathead00

    Fathead00 New Member

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    Did anything happen to the kids that beat the other guy unconcious?
     
  5. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    SYG is great on paper but you're going ot have trouble with the expert testimony dependent on the judge and opinions of a jury. sure, it's not supposed to be that way but it is what it is. The laws are pretty close here too but they still pretty much have to be in your house. We did have a gas station clerk that was acquitted after he chased the robber out of the store and shot him though. Ky is still pretty gun friendly but the times they are a changin' in the bigger cities.

    Sounds in this case though the guy took a deal. That probably was his mistake.
     
  6. TekGreg

    TekGreg Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    The fact that he had no right to be carrying the weapon that he used would make me nullify the SYG defense, if I were on the jury. Had he killed him with something legal to a 16-year-old (brick, knife, broom, etc), then I would allow it. The defense is kind of "fruit of the poisonous tree," I.e. You can't be justified in defending yourself under SYG when the weapon used is illegal. Also, his attackers didn't allow him to retreat when they attacked him from behind. Anyone else have a thought on this?

    It brings up an interesting point for those of us who are legally allowed to possess a firearm: WHEN is the threat serious enough to produce your weapon, fired of not? This guy was jumped from behind by three attackers, so therefore could've drawn and fired immediately (most states have laws regarding "overwhelming numbers" of attackers, allowing armed defense even if the attackers are not armed. The number does vary by state.).
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2013
  7. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

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    You know, that didn't get a lot of airtime. I'll try to get an answer for you.
     
  8. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    He was not charged with possession of an illegal weapon. He was charged with murder. If possession was the issue, then that is what should have been addressed.
     
  9. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

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    Technically, the charge he was sentenced on was manslaughter, a much lesser crime here in Florida. Anyway, you're right on the gun charge unless it was buried as part of the deal.
     
  10. HockaLouis

    HockaLouis New Member

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    Ooo..., McCool, you're gonna take that from him?
     
  11. MisterMcCool

    MisterMcCool Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's it! Gloves off!
    Wait.... he said I was right?
     
  12. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

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    The guy did take the deal, but the overall impression was that he was screwed if he didn't. We had recent experience with Marissa Alexander of minimum mandatory sentencing fame. She ended up with 20 years for firing a gun during the commission of a felony. Nobody died in her case. In fact, nobody was even shot. That idiot turned down a three year deal and ended up with 20 with no parole. This kid was facing felony manslaughter, and if they worked it right he could have gone down for the same mandatory amount of time, plus the manslaughter charge, plus anything they wanted to tack on about the gun.

    Florida Stand You Ground might be a little bit different than yours. The house part is true, but SYG also applies to anywhere you have a legal right to be as long as you are not committing a crime at that time. You have the right to defend yourself anywhere, any time, as long as you have the right to be there. The only difference in our SYG and our old self defense law was that SYG removed the duty to retreat if at all possible. Under the old law the duty to retreat included retreating from your house if you were under attack.

    In my opinion, this kid had a right to be where he was. The kid and his friend were attacked from behind. The kid defended himself. In my opinion the only charge he should have faced was the possession by a minor charge, which probably would have been argued down to a misdemeanor.
     
  13. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    Screwed or not he took a dive in he fight. If he knew he was justified then there was on reason to take a dive... I sure wouldn't.

    Our SYG thing kind of runs along with the Castle Doctrine laws. It just pushed the castle to the property line when at home and within a distance when away form home to show a danger enough to warrant lethal force. If the guy was here he would walk unless they charged him with the improper possession of the weapon...If you follow the law. Thing is there are a growing group of DA mainly in more metropolitan areas that are trying to push against such laws. Kentucky is an enigma. We're seen as a major GOP/conservative stronghold but we have only elected a couple conservative governors in the last 100 years. This happens because the Huge rift between the metro and rural populations. The cities forget they are in Kentucky and think they are civilized. The rural areas say leave me the hell alone and I"ll call you if I need something. Put it this way. If this kid would have dropped some gang affiliated attacker(s) in my little town it would never make it to court. Put the case in Louisville and it probably would have a different outcome. Same laws...Same state...Different worlds.

    I cna see the charge of a minor with a forearm...The rest though...It's a bit much.
     
  14. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

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    He did take a dive, but I'll bet his lawyer was chanting Marissa, Marissa in his ear when he did it. Her case was no more an SYG case than OJ Part 1, but it scared a lot of defense lawyers in this town. Another thing he probably had in mind was Angela Corey. She's the mastermind(?) behind the Zimmerman charges and is also the state attorney for Jacksonville. She absolutely hates SYG.

    In a way I feel sorry for the kid, and that's not something I say frequently in this kind of case. I feel this way because the judge is letting the age of the kid override his common sense on the SYG decision.
     
  15. 7point62

    7point62 Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Based just on what I've read here, the judge should have cut the kid some slack. Maybe the kid's color hurt him with this judge. When it comes to crime I'm like Genghiz Khan but this was a teenage street fight, not a robbery, not a drug deal. Like Doc says Florida's SYG does not require you to retreat and it is applicable almost anywhere, not just in your home.

    Now the kid will go to prison for ten years and learn to be a real hardass criminal. There's a part of being a judge that requires judgement.
     
  16. WebleyFosbery38

    WebleyFosbery38 New Member

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    SYG is only good if you live and or protect others from dying. Ive decided that the only situation I would do that was on my own property and if someone I cared about was in danger. The same laws that convict the criminal undoubtedly will be used against us in a court of law unless were carrying a badge.

    Things that go bump in the night deserve special notice and if they enter my home without permission, they will leave horizontal and carried by at least two people they dont know. I will stay out of the cities that have become caldrons of death; thanks to UPS, I really dont need to go anywhere that gangs and thugs have more rights than JQ Public...
     
  17. Doc3402

    Doc3402 New Member

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    There is also a part of the criminal justice system that requires justice. By the judge's own admission the decision to deny SYG was razor thin. In his defense, the appellate court upheld him, but 'razor thin' to me implies reasonable doubt. Cut the kid some slack and give him time served. He was a victim in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong person.
     
  18. Daoust_Nat

    Daoust_Nat Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't have a problem with the outcome. I do have a problem with the kid of 16 carrying a gun, and the wait until the end to bring the carrying of that gun out. It should have been an issue from day one. I also because of the gun, do not have a problem with the sentence.

    If he did not use the gun for self defense that night, what would it have been used for the next night? Or was he sending it to Chicago?
     
  19. Rocky7

    Rocky7 New Member

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    We don't have SYG laws here in Canada. In fact, the authorities here will foam at the mouth at the mere thought of a handgun in civilian hands. So, maybe I don't have a very good understanding of all this but I don't understand something.

    If the threat was over - as witness evidence says - then what's SYG got to do with it? Or being underage, for that matter? It can't be OK to shoot someone AFTER the fight's over, is it? (or brain him with BB bat, for that matter....)
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2013