Cho Seung-Hui: How many laws did he break?


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Duncan223
April 18, 2007, 04:45 PM
How many laws did Cho Seung-Hui break?

1: murder
2: attempted murder
3: pre-meditated murder
4: having a gun on a gun-free campus
5: removing the serial number from a firearm
6: no concealed carry permit (but had the guns hidden on/about his person and not in plain sight)
7:
8:
9:
10:

Possible Violations:
* lied on 4473 (re: mental status).
* may have been prohibited from purchasing a gun due to stalking charges not being enforced.


So, how many more "gun laws" need to be passed to stop killers like Cho Seung-Hui? - - NONE. Cho already demonstrated he was not going to follow the existing laws, so any further laws would have been violatated as well.

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October
April 18, 2007, 04:59 PM
Is #4 illegal in Virginia?

Zundfolge
April 18, 2007, 05:01 PM
4: having a gun on a gun-free campus
That was not a law, that was only a campus policy ... he only risked suspension or expulsion over that.

Whatsit
April 18, 2007, 05:16 PM
7: Chaining exit doors closed
8: False imprisionment (a stretch, I know)
9: Flight to avoid prosecution (2 hours between murders)

TexasP226
April 18, 2007, 05:18 PM
So obviously if only there were one or two more laws he would have stopped! Nobody will break more than 9 laws...right???:uhoh:

Flyboy
April 18, 2007, 05:23 PM
I believe false imprisonment is a tort, not a crime, but I could be wrong. Any landsharks want to weigh in?

Also, premeditated murder is still murder, just a different degree; listing it separately probably isn't fair. You could probably go for the (constantly abused) "making terrorist threats," though, and aggravated assault and battery would be pretty solid.

El Tejon
April 18, 2007, 05:24 PM
The criminal statute is usually termed "Criminal Confinement". I do not know how Virginia phrases it.

mpmarty
April 18, 2007, 05:25 PM
Actually I believe it is not false imprisonment but kidnapping; and that is illegal and also actionable as a tort.

davec
April 18, 2007, 05:26 PM
We're going to be in a dogfight for the 2nd amendment over this.

The more attention focused on the failed mental health system that let this guy slip through the cracks the better.

If *one* of the 3 women he stalked took the time to take out a restraining order against him his name would of popped in the NICS.

If the doctor at the mental health facility who evaluated him agreed with the judge and ruled him a danger his name would of popped in the NICS.

Of course if the facility only has funding for 20 beds, and you have 19 of them filled, if your the doctor you have to decide if this guy is worth of one of those beds, or if you need to keep it open for the obvious psycho you might see tomorrow.

Not that I know for a fact that was the situation, but it's more productive to be talking about the broken mental health care system in this country then banning guns.

Val USP
April 18, 2007, 05:29 PM
For me #1 is MORE than enough :mad:
Unfortunately nobody at "free gun" area stopped him.

So it should be more talk - should we or not care guns, to be able to stop these :evil:

Outlaw Man
April 18, 2007, 05:40 PM
Not trying to get technical, just taking what you've got and running: :neener:

Also, premeditated murder is still murder, just a different degree; listing it separately probably isn't fair.
No, but you can usually get seperate sentences for many of those crimes. So, 32 counts of murder, 20 (approx) counts of attempted murder, who knows how many accounts of unlawful imprisonment/kidnapping/whatever they decide the charge would be - equal to all students and faculty in the building, assault for each of the victims he had a gun pointed at, discharging a gun inside city limits (I assume there's an ordinance against it, but IDK), disturbing the peace.....

Heck, there are several hundred, maybe a few thousand, counts of various crimes he committed.

Obviously a ban on high capacity magazines would have stopped him.

LawBot5000
April 18, 2007, 06:16 PM
1. premeditated capital murder: 30-something counts (the other murder types, the included attempts, assault and discharging weapon charges are subject to merger)
2. attempted murder: 30-something counts for the people he didnt kill (assault with a deadly weapon is merged, as are any discharge rules)
3. blocking a fire exit
4. being an adjudicated mental defective in possession of a firearm and ammunition
5. lying on form 4473 about his mental health status
6. committing suicide (virginia recognizes this as a common law crime, and people have been convicted of conspiracy and/or attempt in connection to suicide)
7. concealed carry without a permit

LawBot5000
April 18, 2007, 06:20 PM
No outlaw you can't. Look up the doctrine of merger.

When you shoot someone, it necessarily involves assaulting them, assaulting them with a deadly weapon, attempting to kill them and unlawful discharge of a firearm. However, since they are all aspects of the underlying murder charge, you only get convicted of that one. The judge would just toss them all out in the beginning, possibly with harsh words for the prosecutor.

Under commmon law, conspiracy doesn't merge with the underlying crime to commit it, but there were no co-conspirators here, so it is moot.

edit: if you are saying that he can be charged with attempted murder for the people he DIDNT kill, then you are correct

Well Regulated
April 18, 2007, 06:21 PM
Carrying in a Post office if Cho Mailed the NBC package from one.

LawBot5000
April 18, 2007, 06:24 PM
Carrying in a post office isnt illegal if you have a permit... oh right, he didnt have one.

But this is a tough one to prove. He could have gone to a kinkos. And he would have to have been carrying at the time.

Also since it would only be a misdemeanor at most, I beleive it would have to be witnessed by a law enforcement officer. I am not certain of this, though.

Jack19
April 18, 2007, 07:03 PM
32

cloudedice
April 18, 2007, 07:31 PM
My additions:
(1) (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+18.2-53.1) It is illegal to display a firearm in the commission of a felony: murder is a felony.
(2) (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+18.2-279) Discharging firearms within a building is illegal.
(3) (http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?000+cod+18.2-280) It is against the law to willfully discharge firearms in a public place: Virginia Tech is a land-trust school, doesn't that mean it's land is public property.

Jake!
April 18, 2007, 07:43 PM
He has also been tied to the recent campus bomb threats.
and stalking....

LawBot5000
April 18, 2007, 07:57 PM
cloudedice, merger doctrine. Learn it. All of those are inseparable elements of murdering or attempting to murder someone with a firearm. They are thus merged into the more severe crime.

cloudedice
April 18, 2007, 11:33 PM
Thanks, but as I am not a lawyer, nor have I ever claimed to be one, I will forevermore refrain from attempting to interpret the law on this board and thus be under no obligation, nor recommendation, to learn about the merger doctrine. :neener:

That being said:
Had he not killed or attempted to kill anyone, but still gone on a shooting rampage, wouldn't the laws I listed, as well as what others listed, still have been broken?

In any case the point of the thread was to list ALL of the laws he broke to show that having yet another law in place would not have changed the situation in any tangible fashion. My previous response is still valid.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 19, 2007, 12:17 AM
Here is a big one.... Cho had been ordered to psychiatric counseling by a court for stalking womem in 2005 (i.e. adjudicated mentally defective per 922(g) and should have been prohibited from even owning a firearm.

sumpnz
April 19, 2007, 12:30 AM
I believe he was ordered to the loony bin for evaluation. After said evaluation he was let out and approved for outpatient treatment. If a simple referral to the asylum is grounds to deny firearms for life, all an anti-gun judge would have to do is find some excuse to send as many gun owners for evaluation as possible to effectively eliminate gun ownership in the jurisdiction. I think there has to be some level of review after the initial evaluation of the individual in order for them to be committed and therefore trigger the firearms disability.

Please correct me with citations if I'm wrong.

Wire
April 19, 2007, 12:40 AM
If *one* of the 3 women he stalked took the time to take out a restraining order against him his name would of popped in the NICS.

True as that may be, restraining orders often trigger violent responses. From a self-preservation point of view, those women did the smart thing: fall off his radar and let him find a new obsession.

cloudedice
April 19, 2007, 09:44 AM
Here is a big one.... Cho had been ordered to psychiatric counseling by a court for stalking womem in 2005 (i.e. adjudicated mentally defective per 922(g) and should have been prohibited from even owning a firearm.

I saw the judge in question being asked about that, and he said that he did not declare the guy mentally defective, he just sent him for an evaluation because he was deemed a harm to himself, not others.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 19, 2007, 01:39 PM
Here is what the ATF considers to be a disqualifying mental illness:

Adjudicated as a mental defective. (a) A determination by a court,
board, commission, or other lawful authority that a person, as a result
of marked subnormal intelligence, or mental illness, incompetency,
condition, or disease:
(1) Is a danger to himself or to others; or
(2) Lacks the mental capacity to contract or manage his own affairs.
(b) The term shall include--
(1) A finding of insanity by a court in a criminal case; and
(2) Those persons found incompetent to stand trial or found not
guilty by reason of lack of mental responsibility pursuant to articles
50a and 72b of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, 10 U.S.C. 850a,
876b.

Committed to a mental institution. A formal commitment of a person
to a mental institution by a court, board, commission, or other lawful
authority. The term includes a commitment to a mental institution
involuntarily. The term includes commitment for mental defectiveness or
mental illness. It also includes commitments for other reasons, such as
for drug use. The term does not include a person in a mental institution
for observation or a voluntary admission to a mental institution.

Mental institution. Includes mental health facilities, mental
hospitals, sanitariums, psychiatric facilities, and other facilities
that provide diagnoses by licensed professionals of mental retardation
or mental illness, including a psychiatric ward in a general hospital.

This site has an excellent discussion of the subject:
http://www.ncids.org/Commitment%20Manual/Appendix%20E.pdf

Based on the case law, it looks as though if the judge made an official finding that he was a danger to himself OR others, he should have been prohibited by NICS.

Waitone
April 19, 2007, 06:13 PM
In some states merely sitting in the waiting room of a mental facility waiting to see a physician will disqualify you from obtaining a CCH. . . . . . all in a state where there no statutory authority for doing so.

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