Convicted Felons and Self Defense. What do you think?


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camslam
September 11, 2007, 11:57 AM
We had this story in our local paper last week and there is a lively debate raging over a letter to the editor regarding it.

I was curious what THR members think about the idea of felons having guns for self defense.

Just curious on people's thoughts. Thanks.

http://www.sltrib.com//ci_6799556?IADID=Search-www.sltrib.com-www.sltrib.com

Catch-22: Man who killed intruder acted justifiably but will stand trial for illegally possessing the gun
By Stephen Hunt
The Salt Lake City Tribune

Article Last Updated: 09/04/2007 03:02:50 PM MDT


Authorities have determined Danny Dutton acted in self-defense when he shot and killed a violent intruder at his Hurricane apartment earlier this year.
But in a case of legal Catch-22, Dutton has been ordered to stand trial for possessing the gun he used to kill Aaron Rondan Barbosa during a March 24 break-in.
Because of a 2004 felony conviction for cultivating marijuana, Dutton - a nephew of Hurricane Mayor Tom Hirschi - is prohibited from possessing firearms.
Following a June preliminary hearing, defense attorney Gary Pendleton filed a motion to dismiss the charge, citing case law recognizing that even a convicted felon may be entitled to use a gun in a life-or-death situation.
Deputy Washington County Attorney Eric Gentry countered that the motion was premature and that prosecutors are not required at this stage to negate Dutton's claim of self-defense.
Gentry also noted that during the preliminary hearing, the state had produced evidence that Dutton possessed the gun before, during and after the shooting, and was sufficiently aware of its location that he was able to immediately retrieve it.
Judge G. Rand Beacham last week agreed with prosecutors that the defense motion was premature, but he said the issue may be raised again prior to trial.
A scheduling hearing for Dutton is set for Sept. 13. If convicted of the second-degree felony weapons charge, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
Dutton is also charged with three class B misdemeanor counts of illegal possession of a controlled substance in connection with prescription medication allegedly found by police at his apartment following the shooting.
The shooting episode began when Barbosa and another man knocked on the door of the apartment Dutton, 22, shares with a male roommate.
When Dutton answered the door, Barbosa entered and began beating Dutton with a metal pipe, breaking Dutton's arm, according to court documents.
Dutton shouted at the intruders that they had "the wrong man," but Barbosa continued beating Dutton, who retreated to the kitchen, grabbed a .357-caliber handgun and shot Barbosa.
The other man, Juan Gonzalez, fled in a vehicle driven by Lucinda Ann Corral, but later confirmed Dutton's version of events.
Gonzalez also told police that Corral and Barbosa were "discussing payment after the job was done," as they were driving to Dutton's residence, according to court documents.
Corral, 30, has pleaded guilty to second-degree felony aggravated assault and faces up to 15 years in prison when she is sentenced Sept. 24 by Judge Beacham.
Gonzalez has not been charged, according to court records.
Also being prosecuted in connection with the shooting is Dutton's roommate, Shane Leland Norris, 27, and Bow-Dee Woodgeard, 20.
Norris is charged with third-degree felony drug possession, and class B misdemeanor counts of drug possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Woodgeard, 20, who has a prior felony conviction for manufacture of a controlled substance, is charged with second-degree felony possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.
Meanwhile, Dutton has been charged in federal court with being a felon in possession of a handgun and ammunition on May 7 in Washington County, a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

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camslam
September 11, 2007, 11:59 AM
Just found this in my search. Sorry for the duplicate. Mods please close.

Thanks.

Eyesac
September 11, 2007, 11:59 AM
Wow. If they've paid their due, I think they're entitled.

Socrates
September 11, 2007, 12:09 PM
I've been thinking about this very issue.

As is proven here, if a felon wants a gun, he can get it. So, we try the poor ex-felon, on probation, after the fact.

First: I believe all government regulation, read gun laws are illegal. The second amendment, extended through the 14th and 5th, extends that right against any state regulation. So, we currently have both state and federal illegal laws regulating a right promised by the Constitution, but, allowed to errode by our apathy.

How did we get to this sad situation? By stepping down the slippery slope, and taking a big slide. When we take those first steps, banning ex-felons from having rights, etc. we took the first step that has put us in the sorry state that exists today.

It's intresting to note that we allowed this all to happen without the help of the Supreme Court, who usually is the group that starts the walk down the slope, with some sort of 'balancing test', or rationale that sounds good, as they violate the strict constructionist view of the Constitution.

Frankly, I can't think of a group that is at greater risk of robbery then ex-felons, and, that need protection more.

S Esq.

camslam
September 11, 2007, 12:14 PM
That is my argument, that while I don't like it, convicted felons have as much right to self defense as any one else.

Also, many felonies aren't violent in nature. What about those people that are criminals per the law, but not violent or an immediate danger to those around them?

Tough questions no doubt. Here is the letter to the editor talking about just this question.

In a Sept. 4 Salt Lake Tribune story, Danny Dutton of Hurricane justifiably killed a man in self-defense, but may go to prison because he used a gun he wasn't entitled to have - because he's a convicted felon.
So, in order for Danny Dutton to save his life, he had to commit another felony to defend himself. There's something wrong here.
Do convicted felons have reasonable expectations to be able to defend themselves if their lives are in danger when they're not committing a crime? If not, why not? The Second Amendment says "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." It doesn't go on to say "unless you're a convicted felon." That's something that individual states tacked on later.
The Utah Legislature needs to revisit the law and stipulate that even a convicted felon who is not committing any other crime has the same right as any other law-abiding citizen to defend himself in a deadly situation - especially in his own home.

one-shot-one
September 11, 2007, 12:15 PM
he may be an "ex"-felon but appearently he still hangs with the wrong crowd.
didn't sound like there were any saints involved with this one.

robert garner
September 11, 2007, 12:19 PM
Self defense is the right of all men, felon or not. If you would deny a felon the right to own/carry/defend; he should be denied release from internment.
There is none here who would argue that any criminal who so desires could not aquire a firearm, how he uses it and whether or not he hangs, should be up to the courts to decide,just as it would for myself,or any here.
robert

camslam
September 11, 2007, 12:26 PM
What bothers me in addition to the crimes that violent felons repeatedly commit with firearms is the direct result of their actions to the rest of us.

Because of their actions, we get the pleasure of constantly battling the anti's over our 2nd amendment rights.

Study after study has shown it is a select group of people in our society that commits the majority of crimes. I would love to be able to do something about criminals getting guns and using them, but how do you stop something like that?

My solution is to lock them up for a very, very, very, long time. That way even if they get access to some kind of weapon they can't inflict more injury on the general public.

Cannonball888
September 11, 2007, 12:46 PM
That is my argument, that while I don't like it, convicted felons have as much right to self defense as any one else.

Also, many felonies aren't violent in nature. What about those people that are criminals per the law, but not violent or an immediate danger to those around them?

+1.
Felons of nonviolent crimes should have rights once their debt to society is paid. However, I'm not so sure about excons of violent crimes, although I'm sure some THR members believe they should have rights too even though studies have shown that these types of cons are more often not reformed.

cnorman18
September 11, 2007, 01:15 PM
I think if a guy has served his time, the right to own a firearm ought to be restored, especially if it was a nonviolent crime. If he's still on probation or parole, forget it; he's not done proving he can keep his nose clean, and he can stick with pepper spray and a big stick till he has.

If you want to keep guns out of the hands of criminals--well, duh...

This case sounds like the guy is STILL a criminal. Throw the book at him.

Sorry; if you want to own a gun, you shouldn't commit crimes. With nonviolent criminals, it's more arguable; but for violent criminals and drug dealers, I think it's a no-brainer.

No, I'm not a forgiving soul. I also think a first-offense DUI should get you a mandatory 2 years in the slam and your driver's license ought to be permanently revoked. That's the law in Sweden. They have NO drunk-driving problem there. (I'm no big fan of the Swedes, but this one they got right.)

JesseL
September 11, 2007, 01:26 PM
Denying released felons the right to own firearms is a poor fix for a flawed system.

Anyone that is such a danger to the public that they can't be trusted with a firearm won't care what the law says and shouldn't be at large in the first place.

Anyone that can be trusted to live peacefully with the rest of the public, should not be denied any of their human rights, including the right to self defense.

The ideal solution is to nurture a society that encourages individuals to take personal responsibility for their own well being, to posses the best tools available for self defense, and to be proficient with those tools. If we can manage that, the problem of what to do with violent felons will be largely a non-issue. They will receive instant karma at the hands of their first intended victim.

F4GIB
September 11, 2007, 01:28 PM
Self defense is a justification. Felons have as much right to live as anyone else. Justifications apply to all crimes.

Here's an example from the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit (not a pro-criminal court): http://www.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/07/09/063432P.pdf

LINK REPAIRED.

TallPine
September 11, 2007, 01:38 PM
interesting ... we've never had this discussion before :p

cnorman18
September 11, 2007, 01:38 PM
Check that link. Nothing there.

Erebus
September 11, 2007, 01:47 PM
It's a simple arguement. I would put these questions to the people that decide who gets released.

If he's not safe enough to trust with a weapon, how could he be safe enough to release? Weapons are easy to aquire.

If he's safe enough to release, what are you worried about? You just said he's safe.

That's the standard we should be using.

deadin
September 11, 2007, 01:51 PM
If they've paid their due, I think they're entitled.

TS.. They should of thought of this before they became a felon. Losing their gun rights is part of their "due".

Sistema1927
September 11, 2007, 01:55 PM
deadin, I hope that you never get convicted of one of the many, many felony acts that have recently been defined. I bet that you have committed felonious acts unknowingly.

Here is the plain truth: If somebody is dangerous, they should be locked up or executed. If they are not locked up they should have the right to self-defense.

Scorpiusdeus
September 11, 2007, 01:56 PM
Quote:
If they've paid their due, I think they're entitled.
TS.. They should of thought of this before they became a felon. Losing their gun rights is part of their "due".

EXACTLY!!!

When you commit crimes, there is a punishment involved. If you don't like the punishment, don't commit crimes. Is it REALLY that hard?

How tough is it to avoid committing a felony?

Scorpiusdeus
September 11, 2007, 01:59 PM
Here is the plain truth: If somebody is dangerous, they should be locked up or executed. If they are not locked up they should have the right to self-defense.

Shoulda, woulda, coulda. In a perfect world that would be accurate, but we don't live in a perfect world so felons, non violent or otherwise don't get guns. Their right to self defense has not been taken away, just one tool of self defense. Isn't that what we ll tell people? A gun is just a tool?

No need to "hope" I don't commit a felony. I find it pretty easy to obey they law.

SoonerSP101
September 11, 2007, 02:02 PM
"Dutton is also charged with three class B misdemeanor counts of illegal possession of a controlled substance in connection with prescription medication allegedly found by police at his apartment following the shooting. "

My question is: Why were the police checking his medicine cabinet for who was listed on the prescription bottle? Was the body found in the medicine cabinet?

JesseL
September 11, 2007, 02:04 PM
I would like to propose legislation to classify "circular reasoning in an internet discussion forum" as a felony.:neener:

camslam
September 11, 2007, 02:04 PM
I agree with Scorpiusdeus on this:

Their right to self defense has not been taken away, just one tool of self defense.

The problem is a gun happens to be the best equalizer and form of self defense in my opinion. So the argument really comes down to self defense and it touches on hypocrisy for me to argue vehemently to keep my right to the best self defense, while taking that from another. It really is a catch-22.

romma
September 11, 2007, 02:24 PM
Okay Mr. or Mrs. Felon, we are releasing you from jail on the condition you allow yourself to be victimized any number of ways up to and including, Rape, Robbery, Beating, Torture, Murder, Sodomy, and countless other despicable acts. Enjoy your newfound freedom cause you did your time.

Sign here for your release please!

Tom Servo
September 11, 2007, 02:37 PM
How tough is it to avoid committing a felony?
Have you looked at gun regulations lately? :eek:

When I think "felony," I think of crimes that are malicious in nature, or that show a total disregard for the rules of civilized society. You'd be surprised how many little things can be classified as felonies.

I'm not a fan of marijuana, but being banned for life from owning guns because they found a joint in your ashtray in 1988 is a little excessive.

Their right to self defense has not been taken away, just one tool of self defense.

...which agrees exactly with the rhetorical strategies of the VPC.

buzzard80
September 11, 2007, 02:39 PM
Serving ones time is just the first step in "paying ones dues", and is a far cry from a trusted and respected member of society. He has to earn back that position through his actions over a period of time. If he has served his sentence, I'm not sure there is much legal ability to hold him, even if everyone thinks he'll be arrested next week for the same crime. No guns is part of his punishment, he violated that, and he got caught. Don't commit a felony and it's not a problem, and if you do commit one take all other available precautions to protect yourself.

Pushrod
September 11, 2007, 02:45 PM
Just transporting my gun home from the range the wrong way, or stopping for a burger or gas on the way home is a felony in some states. I should lose my rights for the rest of my life over some b.s. unconstitutional law? I don't agree with that.
Violent felons need to spend a long time (or forever) in prison, when they are deemed responsible and trustworthy enough to be allowed back into society as free men, they should be treated as such.
The gun grabbers in government are creating felonies out of what used to be misdemeanors, it seems like another way of taking away the 2nd amendment rights.
Infact, some states prohibit gun possession if you have ever been convicted of a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of a year or more in prison. There are so MANY small acts that most would not realise was criminal that fall under this now.

6_gunner
September 11, 2007, 02:46 PM
If they're too violent or unstable to be trusted with a weapon, they shold still be in prison. If they've paid their due they have every right to defend themselves.

saltpepperPA
September 11, 2007, 02:57 PM
My thought is this:

A. He obtained the gun illegally.
B. He is not allowed to own a gun by law.
C. He should pay the consequences.

I agree... there should be more that goes into the decision to ban ex-cons from owning guns (like non-violent misdemeanors), but currently there aren't and we need to uphold the laws that are in place.

theken206
September 11, 2007, 02:59 PM
"Because of a 2004 felony conviction for cultivating marijuana, Dutton - a nephew of Hurricane Mayor Tom Hirschi - is prohibited from possessing firearms."

I wonder how much of our tax money was wasted locking up people like this guy. Just legalize the crap and tax the holy ever living beejesus out of it like everything else and stop wasting out time with it.

YEAR MARIJUANA ARRESTS

2005 786,545
2004 771,608
2003 755,187
2002 697,082
2001 723,627
2000 734,498
1999 704,812
1998 682,885
1997 695,200
1996 641,642
1995 588,963
1994 499,122
1993 380,689
1992 342,314
1991 287,850
1990 326,850

http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/05cius/arrests/index.html

Hokkmike
September 11, 2007, 03:31 PM
Convicted felons, serving time or not, should lose all rights.

ArfinGreebly
September 11, 2007, 03:38 PM
Well, let's examine some "everybody knows" items.

Everybody knows . . .

people don't change their personalities.
people never learn from their mistakes.
real rehabilitation is not possible.
that "correction" as in "Department Of Corrections" is not possible, and that it really ought to be called "Department Of Arbitrary Punishments."
once you've done something bad, you are ALL bad, forever.

So I have to wonder, why isn't the death penalty the standard for all felonies?

I mean, think.

Really.

It is possible to own something in one state, and be completely okay. The ownership of that same item in another state is a criminal act -- a felony -- and you are now a bad person and beyond any redemption.

It's pretty simple, really: it's control through criminalization. If you are always guilty of something then you're a lot easier to control. If you step out of line, it's only an afternoon's work to determine which of your many crimes shall be charged to you. And so you behave yourself, to whatever degree you are able.

When a person can be a felon, simply "because I said so," and when we can cherry-pick which rights he's "allowed to have" (following me here?) after he's been labeled "felon" (because we can, that's why), then we can pretty much control his life.

We let him back out on the streets, precisely because we know we can trust him to behave, and then pretend we can't trust him (hey, he's a felon), so we can deny him a select subset of rights.

Or, we really don't care whether we expose society to the dangers attendant upon letting a violent felon out; we let him out so we have a plausible excuse for regulating everyone's behavior (hey, it's hard to distinguish felons from citizens).

Pretty sick, huh?

We can't keep really really bad people incarcerated, because that would be cruel. We have to let them out into the general population. Because they've "paid their debt" to society. The fact that we are pretty sure they'll do something violent again (see "correction is not possible") and we let them wander unrestricted among the general population is not cruel to the members of society who will now be required to prove they're not felons (hey, it's hard to distinguish felons from citizens) while the actual felons are allowed to commit their next violent crime unrestrained, is irrelevant, because excessive imprisonment is cruel.

And we can't fix them anyway.

And a felony is whatever we say it is.

Hey, I can keep writing this brain-breaking stuff as long as you can stand to read it.

Or . . . we could look back 150 years or so.

Man commits crime. Man stands trial. Crime too heinous? Yes: hang him. No: start egg timer for sentence. Once the man has served his time, give him back his personal stuff and let him out.

Completely out.

He gets work, borrows money, whatever. He goes shopping, gets horse, saddle, sidearm, rifle, ammo, bedroll, groceries, and so on. He moves on with his life. If he's smart enough, he stays out of jail, becomes productive member of society.

Worth noting that in the society where this man lives, everybody else is also armed. Being armed is normal. An unarmed man is . . . a little weird. Maybe he's the pastor or something.

Our ex-felon makes his choices and either stays clean or gets in trouble. If he keeps screwing up he gets shot or hanged. If he adapts to society, observes the moral codes, he lives longer.

And crime? Way lower than what we see today.
Today?

Right & wrong no longer taught. It's all about the feeeeeelings and whatever feels good is okay. Self esteem is king. Achievement is over-rated. MTV is art. Parents must defer to school authorities or risk accusations of child abuse, child neglect, etc., and schools encourage kids to report on parents.

Result: more violence per capita in youth than ever in U.S. history.

Must make laws to protect the children.

Law mills crank out new and improved felonies to keep up with the mysterious increase in social violence.

Frightened people willingly surrender rights to be safer.

New and better felonies create highest prison population on Earth.

Overcrowding means felons are released. Not rehabilitated. Just released.

But this is okay, because we screen everybody before letting them exercise their rights.

Thank God felons don't get to have guns.

Think how dangerous the world would be.

Just in case it's not clear where I stand on this:

If you trust him enough to let him out among the general population, give him back his rights. All of them. If you can't trust him enough to let him own a gun, don't let him out.

scurtis_34471
September 11, 2007, 03:45 PM
Convicted felons, serving time or not, should lose all rights.

If felonies were limited to murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, treason, espionage and serious crimes of that nature, I might agree with you. The problem is that many states now have over 3000 felonies on the books and those felonies include stupid stuff like digging oysters without a permit and possession of pot. Denying those people their rights for the duration of their lives does not even vaguely resemble justice or fairness.

coat4gun
September 11, 2007, 03:52 PM
Arfin, That is the best essay I have read on the current status of our criminal IN-Justice system. Well said and I agree 100%.

Our Laws need an overhaul soon or there is going to be a civil war. People can only stand so much injustice before they blow.

unrealtrip
September 11, 2007, 03:56 PM
"No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." - Thomas Jefferson

mljdeckard
September 11, 2007, 03:57 PM
I grew up in and near Hurricane, Tom Hirschi is also the town barber, or was for many years. I think his shop is still on State Street, but I'm not sure if he still works there. He was also a school-bus driver, wrestling referee and announcer at many of our sporting events. He was cutting my hair when I was about four. This is the same High School area as Virgin Utah, which has a mandatory firearms ownership law, and La Verkin, which sought to ban the U.N. a few years ago. How I miss home.

(Not that it's REALLY relevant, but the man who was mayor a couple of administrations previously was Lyndon Bradshaw, who was cited and convicted for poaching a deer while he was mayor. He had told the game warden that his delightful wife, Emma, had shot the deer the previous day and he was just recovering it. A thoughtful phone call by the game warden revealed that Emma had been out of the country for some time. The police in that town? Don't get me started. Anyhooo,)

I heard about the shooting, and looked up the address, two doors down from a good friend of mine. I hadn't seen the house in many years, so I had to picture it being a sleazy duplex, as described in the news story. I wondered if the Dutton kid was related to his older relatives whom I also know. I guess he is.

When this has been discussed before, I had previously said that if I were a cop, and I was in a person's home for an unrelated matter, and that person was a convicted felon, and I saw a firearm of a defensive nature in the home, with NOTHING TO INDICATE THAT THAT PERSON INTENDED TO USE IT TO COMMIT ANY CRIME WITH IT, I would probably look the other way. (This is one of many reasons it's probably a good thing I'm not a cop.) However, in this case. it isn't at all clear that theis convicted felon didn't posess the firearm in concert with committing other crimes. If I was in HIS house for a complaint about violent and/or drug activity, and there was a gun there, yes, I would confiscate it.

TO ME, this is the difference between someone who lives in a bad neighborhood and has a legitimate fear for his life and needs means of defense, and a person who is THE REASON it is a bad neighborhood and EVERYONE ELSE needs means of defense.

I guess this is a true test of deciding that you are really committed to defending your life, and that all other consequences are secondary. We all say we would rather be judged by twelve than carried by six. This guy has been given the opportunity to back it up. And knowing the jury pool in that county, He's going to have plenty of quiet time to decide if it was really worth it.

I have also pondered if we should draw the line at VIOLENT felony to ban posession of firearms.

Pitmaster
September 11, 2007, 04:02 PM
I'm much less concerned about who owns or possesses a weapon and much more concerned about the behavior they engage in while using the gun.

You use a gun in an assault, rape, theft, etc. prison should be the norm. You get out fine. Want a gun? Fine. Use it correctly or go back to prison again.

Felon in possession of a firearm = jail time.
3rd Armed Robbery = probation.

Doesn't seem right to me.

As I noted in another post. I was convicted of a felony 35 years ago. Burglary, age 17, drugs were involved. Sentenced to two years in prison because I was arrested (not convicted) for possession of marijuana. I have not been particularly concerned about owning a gun until recently and have applied, received, and am awaiting the paperwork for a pardon.

I can't have a gun to defend my family. My wife would have to own it. Even then, its still possible for her to be charged and convicted for a straw purpose. There are many people who have convictions when young. Taking away there rights forever isn't necessarily the right response.

romma
September 11, 2007, 04:04 PM
Don't commit a felony and it's not a problem, and if you do commit one take all other available precautions to protect yourself.

I think only violent felons should be barred from Firearm possession... That, or don't release them at all...

romma
September 11, 2007, 04:15 PM
Brilliant Arfin!! outstanding! This is exemplary writing that speaks volumes of our Justice system on the Sentence and Correction level in our Country.

JesseL
September 11, 2007, 04:21 PM
Convicted felons, serving time or not, should lose all rights.

So you're in favor of mandatory life sentences with no parole or capital punishment for all felonies?

Saying they should lose all rights is casting a pretty broad net, and I'm pretty sure that anyone left to survive in a system that doesn't recognize them having any rights doesn't have much reason to respect that system. What would you do with no right to own property, no right to negotiate contracts, no right to fair compensation for your labor, etc.?

Sistema1927
September 11, 2007, 04:29 PM
Where is the "church lady" when you need her?

There is plenty of "self-righteousness" being expressed here, she would fit right in.

They say that confession is good for the soul, so I will step up to the plate and be the first one to confess. I have committed a felony. I have carried a concealed weapon into a place where I was prohibited by law, an offense that if prosecuted and convicted would have stripped me forever of my right to own or possess or handle a firearm. I wasn't caught, I wasn't prosecuted, I wasn't convicted. Never mind that I have never engaged in violent, criminal behavior. This one infraction, alone, would have been sufficient to remove my firearms rights, forever.

Come on brothers and sisters, how about you? Can you honestly state that you have NEVER committed an act, knowingly or unknowingly, which could have resulted in a felony conviction? Let the one without sin be the first to throw a stone.

Jorg Nysgerrig
September 11, 2007, 04:35 PM
Can you honestly state that you have NEVER committed an act, knowingly or unknowingly, which could have resulted in a felony conviction?

Yep.

Edited to add: After some discussion with another member of the board, I should qualify that I have done nothing that I know is a felony, however there may be some obscure law on the books that I am not aware of, such as "felony taking too many baths on sunday" or some such nonsense that may be on the books, but certainly wouldn't result in a conviction.

ShooterMcGavin
September 11, 2007, 04:36 PM
Denying released felons the right to own firearms is a poor fix for a flawed system.

Anyone that is such a danger to the public that they can't be trusted with a firearm won't care what the law says and shouldn't be at large in the first place.

Anyone that can be trusted to live peacefully with the rest of the public, should not be denied any of their human rights, including the right to self defense.
I could not have said it better.

SG Merc
September 11, 2007, 04:37 PM
Under federal law are felons prohibited from purchasing firearms or owning them?

coat4gun
September 11, 2007, 04:39 PM
Can you honestly state that you have NEVER committed an act, knowingly or unknowingly, which could have resulted in a felony conviction?

Nope.. And I would bet money that I am not in the minority.

thorn726
September 11, 2007, 04:57 PM
I'm not a fan of marijuana, but being banned for life from owning guns because they found a joint in your ashtray in 1988 is a little excessive.

huge point the variance in what a felony is!

a huge pile of weed in many states is a traffic ticket while it is a felony in others, and there are many similar examples........

Can you honestly state that you have NEVER committed an act, knowingly or unknowingly, which could have resulted in a felony conviction?
Nope.. And I would bet money that I am not in the minority.

i find that incredibly hard to believe, especially on a site full of gun owners.
especially considering the variance of laws
MAYBE in your state you haven't committed a felony, but i bet you have in mine!

if "felony" really meant what it initially intended to, it would be closer to ok with me but as it is it is RIDICULOUS.
In Arizona, any misdemeanor committed while wearing a red mask is considered a felony.
VIRGINIA Co-habitating by a unmarried couple is a felony.
#


# 750.532 Seduction; punishment.
Sec. 532. - Any man who shall seduce and debauch any unmarried woman shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 5 years or by fine of not more than 2,500 dollars; but no prosecution shall be commenced under this section after 1 year from the time of committing the offense. History: 1931, Act 328, Eff. Sept. 18, 1931 ;--CL 1948, 750.532

thorn726
September 11, 2007, 05:00 PM
Question
Under federal law are felons prohibited from purchasing firearms or owning them?

banned from purchase,. possesion of guns, parts, or AMMO

-previously owned guns= you can collect the proceeds from sale of, but you must immediately move to another location and sell

Never No More
September 11, 2007, 05:10 PM
In the state of Washington, If you are a dead beat dad, or do on-line out of state gambling you are a class C felon , when caught.

Also A fellow soldier was drummed out of the army, and lost his gun rights for hitting his step-son with a piece of dog ****. Ture story.

This guy knew the price he would pay for having the firearm. I guess the safety of his family meant more.

littlegator
September 11, 2007, 05:44 PM
My solution is to lock them up for a very, very, very, long time. That way even if they get access to some kind of weapon they can't inflict more injury on the general public.

...which means as well that the victim/prior felon in this case would still be in jail and would not have had to worry about being attacked, right? Seems like a pretty expensive proposition for me and other taxpayers to have to foot the bill for. Still, I see many sides on the issue, and we don't live in a perfect world.

I guess I have a different 2 cents in this case. If a person commits a felony involving violence to another individual, then there are some liberties that that person should forfeit - the right to bear arms being one of them. You still have the right to defend yourself, but not with a gun. In this case, the vic was previously convicted of drug related charges. In a vacuum, he was not convicted of a violent crime that I know of (could be wrong). There is argument there as well, though - was he selling? One can serve the time and be placed back in society, but that doesn't mean the consequences for the crime are completely nullified. e.g. - child molester has to report his whereabouts. And then, knowing that he was not supposed to be in possession of a firearm, he still had one contrary to law. He was also in possession of more drugs. Quality citizen...

Regarding firearms though, I was more impressed with the issue of his gun placement. I have a firearm upstairs in the safe during the day (nightstand at night) and a rifle downstairs in a safe at all times. His weapon was in the kitchen in a drawer I think, which is not a possibility for me with kids. If an intruder comes into the house, having only one firearm upstairs in a safe would make things much more difficult for defense.

winddummy
September 11, 2007, 05:45 PM
Dutton went to prison for knowningly comitting a crime. Upon his release he moved in with another felon, also with drug convictions and knowningly had a weapon. He hasn't learned a thing. No one did this to him, stop trying to make him a victim. Think about the kids and families he was selling dope. He threw away his rights.

CWL
September 11, 2007, 05:46 PM
If the laws change, then I'm OK with it.

BUT if current law is that convicted felons cannot own or possess firearms and a felon makes a conscious decision to do so, then he should be left to the mercy of our judicial system.

JesseL
September 11, 2007, 06:06 PM
Thank goodness that we don't let felons own firearms, can you imagine what would happen if we did? Dangerous ex-cons would be able to use guns to rob and murder people with impunity! There would be no law to stop them!:eek:

I'm so glad the law is so effective at preventing people from getting all the things they shouldn't have! It's nice knowing that nobody can get things like illegal drugs or guns anymore, and the money we spend enforcing these laws isn't wasted.

:rolleyes:

tkendrick
September 11, 2007, 06:21 PM
Have to disagree with most folks on this subject.

If you are a convicted felon, I don't care what your excuse is/was. I don't want to hear how the cops "framed you" or how your defense attorney was a "slug" or how the system "ran you over".

I won't ever completly trust you.

I don't want you carrying a gun. I don't want you in a job where you could affect the financial or physical security of other people. I definately don't want you in a position to make life and death decisions on your own.

If that leaves you defenseless, tough.

My honest feeling is that most of these people did a lot worse than they were convicted for. Plea bargains, don't you know. Several here have rationalised with the "well if they're that dangerous they should still be in prison" attitude. I agree, but that aint the reality.

I don't care how well they've cleaned up. I don't care if they've turned their lives around. I'll never trust them.

They should have thought of the consequences a little earlier.

Officers'Wife
September 11, 2007, 06:33 PM
Actually I have mixed emotions on the topic. To me such a restriction is the state admitting the correction system doesn't work. Yet despite the fact they know it doesn't work they continue the system as is.

Sounds like a waste of time, lives and money to me.

Selena

ArfinGreebly
September 11, 2007, 06:39 PM
I won't ever completly trust you.
Like I said:

Everybody knows . . .

people don't change their personalities.
people never learn from their mistakes.
real rehabilitation is not possible.
once you've done something bad, you are ALL bad, forever.

I, of course, am perfect, having never made a mistake, never done anything wrong, never lied, never stolen, never broken a promise, never gone too far pursuing an adventure, and a long list of other things I've never done -- being perfect and all.

The whole "learning from mistakes" thing is a crock. Only a total loser makes mistakes.

Cincinnati Slim
September 11, 2007, 06:40 PM
Hello Folks,

Once upon a time, being a Felon meant you were a really bad guy; kidnapper, murderer, armed robber, thug, etc. But we just continued making laws, many of which are next to impossible to really enforce so, hey let's give these laws some "teeth" and impose ever stiffer penalties. Pretty soon, all kind of things are "Felonies". Most have nothing to do with violent criminal acts. By lumping all these non-violent, often victimless crimes in with really dangerous violent offenses, the whole concept of "felony" has been watered down. Once upon a time, even in poor areas, there was a stigma attached to being a Felon. That is no longer the case today because any serious encounter with the criminal justice system leaves one with a felony record.

The result is an ever increasing segment of our population who are deprived of essential rights under the law. Unable to vote or legally own a gun or even live where they choose there seems to be an ever increasing pressure on ex-offenders. In our efforts to "get tough on crime" we have produced a counterproductive situation which practically encourages released ex-cons to engage in the "under ground economy", slip into criminal activities, associate with even more hardened potentially violent convicted felons and so forth.

How can one expect someone to become a productive member of society and re-join the civic process when they must operate without fundemental basic rights ?

Please don't dismiss this as the concerns of a "bleeding-heart". I think people who break the law deserve punishment. But we have to give some thought about what happens when they have done their time and go back to their community. We can't just "lock 'em all up"; sooner or later these convicts will be released. Unfortunately, all too many of them wind up back in jail after only a short time, often after an even more serious crime. We really need to look at the bigger picture and examine the secondary results of some of our laws and policies.

Slim

JesseL
September 11, 2007, 06:41 PM
I won't ever completly trust you.

I don't want you carrying a gun. I don't want you in a job where you could affect the financial or physical security of other people. I definately don't want you in a position to make life and death decisions on your own.

If that leaves you defenseless, tough.

That sounds exactly like what the antis would say about YOU.

You can't escape the simple fact that a person is dangerous or they ain't. If they're dangerous and free, no law is going to make you safe from them. If they aren't dangerous you've got no business revoking their rights.

Supertac45
September 11, 2007, 07:03 PM
This is kind of tough since I'm the most pro 2nd Amendment person that I know. I'm also a State Corrections Officer, and I'm sorry in some ways for feeling this, but I believe it. Once a Felon, chances are, you'll never change. I really wish that it was different; but, I can't see it. It's only going to get worse. Dirt bags don't give a Sh** about anyone, but themselves. Legalize drugs, and they will just target younger kids with them

Erebus
September 11, 2007, 07:06 PM
Frightened people willingly surrender rights to FEEEEEEEL safer. Fixed it for you Arfin.

No ones perfect(except Arfin apparently) and everyone screws up from time to time. Bouncing a check can get you a felony fraud conviction.

I have a family member that was lied to by a girl about her age. He met her at a bar, she was drinking with a fake ID. He had sex with her, her mother reported him, bang instant felon. Strangly enough the bar didn't lose it's liquor license or even pay a fine for serving a minor. There are provisions in that law about fake IDs. There are no provisions in the statutory rape laws about fake IDs and lying about your age. It's 100% up to the guy to be sure she is 16.

Clearly he is very dangerous and should never be trusted with a gun to protect his wife.

Think people, we complain about zero tolerance rules/policies all the time. This is nothing more than a zero tolerance law.

yesit'sloaded
September 11, 2007, 07:17 PM
If they are so bad that they can't have a gun, why are they not still in jail. I'm all for harsher sentences for real crimes (murder,rape,child abuse,etc.),but when you've served your time, you've paid your debt to society.

Jeff F
September 11, 2007, 08:06 PM
Making a mistake is to be human. Lots of good people can and do make mistakes or do stupid things in life. If they have done their time or probation and it was not for a crime of violence then I see no reason the right to own or posses a firearm would not be restored without it becoming a big hassle.

30-06 lover
September 11, 2007, 08:27 PM
If we don't trust them to have a gun when we let them out, we should have never let them out.

MICHAEL T
September 11, 2007, 08:38 PM
Wasn't a problem in America till 1938 when the firearms act was passed. This was 2nd major Fed attack on you rights. The first the 1934 machine gun act.
1938 required The lic. of dealers and No felons with guns.(certian types of felon) Next act in 1968 added more felony acts including use of drugs.
So the Fed started with 1934 1938 1968 and of course Bill and Hillary little gun band
Looks like all had a DEM president and congress control. Guess 2008 we are sunk

Shall not be infringed Except when we want more control.

Nolo
September 11, 2007, 08:57 PM
If you are a free man, you should be allowed to keep and bear arms. Any and all arms. I don't care what crimes you have committed in the past, if you are deemed worthy to be released, then you are worthy to own and carry a weapon.
Simple as that. Many ex-felons have never gone back to their old ways (of course, other than people close to me, I cannot cite any examples, as inaction doesn't make the news much, outside politics), and too many people (read: Cho) that have never committed a crime go on to do heinous deeds.

Double Naught Spy
September 11, 2007, 09:30 PM
Let's see, convicted felon who was in possession of a firearm isn't a person who has made just one mistake, but a person showing a pattern of making multiple mistakes or maybe best called, outright violations of the law as the felon knew what he was doing was against the law. It isn't a mistake to be cultivating marijuana, but an ongoing and long term violation of the law. Then knowing that he can't possess a gun as a felon is another violation.

The first conviction wasn't for a single mistake, but many decisions made every day in regard to the operation. He was only convicted of one violation, but he made it day after day.

If we don't trust them to have a gun when we let them out, we should have never let them out.

It isn't about trust. It is about losing rights. They also don't get to vote. They forfeit these things for the actions they commit. Time inside is just one of the aspects of the sentence.

brickeyee
September 11, 2007, 09:39 PM
"VIRGINIA Co-habitating by a unmarried couple is a felony. "



"750.532 Seduction; punishment.
Sec. 532. - Any man who shall seduce and debauch any unmarried woman shall be guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 5 years or by fine of not more than 2,500 dollars; but no prosecution shall be commenced under this section after 1 year from the time of committing the offense. History: 1931, Act 328, Eff. Sept. 18, 1931 ;--CL 1948, 750.532
"

And how may prosecutions have there been I the past 50 years under this statute?
Adultery is still a crime in Virginia also.
If it was NOT a crime it would not be grounds for divorce.

Should felons be granted security clearances also?

I can guarantee I have NOT committed anything even close to a felony EVER.

I will NOT trust someone with a felony with my life or safety. PERIOD.
There are multiple paths to ‘restore’ rights after a felony conviction.

Next time try to follow the law.
It is NOT that hard to do.

rbernie
September 11, 2007, 10:08 PM
I do not think it illogical for a society to set punitive measures in place as a deterrent to antisocial behavior. Be it the death penalty or the downstream loss of social rights, it's not an entirely nonlinear response.

Having said that - I refuse to accept that anyone who is allowed to walk the streets freely should not be considered 'safe' enough to trust with a firearm. Certainly, we trust them with a knife or a can of gasoline or any other potential weapon. Either they pose no danger to society and we treat them as such, or they do pose a potential danger and we shouldn't let them roam freely.

Had I been asked this question ten years ago, I would have quickly answered exactly as Brickeyee did. Today - I'm not so comfortable with removing a body's most elemental means of self-protection, especially if we're dealing with a felon who is not a repeat violent offender. (And if they are - they should not be roaming the streets.)
Should felons be granted security clearances also?These things are not equal. Not being granted a security clearance simply means that I cannot potentially perform one specific job; I can still likely find many opportunities for gainful employment without the clearance. Removing my ability to readily defend myself and my family, however, is a far more reaching consequence.

Next time try to follow the law.
It is NOT that hard to do.When I was twenty two, I had no idea that oral or anal sex was a punishable crime in my home state. And when I was twenty three, I watched people get arrested and tried for this 'crime' and sentenced as felons.

Sometimes, just FINDING the law is hard enough, much less being sure that you're always following it.

Sistema1927
September 11, 2007, 10:29 PM
I can guarantee I have NOT committed anything even close to a felony EVER.

Really? Are you sure? And if not today, can you be certain that they won't make your formerly acceptable behavior a felony tomorrow?

Hey folks, wake up. There are many more felonious offenses than most of you can imagine, and more added every day.

cnorman18
September 11, 2007, 11:03 PM
The point about there being a great many crimes classified as "felonies" is well taken. A person convicted of passing a bad check ought not forever forfeit his right to own a gun.

I propose a compromise: Anyone convicted of a crime involving a weapon or a physical assault ought to forfeit that right, but nonviolent offenders ought to regain it upon completing their sentences and/or probation. (Note that I do NOT say "convicted of a weapons violation," since those charges are often plea-bargained away.)

If that seems harsh, perhaps more than one conviction should be required. Surely there will be few who would argue with THAT.

It seems odd to me that those who rightly claim a right of armed self-defense against violent criminals would advocate that those same criminals ought to be legally armed after their release.

Actions have consequences, and should; and a reasonable consequence of violent behavior ought to be a diminished capacity to obtain the means to engage in it. If you've already proven that you can't own a gun without endangering others, you should lose the right to own one. Seems simple enough to me.

That criminals can obtain weapons illegally is irrelevant. The fact that illegal behavior exists does not imply that society should sanction it. If that were true, then we ought to have no laws at all.

Zoogster
September 11, 2007, 11:57 PM
Well for 361 years if we start with Jamestown, felons in America could legaly own arms once they did all thier time. For 39 years it is been illegal. Some very presitigous American figures in history served time or were fined for what would now be a felony. In fact back then they still had debtors prison and many people served well over a year for going into debt. Some of the financers of the American revolution in fact, and even signers of the Declaration of Independence did. Many serious violent criminals were put to death, but those who were sentenced to time became free men once they served thier time and were released.
It is a common misconception that crime was higher in the "Wild West" and similar times. In fact a person was safer then, and crime per capita was lower than it is today.

In the 39 years it has been illegal for felons (and now several misdemeanor offenses in various places) to have arms we have seen the most dramatic increase in illegal violent use of them by such people.

Human defense is a basic need. If someone, especialy someone that because of choices in life can only afford more dangerous places to live, cannot legaly provide for thier basic needs and once again become a decent citizen then they are going to meet that need outside the law. Well once breaking one law to provide for a basic need and risking jail time they might as well abandon any hope of changing thier ways and go back to what is easy for them. So I think such prohibitions encourage repeat offenders. It also encourages doing things outside the law. If already illegal to defend ones self and someone is out to get them or posing a threat they might as well take a pro active stance and go on the offensive. Waiting to defend themselves at a later date means they won't be able to decide when and where, and they may have to answer for that illegal action if it takes place at thier residence or with witnesses. If however they take the offensive they can try to get away with it. So it in fact encourages increased offensive criminal violence.
Damned if they do, damned if they don't, they might as well not care about the law altogether.

That is not to say I want someone who intends to commit violent or criminal actions to have a gun, I just think legaly barring large numbers of people from a basic human need in an attempt to prevent violence even when the last 39 years has shown that is a failure is a bad practice. A practice that says the government does in fact have a final say on who may excercise the rights provided in the constitution, and therefore the constitution does not prevent the government from infringing upon anything.

So I say let them purchase arms legaly connected to them, it would be better than the illegal ones that don't trace back to them now. Let us all just be armed to deal with those that choose to victimize someone else, and insure they either get a bullet in the act, or a just sentence after the fact.

JesseL
September 12, 2007, 12:14 AM
Note: Do not take this as a defense of criminal behavior.

If I had ever been convicted of a felony, I can guarantee I would still own a firearm. The old axiom "It's better to be tried by twelve than carried by six" would still hold true. I value my life and the lives of my family more than I fear or respect the law.

I think that a large part of the recidivism problem has to do with how criminals are permanently disenfranchised. When you build a system that forces people into being second class citizens with little to no hope of ever regaining all their rights, don't be surprised when they decide to live the rest of their lives in conflict with the system.

Socrates
September 12, 2007, 12:27 AM
The real felony is the morass of laws written by our Congress', with our sanction. I like Texas. Have them work 2 months out of the year, and, we would have a LOT smaller government, and, we would slow the constant errosion of our rights.

In Kali, EVERYTHING has so many laws written about it, only an attorney could possibly understand them all, and with some laws, not even them.

Our government has become exactly that which the founders sought to prevent.

S

dstorm1911
September 12, 2007, 12:31 AM
hmmm I have a good friend who can no longer own any of his guns, they are stored at my place 73 milsurps, why can't he? well he is a very violent individual, I was present when he had to evict his own drug addict sister from a house he was letting her use for free tryin to help her get her life straightened out, well she got a 20 year old Skinhead boyfriend (she is 40) after neighbors informed my friend of all the minors runnin round drunk and stoned, guns being fired at all hours etc... he decided they hadda go.... I went as backup because of the reports and witnessed the entire transaction (in hind sight I shoulda took a camcorder) anyhow his sister is yellin an screaming callin him everything but white etc... my friend never raised his voice once the whole time just simply "this is how it is and no exceptions I will not tolerate this activity these people used to be MY neighbors my friends when I lived here, either get rid of the stupid crap or get out" that was all.

Well we are talkin to a couple of the neighbors when 4 deputy cruisers show up, his sister has called him in for DOMESTIC VIOLENCE and claims he threatened her and cussed her etc... she never said he hit her or anything of the sort........ he is arrested the cops go to his house to take all his guns BUT I've already been there anticipating this move so they are SOL they contact me wanting me to turn over his guns I tell em no...... they are not in his possession so ya have no legal grounds to them... they threaten me I give em phone numbers for all 3 of my attorneys and tell em the conversation is over if they are not investigating a FELONY then they need to leave or will be arrested for criminal trespass , one of em makes a call and they very hurriedly exit my property.....

Well after months of court dates etc... he finally gets to court we have myself as a witness as well as two neighbors... in the end the judge decides he MIGHT have raised his voice or used terminology consistent with a threat, the guy had never even had a 10 over speeding ticket in his life, is a very well established local business man and now............ he can no longer posses a firearm

And yes for all those holier than thou types above I suggest you READ ARFIN'S essay very carefully cause all it takes no matter how clean ya have tried to live your life is anyone saying these simple words "he said he was going to kill me" to a police officer and its your word against theirs and ya can become a felon that easy....... And of course we all here will make sure that you being a violent lawless type you will never lay your scummy hands on another gun as long as you live and if ya do....... we'll send ya back for up to 15 more years.... ya know just makin sure your very own "beliefs" are upheld to the letter......

I know many many many victims of the all to easy "felony conviction" bit most of em....... no priors no nothing, all it takes is someone saying you did it, and unless ya hire someone to follow ya around 24/7 with a video camera (cause witnesses alone will not save you) then the odds are very good you will be convicted.... it can be a total stranger who simply doesn't like the sound of your voice.... or some hooker who approached ya and ya told her to take a walk etc... anyone.......

Ohhhh and for those of you that have teenage children with teenage friends would ya like to know just how easy it is for ya to become a sex offender in the 21st century? hint, ya will not be allowed ANY defense that discredits the "victim" in any way your only defense will be your word UNLESS ya had a video camera rolling the entire time ya were alone with that teenager even if it was as simple as ya drivin her or him home...... maybe they walked into your backyard and for a few minutes nobody was present..... I watched another friend go through this one in the end he made the mistake of takin a plea bargain......... he really didn't have any choice though cause he was barred from introducing any of the witnesses prior cases or other evidence showing that this particular girl (15 at the time) made a lucrative income by blackmailing men with the threat that she'd claim they molested her...... the guy felt that such a threat could never be carried out surly an honest man was safe from such things and the truth would come out in court........... not in the 21st century it won't........ as a result I will not even allow anyone not 18 near me if at least two other adults are not present! A simple word and your honest lived life goes right down the crapper its part of the new "victim rights and protections"

Zen21Tao
September 12, 2007, 12:45 AM
I agree with others that say it depend on the felony. If it is a violent felony and/or a crime where a firearm was used, then someone should lose their right to keep and bear arms for a long enough period of time. But, the main issue is why are these people set free in society anyway?

At the time the 2nd Amendment was written, many of the crimes that have a "revolving door" problem today, were punished by death, boating (exile from society), or sever maiming. The founders understood that some criminals simply have to either removed from society or physically rendered helpless as not to be a threat to law abiding members of society.

thorn726
September 12, 2007, 12:51 AM
well the "tough on crime" folks -

show me how the antis can be so definitive without details.

if we can be so quick to judge people as "prohibited"

why shouldn't they

if we got rid of the guns entirely, this would be a moot point, no?

and really, judging by some of the "lock 'em up, toss the key"
attitudes i'm seeing here, do i feel safe anywhere near you with a gun?

i'd be afraid of looking at you wrong and being shot over it, or you shooting at someone else and hitting me

sounds silly but that is how the gun-afraid feel.

in a split second you will decide i don't deserve to live, and i am not sure you will think it out properly, so you don't get a gun

Jorg Nysgerrig
September 12, 2007, 12:56 AM
The real felony is the morass of laws written by our Congress', with our sanction. I like Texas. Have them work 2 months out of the year, and, we would have a LOT smaller government, and, we would slow the constant errosion of our rights.

Psst, some of the silly felonies they are talking about in this thread, including 11 felonies involving oysters, are among the 2324 felonies codified in Texas.

thorn726
September 12, 2007, 12:57 AM
oh, but don't worry since they rarely implement those laws, they don't matter...........right?

1911 guy
September 12, 2007, 02:02 AM
If a felon is non-violent and has been viewed by the legal system as having paid their debt, their rights should be restored.

If your crime was violent and/or you're on probation, you've been found to be violent and/or not fully paid your debt. No guns for you.

I'm no lawyer (thank goodness, my family would lynch me) and I'm sure someone could shoot holes in my idea, but I find it to make sense.

Never No More
September 12, 2007, 02:05 AM
Thank goodness that we don't let felons own firearms

Jess dont be so niave. They mean LEGAL firearm ownership.

Lots of bad guys, gang members, and assorted rif-raf have cases of firearms.


The govenment doesnt want YOU to have one, so you cant protect yourself from the evil suckers that do.

thorn726
September 12, 2007, 02:21 AM
just for a factoid, at least in CA
domestic and some other violence related misdemeanors also
equals no gun ownership

ArfinGreebly
September 12, 2007, 02:38 AM
Never No More,
Jess dont be so niave. They mean LEGAL firearm ownership.

Actually, I'm pretty sure JesseL is laying on a bit of irony there.

Not that I know what's in his head, but it looked that way to me.

Guitargod1985
September 12, 2007, 02:51 AM
So this guy wasn't allowed to defend himself because he grew some plants?
Does this seem absurd to anyone else, or am I crazy? I'm sure this guy wasn't a choir boy, but I believe he has every right to defend himself from an attacker.

deadin
September 12, 2007, 09:48 AM
I'm sure this guy wasn't a choir boy, but I believe he has every right to defend himself from an attacker.

Then why don't we allow those currently in prison to be armed??:evil:

Socrates
September 12, 2007, 10:06 AM
The problem here is a disconnect between reality and theory. All that support banning felons from owning guns have to keep in mind that the laws against that do no good, and, they can get any gun they want. The only ones those laws affect are law abiding citizens, giving anti's the first step on the slope.

Everytime bad facts come up, once the slope is made, the anti's ban something else, and, pretty soon, voila, your in **********, and, you never moved.

By the way, it would be a fun test to see which state has the most laws, considering the number of years in existence.

Our current situation with criminals reminds me of the 'treaty' after WW 1. The treaty insured we would have another world war, because of the poverty created by the severe conditions of the treaty. Likewise, when you take criminals, and make them people who are no longer a participant in the society, a second, or lower, class citizen class, you insure they have little choice but to return to crime.

S

Obiwan
September 12, 2007, 10:19 AM
I support having a mechanism that allows "felons" to regain their right to own a weapon (and vote)

A legal process with a review...not much more onerous than getting a CC permit

Rather than trying to develop a one size fits all law, take each case ( and person) on their relative merits

Certain classes would have no chance...others would be (almost) a slam dunk

Dare I say it....let the punishment fit the crime:what:

deadin
September 12, 2007, 10:49 AM
A legal process with a review

Obiwan,

That's the most reasonable suggestion I have seen so far in this thread.

Although I think this already exists as I believe one can petition for "relief" under Federal Law. However getting a court to grant relief may be harder than some would like.

ArfinGreebly
September 12, 2007, 11:00 AM
A legal process with a review
Which is fine.

As long as this "process" does not also require that in the meantime every honest and law-abiding citizen isn't continually required to prove he's not a felon or otherwise prohibited.

Otherwise it's no improvement.

As long as the exercise of a right requires permission and proof of eligibility, it's not a right.

That has to be fixed.

Scorpiusdeus
September 12, 2007, 12:05 PM
Can you honestly state that you have NEVER committed an act, knowingly or unknowingly

Are you kidding? Uh, yes I can state that as the truth.

littlegator
September 12, 2007, 12:15 PM
when you've served your time, you've paid your debt to society.


Tell that to a murdered victim's family.

romma
September 12, 2007, 12:17 PM
Tell that to a murdered victim's family.


So keep them in or execute them.

deadin
September 12, 2007, 12:17 PM
As long as this "process" does not also require that in the meantime every honest and law-abiding citizen isn't continually required to prove he's not a felon or otherwise prohibited.

I don't really see this as pertinent to the discussion. The OP is about felons being allowed firearm rights, not regular, law-biding citizens.
Besides, if you aren't "allowed" to require that a person be required to show that he/she isn't a felon or otherwise prohibited, the whole discussion is moot.

JesseL
September 12, 2007, 12:25 PM
For those saying they are certain that they have never committed a felony:

Did you know about the Gun-Free School Zones act (http://www.gunowners.org/fs9611.htm)?

Have you ever passed within 1000' of a school while in possesion of an unlocked firearm, without having a CWP that required a background check?

CountGlockula
September 12, 2007, 12:43 PM
Felons should not own firearms.

deadin
September 12, 2007, 01:05 PM
Did you know about the Gun-Free School Zones act?

Last time I looked this isn't a law. Just more of the GOA's Chicken Little's 'The Sky is Falling, the Sky is Falling' rhetoric.

I don't know about your State, but here in WA unlawful carry on a school grounds is a misdomeanor and punishable by suspension of your CCW for up to three years. It's not a felony. Carrying a concealed firearm without a permit is a felony. [As it should be unless the law is changed.]

ArfinGreebly
September 12, 2007, 01:10 PM
As long as this "process" does not also require that in the meantime every honest and law-abiding citizen isn't continually required to prove he's not a felon or otherwise prohibited.

I don't really see this as pertinent to the discussion. The OP is about felons being allowed firearm rights, not regular, law-biding citizens.

Besides, if you aren't "allowed" to require that a person be required to show that he/she isn't a felon or otherwise prohibited, the whole discussion is moot.
Not pertinent?

What is currently in place, today, in real life, is that "regular, law-abiding" citizens are not allowed to buy firearms.

Well, you can get permission to buy one. As long as you can prove you're not one of those "felon" things.

So, the very fact that "felons that we let run around in society" are not allowed to own firearms, and the fact that we have no way of identifying them on sight, means that NO ONE gets to buy a gun.

Unless and until he can prove he's not one of them thar felons.

So, until you make it possible for the ones running around loose to be considered "fully rehabilitated" and allow them to own guns, what you're doing is continuing the restriction of ownership on the honest folk.

Which brings us to "what's the point of a rehab/redemption program that continues to abridge the rights of the honest, law-abiding population?"

So, the restriction experienced by the honest folks in their attempt to exercise a right IS ENTIRELY THE POINT.

It only SEEMS that "felons' rights" is the issue.

The felon mentioned in the original story is a "prohibited" person, yet the officials in our system are quite comfortable with letting him out in the general population. Because he's not a threat and they know it.

That's broken.

That means YOU AND I have to be screened to ensure we are not him. If he's not a threat, then he's not really a felon, and that law is broken. If he IS a threat, then what the hell is he doing loose? If he really is a "bad person" and letting him out is broken.

It's really, really simple.

If he's out, he can be trusted, and therefore he can buy a firearm.

If he can't be trusted, he's not out.

The whole "should felons be allowed . . ." thing disappears in a puff of logic.

Never forget this: the restrictions ostensibly placed on "felons" are really placed on the decent and law-abiding people, by making them prove -- continually -- that they are not restricted.

The concept of "give a few select felons their rights back" accomplishes nothing more than another desk required to manage that paperwork.

It's fixing the wrong problem.

Fix the right problem.

Lonestar49
September 12, 2007, 01:31 PM
Quote:That is my argument, that while I don't like it, convicted felons have as much right to self defense as any one else.
----------------
...

I totally agree, especially in One's house or Apt. Maybe not CCW, but for HD/SD, totally fair, and apparently so in this case.

I think it's a simple situation if only we could go by: If the crime fits the law, which IMO, no crime was committed, rather, he did what any one of us would do if in his shoes, or situation.

He was found to be innocent, and in the right, by the law of self defence, and that should be the end of it, period, he owns, or rents a house or Apt, and has a/The Right, to defend himself, his family, etc., within it, just like the rest of us, from ANY BG's.

Again, "Common Sense" must be applied to laws.



LS

JesseL
September 12, 2007, 01:33 PM
Did you know about the Gun-Free School Zones act?
Last time I looked this isn't a law. Just more of the GOA's Chicken Little's 'The Sky is Falling, the Sky is Falling' rhetoric.

Nope. The law was struck down by the Supreme Court and promptly reenacted by Congress with a few changes to try to pass constitutional muster.

The law is still on the books (USC 922(q) (http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=18&sec=922)) and the BATFE appears to still take it seriously (http://www.atf.gov/pub/gen_pub/gun_free_school_zone_notice.pdf)(PDF).

They may not be actively prosecuting it, but it's still hanging there like the Sword of Damocles.

NukemJim
September 12, 2007, 01:35 PM
Although I think this already exists as I believe one can petition for "relief" under Federal Law

There is such a review mechanism set up for BATFE. Unfortunetly congress refuses to fund it so it cannot operate. The USSC has ruled that as long as the mechanism is set up it is legally valid even if no one can use it.:scrutiny::confused::fire::banghead:

NukemJim

deadin
September 12, 2007, 01:46 PM
It's really, really simple.
If he's out, he can be trusted, and therefore he can buy a firearm.
If he can't be trusted, he's not out.

This approach sounds great in theory. Unfortunately I don't see it as workable, because no one has invented a crystal ball that will allow us to determine if a felon can be trusted. This alone would turn all felony convictions into life sentences. (Not even to speak of the logistics of keeping that many people locked up.)
On the other hand, how many people would really trust that all released felons aren't going to reoffend. As for the argument that they can get guns anyway, so why have restrictions? This is akin to saying why have any laws at all because they can be broken at will.

On a side note, I would be interested in know how many felons actually serve their full sentence and aren't turned loose because of "over crowding" or other such excuses.

How about this? We put someone in charge of deciding if a convict is truely rehabilitated and is deserving of being set free with full privlidges. The only catch is, if he reoffends, the "voucher" gets to share his cell with him.
Any volunteers?

unrealtrip
September 12, 2007, 01:55 PM
To those who are under the impression they have never come close to committing an offense that could be considered or tried as a felony, they are unfortunately mistaken. As stated, we have watered down what a felony is with our overwhelming amount of laws. In some states oral or an*l copulation is a felony, in most states sex with a minor is and like someone already mentioned that mistake could be made by no fault of your own if someone posed as an adult.

Arson is a felony in every state, perhaps you would never intentionally burn something down, but have you ever had a campfire, ever? The possibility exists. Drank a beer, ever? Ever driven your car after drinking, ever? Even hours later? You might have been a felony DUI.

I just feel that if someone has been convicted of a crime, serves their time and we feel that is enough to repay their debt to society, I feel they should have their rights back. If they commit a crime again, then back they go. If we don't trust them with having the same rights as every other free citizen, maybe they should not be freed yet.

IMHO

legaleagle_45
September 12, 2007, 02:07 PM
The law was struck down by the Supreme Court and promptly reenacted by Congress with a few changes to try to pass constitutional muster.

Those changes addressed the problem suggested by the Court of Appeals, but not the problems articulated by SCOTUS. Therefore, I believe that 922(q) does not pass constitutional muster...

However, and assuming arguendo the validity of 922(q), please note this aspect:

It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to
possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects
interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual
knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.

The way I read it, your presence within 1000 feet of school grounds must be something more than mere inadvertance.... Thus driving down the road on the way to get groceries and passing by a school is probably not sufficient... IMHO.

JesseL
September 12, 2007, 02:15 PM
The way I read it, your presence within 1000 feet of school grounds must be something more than mere inadvertance.... Thus driving down the road on the way to get groceries and passing by a school is probably not sufficient... IMHO.

It looks to me like it says that as long as you know you have a firearm and you know that you are in a school zone (within 1000' feet of a school), you're in violation of the law.

ArfinGreebly
September 12, 2007, 03:44 PM
Unfortunately I don't see it as workable, because no one has invented a crystal ball that will allow us to determine if a felon can be trusted.
Nor do we have one that determines whether a man who has never been so much as charged with a crime can be trusted.

I'm aware it's not a simple as I paint it, and yet it is.

If the "litmus test" for felony were "is this man dangerous?" the a whole host of felonies would have to be removed from the books.

We have some very ironically named institutions. Justice Department. Department of Corrections. Penal System. Law Enforcement. Public Safety.

The Dept of Corrections doesn't correct. It doesn't rehabilitate. It achieves no redemption. The Justice Department doesn't dispense justice. Law Enforcement can't really enforce the law, they can only chase violators and, while that difference sounds like "just semantics" it has meaning when the law says "no murder allowed" and "Enforcement" can't actually prevent murder. They have to wait until the murder has happened, then catch the guy, then hand him over to the Justice guys, so he can be punished by "Corrections." Then, after he's been punished, he has "paid his debt" to society. Huh??

This is along the lines of, I set fire to your uninsured (liability only) used car, destroying it completely, and costing you thousands of dollars to replace it. The "justice" system makes me pay them a fine, or puts me in jail for a year, or breaks my fingers. You are never compensated, but I have been punished and therefore "paid my debt" to society.

Horse hockey. I haven't paid any kind of debt. All that's happened is someone has inflicted on me some kind of punishment they deem to be commensurate with the damage I caused to "society." You get to feel like you've been "avenged," the D.A. gets another conviction to bolster his political aspirations, and the sheriff can brag that he's tough on crime.

I haven't been rehabilitated, and you are still out the replacement cost of your car.

And, of course, there are the heinous crimes of illegal agriculture, for which one must be appropriately punished, even though there's no victim to feel "avenged" about it.

Now that system is quite broken.
The above is called "a digression."

For the system to make any comprehensive sense, the definition of crime has to be fixed, the "paying your debt' thing has to have some actual meaning, and a clear demarcation has to exist between keeping violent offenders out of society, and making the non-violent ones actually clean up their messes and pay for their mistakes -- PAY, not "be commensurately punished" -- so that they can reclaim their rights, honor, and a place within society.

Real rehabilitation and redemption have to be possible for the system to make real sense.

But.

In the meantime, we have a system that visits injustice on the decent, the honest, the law-abiding, in the name of "restricting bad people" and it doesn't accomplish its supposed purpose. All it does is create misery for good citizens.

While there is no "crystal ball" for determining trust, there are some fairly clear and obvious things that can be used: 1) subject has committed no violence, 2) subject has made actual restitution, 3) subject has achieved real rehabilitation/redemption through other means (on which I will not speculate here).

There's no real uncertainty about what kind of folks need to be locked up and kept away from society. There is, however a very practical logistics problem of housing them indefinitely or permanently. There are two ways out of a prison: the front door (back into society) or the back door (which leads to the cemetery).

The thinking process that concludes "you have to let him out because things are crowded in there" is truly flawed. That gives us today's status quo.

The approach that concludes "that's all we can do because we don't know how to rehabilitate" is likewise flawed. Figure it out. Really.

Because all you have left is "kill them all because we have no better ideas."

Yeah, it's not simple.

But what we have today is intolerably stupid. The wrong people are called "felons" and the real evil creatures are allowed to roam free.

Restoration of "some rights" to "some felons" is a band-aid that merely complicates things.

Identify violent offenders. Be willing to make the penalties harsh and final.

Rehabilitate the ones who can be saved. No speculation here on how.

Fine the minor offenders and leave them the hell alone.

Trust is tough.

But saying it's "just too hard," so all the good people must suffer, is the wrong answer.

Noxx
September 12, 2007, 03:49 PM
How tough is it to avoid committing a felony?

You'd be surprised.

I often travel for pleasure, while traveling from a state where it is legal to carry a firearm openly in your vehicle, to a state where it is not, I have on at least one occasion committed a felony for over a hundred miles because it didn't occur to me at 3am to pull over and put my gun in the trunk.

ArfinGreebly
September 12, 2007, 03:54 PM
How about this? We put someone in charge of deciding if a convict is truly rehabilitated and is deserving of being set free with full privileges. The only catch is, if he re-offends, the "voucher" gets to share his cell with him.
Ha. Indeed.

While that clearly will never make it off the drawing board (despite having a certain rightness to it), I'm pretty sure there's a way to make real rehab work.

Repeat offenders . . . that wouldn't be pretty.

To more directly address the OP, I think the right answer for "pot felons" is that they simply aren't felons.

How hard is that?

Instead of defining a "felony" in terms of "how mad I am at you" or how many political points it scores for the lawmaker, make the definition make some actual sense.

Then we don't have "pot felons" any more.

And murdering rapists never see a parole board.

The current laws defining "felons" appear to have been written by idiots. Or congressmen. But I repeat myself. (Apologies to Mark Twain)

Nolo
September 12, 2007, 04:47 PM
Humans need certain things to survive. They need to eat, to sleep, to have shelter, to defecate, to remain healthy, to reproduce and to fend off predators.
If you are a felon, is it reasonable to lose the right to eat?
If you are a felon, is it reasonable to lose the right to sleep?
If you are a felon, is it reasonable to lose the right to have shelter?
If you are a felon, is it reasonable to lose the right to defecate?
If you are a felon, is it reasonable to lose the right to remain healthy?
If you are a felon, is it reasonable to lose the right to reproduce?
If you are a felon, is it reasonable to lose the right to fend off predators?
All of these are basic human needs. Without even one of them, we would die out. Every human has a right to all of these. Nothing but capital punishment can remove them.
Let them have guns. They need them as much as we do.

alsaqr
September 12, 2007, 04:57 PM
i do not have a problem with one conviction non-violent felons owning guns. i do have a problem with habitual offenders and violent felons owning guns.

Obiwan
September 12, 2007, 05:06 PM
"Fix the right problem"

How about discuss the right problem!

Seriously....these are two separate issues

yes....the govt treats us all like felons and that stinks

But (I thought) we were discussing actual felons getting their right to own firearms back

I think you can petition to get your rights back, but I think it is a uphill climb because the law is against you...I would support making the law more appeal friendly

I also like the idea of making a lot of the nonviolent felonies into misdemeanors...at least on the first offense

There are lots of "felonies" that are pretty benign....I would actually rank some as less serious than a lot of other misdemeanors

Werewolf
September 12, 2007, 06:16 PM
It looks to me like it says that as long as you know you have a firearm and you know that you are in a school zone (within 1000' feet of a school), you're in violation of the law.Which just goes to prove how utterly stupid (and the politicians that create them) some laws are.

If the above interpretation is correct then there's a whole lot of gun owners living within that 1000' radius (including me) who are breaking the law just by living where they do.

Green Lantern
September 12, 2007, 06:41 PM
If he's allowed back out on the streets, then he should be allowed the means of effective self-defense.

If he's NOT reformed, he's gonna get a gun illegally if he wants one anyway...! To say nothing of a baseball bat, tire iron, knife, fellow thugs, or his bare hands to do bad deeds with!

If he IS reformed - hmmm - shouldn't it be considered cruel and unusual punishment to strip a man of a Constitutional right for a crime, even after he's served his punishment for the crime????

VirgilCaine
September 12, 2007, 07:07 PM
Here in North Carolina:

http://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bysection/chapter_108a/gs_108a-53.1.html
Trafficking in an amount of food stamps worth over $500 is a felony.

http://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bysection/chapter_106/gs_106-363.html
" 106‑363. Damaging dipping vats a felony.

Any person or persons who shall willfully damage or destroy by any means any vat erected, or in the process of being erected, as provided for tick eradication, shall be guilty of a Class H felony."

http://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bysection/chapter_14/gs_14-56.1.html
Breaking into or forcibly opening coin or currency operated machines is a felony.

http://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bysection/chapter_10b/gs_10b-146.html
Distributing electronic notarizing programs is a felony.

http://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bysection/chapter_14/gs_14-309.14.html
Beach bingo games. If you offer a prize of $50 or more, that's a felony. If you offer free bingo games as a prize or operate a beach bingo game in conjunction with other lawful bingo games...that's a felony.

http://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bysection/chapter_113/gs_113-209.html
Various shellfish related offenses.

http://www.ncleg.net/enactedlegislation/statutes/html/bysection/chapter_14/gs_14-280.2.html
Pointing a laser device at an aircraft. Is a felony.

Obviously, I take a dim view of those who believe every felony is created equal and that any felon cannot be reformed.

ArmedBear
September 12, 2007, 07:20 PM
I don't have a problem with making guns off-limits to particular criminals as part of their specific sentences, just like cars, computers, and other tools of their crimes might be off-limits as a condition of release from prison.

I believe Kevin Mitnick was forbidden to use a computer for some amount of time, as part of his sentence. That could certainly be done with guns, if there's a reason. Felony drunk drivers have their licenses revoked, as well, and in some places, driving is equivalent to being able to earn a living.

However, a blanket law that bars all convicted felons, regardless of the nature of their crimes, from gun ownership, indefinitely, goes against morality and common sense.

thorn726
September 12, 2007, 08:27 PM
I don't have a problem with making guns off-limits to particular criminals as part of their specific sentences, just like cars, computers, and other tools of their crimes might be off-limits as a condition of release from prison.

I believe Kevin Mitnick was forbidden to use a computer for some amount of time, as part of his sentence. That could certainly be done with guns, if there's a reason. Felony drunk drivers have their licenses revoked, as well, and in some places, driving is equivalent to being able to earn a living.

However, a blanket law that bars all convicted felons, regardless of the nature of their crimes, from gun ownership, indefinitely, goes against morality and common sense.

this is perfect sense.

there are many who have the "guilty forever" attitude, but i think the real cause is that the Gov't likes to find ways to remove rights, and the felon/firearm is a great one.

who would be the most likely to assist in a rebellion?

good thing we disarm them!
think about why felons are really barred from weapons, and it sets up a way to take away everyone's guns eventually. one unreasonable ban justified by false logic leads to another.

CharleyMarbles
January 15, 2011, 04:30 AM
I have to ask if those of you who feel Fellons should NOT be afforded ALL of their rights do you still feel they should have to pay ALL of their taxes???

Most haven't even thought of the amount of taxes that should be lost under the curent conditions.

You see the term used to rationalize the loss of rights to felons is "Civily Dead" if that is the case a "Civily Dead" person should NOT be charged taxes.

I would like to take the time to point out that it appears that the majority of respondents here are in favor of restoring the rights of the disenfranchised Felons. Even if on a severity of offence basis.

Sure would be nice if we could get it put to a vote as I think on a national level the numbers would probly be much the same.

Mozart 2
January 15, 2011, 12:21 PM
I'm 100% in favor of disarming bad guys.

...Frankly, I can't think of a group that is at greater risk of robbery then ex-felons, and, that need protection more.

S Esq.

Why are ex-felons at greater risk of robbery than the rest of us...? I can't figure that one out.

Anyway, here's my $0.02 worth:

With rights come responsibilities. For example, everyone over the age of 16 (18 in some states) after passing an exam has the right to drive a car on public roadways. With that right come great responsibilities. If you drive while intoxicated, you have demonstrated a lack of responsibility and therefore give up your right to continue driving. Since firearms can be nearly as dangerous as automobiles, I believe the same principle applies. We all have (or should have) the right to own and carry firearms, but with that right come great responsibilities. If you choose to commit a crime with that weapon you demonstrate a lack of responsibility and therefore give up your right to continue carrying that weapon.

Notice that in both examples I used the phrase "give up your right." The rights weren't "taken away" but rather "given up" by the irresponsibility demonstrated in the choices made by the individual. If the drunk driver wants to continue to drive, he should have thought of that before he decided to drive drunk. If the felon wants to carry a firearm, he should have thought of that before CHOOSING to break the law.

Others in this thread have drawn a distinction between violent felony and non-violent felony. I would tend to agree with this and infact I will use it to further clarify my point above. Crimes that don't involve a weapon in my opinion shouldn't impact your firearm rights. But anyone who commits a crime using a firearm has demonstrated a lack of responsibility and therefore surrenders those corresponding rights. Life is about choices and consequences. If you don't like the consequences, start making better choices.

It's like others in this thread have stated, the bad guys with guns are the ones who ruin it for the rest of us. If Big Brother wants to control guns, let him control the bad guys' guns and leave mine alone.

As I said in my opening line, I'm in favor of disarming bad guys. If you don't want to be disarmed, don't be a bad guy.

I'm sure I'll get bashed for this, but that's expected when one proports his opinion.

Nushif
January 15, 2011, 01:03 PM
Have to disagree with most folks on this subject.

If you are a convicted felon, I don't care what your excuse is/was. I don't want to hear how the cops "framed you" or how your defense attorney was a "slug" or how the system "ran you over".

I won't ever completly trust you.

I don't want you carrying a gun. I don't want you in a job where you could affect the financial or physical security of other people. I definately don't want you in a position to make life and death decisions on your own.

If that leaves you defenseless, tough.

My honest feeling is that most of these people did a lot worse than they were convicted for. Plea bargains, don't you know. Several here have rationalised with the "well if they're that dangerous they should still be in prison" attitude. I agree, but that aint the reality.

I don't care how well they've cleaned up. I don't care if they've turned their lives around. I'll never trust them.

They should have thought of the consequences a little earlier.

Man. Let's hope you never bounce a check in the wrong state or accidentally dig up a clam on the wrong day while playing with your kid. Because if you did, man you'd be the biggest dirtbag on the face of the planet.

ATBackPackin
January 15, 2011, 01:12 PM
I only read the first couple of pages so I apologize if this has already been said.

I too am conflicted about this, but what I really don't get is question C. on the 4473.

C. Have you ever been convicted in any court of a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could have imprisoned you for more than one year, even if you received a shorter sentence including probation? (See Instructions for Question 11.c.)

Honestly, how many crimes are there where the judge cannot give you a jail term of a year or longer? It doesn't matter what the judge gave you, but merely what he could have given you - felony or not.

By saying that what I hear is,"although the judge gave you probation you could have received up to two years for your crime and we don't trust the judge."

Makes no sense to me.

Jorg Nysgerrig
January 15, 2011, 01:43 PM
Resurrecting a three-year-old thread to start an off-topic discussion about whether felons should pay taxes seems a bit of a stretch.

By the way, ATBackPackin,
Honestly, how many crimes are there where the judge cannot give you a jail term of a year or longer? It doesn't matter what the judge gave you, but merely what he could have given you - felony or not.

There are many crimes that the judge cannot give you a jail term of more than a year. Many state statues define the maximum punishment for a particular violation.

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