British farmer, jailed for shooting burglar, seeks better self-defence laws for UK


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Preacherman
July 19, 2003, 02:09 AM
From the Telegraph, London (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;$sessionid$GIZN2JFZGQWE5QFIQMGSFF4AVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2003/07/19/nmart19.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/07/19/ixhome.html):

Martin to fight for rights of burgled householders

By John Steele
(Filed: 19/07/2003)

Tony Martin, the farmer jailed for the manslaughter of a burglar, will campaign after his release this month for better legal protection for householders who defend themselves against intruders, his MP said yesterday.

He will also work for changes in the law to stop burglars obtaining legal aid to sue homeowners for compensation if they are injured during a break-in.

Henry Bellingham, Conservative MP for North West Norfolk, met Martin at Highpoint Prison, Suffolk, to discuss changes to the law.

Martin, 58, is due to leave prison on July 28 after two thirds of his sentence for the manslaughter of Fred Barras, 16, who was shot during a burglary at Martin's Norfolk farmhouse.

Barras's fellow burglar, Brendon Fearon, who was wounded in the raid on Martin's home in Emneth Hungate in 1999, is suing the farmer for £15,000 compensation.

Martin was jailed for life after being convicted of murder in April 2000, but the Court of Appeal reduced the conviction to manslaughter and cut the sentence to five years.

Mr Bellingham said Martin was worried about security arrangements at his farm when he was released.

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agricola
July 19, 2003, 06:52 AM
note to martin:

a law protecting homeowners right to self defence will only work if the homeowner actually acts in self defence, and not shoots them in the back as they run off.

MicroBalrog
July 19, 2003, 09:34 AM
note to Agricola: Don't burgle people's houses and you won't get shot.:D

TallPine
July 19, 2003, 12:31 PM
If you can't protect your property that you have worked for (and the police certainly won't protect it for you), then you have no property. Might as well just quit working and go on welfare ... then it's the govt's property (bought with money the govt gave to you) that's being stolen. (sarcasm alert!)

When property is stolen, it is like stealing a piece of someone's life - the time that you had to work to earn the money to buy the property. If property can't be defended, then they might as well rank murder according to the age of the victim - the older the victim, the less the penalty because the thief (murderer) stole fewer years of the victim's life.

The US is about as bad as the UK in this respect.

What I don't understand is why a private business such as a bank is allowed to hire an armed guard to protect its property, but a private citizen can't protect their own property? Is corporate property somehow worth more than an individual's property? (now we know who the "lords" are - the artificial persons known as corporations)

The burglar who got shot in the back won't steal anything ever again.

That's just $0.02 from one of those vulgar Americans .... :neener:

Byron Quick
July 19, 2003, 02:07 PM
agricola,

The burglar who's suing Mr. Martin...what use does he have for money in prison? Wait, let me guess, he's not in prison, right?

Poor fellow, he deserves a settlement. Even if he's not physically disabled, he's been so psychologically traumatized that he can no longer follow his career of choice:rolleyes:

Tell you what, why don't you tell the poor young burglar to move to the US?

Either Georgia or Texas will do nicely. It won't make a difference that he was trying to escape from his crime.

agricola
July 19, 2003, 02:25 PM
byron,

there is a difference between Brendon Fearon suing Martin, and him winning that action. You should be able to sue anyone based on what you consider to be your wronging, or injustice; thats not the same as winning.

trooper
July 19, 2003, 04:30 PM
I'll have to side with my fellow European here :-))) (someone's gotta be the opposition, right?)


It'd be fine with me if Martin had shot the guy while he was assaulting him.

But if you actually advocate shooting a petty criminal in the back while he flees from the scene you are in fact recommending capital punishment for theft, and that's not right in my book.

Terry Martin did wrong, and was rightly convicted for it.

It's a problem that supporters of lawful self-defense (among which I count myself, too) made some sort of hero out of him.

This kind of behaviour just convinces people that we are nothing but a bunch of whackos who are bent on using their toys someday.


Regards,

Trooper

MicroBalrog
July 19, 2003, 04:35 PM
Trooper:
I disagree.

The reason is not because I think all home-invaders desperately deserve to be shot, but rather because home-owners are extremely likely to shoot them.

Here's what I mean. People are inclined to believe that their home is their fortress, the safest place in the world. That is why victims of home invasions sometimes say they "feel violated". That is also why an armed homeowner is likely get scared and to shoot a home-invader. It's rather wrong to punish people for it. As a British legislator said (paraphrasing from memory here) "It's ridicilous to expect reasonable behaviour in the face of a raised knife".

agricola
July 19, 2003, 04:50 PM
microbalrog,

nice nonsense post. There was no "raised knife" in the Martin case; just a man who shot a boy and another man as they ran off from burgling his house. There was, as Trooper and the twelve members of the jury noted, no issue of self defence. Had there been, he would not have been found guilty.

MicroBalrog
July 19, 2003, 04:55 PM
You didn't read my post, I see...

agricola
July 19, 2003, 05:02 PM
no, i read your post, the implications of it are clear when taken into the context of this thread.

Byron Quick
July 19, 2003, 05:03 PM
If a burglar has forcibly entered your home and is still in your home, the self defence laws are not the pertinent statutes where I live. You are not required to be in fear of your life to use lethal force in this situation...all that is legally required is that you believe the intruder will commit a felony therein. He does not have to be armed in any manner...in fact, he could have "pacifist" written in blue across his entire body. Also, the fact that he is facing away from you is also irrelevant.

Our burglars go to great pains to ensure they are committing a cold burglary. It seems they've decided that hot burglaries have entirely too much potential for heat.

And home invasions have become a thing of the past for some reason.

Boats
July 19, 2003, 05:04 PM
No jury nullification argument allowed to made either. The malleability of English justice is apparent in the reduction of charge and sentence on appeal. Social engineering in wigs is all it amounts to.

All housebreakers should wind up perforated and buried post haste. Occupied house breaking is the most elemental affront to the dignity of another person short of rape and murder. Yobs who feel they have the right to violate the inner sanctum of one's everyday life deserve, nay have asked for, the death sentence some of them recieve at the hands of homeowners. Whether coming or going, the lead enema protects society from those most harming it.

I do hope for the sake of you all that Martin shot off Fearon's genitalia.

MicroBalrog
July 19, 2003, 05:04 PM
Here's what I mean. People are inclined to believe that their home is their fortress, the safest place in the world. That is why victims of home invasions sometimes say they "feel violated". That is also why an armed homeowner is likely get scared and to shoot a home-invader.


When taking into account the above, one should realise why I mentioned the "raised knife".

agricola
July 19, 2003, 05:14 PM
look:

Tony Martin always said he would kill the people he found breaking into his home, and he went and did it. Your raising of that issue is irrelevant, because this thread is about Martin and your comments are viewed in that context. I agree that under stress the idea of "what a reasonable person would do" must be viewed in light of that stress, but as mentioned above Martin was, beyond all reasonable doubt based on the facts of the case, NOT stressed nor scared when he shot Barras and Fearon.

Intune
July 19, 2003, 05:20 PM
A person breaks into his house uninvited and he's not "stressed nor scared?" He's cooler than 99.9% of us.

MicroBalrog
July 19, 2003, 05:23 PM
Please tell me (I honestly do not know) what evidence was there beyond "victim" statements?

trooper
July 19, 2003, 06:12 PM
Guys,

I wasn't talking about a homeowner shooting a burglar in the process of breaking into his house.

Some people think that somebody committing a "hot" burglary should be expected to have the intention of bodily harming any occupants and therefore should be met with lethal force. While I haven't made up my mind on that one I consider this argument totally valid and really take it into consideration.

However, somebody shooting a fleeing thief in the back without being threatened is an entirely different story. And apparently such was the case with Terry Martin.

And again, supporting such positions is not doing the RKBA community a favour.


Regards,

Trooper

bjengs
July 19, 2003, 06:23 PM
The RKBA community? Since when did this become a commune?

There are those steeped in principle who believe that property rights are a natural extension of the rights to life and liberty. There are those who are steeped in pragmatism who figure it's not worth fighting for.

But it almost feels like a Monty Python sketch. A burglar coming in, maybe announcing his presence ("Just here for the goods, guvnor, I won't 'arm a single wunnaya!"), and the homeowner sits on a barstool sipping a scotch and soda while the burglar goes about his business.

The Plainsman
July 19, 2003, 06:35 PM
Regardless of any other issues in this particular case, I think it's an absolute travesty that a perpetrator is subsidized by the government (taxpayer) in his effort to further punish the property owner by suing him and thereby force him to expend additional funds. If the government agrees to underwrite the property owner's defense costs, OK - but it doesn't appear that's the way it works.

This is justice turned on her head. Absolutely the goofiest, most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. :confused:

agricola
July 19, 2003, 06:44 PM
microbalrog,

the forensic case was that the evidence showed Martin had been in one of the side rooms on the ground floor when he fired into the back of Barras and into Fearon's leg, wheras his defence was that he had been coming down the stairs, and when one of the burglars had shined a torch in his face he had fired at it fearing assault (which would have left an entirely different set of evidence - spatter, the wounds of both burglars etc).

The statement of Fearon was more supported by the evidence than Martins, in that (as I recall) he stated that they had seen Martin, seen that he had a long gun of some description and then started to run off.

Glock Glockler
July 19, 2003, 06:45 PM
However, somebody shooting a fleeing thief in the back without being threatened is an entirely different story

How do you know if they're fleeing? Just because someone's back is to me doesn't mean that they don't constitute a threat, he could be going back to get his gun, who knows? The one circumstance where shooting them on your home would not be legitimate sould be when they surrender to you, other than that, sorry pal.

MicroBalrog
July 19, 2003, 06:53 PM
agricola:

The question is not whether Fearon was a danger. The question is, did Martin feel his life was in danger?

Probably yes.

trooper
July 19, 2003, 07:18 PM
How do you know if they're fleeing? Just because someone's back is to me doesn't mean that they don't constitute a threat, he could be going back to get his gun, who knows? The one circumstance where shooting them on your home would not be legitimate sould be when they surrender to you, other than that, sorry pal.

Shooting someone in the back who is running away from your property because you think he MIGHT get his gun and come back?

Nope. That's way too far-fetched. That's equivalent to shooting someone on the spot because he/she is mad at you and tells you, "I'm gonna whack your butt, a***hole."


Regards,

Trooper

trooper
July 19, 2003, 07:27 PM
There are those who are steeped in pragmatism who figure it's not worth fighting for.

Wrong. I've decided for myself that property isn't worth KILLING for. I will fight for my property. And if my life is endangered during that fight I will resort to lethal force.

But I will not shoot someone over a TV set.

So there's this guy who makes his living by committing acts of fraud. And for some reason you fell victim to him. He has therefore deprived you of your property and, according to TallPine, of a certain period of your life which you needed to earn said property. Will you shoot him?


Regards,

Trooper

Don Gwinn
July 19, 2003, 07:57 PM
Breaking into an occupied house is not "theft" and shooting such a one, even when his back is turned, is not punishment. I've never really thought much about whether stealing something from my house should be a capital offense, but I'm positive that if I find you there you'd better make very certain that I know you're not a threat to anyone. Surrendering is the best option. If you choose to turn your back to me instead, you are gambling that I will understand that you are fleeing, that you mean me no harm, and that you will not be back to finish me off.

Don Gwinn
July 19, 2003, 08:15 PM
Trooper, you are still starting from an exceptionally optimistic premise. He turns his back, and you assume that he is running away. You find it "ridiculous" to consider that he might only be running to fetch a weapon, or an accomplice, or simply sprinting to cover from whence to continue the fight.
I don't. As far as I'm concerned, the fact that he feels entitled to break into my house, much less while I'm there, is a clear suggestion that he at least wouldn't mind hurting me. That makes it mandatory that I assume the worst as far as his intentions.

Is it unfortunate that he doesn't get the benefit of the doubt? From his point of view, perhaps, but then I didn't invite him to break in. It was his decision, and I'm just trying to survive and deal with the cosequences of that decision. I didn't get to decide whether my house was robbed, and I can't know what's going to happen next, so I reserve the right to take the action that presents itself as necessary.

bjengs
July 19, 2003, 08:55 PM
Trooper saidI've decided for myself that property isn't worth KILLING for. I will fight for my property. And if my life is endangered during that fight I will resort to lethal force.

But I will not shoot someone over a TV set.
Building on what Don Gwinn said, you seem to be overlooking the fact that in order to get to my TV set, the invader had to violate my more important property: my living space.

It is for that same reason that someone who embezzles from or defrauds me does not inspire murderous wrath from me. He has not physically threatened my existence and habitat.

Boats
July 19, 2003, 09:29 PM
Intruders in my house will be Martinized:evil:

I don't care why they are there, or what they think it is they are doing. It is surrender or die for the morons. In states where there is no "retreat" rule, many of them have a variant of the castle doctrine in that one not even be in "reasonable fear" to use lethal force in their dwelling. The bad guy has put the free fire zone into effect by burgling an occupied dwelling. It is basically open season from there.

Preacherman
July 20, 2003, 12:54 AM
The latest... From the Telegraph, London (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml;$sessionid$LYRCA1PY5P2QHQFIQMGSFF4AVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2003/07/20/nmart20.xml&sSheet=/news/2003/07/20/ixhome.html):

Tony Martin refused leave 'because of risk to burglars'

By Daniel Foggo
(Filed: 20/07/2003)

Tony Martin, the farmer who killed a criminal who broke into his house, has been denied a preparatory home visit before his release on parole next week because he is considered to be a "danger to burglars".

In a meeting last week with the wing governor at his prison and Annette Stewart, his probation officer, Martin was told that he had been refused a trial three-day home release because the authorities felt that he might reoffend even during that short space of time.

It is normal practice for prisoners awaiting release to be given a few days outside to introduce them gradually to the prospect of regaining their liberty.

It had been thought that Martin had previously not been given the home visit because of fears over the security of his property. Concerns have been raised about Martin's safety after his life was threatened by friends of the teenager he killed.

The revelation that the probation authorities are still reluctant to let him go, even so close to his release, sparked fury from his supporters last night. Malcolm Starr, a close friend, said: "This is the final insult."

Henry Bellingham, Martin's MP, who visited the farmer in prison last week, will take up the snub with the Government. He said: "I will be writing to the Home Secretary about this, it is quite extraordinary.

"Tony Martin has been turned into a political prisoner. The Probation Service is being vindictive. Even the matter of a house visit, a standard request for him to be treated normally, has been spiked and I find it stunning."

The 58-year-old farmer related the conversation with Ms Stewart in a letter to Peter Sainsbury, the general secretary of the POW Trust, a charity which has been supporting Martin.

In the correspondence, a copy of which has been supplied to this newspaper, Martin said: "There was a meeting today after Malcolm [Starr] visited with the parole board for home visit. They still consider me dangerous."

It is understood that Ms Stewart questioned Martin about his views on the burglar he shot dead, Fred Barras. Martin replied that he was "not going down that route again".

Mr Sainsbury has now written to the governor of Highpoint, the category C prison in Suffolk where Martin is being held, demanding an explanation in writing.

A reply to Mr Sainsbury's letter from the governor, which was handed to Martin directly on Friday, states that the home visit was not granted because he "did not fit the criteria".

Ms Stewart has previously written a report on Martin which was submitted to the Parole Board before its ruling in January. In it she said that Martin's support base in the country had made him more likely to reoffend.

"This is a case which has attracted immense and ongoing media attention and public interest," she wrote. "I believe this has had an impact on Mr Martin's own perceptions of his behaviour and his right to inflict punishment on those whom he perceives to be a threat to his own security.

"Indeed this may have contributed to his justification of the offending. This encapsulation of his views has served to disallow any rational contemplation by Mr Martin of his crimes and he does not express any remorse for the death of one so young."

Martin was convicted of murdering Barras, 16, and wounding his accomplice, Brendan Fearon, 33, during a burglary at the farmer's home in Emneth Hungate, Norfolk, in August 1999. This was reduced on appeal to manslaughter. He became eligible for early release last autumn, at the discretion of the Parole Board, after having served half of his sentence.

Although this was turned down he is now automatically entitled to parole having completed two thirds of his prison term. Fearon, who has more than 30 criminal convictions and is currently in jail, is seeking compensation from Martin under the Human Rights Act. Last night Mr Sainsbury described the refusal of a home visit for Martin as "absolutely appalling".

"There has been no process by the Prison Service to fit him back into the community," he said.

"Why is he not in an open prison now for a start? Normally prisoners are transferred to open conditions prior to their release to allow them to readjust, but not Mr Martin.

"The Parole Board have gone out of their way to stop him being released. He should have been released last September, which was his earliest possible release date.

"Then an idiot probation officer said he should not get it because he was a danger to burglars and now this. It is one insult after another."

Byron Quick
July 20, 2003, 04:19 AM
Trooper,

Really? You shouldn't do anything if someone says they are going to whack you?

If you ever visit the US, my friend, come to Georgia. We'll go shooting and hoist a few beers. While you are here, we can visit the grave site of my friend who was murdered at the age of 28 in January, 1982.

Alonzo was DJing at a club at night to earn extra money. Some guy came up to his equipment during a break and began fooling around with it. Alonzo politely asked him to quit doing that. The guy did. A few minutes later Alonzo looked around and the guy was at it again. Alonzo again asked him to quit, words were exchanged and the guy jumped on Alonzo.
Alonzo held a brown belt in Shotokan karate and wiped the floor with the guy but didn't try to beat him to a pulp. While Alonzo was holding him on the floor, the guy said,"I'm going to kill you."

The next morning, a Saturday, Alonzo was relating this to me at work. I replied,"I'd have broken his neck right then."
"I'd go to prison,"Alonzo replied.
"Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six, Alonzo."

I couldn't get Alonzo to take this seriously. He believed that the man was just jiving. As I later found out, the guy who had threatened Alonzo, whose name is Clarence Jackson, was going all over Waynesboro and telling everyone with whom he come into contact that he was going to kill Alonzo Sapp.

That night, around midnight, Clarence Jackson, drove his car right up to the entrance of the Mystique Lounge. He left the car running and the driver's door open as he walked into the club with a 1911 in his hand. Alonzo never even saw him coming. Clarence walked in the front door and shot Alonzo in his chest under his left arm. The bullet exited Alonzo's chest under his right...perforating his heart and both lungs along the way. Alonzo was dead before he hit the floor.

His murderer was charged with premeditated murder. The trial was delayed several times. The first trial date that Alonzo's friends and family weren't packing the courtroom, the assistant DA gave Jackson a plea bargain, reduced the charge to voluntary manslaughter with a sentence of twenty years. Clarence Jackson walked out of prison a free man in 1987.

Alonzo Sapp is still lying in his grave under an old oak tree.

So tell me, my oh so civilized friend, whose advice should Alonzo have followed that day: yours or mine?

trooper
July 20, 2003, 04:55 AM
Building on what Don Gwinn said, you seem to be overlooking the fact that in order to get to my TV set, the invader had to violate my more important property: my living space.

Hmm... okay, if you think that unwanted entry into your home deserves instant termination... it's your decision in the end. I've decided for myself that deadly force is only an option if I or somebody else is personally endangered.

Byron,

I'm honestly sorry about your loss. It seems that your friend did take things too lightely regarding personal safety. It is tragic that he didn't really listen to your advice of being more careful.

But if he had followed your suggestion all along and broke the guy's neck down on the floor he would have been the one to face charges. And while that's certainly better than being buried, it's not that much better.

I still think he did the right thing in the first place by putting the guy down unarmed. He should have been more careful about the aftermath, though.

BTW I never said you should do nothing if someone threatens and insults you, but capping your opponent right there and then certainly is the way to get yourself into a heap of trouble.


Regards,

Trooper

Byron Quick
July 20, 2003, 05:09 AM
You can threaten to whip my rear, I'll walk away. I get insulted at work by patients all the time. No biggie.

If I'm on the street and suddenly find myself in a confrontation with someone who says he is going to kill me...I don't know what is in his pockets. I will be in fear of my life and will act accordingly.

I'm not talking non specific threats. I'm not talking insults. I'm not talking yells and curses. I am talking about the specific,"I'm going to kill you."

I cannot read that person's mind. I cannot magically tell what they are armed with. I do not know whether they are 10th degree unarmed walking death. I do not know what time frame they have in mind...it might be in a couple of seconds.

And I am not going to find out by personal experience.

If someone tells me they will kill me...I'd rather take my chances with a jury than take my chances with a stranger.

seeker_two
July 20, 2003, 09:02 AM
...just a man who shot a boy and another man as they ran off from burgling his house.

there is a difference between Brendon Fearon suing Martin, and him winning that action. You should be able to sue anyone based on what you consider to be your wronging, or injustice; thats not the same as winning.

agricola: I just have to ask: what do you do for a living over there? Professional criminal or lawyer?... :scrutiny:

Wrong. I've decided for myself that property isn't worth KILLING for. I will fight for my property. And if my life is endangered during that fight I will resort to lethal force.

Trooper: I hope you're never in a position to have to do so. With your conflicting statement, you MIGHT accidently hurt the fellow--or even kill him. :what: . And THEN you'll be in the same boat as Martin is in...:uhoh:

Tony Martin, the farmer who killed a criminal who broke into his house, has been denied a preparatory home visit before his release on parole next week because he is considered to be a "danger to burglars".

Unbelievable...:fire:

T.Stahl
July 20, 2003, 09:49 AM
Trooper,
if breaking into my flat just to steal my property does not justify the use of lethal force (which includes or starts with the threat of lethal force), what should the police do if I called them?
Should they even answer my call for help, as only my property is in danger and not my life?
Or should they come, but leave their guns behind?
If they come, should they try to arrest the burglar, maybe threatening him with lethal force to make him comply with their orders, or just let him flee and call the forensics to take fingerprints (to maybe arrest him later)?

The Plainsman
July 20, 2003, 10:30 PM
To quote Agicola -

"the forensic case was that the evidence showed Martin had been in one of the side rooms on the ground floor when he fired into the back of Barras and into Fearon's leg, wheras his defence was that he had been coming down the stairs, and when one of the burglars had shined a torch in his face he had fired at it fearing assault (which would have left an entirely different set of evidence - spatter, the wounds of both burglars etc).

The statement of Fearon was more supported by the evidence than Martins, in that (as I recall) he stated that they had seen Martin, seen that he had a long gun of some description and then started to run off."

Perhaps I've missed something along the way in this thread. If the information in Agricola's statement is correct, may we assume that either Mr. Martin had a flashlight shining in his eyes or the scene was unilluminated? If that's so, how would Mr. Martin know whether the burglars were advancing or retreating? All he needs to know is that there are unknown people on his property and in close enough proximity to do him bodily harm. And as has been pointed out above, assuming Mr. Martin could see that one or more of the Bad Guys had their back to him, why should he assume the threat has been removed?

Is it not possible that the Bad Guys were shining the light in Mr. Martin's eyes as they turned to run, which could easily result in both a light in Martin's eyes and wounds in the backs of the perpetrators?

In any case, how would Mr. Martin know or be expected to discover the ages of either perpetrator? I would bet that he hadn't a clue that one of them was 16 and the other was 33. Who cares? A Bad Guy is a Bad Guy. As we have all seen on more than one occasion in recent history, the mere fact that a Bad Guy is "only 16" or even less, doesn't render him/her harmless and unable/unwilling to do bad things to defenseless people.

The bottom line is the fact that the British government is helping criminals transfer the responsibility for their actions, from themselves to their victim - and that's a damned shame. Woe be unto the British people for allowing themselves to be led to this sorry lot.

As the saying goes, "If you (screw) with the bull, you get the horn." :uhoh:

MeekandMild
July 20, 2003, 10:31 PM
If a man burgles your house you are in a state of war with him until a mutually agreed upon ending occurs. It doesn't matter whether he is running toward or away from you if he has chosen to initiate warfare against you. See what John Locke sez:


Sec. 16. THE state of war is a state of enmity and destruction: and therefore declaring by word or action, not a passionate and hasty, but a sedate settled design upon another man's life, puts him in a state of war with him against whom he has declared such an intention, and so has exposed his life to the other's power to be taken away by him, or any one that joins with him in his defence, and espouses his quarrel; it being reasonable and just, I should have a right to destroy that which threatens me with destruction: for, by the fundamental law of nature, man being to be preserved as much as possible, when all cannot be preserved, the safety of the innocent is to be preferred: and one may destroy a man who makes war upon him, or has discovered an enmity to his being, for the same reason that he may kill a wolf or a lion; because such men are not under the ties of the commonlaw of reason, have no other rule, but that of force and violence, and so may be treated as beasts of prey, those dangerous and noxious creatures, that will be sure to destroy him whenever he falls into their power.

Sect. 17. And hence it is, that he who attempts to get another man into his absolute power, does thereby put himself into a state of war with him; it being to be understood as a declaration of a design upon his life: for I have reason to conclude, that he who would get me into his power without my consent, would use me as he pleased when he had got me there, and destroy me too when he had a fancy to it; for no body can desire to have me in his absolute power, unless it be to compel me by force to that which is against the right of my freedom, i.e. make me a slave. To be free from such force is the only security of my preservation; and reason bids me look on him, as an enemy to my preservation, who would take away that freedom which is the fence to it; so that he who makes an attempt to enslave me, thereby puts himself into a state of war with me. He that, in the state of nature, would take away the freedom that belongs to any one in that state, must necessarily be supposed to have a design to take away every thing else, that freedom being the foundation of all the rest; as he that, in the state of society, would take away the freedom belonging to those of that society or commonwealth, must be supposed to design to take away from them every thing else, and so be looked on as in a state of war.

Sec. 18. This makes it lawful for a man to kill a thief, who has not in the least hurt him, nor declared any design upon his life, any farther than, by the use of force, so to get him in his power, as to take away his money, or what he pleases, from him; because using force, where he has no right, to get me into his power, let his pretence be what it will, I have no reason to suppose, that he, who would take away my liberty, would not, when he had me in his power, take away every thing else. And therefore it is lawful for me to treat him as one who has put himself into a state of war with me, i.e. kill him if I can; for to that hazard does he justly expose himself, whoever introduces a state of war, and is aggressor in it.

Sec. 19. And here we have the plain difference between the state of nature and the state of war, which however some men have confounded, are as far distant, as a state of peace, good will, mutual assistance and preservation, and a state of enmity, malice, violence and mutual destruction, are one from another. Men living together according to reason, without a common superior on earth, with authority to judge between them, is properly the state of nature. But force, or a declared design of force, upon the person of another, where there is no common superior on earth to appeal to for relief, is the state of war: and it is the want of such an appeal gives a man the right of war even against an aggressor, tho' he be in society and a fellow subject. Thus a thief, whom I cannot harm, but by appeal to the law, for having stolen all that I am worth, I may kill, when he sets on me to rob me but of my horse or coat; because the law, which was made for my preservation, where it cannot interpose to secure my life from present force, which, if lost, is capable of no reparation, permits me my own defence, and the right of war, a liberty to kill the aggressor, because the aggressor allows not time to appeal to our common judge, nor the decision of the law, for remedy in a case where the mischief may be irreparable. Want of a common judge with authority, puts all men in a state of nature: force without right, upon a man's person, makes a state of war, both where there is, and is not, a common judge.

Sec. 20. But when the actual force is over, the state of war ceases between those that are in society, and are equally on both sides subjected to the fair determination of the law; because then there lies open the remedy of appeal for the past injury, and to prevent future harm: but where no such appeal is, as in the state of nature, for want of positive laws, and judges with authority to appeal to, the state of war once begun, continues, with a right to the innocent party to destroy the other whenever he can, until the aggressor offers peace, and desires reconciliation on such terms as may repair any wrongs he has already done, and secure the innocent for the future; nay, where an appeal to the law, and constituted judges, lies open, but the remedy is denied by a manifest perverting of justice, and a barefaced wresting of the laws to protect or indemnify the violence or injuries of some men, or party of men, there it is hard to imagine any thing but a state of war: for wherever violence is used, and injury done, though by hands appointed to administer justice, it is still violence and injury, however coloured with the name, pretences, or forms of law, the end whereof being to protect and redress the innocent, by an unbiassed application of it, to all who are under it; wherever that is not bona fide done, war is made upon the sufferers, who having no appeal on earth to right them, they are left to the only remedy in such cases, an appeal to heaven.

Sec. 21. To avoid this state of war (wherein there is no appeal but to heaven, and wherein every the least difference is apt to end, where there is no authority to decide between the contenders) is one great reason of men's putting themselves into society, and quitting the state of nature: for where there is an authority, a power on earth, from which relief can be had by appeal, there the continuance of the state of war is excluded, and the controversy is decided by that power. Had there been any such court, any superior jurisdiction on earth, to determine the right between Jephtha and the Ammonites, they had never come to a state of war: but we see he was forced to appeal to heaven. The Lord the Judge (says he) be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon, Judg. xi. 27. and then prosecuting, and relying on his appeal, he leads out his army to battle: and therefore in such controversies, where the question is put, who shall be judge? It cannot be meant, who shall decide the controversy; every one knows what Jephtha here tells us, that the Lord the Judge shall judge. Where there is no judge on earth, the appeal lies to God in heaven. That question then cannot mean, who shall judge, whether another hath put himself in a state of war with me, and whether I may, as Jephtha did, appeal to heaven in it? of that I myself can only be judge in my own conscience, as I will answer it, at the great day, to the supreme judge of all men.

agricola
July 21, 2003, 04:10 AM
plainsman,

that was Martins defence - that he had a torch shining in his face as he came down the stairs and just fired at the light. the defence was rejected because forensic evidence (which was supported by the testimony of the surviving burglar) showed that Martin had been downstairs when he fired lying in wait for them.

preacherman,

thats just one example of how the press get away with making misleading statements. The Parole Board did not find that Martin was "a threat to burglars"; they found that the Barras shooting took place against a backdrop of similar incidents and that nothing Martin said or did suggested that he was willing to change his beliefs about what the correct use of a firearm was in those incidents - given that the list of incidents included blowing windows out of a neighbours house following a disagreement - it is a sensible judgement.

glocksman
July 21, 2003, 04:34 AM
that was Martins defence - that he had a torch shining in his face as he came down the stairs and just fired at the light. the defence was rejected because forensic evidence (which was supported by the testimony of the surviving burglar) showed that Martin had been downstairs when he fired lying in wait for them


Were they in his house when he shot them?
A lot of US states recognize the right of the homeowner to use deadly force on a burglar no matter what he's doing once he's broken in.

Indiana and Tennessee are 2 good examples.

Tennessee law on self-defense. The part dealing with defense of one's home is bolded:
39-11-611. Self-defense.

(a) A person is justified in threatening or using force against another person when and to the degree the person reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force. The person must have a reasonable belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. The danger creating the belief of imminent death or serious bodily injury must be real, or honestly believed to be real at the time, and must be founded upon reasonable grounds. There is no duty to retreat before a person threatens or uses force.

(b) Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury within the person's own residence is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury to self, family or a member of the household when that force is used against another person, not a member of the family or household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence, and the person using the force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.

Indiana law on self defense. Part dealing with defense of one's home is bolded:

IC 35-41-3-2
Use of force to protect person or property
Sec. 2. (a) A person is justified in using reasonable force against another person to protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in using deadly force only if the person reasonably believes that that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or the commission of a forcible felony. No person in this state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting the person or a third person by reasonable means necessary.
(b) A person is justified in using reasonable force, including deadly force, against another person if the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person's unlawful entry of or attack on the person's dwelling or curtilage.
(c) With respect to property other than a dwelling or curtilage, a person is justified in using reasonable force against another person if the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to immediately prevent or terminate the other person's trespass on or criminal interference with property lawfully in the person's possession, lawfully in possession of a member of the person's immediate family, or belonging to a person whose property the person has authority to protect. However, a person is not justified in using deadly force unless that force is justified under subsection (a).



Given the fact that the US 'hot' (burglary of occupied dwellings) burglary rate is much much lower than the UK rate, I prefer statutes such as Indiana's and Tennessee's to the laws in the UK.

If Martin had shot those two scumbags in Clarksville, Tennessee or Evansville, Indiana, he'd be a free man.

glocksman
July 21, 2003, 05:22 AM
Something else:

that was Martins defence - that he had a torch shining in his face as he came down the stairs and just fired at the light. the defence was rejected because forensic evidence (which was supported by the testimony of the surviving burglar) showed that Martin had been downstairs when he fired lying in wait for them.


That's not what the Jury was told according to the Guardian

The jury heard that Fearon and Barras spotted a dresser in Bleak House and began shining a torch towards it. "Fearon remembers Fred Barras following closely behind him. He saw a man on the stairs. Then he heard Barras shout 'he's got me' at the same time as he heard a loud bang. He then made his way towards a window. He was going towards that window when he heard a second shot and his left leg at that moment went numb.

"He then heard a third bang and felt pain in his right leg and in his panic he managed to pull the whole window out of the wall."

Guardian article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/martin/article/0,2763,214344,00.html)

The Guardian article is backed up by this storyboard (http://www.edp24.co.uk/Content/search/format.asp?url=/archive_nnow/features/tonymartin/htm/storyboard.htm) from the Eastern Daily Press.


Fred Barras got exactly what he deserved. A belly full of lead.

Kharn
July 21, 2003, 09:16 AM
From the article Preacherman posted,
Tony Martin, the farmer who killed a criminal who broke into his house, has been denied a preparatory home visit before his release on parole next week because he is considered to be a "danger to burglars". Sadly, in England, you're locked up for being a "danger to burglars". In Texas, he'd be getting a parade.

Kharn

Zedicus
July 21, 2003, 09:53 AM
Most places in Callifonia he would have gotten a parade as well....
How exactly is somone being a 'Danger to Burglars' A bad thing?

Surely if everyone was a 'Danger to Burglars' the crime rates would be plumiting instead of climbing at a rate that makes your head spin....

Cosmoline
July 22, 2003, 06:17 PM
He should leave GB and move to the free world.

Zedicus
July 22, 2003, 08:10 PM
If he wanted to he would have Quite a Long time to wait untill he could, and even then they my try to stop him....

2dogs
July 23, 2003, 08:30 AM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UK: Martin calls book 'My Right to Kill'


Tony Martin is to write his autobiography – and plans to call it My Right to Kill.

His MP Henry Bellingham immediately urged Martin – who will be released on parole on Monday after serving just over three years for killing 16-year-old burglar Fred Barras – to rethink the book's title.

Mr Bellingham, MP for North West Norfolk said: "I think it's right for him to defend himself. He feels very strongly that he shouldn't have gone to prison, and I also feel that."


http://www.edp24.co.uk/content/News/story.asp?datetime=23+Jul+2003+06%3A30&tbrand=EDPOnline&tCategory=NEWS&category=News&brand=EDPOnline&itemid=NOED22+Jul+2003+23%3A01%3A24%3A370

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