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Accuracy counts! and Prosecutors.

Discussion in 'Legal' started by SomeKid, Jan 9, 2006.

  1. SomeKid

    SomeKid Participating Member

    Aug 25, 2005
    Ok, before I link anything or quote anyone, it needs said, I don't know if the guy is innocent or not, nor do I care. I bring this up because there have been multiple times when someone (myself included) wanted to know when a prosecutor had used some form of emotional garbage. (Weapon mods, too much gun, etc) Well, here we have a real case, which is proof that persecutors, ah prosecutors will make some accusations that are silly, and nothing more than ignorant smears upon us.

    The link: http://www.chattanoogan.com/articles/article_78360.asp

    The quotes:

    'But special prosecutor Mike Taylor of Rhea County said "Taylor" should be convicted of second-degree murder for firing the "extremely powerful" weapon'

    'The prosecutor said it was "not self defense." He said the defendant "basically unleashed the power of a .357 magnum" '

    'Attorney Jenkins said County Attorney Taylor had a permit for the gun'
    Nitpicking here, but in TN we don't have permits for guns. We have permits to carry. This prosecutor should know better.

    'He said of "Taylor" that "by pulling out a gun, that means he wanted to do battle." '
    The 'He' is the prosecutor. Keep this quote in mind folks. If you pull a gun to defend yourself, what you are really saying is that you want to do battle.

    On the accuracy comment, there had been some dispute (this article doesn't cover it very well) as to whether the shots were aimed at the gangers, or above them. This article glosses over that, but it should always be on our minds to keep our shots in the 10.
  2. Old Dog

    Old Dog Senior Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    somewhere on Puget Sound
    That story can't be at all accurate; after all, we have it on good authority by several members of THR in recent threads that as long as a shooting is in lawful self-defense, even if it came to a trial, the prosecution would never try to use any misinformation or sensationalism against the shooter ...

    Shucks, it doesn't matter if you use hollow-points, handloads, engrave your Desert Eagle with the nickname "Terminator" or "Dirtbag Slayer" or, God forbid, have ever posted anything in an internet forum or blog about your willingness to use deadly force -- if you're justified to shoot, you're good to go and would not only be acquitted of any criminal charges, but given a medal and the key to the city ...

    C'mon now, we all know that lawyers, and prosecutors especially, would never try to mislead a jury, use an emotional argument, paint guns and gun owners as the spawn of the devil or otherwise portray any defendent as other than an upstanding community servant, Boy Scout and all-around humanitarian.

    As a side note, that news article is the worst-written news piece I've ever read, and both the reporter (term used loosely) and his/her editor should be fired and never allowed to work in the media again.
  3. WT

    WT Participating Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    "there were two groups in conflict that night, including one dressed in blue and another in red ......"

    Democrats vs Republicans?

    Sounds like a whole lot of people need arresting.

    The only thing I remember about Choo-Choo is the DUKW's and a nearby great rib restaurant.
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Senior Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Nevada, escaped from the PDRK via Idaho.
    It is difficult to say from the story, but it looks like the prosecutor is making his opening statement followed up by the defense attorney's opening statement. During opening statements, attorneys often make ridiculous statements to get the jury's attention about what the trial will be about and what evidence will be introduced. Said statements would not be permitted in the litigation phase because they would lack foundation or would be inflammatory and prejudicial.

    If the prosecutor intends to hang his hat on the terrible power of the .357, I'm sure the defense will be able to find a firearms expert who will testify there are much more powerful handgun rounds carried by the police and no one considers the police use of the round to be barbaric.

    It is quite apparent from the article this was a good old fashioned gang rumble between groups sympathetic to the Bloods and Crips.

    The defense is trying to make his client into a silk purse from a sow's ear.

    The trial should be interesting.

  5. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 26, 2002
    I don't recall anyone saying that it would never happen, merely that it was quite unlikely to ever effect the outcome of the case. A good shoot would still be a good shoot at the end of the day.

    Facts are also an important thing - if you don't hang around in groups of people dressed alike in red and blue and shooting each other that is an important fact that might make the prosecutor less likely to ever resort to such tactics to begin with.
  6. Jim March

    Jim March Mentor

    Dec 24, 2002
    SF Bay Area
    What this sounds like is a backstop failure from hell - UNLESS all the guys the defender with the 357 hit were in fact attacking gangbangers.

    I doubt we'll ever know for sure but the fact that there were additional shooters not yet identified screams out "reasonable doubt" to me!

    Still, it sounds like he should have kept his head and placed his shots. It appears he fired wildly towards the threat, backing them off just fine but resulting in legal problems down the road.

    This is exactly why I like the idea of good sights, incl. night sights where possible.
  7. CAS700850

    CAS700850 Participating Member

    Jul 20, 2004
    Central Ohio
    Well, as in every other occupation, there are good ones and bad ones. I particularly enjoyed when he said that it didn't matter who fired first. And he unleashed the power of a .357 magnum on the crowd. Good stuff. I may need to borrow that someday...:neener:

    I agree the article is poorly written.

    Sounds to me like a realy bad "everyone's shooting" situation, and a Special Prosecutor trying to make a name for himself. That's the problem with Special Prosecutor's...they agree to take on a difficult case for relatively low pay, so all they can get out of it is publicity. And the only "good" publicity is a conviction. In our part of teh world, when there's a conflict makng a special prosecutor necessary, most counties contact a neighboring county and "borrow" a real prosecutor to act in the role. Works much better.
  8. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Dec 24, 2002
    Forestburg, Texas

    Surely y'all can't be that naive or have that short of a memory. It has never be a question of whether or not prosecutors will use some form of what Some Kid called "emotional garbarge." Of course they will. The defense will undoubtedly counter with similar emotional garbage and hopefully with facts. The question has been whether or not such ploys amount to anything of significance when folks use guns in self defense and shoot the bad guys that were claimed to be threatening the shooter.

    The first thing to determine is if Taylor fired in self defense. If he didn't, then all arguments about use of the gun in self defense are moot since this would not be a self defense shooting issue. Next, did Taylor shoot his attacker in self defense and not strike anyone else such as bystanders.

    Based on the story, this is NOT a case where a person fired in self defense and struck the attacker(s). What it appears to be is a gun fight where there are conflicting stories as to who shot first. In other words, nobody is yet clear on whether the guy being charged was actually shooting in self defense or not.

    Also, neither known shooter was shot. So even if it is a self defense shooting where people were shot, did Taylor shoot the people who were shot?

    As it turns out, the people who got shot were not the original two shooters for whom we know were involved in the battle. Heck, the FBI ballistics guy indicates that the people who were shot were NOT shot with the guns/ammo of the two known shooters.

    If it is determined he was shooting in self defense and his rounds did not strike a bystander, then I don't see how he would be culpable. Maybe he is under some law weird law?

    If it is determined he did not shoot in self defense, I am guessing that maybe he could be charged with reckless endangerment, unlawful discharge, assault, etc., and maybe murder since somebody was killed as a result of his instigation of the shooting?

    I don't know. At this point the article seems to have described a fairly complex shooting situation involving a variety of conflicted data and involving multiple known actors, apparently several unknown actors who were actually involved in wounding and killing people, and multiple known wounded people that were not either of the known shooters and were not indicated to be the unknown shooters. So this story, as described in the article, does not sound like a very good example of anything other than saber rattling by the prosecution.

    Some Kid said he didn't care if the guy was guilty or not but felt the prosecutor's comments about doing battle indicated that if we use a gun in self defense that we are apparently want to do battle. Contrary to Some Kid, Taylor may certainly have wanted to do battle if the account of some witnesses is correct that he fired the first shots. The prosecutor is also setting up the situation and a gang war conflict where gang bangers clashed and then battled one another.

    If Taylor actually shot in self defense, sure he wanted to do battle, defensive battle to stop the opposition who was supposedly trying to make war on him.
  9. Old Dog

    Old Dog Senior Member

    Aug 11, 2004
    somewhere on Puget Sound
    DNS, have you ever sat through a criminal trial? You've got to be kidding if you think that those ploys never resonate with juries (or even judges). You're holding the members of juries and local judges in overly high esteem, in my opinion, if you really believe that "such ploys" do NOT amount to anything of significance -- even IF someone on trial had legitimately employed a firearm in lawful self-defense.

    And frankly, would you even want to take the chance at trial? Why do you think plea-bargaining works? Even when a defendent may be innocent of some or all the charges, but pleas down because he/she and the defense attorney know that the prosecution can use some of the facts or evidence and would probably get a conviction? (Usually if the defendent already has a criminal background or evidence of other crimes may come out.)

    There are plenty of folks who've served prison sentences, or are currently incarcerated, as a result of using firearms in lawful self-defense. Additionally, there's been a lot of money paid out to families of criminals subsequent to civil suits -- even though the criminals were shot in seemingly justifiable self-defense by law-abiding citizens. Not to mention all the successful lawsuits against law enforcement agencies and cops following shootings, even seemingly "good shoots" ...

    Of course, the emotional ploys, sensationalization and exaggerations cut both ways ... after all, Simpson and Blake got off ... and those who followed the O.J. trial were aware the DNA evidence should have been damning -- had the jury possessed the collective intelligence to understand that, and didn't buy Simpson's grimacing when he pretended he couldn't get the gloves on ....

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