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Burden of proof in justifiable homicide?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by bushmaster1313, Mar 24, 2012.

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  1. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    I think that's a real possibility, but are you sure that it's settled? Have there been some post-Dennis cases clarifying that?

    In Dennis, while the Florida Supreme Court adopted the Peterson approach, it affirmed Dennis' conviction at trial. In its analysis, the Florida Supreme Court noted that Dennis presented his self defense claim at trial, and the jury found Dennis guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. There was no discussion of Dennis' degree of burden with regard to his presentation of his self defense claim.

    I think that you may be right, but I also see a possibility for perhaps some further refinement in Florida.
     
  2. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    Actually it all hinges of the instructions the Judge gives the jury. Most appeals are based on jury instructions.
     
  3. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    Really? How about some evidence that most appeals are based on jury instructions? Do you have some statistics to backup that claim?

    Yes, jury instructions can be an error claimed on appeal. But in fact many appeals involve multiple claims of error of varying types.

    Jury instructions are important, but so are a lot of other things at a trial.
     
  4. BSA1

    BSA1 member

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    I based my comment on studying 600 U.S. Supreme Court cases but it is not my intent to start a argument with a expert in criminal law and court appeals.
     
  5. Jim K

    Jim K Member.

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    OK, that clarified a point for me. I read the FL law and didn't understand, if a person who uses lethal force and claims self-defense cannot be arrested or prosecuted, how would any claims of justification be assessed? Surely, the law did not intend that anyone could shoot a person, state that it was self defense, and simply walk away, immune from any questioning of justification or motive.

    The key I didn't understand was the evidentiary hearing. But, again, how or when would such a hearing be held if the user of lethal force is not arrested or prosecuted. I am not an attorney, but I thought an evidentiary hearing preceded a trial although based on the hearing results a trial might not be held. But how is the user of lethal force to be held, or compelled to attend such a hearing if he cannot be prosecuted?

    In general, I agree with the principle of SYG, but no realist could expect that the force user would always be innocent and the alleged attacker always a guilty criminal; the reverse could well be true.

    Jim
     
  6. brboyer

    brboyer Member

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    One can certainly be arrested and prosecuted if the state has PC (evidence) to dispute one's SD claim of immunity. The defendant still has the right to claim immunity and have that claim heard before a judge prior to trial.
     
  7. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    An that is utter nonsense.

    [1] The U. S. Supreme Court hears approximately 75 to 80 cases a year. Those appeals address highly significant matters of law, frequently constitutional law.

    [2] Yet you are apparently claiming that some 51% of those 600 Supreme Court cases focused on jury instructions? How about citing a few?

    [3] On the other hand, in the fiscal year 2001-2002, 22,000 appeals and original proceeding were filed in the California Courts of Appeal. In addition, appeals are filed in the state courts of appeal in the other 49 States as well as the Federal Circuit Courts of Appeal.

    [4] So you would contend that based on 600 U. S. Supreme Court Cases heard over a six to seven year period, that more than 50% of the many hundreds of thousands (if not several million) appeals brought in all the nation's courts of appeal involve jury instructions? Balderdash.

    You'll excuse me if I dismiss your claims as preposterous.
     
  8. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator Emeritus

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    Argument over jury instructions should go to PM or Email. No more, in this thread.
     
  9. BsChoy

    BsChoy Member

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    I don't know of any place in the U.S. that places the burden of proof on anyone except the prosecution.
     
  10. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator Emeritus

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    Enough drift for one thread. :)
     
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