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Self defense shootings - homicide?

Discussion in 'Legal' started by SodiumBenzoate, Aug 9, 2004.

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  1. SodiumBenzoate

    SodiumBenzoate Member

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    I've heard from a friend that if someone is killed in self defense, it is both considered a homicide, and counted on the list of the number of murders every year.

    Can anyone verify/discredit this?
     
  2. Ransom

    Ransom Member

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    Self defense is also called justifiable homicide if I'm not mistaken. Therefore I wouldnt be suprised if it is counted. I think its a pretty good bet that it would be counted under "gun deaths" and so forth.
     
  3. Shadowman

    Shadowman Member

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    I've read something similar.

    I was googling murder statistics and IIRC in the US all shooting deaths are
    initially classified as homicides, whereas in Britain, shooting homicides are only counted when the person is convicted for the crime. So, a discrepancy in reporting is clearly seen.

    Pretty clever way to advance political policy:

    Our stats (in US): artificially high (guns are bad)
    Their stats (GB): artificially low (we don't want people finding out guns may not be so bad).
     
  4. carebear

    carebear Member

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    Homicide is a legal term. As was said, it just means a person deliberately took another person's life.

    All killings are homicides but not all homicides are murder.

    But statistically, you're right, they're all counted the same on a gross level. That's where some of the anti-gunners skew the statistics, throwing in justifiable homiicdes by police and citizens, and why we need to look at the broken down figures.
     
  5. SodiumBenzoate

    SodiumBenzoate Member

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  6. Librarian

    Librarian Member

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    CDC WISQARS shows
    In other words, it doesn't really matter - around 300 'legal intervention' included or excluded from about 11,000 'homicide' does not change things much.

    There is the small problem that the crime classification usually is 'murder' when reported, but later on some are ruled 'legal intervention' by investigation or trial - a month or a couple of years later - but the initial reports are not usually changed.
     
  7. Stand_Watie

    Stand_Watie Member

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    The difference between the FBI uniform crime reports and the England/Wales reporting is that the "Crown" goes back and records the "final disposition" in the statistics, whereas the UCR's use "initially reported" data.

    According to Home Office papers this accounts for about a 15% difference. Here is a bit from a paper discussing the issue, with suggestions for changes to improve accuracy

    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/methods_quality/quality_review/downloads/Homicide.pdf
     
  8. agricola

    agricola Member

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    stand_watie,

    I think you misunderstand what that article says. Offences initially recorded as homicide have always been available (at least since the end of the 1960's), as the following table shows:

    [​IMG]

    what the article talks about is the currently recorded statistics which are those deemed to be homicides after investigation.

    more info can be found here
     
  9. Hypnogator

    Hypnogator Member

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    Doesn't need to be deliberate. ANY killing of one human being by another is a homicide.

    Homicides can be entirely accidental, or deliberate.

    Under common law, homicide per se isn't a crime, but many categories of homicide are, such as murder, manslaughter (voluntary or involuntary) or negligent homicide.
     
  10. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    On the CDC numbers, here are the definitions they use:

    Legal Intervention is defined as the following:

    Injuries inflicted by the police or other law-enforcing agents,
    including military on duty, in the course of arresting or attemptint to
    arrest lawbreakers, suppressing disturbances, maintaining order, and
    other legal action. Includes legal exectutions.

    Homicides are defined as:

    Injuries inflicted by another person with intent to injure or kill,
    by any means. Excludes injuries due to legal intervention (defined
    above) and operations of war.

    So an officer who wrongly kills someone with a firearm during an arrest, an execution by firing squad, and an officer killing a badguy in a shootout are all legal interventions.

    A citizen shooting a robber in self defense and a murderer killing a victim are both homicides according to the CDC stats.

    The FBI keeps statistics differently and does keep some numbers on justifiable homicide; but is only able to report on those numbers where supplemental data is reported (in a lot of departments, supplemental data does not get reported in time to make it into the UCR, if ever).

    The FBI numbers tend to suggest that justfiable homicides are still fairly rare events though at probably less than 1,000 annually.
     
  11. Stand_Watie

    Stand_Watie Member

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    I understood it perfectly.
     
  12. agricola

    agricola Member

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    so you deliberately made it look as if the UK was fiddling the statistics then? while knowing that it wasnt?
     
  13. Stand_Watie

    Stand_Watie Member

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    I didn't do any such thing.
     
  14. carebear

    carebear Member

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    Bart,

    In my view CDC is flat WRONG. Homicide is a clear legal term with a long history of usage. Why should they create a new definition? They can't pick and choose new meanings for legally defined terms and expect to be given credibility when producing statistics.

    Logically alone, since justifiable homicide in self-defense is explicitely legal in US case AND common law it is therefore a "legal intervention." Maybe not "official intervention" but definitely legal. They don't have a category that fits, they're pushing an agenda, they can be disregarded and should be slapped around.

    I hate CDC lately, if anyone cares, they're stepping WAY outside their bailewick. :fire:

    Hypno is right by the way, I said it wrong when I used the word "deliberate." :(
     
  15. agricola

    agricola Member

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    standwatie,

    my apology then, although my browser must have missed the part where you pointed out to shadowman how he was in error
     
  16. Stebalo

    Stebalo Member

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    I'd like to see a statistic of how many emergency 911 calls are made that still result in murder/rape/assault/robbery.

    False hope.
     
  17. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    The CDC position is that CDC statistics are based on hospital and morgue reporting of injuries. In most cases, the report is filed with CDC long before any investigation has concluded. As a result, CDC only breaks firearm injuries down into four categories - accident, suicide, homicide and legal intervention.
     
  18. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    ag, we've been through this before. Without regard to "cooking the books" or suchlike, IIRC, y'all's system uses "homicide" in a different manner than here in the US. You explained this pretty clearly, but I disrecall the URL of the thread.

    In the US, any death caused by another person is a homicide; the legal and dictionary definitions are the same. It might be purely accidental, but it's still a homicide. Unless agency charts specify wilful homicide, it's hard to tell what's included and what's not. And, SFAIK, most charts don't differentiate between "good" shoots and "bad" shoots.

    Art
     
  19. agricola

    agricola Member

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    art,

    thats the thing though - the UCR definition of "homicide" is not:

    but rather its (from http://cbi.state.co.us/dr/cic2k3/definitions.htm ):

    (emphasis mine)

    This means that a comparison is possible between the initial data of the Home Office and that of the FBI's UCR programme. As an aside, most of those incidents over here where a self-defence killing occurs would make the "initial" list of homicides here, because that is what they would be investigated as. Of course, when they were dropped they would make it out of the "current" list.
     
  20. carebear

    carebear Member

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    Bart,

    Gotcha. Thus the example of the police shooting the wrong subject still being a "legal intervention." It's defined by actor, not action.

    I still hate 'em lately tho. :D
     
  21. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah...Dunno as how it really affects the numbers, but from what I read about record-keeping around the U.S., followup for proper categorization is problematic. Many states are way behind on filing the final disposition of cases into their central files and thus on to the FBI (etc.) databases. Out of all firearms-related homicides, I'd bet the vast majority are criminal and not "righteous".

    FWIW, last time I looked at CDC data, about half of all firearms-related deaths were suicides. More FWIW: When you consider the number of millions of gun-owners in the US and the total amount of shooting and hunting that goes on here, the total of accidental firearms-related deaths at some 1,100 or less is almost statistically insignificant.

    Art
     
  22. agricola

    agricola Member

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    Art,

    the UCR program does seem to be very chaotic when viewed against all the data contained in the Home Office statistics (for which, if you want to dig deep enough, you can pretty much find anything, thanks mainly to the criticism levelled at them during the early 1990's).

    as for firearms-related homicides, thats pretty much true for over here as well.
     
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