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Utah man arrested for shooting at FLEEING burglars

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Alaska444, Feb 3, 2013.

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  1. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Not sure if this is being discussed anywhere yet. Fox news has an article on a man who shot at a car driving away and another suspect running away from his home.

    Sadly, if what is reported is correct, then that is the correct decision. Self defense MUST have the element of immediacy, opportunity and a directed threat of grave bodily injury or death. Shooting at people running away from you is NOT self defense.

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/02/03/homeowner-arrested-for-firing-shots-in-burglary/
     
  2. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    On the face of it ... yup. That's something we preach here a lot. Sad that he'll learn it the hard way.
     
  3. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Thank you, that is why I posted this. Just because a crime is committed, even the police are not allowed to shoot at a fleeing suspect. I can't remember the SCOTUS decision on that, but we learned about it in all three of my CCW classes.
     
  4. somerandomguy

    somerandomguy member

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    That's freakin ridiculous. I'm sorry, but how was he to know that they wouldn't come back and hurt his family? I hate punks, these 2 losers just ruined that Utah guy's life. This is why we need stand your ground and the castle doctrine.
     
  5. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Sorry, but shooting folks in the back is NOT self defense. I am not very fond of "punks" as well, but heck, if we abuse the rule of law, then we endanger the rule of law. Are we not under the "gun" enough as it is?
     
  6. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    You can't shoot someone for what they MIGHT do sometime later.

    The only time the use of lethal force is justified (in all but one state) is when you MUST shoot to stop an immediate threat that is happening right this minute. And once that threat has stopped (they're dead, they're incapacitated, they've surrendered, they're running away) you MUST cease using force against them.

    Neither "Stand Your Ground" nor "Castle Doctrine" laws EVER justify shooting at someone who's LEAVING.
     
  7. Solo

    Solo Member

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    what
     
  8. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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  9. Hypnogator

    Hypnogator Member

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    How do you know the guy you meet on the street isn't planning to turn around and stab you in the back when you pass him? Better shoot him first! :rolleyes:

    Alaska444, you're referring to Tennessee V. Garner (1985). The Supremes ruled that police could not shoot a fleeing suspect unless (s)he (1) used deadly force or the threat of deadly force in the commission of the crime, OR (2) used deadly force or the threat of deadly force in the escape attempt.
     
  10. longknife12

    longknife12 Member

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    I was tought that if the perp is running away, they are no longer a threat.
    Rules of conflict can change is 1/2 a heartbeat!
    Dan
     
  11. somerandomguy

    somerandomguy member

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    There's a difference between dropping your weapons and surrendering or running away though. The threat is already neutralized if they have surrendered, however they are still a potential threat to either you or someone else if they run away.
     
  12. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Thanks, I did just find it myself as well. Yes, that is the case I remembered but couldn't recall the exact case. Glad I am not a lawyer having to cite this stuff off the top of my head.
     
  13. montgomery381

    montgomery381 Member

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    If they were fleeing he never should have fired. One of the biggest responsibilities a gun owner has is knowing when not to shoot. If the threat isn't immediate and active you shouldn't take a shot. I don't believe that either the castle doctrine or stand your ground allows for firing on a retreating attacker. If they are retreating, they are no longer attacking and no longer an immediate threat.
     
  14. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Not under the use of force laws of any state. If you can see that they are threatening someone else RIGHT NOW as they flee, you MIGHT have a case to use force against them to try and save another person's life. But that's IT.

    If you continue to attack even someone who attacked you a moment ago, while they are fleeing, you are guilty of assault at the very least. Hard to understand, I know, but that's how the law works.

    Even if they tried to hurt you, and there may be some chance they might go off and hurt someone else an hour from now, or tonight, or tomorrow, or next week... you CANNOT end their lives to prevent that. You, as a law-abiding citizen, are not granted that right.

    The ONLY reason you have that will justify your use of lethal force is that RIGHT THIS SECOND you believed you would die if you did not shoot. If they are running away, you cannot make that claim and thus you have NO affirmative defense that will excuse your assault or homicide of them.
     
  15. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    [mod talk: Texas law does not apply here. Let's not go down that rabbit hole.]
     
  16. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Member

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    Also, I believe that these doctrines merely raise a presumption of righteous self defense.

    If the shoot is not self defense and the presumption can be rebutted the shooter is in heap big trouble.
     
  17. Jolly Rogers

    Jolly Rogers Member

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    A cop in Culpepper Va was convicted of 2nd deg. murder for killing a woman as she was driving away recently.
    Joe
     
  18. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Far too many folks who shot one too many shots that changed the situation from self defense to murder in an instant. Looks like we have one more case where they should have paid a bit more attention in class if they ever went to one. SHOOT DON'T SHOOT cases are an important part of any CCW training opportunity. If you are going to carry, it is important to know and understand the difference.
     
  19. Evergreen

    Evergreen Member

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    I have little sympathy for criminals even if the person defending himself committed a so-called "crime" defending his property against these criminals. It seems our country gives criminals more rights than law abiding citizens. In my opinion, any time a person who has robbed you is within your visual range, it's defense. And, how many criminals run, stop, turn around then start firing rounds when you let your guard down? Has that never happened? Who judges what a threat is? The same people who say the 2A is not applicable anymore in the 21st century? Just think, one day that person may enter the house of a person and kill an entire family or rape somebody. Most criminals don't just stop with you and are rarely caught immediately.

    As for me I will only stop a threat within the legal means, however, I am just voicing my opinion.

    I hope what I wrote isn't Unhigh road..
     
  20. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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  21. Deltaboy

    Deltaboy Member

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    You got to know and understand the Law in your state . This fellow didn't and his fate is in the hands of the legal system.
     
  22. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Exactly right.

    Castle doctrine laws generally give the defender a presupposition that IF someone has broken and entered your house they aren't there for pleasant reasons. It takes away the burden of proof that the defender might otherwise have to provide that the attacker had broken and entered AND was trying to hurt the occupants.

    It says NOTHING at all to someone who shoots a person who entered AND THEN LEFT. If they are no longer IN the home and/or are trying to LEAVE, the defender loses his/her presupposition that the intruder is actively attempting to harm them. That's really just basic logic. If you're coming into the house we'll accept that you mean harm. If you're obviously attempting to leave (without returning fire or whatnot) you really can't STILL be attacking the occupants.

    "Stand Your Ground" laws do something similar. They remove the prerequisite that sometimes existed that a law-abiding citizen had to show that they had done all they could do to retreat BEFORE using force to defend themselves. That doesn't grant anyone more rights to shoot or kill an attacker. It simply says that when you get to court you won't have to prove that there was no way you could have run away as part of your affirmative defense.

    Again, none of that has anything at all to do with shooting criminals who are trying to get away.
     
  23. Alaska444

    Alaska444 member

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    Sad but true unfortunately.
     
  24. Solo

    Solo Member

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    "Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer"
    - Sir William Blackstone
     
  25. Isaac-1

    Isaac-1 Member

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    One thing to remember here is castle doctrine varies considerably from state to state, in some states must break into your house before it comes into play, in others like here in Louisiana the mere attempt to break into an occupied house is considered justificaiton to believe your life is in danger and therefore use of deadly force Now shooting someone in the back could rarely be considered self defense, but I can see cases where it can be argued, shooting at a fleeing attacker might be justified if you knew they were leaving with the intent to harm or kill others (in my state and many others deadly force is allowed in denfense of yourself and defense of others), think of a situation where a man that is your neighbor confronts you using deadly force (shooting at you) because he thinks you have been having an affair with his wife, you successfully take cover and return fire, he yells something like if he can't kill you now he is going to go kill his wife, and will be back for you later. I can see that a strong argument could be made that you would be acting in defense of his wife if you shot him in the back as he was fleeing, since he has already attempted to use deadly force against you, and there would likely be no time for a police response before he ran the hundred or so feet home to his wife.
     
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