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Old 08-27-2011, 09:17   #132
David Armstrong
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Lake Charles, LA
Posts: 11,125
Originally Posted by TDC20 View Post
Well David, we both agree that our judgment of the situation is on opposite ends of the spectrum.
That is my point. This is not an either-or scenario. This is one that has a number of variables that need to be addressed, and many here seem to be suggesting that they get to ignore those variables if they feel scared. It doesn't work that way.
I never said to lie about the event in court. What I meant to say is that my lawyer could present the evidence in a way that places reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors. Remember, it's all about who paints the best picture, right?
That is very different from having your lawyer falsely claim that you never saw the BG drop his weapon, or that you moved the weapon after the shooting.
See, we just disagree on our assessments. I have been robbed before, I think I can figure out what the intent here is.
That is the problem. You think you can do something that you can't. You can't read his mind. You can only guess at what he is wanting to do based on his actions. So you need to be able to explain why his actions led you to reasonably believe you were in immediate fear of loss of life or great bodily injury (or whatever legal standard is appropriate).
You think the guy wants to give you a hug, I think he wants to kill me. I think your advice will get people killed unnecessarily. I think my advice might land them in court, but at least they're still alive.
Whoa, let's not make things up! Nowhere have I said anything about giving hugs, and I have repeatedly said this can be a shooting scenario. If you want to discuss something at least be honest about what the other party has said.
My plan is to protect my life by shooting someone who is trying to take my weapon from me to kill me.
Great. Now all you need to do is explain why it was reasonable to assume that an unarmed man who is walking slowly toward you while talking should be considered "trying to take my weapon away from me to kill me."
The court case is a result of a disagreement with my judgment by the State's attorney. They are claiming that I committed a crime. I contend that I did not. I never said to lie to the police, or tamper with evidence at the scene.
"Secondly, your lawyer can claim that you never saw the assailant actually drop his weapon (maybe under the stress you got tunnel vision)""At a later date, if there is no video or eyewitnesses (your lawyer will know before your trial due to disclosure laws), your lawyer could claim that after the shooting you moved the weapon a safe distance away from the assailant so it couldn't be used by him if he regained consciousness."
A trial is about proving me guilty of a crime, but how the evidence is presented to the jury will decide whether you are found innocent or guilty. I don't have to lie at all. I never have to take the stand.
True, you don't. Which means the jurors never get to hear about why you thought it was reasonable to shoot an unarmed man who had dropped his weapon.
My contention here is that you are advising people to overthink the situation, which leads to hesitation, which leads to being killed.
My contention is that your contention is incorrect. I don't want anyone to overthink anything. If deciding if your situation meets the legal requirements for use of force and if your response is reasonable leads to hesitation you have other problems.
If the assailant had not brandished a deadly weapon with intent to begin the confrontation, then my gun would remain concealed and wouldn't be an issue. That changes the entire scenario, because now the assailant doesn't know I have a weapon, so I can assume his approaching me does not have a deadly intent.
OK, if he doesn't know you have a weapon and approaches you one assumes he does not have deadly intent, but if he knows you do have a weapon before he approaches it automatically changes to he does have deadly intent? Sorry, that simply does not work on any level.
But once he knows I have a gun, approaching me and ignoring commands to stop...doesn't that make you think his intentions are malevolent?
Malevolent intentions do not provide justification for deadly force.
I'm pretty sure that brandishing a deadly weapon with intent to do bodily harm is classified as assault with a deadly weapon. He didn't have to follow through to commit a felony here.
Don't know about "here", I do know that he is no longer brandishing a deadly weapon with intent to do anything, and that he has actually indicated in a very clear manner that he is not following through with that, as he has clearly discarded the weapon.
I have every right to be "scared that something bad might happen" to me.
Sure. But again that does not lead in and of itself to a legal justification for using deadly force.
Then he follows that up by disarming at the sight of my gun (gun trumps knife), so he drops knife and proceeds to approach me despite commands not to do so. Assuming that I walk away and he doesn't continue to pursue me, then the confrontation ends right there. The fact that he continues to pursue me despite warnings again indicates further intent to do harm.
Again, so what? Are you in reasonable fear of loss of life or great harm (or whatever the requirement is) in your state? I've got bad news for you....failure to listen to someone and follow their orders doesn't really rise to much of a force level. He can follow you all over the place. Maybe he want to get your license plate so he can call the police to report some crazy guy threatening him with a gun.
You contend that the State's attorney will charge me with shooting an unarmed man.
And the State will be correct, right? Given the OP there is no question about that fact. The only question is if that shooting was legal.
[/quote] I contend that my life was clearly in danger and that the shooting was justified. You claim that I am trying to deceive the court, but I claim the State's attorney is deceiving the court by falsely charging me of a crime that I didn't commit.[/quote]
I'm sorry, you are the one who suggested having your attorney falsely present fictions as facts: "your lawyer can claim that you never saw the assailant actually drop his weapon"; "your lawyer could claim that after the shooting you moved the weapon a safe distance away from the assailant so it couldn't be used by him if he regained consciousness." And understand that you have committed a crime. The law excuses the commission of crimes based on justification.
I hire a lawyer to present the physical evidence to a jury in a way that benefits me. I really don't care how "creative" the lawyer is, as long as he is successful. Why? Because I committed no crime.
And there is your biggest problem. See, if you really think that what you did was right and that your actions were reasonable and legal, your defense is "this is what I did and it was reasonable and legal." By suggesting that your lawyer would need to do otherwise is pretty indicative of the fact that you realize your position really isn't that strong based on the actual facts of the case.
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