Join Date: Apr 2011
"Under Kentucky law, (and some other recent "castle doctrine" adopting states), "A person who uses force as permitted in KRS 503.050, 503.055, 503.070, and 503.080 (self defense, defense of another and defense of property) is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force...." (that includes immunity from arrest - see above)"
Bren, what does it take to qualify under this statute to be immune from criminal prosecution? Because, the way I read it, all I would have to do is to claim self-defense ("He was going to kill me, I didn't have any choice but to shoot him to save my own life.") and that's it. Do I have to convince the police that it was self defense, so it's up to their judgement as to whether my story qualifies as truly self defense? Does it require me to give a second-by-second account with every detail? That's what I'm afraid of. Actually, if they would allow me to sit down with a computer or even a pen and paper and put together a written account of what happened, I would feel better about that. I wouldn't want to be on video, under duress and nervous, and be seen making a mistake and then have to correct myself. When something like that is presented to a jury, the prosecution will use it to show that I was making up a story, even if I am trying to recount the facts as honestly and accurately as I can. That is certainly not going to help my case.
This is a tough situation. If you decide not to shoot and reholster and square up with the guy, you might end up dead, especially if this guy is an ex-con with 5 or 10 years of prison weightlifting in his recent past. If you shoot him "unarmed", you have an extremely weak case if the SA decides to prosecute you. I'm not a lawyer licensed to practice in 50 states, so I'm sure there are both subtle and wide differences among the states for what the law says about the aftermath of a SD shooting. This Kentucky law sounds good for people defending themselves, but how many people would actually know this? Hopefully anyone who CCW's in Kentucky, but it's not like that here. My CCW class instructor (Missouri) advised me not to say anything to the police until I had an attorney present.
I'm sure LEO's loathe the perp who won't talk until he "lawyers up" after the fact. I'm sure it happens quite often, and their lawyer comes up with some kind of creative defense or gets critical evidence suppressed, and because the perp didn't offer anything that the prosecutor can use against him, he walks. I understand the frustration there. On the other hand, why should someone provide the prosecution with evidence to be used against them? It's a tricky situation there that could work for you or against you, but when my life is at risk, I would rather play it safe.
I still think the right response in the OP's scenario is to carry an OC spray. That way, I hit the "unarmed" guy in the face with that and make a clean getaway with my unfired sidearm. No shots fired, no night in jail, no prosecution and no lawyers. If pepper spraying someone who is unarmed turns out to be an unlawful act for some reason, it's not going to land me in any "serious" trouble. It won't make the front page of the paper and it won't help the SA's political career. I'm researching pepper sprays now and it will always be on my person when I'm carrying just for this reason.
David, you are an honest person with a lot of integrity. I used to be that way, actually, I still am when dealing with people on a personal level. But when it comes to placing my life in the hands of 12 jurors, a judge, and a couple of lawyers, the situation changes. I'm jaded, I admit it. I watched the President of the United States, a licensed lawyer at the time, argue about what the definition of "is" is, how "she was having sex with me but I wasn't having sex with her". He perjured himself before a grand jury, and suborned the perjury of others to the grand jury. He was eventually disbarred and impeached, but he never spent a day in jail or lost one day of his Presidency. Most politicians don't, unless they were former governors of Illinois. Look at the people that President pardoned...lol. Then I watched OJ walk in a ridiculous sham of a trial. There are so many high profile cases like that they're too numerous to list. It's like what Denzel Washington told his young rookie trainee in "Training Day", "It's not about what you know. It's about what you can prove." Like SteveK said, we assume that all jurors will be reasonable, rational, and intelligent. This is rarely true, and sometimes the attorneys purposely try to get jurors who are not so they can work them into a favorable verdict. In that sense, a trial is a game where your life hangs in the balance. Deceive the court? As long as it's legal and it gets me off the hook, you betcha! I served on a jury once and the judge's instructions were so bounded that she did everything but tell us directly that we had to find in favor of the defendant. It was silly to even have the trial. I wish I had those 2 days of my life back.
Anyway, back on topic. My answer to the OP's scenario is to carry pepper spray that I can quickly deploy with the weak hand. Could save my life and livelihood.
A handgun is only good for fighting your way to a rifle.
Last edited by TDC20; 08-27-2011 at 23:41..