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Thread: Immunity from Civil Liability Law

  1. #1
    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    Immunity from Civil Liability Law

    Ok, I've searched and can't find anything. With all this Zimmerman stuff going on I'm in a debate about wrongful death civil suits that Zimmerman might face. I believe FL is a state that has a law making someone found not guilty in a shooting trial not liable to civil actions against him.

    What is this type of law called again and do any of you know if FL has one? I remember a number of discussions on this forum about such.

    Thanks guys.
    Last edited by Neplusultra; 07-15-2013 at 04:31 PM.

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    Florida Statutes 776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for just

    776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.

    (1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term "criminal prosecution" includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

    (2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.

    (3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

    History.s. 4, ch. 2005-27.

    http://law.onecle.com/florida/crimes/776.032.html
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    I've discussed this with several attorneys concerning changes in Va's law and so called immunity laws Va already has on the books. All said the idea of "Immunity " was laughable. No such thing exists. There are always ways to circumvent it.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    I've discussed this with several attorneys concerning changes in Va's law and so called immunity laws Va already has on the books. All said the idea of "Immunity " was laughable. No such thing exists. There are always ways to circumvent it.
    So we should just make it easy for them?

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    So we should just make it easy for them?
    Didn't say that marshaul. I just answered a question.

    We (and as VCDL President once asked me "What is this we sh^t white man")....sing the praises of feel good legislation all the time.

    Decaffeinated coffee is great if you don't want caffeine, but you should understand it's coffee in name only.
    Last edited by peter nap; 07-15-2013 at 05:29 PM.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.

    (1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless the person against whom force was used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term "criminal prosecution" includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.

    (2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.

    (3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).

    History.s. 4, ch. 2005-27.

    http://law.onecle.com/florida/crimes/776.032.html
    We just painfully watched how the red text of the code doesn't matter at all, why would anyone think the blue text matters any more than the red text?

    TFred

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    That's because that law sucks.

    Here's how to do it:

    "Any person, upon being acquitted of murder or manslaughter charges in criminal court on grounds of self-defense, shall be immune from civil liability arising from the incident over which the indictment was delivered."

    Render that in proper legalese.

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    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    That's because that law sucks.

    Here's how to do it:

    "Any person, upon being acquitted of murder or manslaughter charges in criminal court on grounds of self-defense, shall be immune from civil liability arising from the incident over which the indictment was delivered."

    Render that in proper legalese.
    That's fine except it leaves assault, malicious wounding, brandishing, reckless use, discharging within and probably twenty other charges that can be trumped up and most likely would still not completely pass supreme court review.

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    Regular Member Vitaeus's Avatar
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    Law in Washington, in regards to justified self defense:


    RCW 9A.16.110
    Defending against violent crime Reimbursement.


    (1) No person in the state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting by any reasonable means necessary, himself or herself, his or her family, or his or her real or personal property, or for coming to the aid of another who is in imminent danger of or the victim of assault, robbery, kidnapping, arson, burglary, rape, murder, or any other violent crime as defined in RCW 9.94A.030.

    (2) When a person charged with a crime listed in subsection (1) of this section is found not guilty by reason of self-defense, the state of Washington shall reimburse the defendant for all reasonable costs, including loss of time, legal fees incurred, and other expenses involved in his or her defense. This reimbursement is not an independent cause of action. To award these reasonable costs the trier of fact must find that the defendant's claim of self-defense was sustained by a preponderance of the evidence. If the trier of fact makes a determination of self-defense, the judge shall determine the amount of the award.

    (3) Notwithstanding a finding that a defendant's actions were justified by self-defense, if the trier of fact also determines that the defendant was engaged in criminal conduct substantially related to the events giving rise to the charges filed against the defendant the judge may deny or reduce the amount of the award. In determining the amount of the award, the judge shall also consider the seriousness of the initial criminal conduct.

    Nothing in this section precludes the legislature from using the sundry claims process to grant an award where none was granted under this section or to grant a higher award than one granted under this section.

    (4) Whenever the issue of self-defense under this section is decided by a judge, the judge shall consider the same questions as must be answered in the special verdict under subsection (4) [(5)] of this section.

    (5) Whenever the issue of self-defense under this section has been submitted to a jury, and the jury has found the defendant not guilty, the court shall instruct the jury to return a special verdict in substantially the following form:


    answer yes or no
    1. Was the finding of not guilty based upon self-defense? . . . . .
    2. If your answer to question 1 is no, do not answer the remaining question.
    3. If your answer to question 1 is yes, was the defendant:
    a. Protecting himself or herself? . . . . .
    b. Protecting his or her family? . . . . .
    c. Protecting his or her property? . . . . .
    d. Coming to the aid of another who was in imminent danger of a heinous crime? . . . . .
    e. Coming to the aid of another who was the victim of a heinous crime? . . . . .
    f. Engaged in criminal conduct substantially related to the events giving rise to the crime with which the defendant is charged?

    I have not found any specific RCW that provides fro civil immunity, but if you get charged and win, I believe that would be cause for dismissal of the civil case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    That's because that law sucks.

    Here's how to do it:

    "Any person, upon being acquitted of murder or manslaughter charges in criminal court on grounds of self-defense, shall be immune from civil liability arising from the incident over which the indictment was delivered."

    Render that in proper legalese.
    No cando ... because the standard is different. Ex: tampering with evidence (both a criminal and civil issue in some states).

    Have trial in criminal court--- but did not meet the standard of "beyond a reasonable doubt" - NOT GUILTY
    Have civil trial ------- oh, its much more likely than not he did it - GUILTY


    And in respect to statues that offer "immunity" .. most folks don't know that courts don't order all costs returned ~ so you'll get hammered with about 25% of the costs anyway ... $25K better than $100K but still $25K.

  11. #11
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    This is a good example. It started with a stupid idea of encouraging landowners to open up hunting land to people asking permission and was pretty simple. Give permission and you have no liability. Well, after untold lawsuits and untold loopholes it has grown to what it is now and there is still plenty of room for landowner liability.

    29.1-509. Duty of care and liability for damages of landowners to hunters, fishermen, sightseers, etc.
    A. For the purpose of this section:
    "Fee" means any payment or payments of money to a landowner for use of the premises or in order to engage in any activity described in subsections B and C, but does not include license fees, insurance fees, handling fees, transaction fees, administrative fees, rentals or similar fees received by a landowner from governmental, not-for-profit, or private sources, or payments received by a landowner for rights of ingress and egress or from incidental sales of forest products to an individual for his personal use, or any action taken by another to improve the land or access to the land for the purposes set forth in subsections B and C or remedying damage caused by such uses.
    "Land" or "premises" means real property or right-of-way, whether rural or urban, waters, boats, private ways, natural growth, trees, railroad property, railroad right-of-way, utility corridor, and any building or structure which might be located on such real property, waters, boats, private ways and natural growth.
    "Landowner" means the legal title holder, any easement holder, lessee, occupant or any other person in control of land or premises, including railroad rights-of-way.
    "Low-head dam" means a dam that is built across a river or stream for the purpose of impounding water where the impoundment, at normal flow levels, is completely within the banks, and all flow passes directly over the entire dam structure within the banks, excluding abutments, to a natural channel downstream.
    B. A landowner shall owe no duty of care to keep land or premises safe for entry or use by others for hunting, fishing, trapping, camping, participation in water sports, boating, hiking, rock climbing, sightseeing, hang gliding, skydiving, horseback riding, foxhunting, racing, bicycle riding or collecting, gathering, cutting or removing firewood, for any other recreational use, for ingress and egress over such premises to permit passage to other property used for recreational purposes or for use of an easement granted to the Commonwealth or any agency thereof or any not-for-profit organization granted tax-exempt status under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code to permit public passage across such land for access to a public park, historic site, or other public recreational area. No landowner shall be required to give any warning of hazardous conditions or uses of, structures on, or activities on such land or premises to any person entering on the land or premises for such purposes, except as provided in subsection D. The provisions of this subsection apply without regard to whether the landowner has given permission to a person to use their land for recreational purposes.
    C. Any landowner who gives permission, express or implied, to another person to hunt, fish, launch and retrieve boats, swim, ride, foxhunt, trap, camp, hike, bicycle, rock climb, hang glide, skydive, sightsee, engage in races, to collect, gather, cut or remove forest products upon land or premises for the personal use of such person, or for the use of an easement or license as set forth in subsection B does not thereby:
    1. Impliedly or expressly represent that the premises are safe for such purposes; or
    2. Constitute the person to whom such permission has been granted an invitee or licensee to whom a duty of care is owed; or
    3. Assume responsibility for or incur liability for any intentional or negligent acts of such person or any other person, except as provided in subsection D.
    D. Nothing contained in this section, except as provided in subsection E, shall limit the liability of a landowner which may otherwise arise or exist by reason of his gross negligence or willful or malicious failure to guard or warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure, or activity. The provisions of this section shall not limit the liability of a landowner which may otherwise arise or exist when the landowner receives a fee for use of the premises or to engage in any activity described in subsections B and C. Nothing contained in this section shall relieve any sponsor or operator of any sporting event or competition including but not limited to a race or triathlon of the duty to exercise ordinary care in such events. Nothing contained in this section shall limit the liability of an owner of a low-head dam who fails to implement safety measures described in subsection F.
    E. For purposes of this section, whenever any person enters into an agreement with, or grants an easement or license to, the Commonwealth or any agency thereof, any locality, any not-for-profit organization granted tax-exempt status under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or any local or regional authority created by law for public park, historic site or recreational purposes, concerning the use of, or access over, his land by the public for any of the purposes enumerated in subsections B and C, the government, agency locality, not-for-profit organization, or authority with which the agreement is made shall indemnify and hold the landowner harmless from all liability and be responsible for providing, or for paying the cost of, all reasonable legal services required by any person entitled to the benefit of this section as the result of a claim or suit attempting to impose liability. Any action against the Commonwealth, or any agency thereof, for negligence arising out of a use of land or railroad rights-of-way covered by this section shall be subject to the provisions of the Virginia Tort Claims Act ( 8.01-195.1 et seq.). Any provisions in a lease or other agreement which purports to waive the benefits of this section shall be invalid, and any action against any county, city, town, or local or regional authority shall be subject to the provisions of 15.2-1809, where applicable.
    F. Any owner of a low-head dam may mark the areas above and below the dam and on the banks immediately adjacent to the dam with signs and buoys of a design and content, in accordance with the regulations of the Board, to warn the swimming, fishing, and boating public of the hazards posed by the dam. Any owner of a low-head dam who marks a low-head dam in accordance with this subsection shall be deemed to have met the duty of care for warning the public of the hazards posed by the dam. Any owner of a low-head dam who fails to mark a low-head dam in accordance with this subsection shall be presumed not to have met the duty of care for warning the public of the hazards posed by the dam.

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    Regular Member Neplusultra's Avatar
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    Thanks all. After thinking this through I think I understand the issue better. What immunity really only does it seems is grant the defendant complete compensation, and perhaps even punitive damages, if found innocent. It really doesn't, and really shouldn't, protect you from prosecution as society does have to first determine if it was in fact justified self defense.

    So I was partly right and partly wrong.

    If I am understanding it rightly now.

    I like the idea of loser pays.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    I've discussed this with several attorneys concerning changes in Va's law and so called immunity laws Va already has on the books. All said the idea of "Immunity " was laughable. No such thing exists. There are always ways to circumvent it.
    A couple of years ago at one of user's seminars on Virginia laws and the use of deadly force, the Loudoun County commonwealth's attorney and a man running from sheriff were present. After the class I had the opportunity to speak with both of them and I asked them a question that is right up the alley of this thread. What was the chance of being sued by a perp, or a deceased perp's family, if you were forced to use deadly force in your defense and your actions were found to be excusable (justifiable). Both men answered that while yes, it certainly was possible, neither could recall such an incident.

    I thought this was very interesting. Perhaps the idea then exists that since a victim's were found to be justifiable, the chance of winning a civil wrongful death suit was deemed to be very remote.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    A delegate told me once that Virginia is a contributory negligence state, which prevents someone who has any part at all in the injury they suffered from collecting damages.

    Contributory negligence at Wiki.

    Contributory negligence is sometimes regarded as unfair because under the doctrine a victim who is at fault to any degree, including only 1% at fault, may be denied compensation entirely, which is known as pure contributory negligence.[1]:85 In the United States, the pure contributory negligence only applies in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia. Indiana applies pure contributory negligence to malpractice cases.
    I have no idea about any case history to back this up.

    TFred

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    That's fine except it leaves assault, malicious wounding, brandishing, reckless use, discharging within and probably twenty other charges that can be trumped up and most likely would still not completely pass supreme court review.
    Yeah, that occurred to me after I posted.

    Maybe add something like, "or any other crime for which self-defense may be offered as a legitimate defense".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neplusultra View Post
    Thanks all. After thinking this through I think I understand the issue better. What immunity really only does it seems is grant the defendant complete compensation, and perhaps even punitive damages, if found innocent. It really doesn't, and really shouldn't, protect you from prosecution as society does have to first determine if it was in fact justified self defense.

    So I was partly right and partly wrong.

    If I am understanding it rightly now.

    I like the idea of loser pays.
    You won't like loser pays when you are a plaintiff .... (loser pays is the EU's way, not american)

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    For what its worth, Zimmerman attorney Mark O'Mara was asked about civil lawsuits in the press conference immediately after the not guilt verdict was delivered. Mark O'Mara's response was:

    "On the civil aspect, if someone believes its appropriate to sue George Zimmerman, then we will seek, and we will get, immunity in a civil hearing." (The "we will get" emphasis was plainly evident in O'Mara's response.) O'Mara went on to say, "Well see how many civil lawsuits are spawned by this fiasco."

    This answer to the civil action question can be found in the link below, beginning at approximately 32.00.

    http://tinyurl.com/mbgugyg

    For this and other reasons stated elsewhere in this thread, I suspect its very unlikely Zimmerman will face any serious civil lawsuits in Florida. He might be more concerned about Eric Holder's Justice Department coming up with some criminal "civil rights" charges.

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    Another issue to consider. Mr.Zimmerman is and will be in a financial mess for some time to come or at least until he files and wins a " Malicious Prosecution' case against the state and the state actors.
    In my opinion I feel Mr.Z is more likely to prevail in a civil litigation based on the merits. While Mr.Martins family's case is frivilious and lacks merit and is estopped based on the outcome of Mr.Zimmerman's criminal case.

    Just my .02

    Best regards

    CCJ

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    On the civil side

    The Defamation suit is already filed against NBC for their special editing of the 911 call to make Zimmerman look like a racist.

    I hope he screws NBC out of $100 Million. Maybe then the "media" will start reporting the facts and not their personal spews as happened in this case.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by countryclubjoe View Post
    Another issue to consider. Mr.Zimmerman is and will be in a financial mess for some time to come or at least until he files and wins a " Malicious Prosecution' case against the state and the state actors.
    In my opinion I feel Mr.Z is more likely to prevail in a civil litigation based on the merits. While Mr.Martins family's case is frivilious and lacks merit and is estopped based on the outcome of Mr.Zimmerman's criminal case.

    Just my .02

    Best regards

    CCJ
    Zimmerman's attorney, Mark O'Mara, took the case pro bono.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    Even decaf has caffeine

    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    Didn't say that marshaul. I just answered a question.

    We (and as VCDL President once asked me "What is this we sh^t white man")....sing the praises of feel good legislation all the time.

    Decaffeinated coffee is great if you don't want caffeine, but you should understand it's coffee in name only.
    In the United States federal regulations require that in order to label coffee as "decaffeinated" that coffee must have had its caffeine level reduced by no less than 97.5 percent.

    Example: Panamanian coffee is about 1.36% caffeine by weight normally. This and many other arabica coffees are about 98.64% caffeine free even before anything is done to lower the caffeine content..

    When 97% of the caffeine has been removed only .0408 % of the coffee weight is caffeine. About 4/100ths of 1%. At this level it is labeled "decaffeinated. How roasters label their products is another matter. Suppose two roasters roast Panama coffee that originally came from the same lot, and were decaffeinated together in the same vat. One roaster labels his decaf. "97.5% Caffeine Removed." The other says his is "99+% Caffeine Free." Which roaster is not telling the truth?

    The answer is: They are both right. They are both essentially saying the same thing.

    Decaf should range somewhere in the 2-4 milligrams of caffeine per cup range.

    Currently used solvents for decaffeinating coffee include, H2O (water), CO2 (Carbon Dioxide), Meth. Chloride, Ethyl Acetate. Note: A relatively new method called Swiss Water Decaffeinated uses "flavor-charged" water in the decaffeinating process. (No, I don't know what this means.) I usually OC when I stop at 7-11 to get my non-decaf coffee.
    When I carry a gun, I don't do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I'm looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don't carry it because I'm afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn't limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force.

    excerpt By Marko Kloos (http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/?s=major+caudill)

  22. #22
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuc65 View Post
    In the United States federal regulations require that in order to label coffee as "decaffeinated" that coffee must have had its caffeine level reduced by no less than 97.5 percent.

    Example: Panamanian coffee is about 1.36% caffeine by weight normally. This and many other arabica coffees are about 98.64% caffeine free even before anything is done to lower the caffeine content..

    When 97% of the caffeine has been removed only .0408 % of the coffee weight is caffeine. About 4/100ths of 1%. At this level it is labeled "decaffeinated. How roasters label their products is another matter. Suppose two roasters roast Panama coffee that originally came from the same lot, and were decaffeinated together in the same vat. One roaster labels his decaf. "97.5% Caffeine Removed." The other says his is "99+% Caffeine Free." Which roaster is not telling the truth?

    The answer is: They are both right. They are both essentially saying the same thing.

    Decaf should range somewhere in the 2-4 milligrams of caffeine per cup range.

    Currently used solvents for decaffeinating coffee include, H2O (water), CO2 (Carbon Dioxide), Meth. Chloride, Ethyl Acetate. Note: A relatively new method called Swiss Water Decaffeinated uses "flavor-charged" water in the decaffeinating process. (No, I don't know what this means.) I usually OC when I stop at 7-11 to get my non-decaf coffee.
    It was a colorful example Nuc It's like when I say I don't chew my terbacky twice...it doesn't mean stick the plug back in my mouth ot I ain't got a dog in this fight or my fat Aunt's Butt or the horse you rode in on

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter nap View Post
    I don't chew my terbacky twice...it doesn't mean stick the plug back in my mouth
    Eeww!

    On the other hand, any place you can aquire plug terbacky is God's country! If you can get twist terbacky, you're in heaven!
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  24. #24
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    Eeww!

    On the other hand, any place you can aquire plug terbacky is God's country! If you can get twist terbacky, you're in heaven!
    Got 10 pounds or so hanging in my barn.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by va_tazdad View Post
    The Defamation suit is already filed against NBC for their special editing of the 911 call to make Zimmerman look like a racist.

    I hope he screws NBC out of $100 Million. Maybe then the "media" will start reporting the facts and not their personal spews as happened in this case.
    100 million is a drop in the bucket to NBC. It will not change their mode of operation in the least. It will help GZ get his life back on track though.
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