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Thread: The limits of self-defense

  1. #1
    State Researcher HankT's Avatar
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    I like the line suggesting that Ersland is both a hero and a murderer

    Seems like cold-blooded murder to me. After a heroicand courageousself-defense.

    There is no reason it cannot be both.



    Article published June 03, 2009The limits of self-defense

    AN OKLAHOMA City pharmacist is being lauded as a hero by some for foiling an attempted robbery by shooting and killing one of the robbers. He is also being called a murderer in charges filed by the local district attorney.



    Both claims may be true.



    Many say Jerome Ersland was acting in self-defense when he turned the tables on the two bad guys, one of whom was brandishing a gun, by pulling his own weapon and shooting one of the would-be robbers in the head. One supporter even went so far as to post Mr. Ersland's $100,000 bail, according to the Associated Press, and his cause has been taken up by conservative radio talk-show hosts.



    Antwun Parker, the dead robber, it turns out was 16, and his partner in crime, 14. Family and friends, as is often the case after a fatal shooting, say young Antwun was a good boy. It also turns out the gun may have been empty and the robbery may have been the idea of a couple of adults who waited outside.



    None of that matters. The initial shooting seems to be well within Oklahoma's self-defense law.



    But what was caught on the pharmacy surveillance tape after the robber was shot changed everything, making the robbery victim a defendant in a murder case.

    In the video, the teens can be seen entering the pharmacy wearing ski masks. One points a gun at Mr. Ersland, who pulls his own gun and shoots, hitting the other robber in the head. The robber with the gun flees and Mr. Ersland follows, returning to the pharmacy about 30 seconds later.


    The surveillance video doesn't show the teen on the floor. What the video does show is Mr. Ersland calmly walking by where the injured robber lay, then returning and pointing a gun in the direction of where the body fell. Police say he shot the teen in the stomach five times, killing him. The pharmacist told police the robber was trying to get up and reached for a gun. Police say no gun was found at the scene.



    The entire incident, from the time the robbers walked into the store, took about a minute.



    People are outraged that Mr. Ersland was charged with murder. The judge who set Mr. Ersland's bond even received death threats. But it appears the District Attorney David Prater is doing exactly the right thing. Self-defense laws are not get-out-of-jail-free cards declaring open season on bad guys; they include limits on the use of force to prevent just this sort of circumstance.



    Mr. Ersland would have stopped being a victim when the robber stopped being a threat. If that proves to be the case, he's no hero.

    http://toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll...309/-1/OPINION

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    HankT wrote:
    Mr. Ersland would have stopped being a victim when the robber stopped being a threat. If that proves to be the case, he's no hero.

    That's exactly what it comes down to. The kid had a probably fatal shot to the head and was on the ground. I don't care if he was reaching for a gun, there isn't an remaining "threat" that a kick to the face wouldn't have eliminated.

    What baffles me in this case is the nagging question: WHY did he do it? If he wanted the kid to die he could have just waited for him to bleed out before calling police. WHY incriminate himself like this? It just makes no sense.

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    AWDstylez wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    Mr. Ersland would have stopped being a victim when the robber stopped being a threat. If that proves to be the case, he's no hero.

    That's exactly what it comes down to. The kid had a probably fatal shot to the head and was on the ground. I don't care if he was reaching for a gun, there isn't an remaining "threat" that a kick to the face wouldn't have eliminated.

    What baffles me in this case is the nagging question: WHY did he do it? If he wanted the kid to die he could have just waited for him to bleed out before calling police. WHY incriminate himself like this? It just makes no sense.
    Well, I gotta disagree with you. If the kid was reaching for a gun, then the threat is not done yet, though it may be remote. Fire away...

    But since there was no gun and he shot him FIVE times while he was on the ground...

    Actually, there might be a logical case for some condition of temporary insanity. Maybe not a legal case, but a logical one.


    OTOH, maybe Ersland just figured he had a perfect execution opportunity.

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    HankT wrote:
    AWDstylez wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    Mr. Ersland would have stopped being a victim when the robber stopped being a threat. If that proves to be the case, he's no hero.

    That's exactly what it comes down to. The kid had a probably fatal shot to the head and was on the ground. I don't care if he was reaching for a gun, there isn't an remaining "threat" that a kick to the face wouldn't have eliminated.

    What baffles me in this case is the nagging question: WHY did he do it? If he wanted the kid to die he could have just waited for him to bleed out before calling police. WHY incriminate himself like this? It just makes no sense.

    OTOH, maybe Ersland just figured he had a perfect execution opportunity.


    But that's exactly what confuses me. He KNEW he was on camera. He KNEW there were two witnesses (the girls working with him). What did he have to gain and why was it worth a murder charge?

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    AWDstylez wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    AWDstylez wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    Mr. Ersland would have stopped being a victim when the robber stopped being a threat. If that proves to be the case, he's no hero.

    That's exactly what it comes down to. The kid had a probably fatal shot to the head and was on the ground. I don't care if he was reaching for a gun, there isn't an remaining "threat" that a kick to the face wouldn't have eliminated.

    What baffles me in this case is the nagging question: WHY did he do it? If he wanted the kid to die he could have just waited for him to bleed out before calling police. WHY incriminate himself like this? It just makes no sense.

    OTOH, maybe Ersland just figured he had a perfect execution opportunity.


    But that's exactly what confuses me. He KNEW he was on camera. He KNEW there were two witnesses (the girls working with him). What did he have to gain and why was it worth a murder charge?
    Yes, good logical questions.

    That might be answered by his motivation for perceiving the situation as a perfect execution op. Maybe, hatred. That hatred might produce emotions so strong that it would blurhis cognitive processes and perceptions, excluding or eliminating the obvious details that you've identified.

    Dutch Uncle could comment on that kind of stuff. I wish he'd weigh in here.

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    1.] Armed robbery

    2.] Two against one

    3.] Two young and healthy men against an old man with a back brace recovering from back surgery at work

    4.] Defending one's own life

    5.] Defending the lives of two women in the pharmacy

    Lady Justice maybe blind but she ain't stupid .

    PRELOG :The pharmacist is found not quilty



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    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    There are other threads discussing this with links to the video surveillance footage.

    The pharmacist had a back injury and had recently had back surgery so a "kick to the face" may not have been physically possible for him. As I said in one of the other threads, after looking at the video, I can certainly understand why the prosecutor would bring murder charges. Unfortunately the video angles make it impossible to see the kid once he was down from the first shot so there is no video evidence of what happened. However, the pharmicist's behavior upon reentering the store certainly appeared to be pre-determined, ie that he purposefully went in, got the other gun walked over and deliberately shot the kid. He shows no signs of reaction that I noted that would indicate the kid did anything to get his attention or cause him alarm.

    It will be interesting to see what the jury decides upon hearing all the evidence. I think the surveillance footage is pretty damning rather than exonerating but being that so much is not visible I have a wait and see with strong reservations about the second round of shots being justifiable attitude.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    I watched this incident from three different cameras.

    No one has mentioned something I thought about. Anyone who has been around livestock much is aware sometimes animals are euthanized, after a severeinjury. Could it be the pharmacist felt a sense of compassion for therobber, and tried to end his misery?

    The pharmacist's body language as he returns, walking by the robber to retrieve a second handgun, doesn't indicate he viewed the downed robber as much of a threat.

    Another thing the prosecutor may have to prove, was the robber still alive when the pharmacist returned? The video doesn't show, either way. You can't murder a man who is already dead.



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    You may damn me for this, but it's time. NOT GUILTY! PERIOD!

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    Enoch Root wrote:
    I watched this incident from three different cameras.

    No one has mentioned something I thought about. Anyone who has been around livestock much is aware sometimes animals are euthanized, after a severeinjury. Could it be the pharmacist felt a sense of compassion for therobber, and tried to end his misery?
    By shooting him in the stomach? :shock:

    I think it's a stretch. Like a Grand Canyon-sized stretch....

    Even a lawyer wouldn't prop....um, never mind.




    Enoch Root wrote:
    Another thing the prosecutor may have to prove, was the robber still alive when the pharmacist returned? The video doesn't show, either way. You can't murder a man who is already dead.
    Interesting insight. I gotta think you're right.

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    That was brought up elsewhere and the most he could be charged for was abuse of a corpse. THIS.....is going to be interesting. If he's cleared.....watch the riots start.

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    HankT,

    The account I read was on another forum days ago, I was unaware hefired the second pistol into his stomach region. I guess that nixes the idea of mercy.



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    Their are conflicting reports whether the 5 shots were to the abdomen or chest. I assume both, or upward from abdomen to chest internally.

    The autopsy 'proved' that the 5 shots killed the perp, that the head shot was 'incapacitating but not fatal'. I have a certain disdain for medical examiners' opinions being taken as cold hard facts in situations like this. Only God can say for sure if someone lives or dies based on 'what ifs'.

    I am however troubled by the shooter's actions. He walked right by the perp without so much as a pause or turned head, put his back to him, and wasn't rushing. Like he had purpose and calm, knew exactly what he was doing. No decision-making pause before he went over and pumped 5 in very quickly. Maybe he was thinking to eliminate the punk for sure since he already was down and out with an obviously mortal wound, but how could he have been sure without even checking him out? Did he forget about the camera, or forget to erase the tape? Very curious behavior. And then there are the statements made to the media and police that are completely contradictory to the video.

    Maybe the shooter has a great explanation for all this, but so far he has scored pretty low and will probably get a long prison sentence based on what he himself said. He is his own worst enemy/witness right now.

    *** Another example of why you keep your pie hole shut after a shooting. ***
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

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    Enoch Root wrote:
    I watched this incident from three different cameras.

    Enoch Root ,

    One camera is outside and two inside . No camera shows the robber on the floor after being shot in the head as spray pattern confirms . Camera one shows the two women customers ducking into an aisle inside the pharmacy . When the pharmacist came back inside he heard one of the female customers screaming about the other one . Mr. Ersland's fearing that the robber on the floor was armed and had shoot one of his customers elimated the possible treat . The depositions of the two customers should be taken as soon as possible , without audio on the video we need to hear from the two witnesses . Mr. Ersland's medical records will confirm his limited physical prowles . The two robbers past police records along with past robberies at this location will weigh onto the scales .

    TWO OR MORE WITNESSES ...

    At the hearing two Vietnam Vets. argued with the judge for taking Ersland guns and right to defend himself away.




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    TV forensics stuff is largely hocum, but coroners can usually do a pretty good job of ascertaining what injuries were fatal. Then again, this will vary considerably by jurisdiction. I'm sure there are bad MEs just like any other occupation.

    As for the pharmacist, he might be well advised to try to argue some sort of diminshed capacity defense (fit of rage kind of thing). That might count in mitigation anyway. Doesn't look good for him in any case, legally. Then again, what the law says, what a prosecutor says it says, and what a jury will make of it are often very different things.

    -ljp

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    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    paramedic70002 wrote:
    Their are conflicting reports whether the 5 shots were to the abdomen or chest. I assume both, or upward from abdomen to chest internally.

    The autopsy 'proved' that the 5 shots killed the perp, that the head shot was 'incapacitating but not fatal'. I have a certain disdain for medical examiners' opinions being taken as cold hard facts in situations like this. Only God can say for sure if someone lives or dies based on 'what ifs'.

    I am however troubled by the shooter's actions. He walked right by the perp without so much as a pause or turned head, put his back to him, and wasn't rushing. Like he had purpose and calm, knew exactly what he was doing. No decision-making pause before he went over and pumped 5 in very quickly. Maybe he was thinking to eliminate the punk for sure since he already was down and out with an obviously mortal wound, but how could he have been sure without even checking him out? Did he forget about the camera, or forget to erase the tape? Very curious behavior. And then there are the statements made to the media and police that are completely contradictory to the video.

    Maybe the shooter has a great explanation for all this, but so far he has scored pretty low and will probably get a long prison sentence based on what he himself said. He is his own worst enemy/witness right now.

    *** Another example of why you keep your pie hole shut after a shooting. ***
    If someone shoots a person in the leg, and the fermoral artory is severed, the person WILL die, if no treatment is rendered in time.

    If however, that person then recieves a 12 guage shotgun blast to the back of his head, then the cause of death is the 12 guage shotgun blast, not the femoral artory wound.

    If the perp wasn't dead when the 5 shots to the abdomin were delivered, but was dead immediately after the 5 shots were delivered, then the cause of death is the 5 shots. Even if the guy could not have survived the head wound.

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    So where's the video??

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    Might as well put my .02 cents worth in. First I am glad he was able to protect himself and the two ladies. The hoodlums made the decision to try this ilegal action and lost.

    The fact that he came back in , calmly walked past the downed robber , and got another gun to shoot the guy with is bad enough . What I think might be the biggest hurdle for this man to get over is the interview he gave , where he said he heard the mother crying when he came back in the storeand thought the daughter of the woman had been killed. That makes it look like he was after revenge. What got me was his lawyer was sitting right beside him and didn't flinch when he made that statment.

    I'm not saying he was going for revenge, but I think he hurt himself if that interview is entered into evidence.

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    I must admit that I like the concept of anchoring shots but they don't have much place in civilian life. Judges and Juries get kind of pissy about things like that. It's just like running someone over with your car. Do it once an you might be ok. Go back and do it again? You just might have a problem.

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    grumpycoconut wrote:
    I must admit that I like the concept of anchoring shots but they don't have much place in civilian life. Judges and Juries get kind of pissy about things like that. It's just like running someone over with your car. Do it once an you might be ok. Go back and do it again? You just might have a problem.
    He should have shot the pos in the head in the first place. Too bad he didn't get the other one, as well.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    AWDstylez wrote:
    What baffles me in this case is the nagging question: WHY did he do it? If he wanted the kid to die he could have just waited for him to bleed out before calling police. WHY incriminate himself like this? It just makes no sense.
    The problem is that everyone is guessing. Even the coroner and the DA are guessing as to what the kid on the floor was doing. They certainly know what his situation was once the police got there. And they can determine how many times he was shot... but what they don't know is the situation that prompted Mr. Ersland to shoot the kid again. And we won't really know any of the story probably until after the trial.

    In the US, we are innocent until proved guilty. So, before y'all convict this man in the court of public opinion, maybe you should give him the benefit of the doubt and allow for the possibility that the kid's hand was still in his backpack, and that he may have looked like he was struggling to pull something out of it. This could happen if the kid was hit in the head, causing seizures that would make him look like he was struggling with something inside the backpack... and in Mr. Ersland's mind... a mind overpowered by adrenaline, he may have still seemed a threat.

    We'd be having a completely different conversation if Mr. Ersland had ignored the kid, thinking the threat was over, only to get shot by the kid who had a gun in his backpack... he had no weapon, but Mr. Ersland did not know that.

    Remember, innocent until proved guilty. He did not create the circumstance in which he felt compelled to end that young man's life and considering it all happened in under a minute.... I believe a jury will find in his favor.
    Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for it is better to be alone than in bad company. ~ George Washington

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