Thread: Self-Defense Not an Option
A few years ago I was on a jury where a young man had brought a gun (loaded) to a confrontation with other young men of a different race. The victim ended up chasing after the young man, with the gun, with a large butterfly knife. The young man pulled his gun and fired three shots to his rear as he was fleeing. The young man with the butterfly knife died. The California Judge ruled that self defense was not an option for a verdict. He received murder II.
Viewing this case, I think the OC is supported by the US constitution, but, if confronted with a life threatening situation, and loading the weapon anywhere outside the home or fenced property, in California, the gun owner has a good chance of not having Self-Defense as an option and ending up with Murder II for the gun owner.
The powers of the jury are huge, if the jury knows and exercises them.
For any who are unfamiliar with what I am talking about, read Section I of An Essay on the Trial by Jury by Lysander Spooner:
And, check things out at the Fully Informed Jury Association website here: http://fija.org/
Last edited by Citizen; 09-19-2010 at 08:48 PM.
An individual who posts something like this on thier very first post, is 99.9438567% likely to be a troll.
The judge was WRONG.
Even if you are the one who begins an attack, if you make clear (i.e. running from the knife wielder) that you are no longer interested in combat, and then the one you attacked continues combat, the law, even in Kalifornia, says that you may then defend yourself. And yes, includes using deadly force if reasonably in fear of loss of life or great bodily harm.
As for the power of the jury to ignore instructions or laws that they feel are not right....more people need to be educated on those powers. And more people that are educated need to stop using that education to avoid serving on those juries whether criminal or civil. How else do you think all those ambulance chasers win all those big damages awards for clients that, for instance, dove into a four foot deep pool after repeated warning from adults present (14 million from doughboy because the warning sticker instructions for placement weren't good enough)?
The young man showed-up to a a "confrontation" with a gun. In other words, the people involved had a date to brawl and mame.
"A few years ago I was on a jury where a young man had brought a gun (loaded) to a confrontation with other young men of a different race."
This was a racially based gang type battle.
It is illegal to be involved in pre meditated battery, assault, or murder.
It is also illegal to posses a gun while committing a felony and/or being involved in gang violence.
This case is not self defense.
Based upon the subject: Victim fleeing and being pursued by an armed assailant, it qualifies as self defense. If self-defense didn't qualify, he wouldn't have fled, wouldn't had fired to the rear and wouldn't have been pursued.
Now, if someone wants to make the case of the guy with the knife attempting to exercise a "citizens arrest"... that's different.
As I said in my first post, even if you intend to commit great bodily injury upon another, if you break off your attack and communicate that you are no longer interested in combat (whether mortal or not) then the person you were attacking continues or re engages, you are LAWFULLY allowed to defend yourself.
This is rarely encountered but it is the law.
If the fleeing man is being pursued by someone with a knife and is firing to his rear while running away from the conflict, under the law, he is justified to defend himself. It matters not that he came to engage in combat, it matters not if he initially instigated it, it doesn't matter if the gun was legally or illegally possessed (that would be separate charge). All that matters is that he is fleeing combat and in fear of great bodily injury.
It's a tricky area of law, certainly difficult to prove if you are the initial assailant, but from the description given, certainly applies.
He should not have been convicted of anything regarding the shooting of the knife wielding man. Illegal possession or other charges (such as the initial assault and battery) would be appropriate and just, but any murder charge while fleeing a knife wielding attacker (in pursuit with a deadly weapon is attacking) has no legal backing and any good attorney (bet he had a public defender) should have gotten him off. Now a judge who choses to incorrectly instruct jurors, and/or a jury who choses to listen to incorrect instructions, can and do ignore the FACT of black letter (i.e. written law) and send people to jail on charges that don't apply.....daily.....because our system is broken.
Doesn't change the fact that the accused was lawfully defending himself under the intent and letter of the law.
Clinging to God & Guns: The Constitution Restoration Project