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Thread: Verdict from Stafford Deputy shooting

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Verdict from Stafford Deputy shooting

    I suppose this is good for those who would use lethal force to defend themselves. Going to be interesting to see if any appeals come.

    This case has been under way for several days. Stafford deputies shot and killed a man who they claim was holding a shotgun as they entered his house on a potential suicide call.

    Long story short, the jury found the deputy had reasonable fear for his life, but that he used excessive force. Judge struck the excessive force finding. I guess that means if you are in fear for your life, there is no excessive force. Good for someone forced to defend themselves. How many times have we complained when prosecutors try to argue "he shot too many times, too big of a gun, excessively lethal hollow point bullets... etc, etc, etc"?

    Judge strikes jury's finding of excessive force in fatal Stafford shooting

    TFred

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    If you truely believe that you are in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm you need to do what is necessary to stop that threat.

    This case was muddied every way possible. I have a head full of theories about how the plaintiff's attorney could/would try for an excessive force finding if they saw they were going to lose the wrongful death part of the lawsuit.

    Remember the apocrophyl story of the guy who emptied the magazine into the armed mugger, reloaded and emptied both spares before he stopped shooting, claiming he "wanted to be darned sure the threat was stopped"? Yes, there is a point when you cross over into excessive force. But apparently the judge did not believe what happened had reached that point - if for no other reason than to prevent the further muddying of what constitutes justified homicide.

    stay safe.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

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    While I am sure that this is not a good case to make this comment, I must. It actually has nothing to do with the case at hand but just an overall observation.
    I am deeply concerned that a Judge can simply toss out a verdict issued by a jury of your peers and supplement his/her own. What exactly is the point of a jury if their decision is treated merely as an idea or theory that can be discounted at will by the state?
    Considering that a judge, a public employee, is technically another enforcer for the State it appears to me that if you unfortunately find yourself in the defendant chair you are looking at 2:3 odds against you with a unanimous opinion of 12 that really does not matter.
    This actually bothers me....as I said this has nothing to do with this case just an observation of our "justice" system.
    I am sure there are others better versed that could shed some light on it.

  4. #4
    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toad View Post
    While I am sure that this is not a good case to make this comment, I must. It actually has nothing to do with the case at hand but just an overall observation.
    I am deeply concerned that a Judge can simply toss out a verdict issued by a jury of your peers and supplement his/her own. What exactly is the point of a jury if their decision is treated merely as an idea or theory that can be discounted at will by the state?
    Considering that a judge, a public employee, is technically another enforcer for the State it appears to me that if you unfortunately find yourself in the defendant chair you are looking at 2:3 odds against you with a unanimous opinion of 12 that really does not matter.
    This actually bothers me....as I said this has nothing to do with this case just an observation of our "justice" system.
    I am sure there are others better versed that could shed some light on it.
    I understand your point, but in this particular case it seems to me that the two "findings" offered by the jury are mutually exclusive, based on prior case law. As Skid noted, perhaps he was trying to not only keep this case consistent, but protecting future cases of self-defense as well.

    If the judge had allowed these findings to stand, the status quo of case law for self-defense would have been muddled. I see this clearly as a case of the jury not fully understanding the true meaning of what they were saying.

    TFred

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    Regular Member coondog22554's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    I suppose this is good for those who would use lethal force to defend themselves. Going to be interesting to see if any appeals come.

    This case has been under way for several days. Stafford deputies shot and killed a man who they claim was holding a shotgun as they entered his house on a potential suicide call.

    Long story short, the jury found the deputy had reasonable fear for his life, but that he used excessive force. Judge struck the excessive force finding. I guess that means if you are in fear for your life, there is no excessive force. Good for someone forced to defend themselves. How many times have we complained when prosecutors try to argue "he shot too many times, too big of a gun, excessively lethal hollow point bullets... etc, etc, etc"?

    Judge strikes jury's finding of excessive force in fatal Stafford shooting

    TFred
    To be more accurate, the man was in his back yard when confronted by the deputies and instead of following their instructions made the decision to go into his house. As he was going in the door he supposedly raised his hand holding a handgun, (some accounts say it was holstered) and was shot two times in his back and once in his side.
    Last edited by coondog22554; 08-06-2011 at 07:15 AM. Reason: sp

  6. #6
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Thanks, TFred. Good explanation.

    I'm going to try to state it in even more simple terms just so everybody has a chance to see where things would go if both verdicts stand.

    Jury: We find the defendant did not wrongfully kill Mr. X, but that the defendant used too much force when he did not wrongfully kill him.

    If you are in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury you can be either justified or excused for killing the person posing that threat against you.

    If you used too much force, you did so wrongfully - 'cause you (yes, even cops) are only supposed to use enough force to stop the threat.

    If you killed someone wrongfully, it cannot be justified or excused.

    If you let the excessive force verdict stand it negates the "not guilty" verdict concerning wrongful death.

    Maybe the jury was confused about how to say that the cop should have shot him only two times, or maybe only once, but not three (3) times. Or possibly they felt sorry for the family and wanted to give them some sort of compensation for the loss of their loved one even though they (the jury) did not think the cop should not have shot him.

    But that's what judges are there for - to ride herd over the process and see that things stay as straight and according to the law as they can.*

    stay safe.


    * We are not going to get into a discussion of what judges do, as opposed to what they are supposed to do, are we? Nope. Didn't think so.
    "He'll regret it to his dying day....if ever he lives that long."----The Quiet Man

    Because stupidity isn't a race, and everybody can win.

    "No matter how much contempt you have for the media in all this, you don't have enough"
    ----Allahpundit

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