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Thread: A hard lesson to learn

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    A hard lesson to learn

    I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about the outcome in the Jesus Gonzalez trial lately. I'm sure a lot of people have. With only the small amount of information available it is easy to overlook the most important lesson that can be taken away from this case. When involved in any altercation with a firearm, do not testify against yourself. When Mr. Gonzalez called 911 (I have not read the 911 transcripts and I am only quoting from published accounts) and stated that two people tried to assault him and he fired shots at them he was asked by the dispatcher if the other men had guns or were armed, Gonzalez replied, "I don't know what they had," but they must not have known he was armed. This is the only testimony, that I know of, that Mr. Gonzalez gave in this case. That one response "I don't know what they had" was direct testimony from Gonzalez and may have been critical to overcoming reasonable doubt in this case. If Mr. Gonzalez had responded to the 911 dispatcher that he was not able to answer questions under the circumstances, or even just repeating that shots had been fired the outcome may have been different. You have the right to remain silent only if you don't talk.

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    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    Thoughtful post.

    I think you are correct in that those words may well have been scrutinized very closely, being the only "testimony" from the accused.

    I cringed right away when I found out that was said in the 911 call but that being said It's awfully hard to do the exact right things under stress. Biting ones tongue isn't automatic.

    On the other hand, none of were there, we don't know what truly happened that night and maybe we never will.
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    Regular Member Zeus's Avatar
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    Very unfortunate indeed. Another reason why, while I will never be for mandated training by the gov. it's definitely something one should seek out on their own. Massad Ayoobs books on the subject are invaluable in helping one stay out of jail after a lethal force encounter. You don't say "I shot them" and you damn sure don't say "I don't know" about anything. Things such as "I feared for my life and my families life", and "I defended myself" are usually a good way to go. All in hindsight of course but things to think about before you end up in his shoes.
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    Regular Member hardballer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uziel Gal View Post
    I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about the outcome in the Jesus Gonzalez trial lately. I'm sure a lot of people have. With only the small amount of information available it is easy to overlook the most important lesson that can be taken away from this case. When involved in any altercation with a firearm, do not testify against yourself. When Mr. Gonzalez called 911 (I have not read the 911 transcripts and I am only quoting from published accounts) and stated that two people tried to assault him and he fired shots at them he was asked by the dispatcher if the other men had guns or were armed, Gonzalez replied, "I don't know what they had," but they must not have known he was armed. This is the only testimony, that I know of, that Mr. Gonzalez gave in this case. That one response "I don't know what they had" was direct testimony from Gonzalez and may have been critical to overcoming reasonable doubt in this case. If Mr. Gonzalez had responded to the 911 dispatcher that he was not able to answer questions under the circumstances, or even just repeating that shots had been fired the outcome may have been different. You have the right to remain silent only if you don't talk.
    Don't talk to cops. Period. They are not there to help you.
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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    How do you not say the 'wrong thing' when in grave extremity? I'd suggest a 'cheat sheet' card and packet that you'd read and refer to. It would have your lawyer's name, number, a copy of your permit, your insurance, a close relative to call, emergency numbers, and the bare minimum (essentially based off of Ayoob's type of reasoning on what to say).

    You then 'read it' when you are on the phone to 911. For 'questions' just say 'no time to talk', or 'I'll let my lawyer handle that question', etc.

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    Last edited by Badger Johnson; 10-28-2011 at 08:44 PM.
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    Regular Member wild boar's Avatar
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    Personal protection comes with a price.

    I believe one should be as prepared to protect oneself from prosecution as danger. As was mentioned, they can't hold silence against you. Any officer knows after he's involved in a shooting not to say anything without his lawyer, and if not, he will be told. It's very common for one to be so upset that they can't think, don't fall victim to police presser. One more thing to consider is NO third party intervention. boar out.

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    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    Yes, but the point is, when you're in a crazy situation, adrenaline gone wild, you find yourself doing and saying stuff you'd NEVER do when in possession of your faculties.

    So you have to figure out a way to either practice saying the right thing and doing the right thing, or reading off a prepared statement, and prompting yourself not to talk.

    Cops are good at getting normally recalcitrant people to talk and incriminate themselves. You must rehearse or make up prep-cards to prevent you from doing things that would put you in jeopardy just by being imprecise or making errors under stress, or using wrong language.

    As we've seen, a few simple errors, inadvertent admissions, a slip of the tongue and you can be in bad doo-doo. Whereas simple saying a few things, or very little and there's really nothing that can be held against you.

    Just -knowing- what you should do is not enough, because we can 'crack' under pressure and start babbling.
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    Regular Member xenophon's Avatar
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    I can imagine being in a self defense situation, one might have trouble even recalling details, let alone the "right" things to say.

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    Regular Member theoicarry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    Yes, but the point is, when you're in a crazy situation, adrenaline gone wild, you find yourself doing and saying stuff you'd NEVER do when in possession of your faculties.

    So you have to figure out a way to either practice saying the right thing and doing the right thing, or reading off a prepared statement, and prompting yourself not to talk.

    Cops are good at getting normally recalcitrant people to talk and incriminate themselves. You must rehearse or make up prep-cards to prevent you from doing things that would put you in jeopardy just by being imprecise or making errors under stress, or using wrong language.

    As we've seen, a few simple errors, inadvertent admissions, a slip of the tongue and you can be in bad doo-doo. Whereas simple saying a few things, or very little and there's really nothing that can be held against you.

    Just -knowing- what you should do is not enough, because we can 'crack' under pressure and start babbling.
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    Regular Member wild boar's Avatar
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    Exclamation Have been there...

    ..., and can say it was different each time! The only, "one size fits all", that will help is full commitment, and react with extreme predigest. An undefeated attitude is a must providing you posses the knowledge, and a few seconds for assessment. In a no time situation..., get small, and draw. boar out.

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    A lesson learn is stay out of bars.

    Lots of bad things happen in bars.

    A lot of people who have been drinking do not think very rationality.

  12. #12
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firearms Iinstuctor View Post
    Lots of bad things happen in bars. A lot of people who have been drinking do not think very rationality.
    "Nothing good happens after midnight." A lot of stone sober people do not demonstrate rational thinking.

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    Regular Member oak1971's Avatar
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    I have been schooled by former LEO. Invoke your rights and zip that lip. Have a plan and be well versed in that plan. Know that the police will try to get you to incriminate yourself. Don't try to fence with them, they are professionals and will win every time. Shut up and wait for consul. They can grill you for 2 days, so be prepared for unpleasantness. They can lie to you to get a confession, they will promise deals that they won't and can't deliver on. Don't sign ANYTHING without your lawyer present. If they won't let you use the bathroom, go in your pants. Let them clean it up. They will try to be your buddy, don't buy it. Don't talk to anyone else there either, I don't care if its the janitor or the hooker in the holding cell. Shut up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by oak1971 View Post
    I have been schooled by former LEO. Invoke your rights and zip that lip. Have a plan and be well versed in that plan. Know that the police will try to get you to incriminate yourself. Don't try to fence with them, they are professionals and will win every time. Shut up and wait for consul. They can grill you for 2 days, so be prepared for unpleasantness. They can lie to you to get a confession, they will promise deals that they won't and can't deliver on. Don't sign ANYTHING without your lawyer present. If they won't let you use the bathroom, go in your pants. Let them clean it up. They will try to be your buddy, don't buy it. Don't talk to anyone else there either, I don't care if its the janitor or the hooker in the holding cell. Shut up.
    Good advice if you are involved in a bad shoot. If you are confident it was a justifiable shooting, best to tell the police what happened without getting into great details, point out any evidence that supports your story and point out any witnesses. After that, tell the investigating officers that you intend to cooperate fully with their investigation but not until you talk to your attorney. If it was a justified shooting and you can convey that to the investigating officers chances are you will be sleeping in your own bed that very night. Clam up, give the cops nothing and they have no choice but to lock you up if they cannot determine what happened via other sources. Failing to ID witnesses may lead to witnesses disappearing and failing to point out supporting evidence may lead to disappearing evidence.

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    Regular Member oak1971's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    Good advice if you are involved in a bad shoot. If you are confident it was a justifiable shooting, best to tell the police what happened without getting into great details, point out any evidence that supports your story and point out any witnesses. After that, tell the investigating officers that you intend to cooperate fully with their investigation but not until you talk to your attorney. If it was a justified shooting and you can convey that to the investigating officers chances are you will be sleeping in your own bed that very night. Clam up, give the cops nothing and they have no choice but to lock you up if they cannot determine what happened via other sources. Failing to ID witnesses may lead to witnesses disappearing and failing to point out supporting evidence may lead to disappearing evidence.
    "Anything you say can and will be used against you."
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    Now that the trial is over some of us can speak a little more freely without upsetting other members. The minute Jesus called 911 himself he was screwed. From then on it was an uphill battle. His call to 911 was by itself an admission of guilt. From that point on he was put in a position of proving his innocense, which apparently he could not do. His first move should have been to have a third party call 911. An admission to a non-law enforcemet person is by itself not self incriminating in court. Technically speaking law enforcement opinion is presumed to be neutral while the word of third persons, even under oath. is uncertain. Sometime or other most of us get a case of "hoof and mouth disease". We open our mouth and put our hoof in it. My kid brother was in law enforcement for 25 years. He said that if you feel you are in a bad situation the first four words out of your mouth should be "I want a lawyer" from that point on the cops are limited as to how they interrogate you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Nemo View Post
    Now that the trial is over some of us can speak a little more freely without upsetting other members. The minute Jesus called 911 himself he was screwed. From then on it was an uphill battle. His call to 911 was by itself an admission of guilt. From that point on he was put in a position of proving his innocense, which apparently he could not do. His first move should have been to have a third party call 911. An admission to a non-law enforcemet person is by itself not self incriminating in court. Technically speaking law enforcement opinion is presumed to be neutral while the word of third persons, even under oath. is uncertain. Sometime or other most of us get a case of "hoof and mouth disease". We open our mouth and put our hoof in it. My kid brother was in law enforcement for 25 years. He said that if you feel you are in a bad situation the first four words out of your mouth should be "I want a lawyer" from that point on the cops are limited as to how they interrogate you.
    Had the police found Jesus beaten and bloodied, perhaps even stabbed, and police found a knife with Jesus' blood on it on one of those that were shot, would Jesus still have been screwed the minute he called 911? Nope. Many things screwed Jesus that night, the least of which was his 911 call. The advice of remaining silent when you are in a bad situation is solid. I believe that is why Jesus remained silent and did not testify in his own defense as he knew he was in a bad situation. Had it been a clear, cut, justifiable shooting Jesus would have had a lot to say as would we all.
    Last edited by Max; 10-30-2011 at 02:02 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Max View Post
    Had the police found Jesus beaten and bloodied, perhaps even stabbed, and police found a knife with Jesus' blood on it on one of those that were shot, would Jesus still have been screwed the minute he called 911? Nope. Many things screwed Jesus that night, the least of which was his 911 call. The advice of remaining silent when you are in a bad situation is solid. I believe that is why Jesus remained silent and did not testify in his own defense as he knew he was in a bad situation. Had it been a clear, cut, justifiable shooting Jesus would have had a lot to say as would we all.
    Agreed.

    Remaining silent in the immediate aftermath of a crime is one thing. Claiming self defense and (to my knowledge) never telling anyone why you used self defense, was a very bad plan of attack. If you're going to claim self defense, eventually, you have to tell your side of the story. Be it to the investigators, the prosecutors office, or during your trial. There comes a point where the risk of a conviction is far greater if you DON'T tell your side. Jesus, in my personal opinion, passed that point a long time ago. If it was a real self defense situation, you just can't sit there quiet and have your lawyer tell people it was self defense. Especially when there's some "negative variables" involved. 2 unarmed men (1 who likely never made it out of the vehicle), shooting at a vehicle as it's driving away, and the biggest of all... a surviving victim who says your attorney is lying and it was an unprovoked attack.

    As I said in another post, I have a hard time believing that Jesus watched this trial and didn't know beyond almost any doubt that he was going to prison. My personal opinion, is that upon reflection of the incident, Jesus knew he overreacted in shooting these two individuals. Rather than get on the stand and lie, he simply chose to remain silent. Screwing up under truly deadly circumstances is understandable to a point, but you have to explain what caused you to screw up. Jesus simply never did that.

    As was said in another post in another thread, I think many have been blinded by their affection for Jesus and this is what the Prosecution said it was.. an unprovoked attack.
    Last edited by Ken8521; 10-30-2011 at 11:30 AM.

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    Face reality. They didn't find him beat up and bloody. He was unscathed. Can't make the situation into what it wasn't. In Wisconsin if you are going to plead self-defense after taking the life of another human by use of a firearm you had either have visible injuries and your victim best have powder burns on him/her. Is that right or wrong? It doesn't matter. That's the way it is. Something to remember when you walk around with a "widow maker" in your pocket. Wisconson courts take the taking of a human life very seriously. As it should. Another thing to remember. As barbaric as it sounds if that moment of push comes to shove happens and there is no other course but to use deadly force don't leave a wounded victim. As impartial as any jury professes to be the sight of a paralyzed victim in a wheelchair is going to have an emotional affect. Juries are made of humans. In Wisconsin a person's trial does not begin after he/she is arrested. It begins at the moment you pull the trigger.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Nemo View Post
    Face reality. They didn't find him beat up and bloody. He was unscathed. Can't make the situation into what it wasn't. In Wisconsin if you are going to plead self-defense after taking the life of another human by use of a firearm you had either have visible injuries and your victim best have powder burns on him/her. Is that right or wrong? It doesn't matter. That's the way it is. Something to remember when you walk around with a "widow maker" in your pocket. Wisconson courts take the taking of a human life very seriously. As it should. Another thing to remember. As barbaric as it sounds if that moment of push comes to shove happens and there is no other course but to use deadly force don't leave a wounded victim. As impartial as any jury professes to be the sight of a paralyzed victim in a wheelchair is going to have an emotional affect. Juries are made of humans. In Wisconsin a person's trial does not begin after he/she is arrested. It begins at the moment you pull the trigger.
    Captain, I am fully aware that Jesus was not found bloodied. The point I was trying to make, and so stated, was that it was not the 911 call that screwed Jesus, it was the events prior to it that did that. Also your comment of, "...don't leave a wounded victim." is quite disturbing. Are you suggesting delivering a coup de gras to a wounded assailant? If that assailant no longer poses a threat, that would be murder. Just ask the Oklahoma pharmacist who did as you suggested and is now serving a life sentence.
    http://newsok.com/ersland-gets-life-...rticle/3584664

  22. #22
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    i beleive the outcome of the trial would have, could have been different had it been delayed until the new laws were in place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Nemo View Post
    ...As barbaric as it sounds if that moment of push comes to shove happens and there is no other course but to use deadly force don't leave a wounded victim. .....
    That is the most disturbing thing I have seen posed in a while. Possibly ever on this board.
    You are suggesting cold blooded murder. You are suggesting 1st-Degree Intentional Homicide instead of the justifyable use of deadly force.
    If you are trying to do anything but stop the threat you are committing murder. I believe that once the threat is over, you should render aid to the person you just shot if it is practical and safe.

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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McX View Post
    i beleive the outcome of the trial would have, could have been different had it been delayed until the new laws were in place.
    There are no new laws being proposed which would allow a free fire zone. No Wild West laws are being proposed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by donny View Post
    Crack me up. The guy was wrong. The shoot was bad. He committed a crime, justice prevailed, case closed. I hope they lock him up for many years.
    Donny, exactly what cracks you up? I fail to find any humor in any of this.
    Last edited by Max; 10-30-2011 at 11:48 AM.

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