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Thread: Self-defense - news

  1. #1
    Activist Member nuc65's Avatar
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    Self-defense - news

    http://www.wset.com/story/16156760/c...used-of-murder

    Charges Dropped Against Man Accused of Murder
    Posted: Nov 30, 2011 3:20 PM EST

    Man Arrested for Shooting that Killed One & Injured Two Others

    Reporter: James Gherardi

    Henry Co., VA A Henry County judge dropped all charges against Rodney Hairston Wednesday.

    Hairston, who lives in Henry County, was accused of shooting and killing Jeremy Preston outside of his home in October. He also wounded another man.

    Hairston said the men attempted to enter his home and they began arguing.

    The judge ruled that Hairston acted in self defense. Hairston was facing a second degree murder charge.
    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)

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    Founder's Club Member protias's Avatar
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    Hopefully you guys get castle doctrine or stand your ground soon.
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    Hopefully you guys get castle doctrine or stand your ground soon.
    We have stand your ground.

    Castle Doctrine, I could take it or leave it. I kind of like the way things are right now. Case law and common sense rules.
    James Reynolds

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    Founder's Club Member protias's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    We have stand your ground.

    Castle Doctrine, I could take it or leave it. I kind of like the way things are right now. Case law and common sense rules.
    So why would this home owner even be charged?
    No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms. Thomas Jefferson (1776)

    If you go into a store, with a gun, and rob it, you have forfeited your right to not get shot - Joe Deters, Hamilton County (Cincinnati) Prosecutor

    I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians. - George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

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    Regular Member Steeler-gal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    So why would this home owner even be charged?
    May be because the shooting happened outside of the house? (guessing)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    We have stand your ground.

    Castle Doctrine, I could take it or leave it. I kind of like the way things are right now. Case law and common sense rules.
    +1

  7. #7
    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steeler-gal View Post
    May be because the shooting happened outside of the house? (guessing)
    Sounds like it....I'm sure there's more to the story.
    James Reynolds

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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    We have stand your ground.

    Castle Doctrine, I could take it or leave it. I kind of like the way things are right now. Case law and common sense rules.
    Is Virginia stand your ground law recent/new? Or is it implied entirely through case law? I was under the impression that Va was a retreat first state, and a quick perusal of code and google backs this up, i see nothing specifcally relating to a Stand Your Ground law on the books at the moment...

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  9. #9
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator ed's Avatar
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    Virginia has some pretty decent case law now. Loudoun County Commonwealth Attorney, Jim Plowman, even provided me with Jury Instructions for self defense cases.

    Jumping on the Castle Doctrine bandwagon to codify things could be a mistake and actually make things worse if the code is not carefully crafted.

    Because of this.. expect two things in the near future.

    1. Expect VCDL president Philip Van Cleave to write an article that explains in detail what I had mentioned above.. and
    2. Expect a properly, well crafted, VCDL approved, Castle Doctrine to be presented as a BILL.
    Carry On.

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baked on Grease View Post
    Is Virginia stand your ground law recent/new? Or is it implied entirely through case law? I was under the impression that Va was a retreat first state, and a quick perusal of code and google backs this up, i see nothing specifcally relating to a Stand Your Ground law on the books at the moment...
    "Stand your ground" is probably being used in this discussion as shorthand for no statutory duty to retreat.

    Virginia does not have a law requiring you to retreat, and also does not have a law saying you have no duty to retreat. What it does have is fairly clear case law saying that you have no duty to retreat when you are lawfully at any place where you are lawfully allowed/permitted to be (not there by trespass and not committing any crime while you are there).

    No Duty to Retreat When Doing a Lawful Act and Suddenly Attacked


    Decarlos Coleman v. Commonwealth, Va. App. (2002 Unpublished)
    "Appellant next contends the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury on self-defense. We disagree.
    "Self-defense is an affirmative defense which the accused must prove by introducing sufficient evidence to raise a reasonable doubt about his guilt." Smith v. Commonwealth, 17 Va. App. 68, 71, 435 S.E.2d 414, 416 (1993) (citing McGhee v. Commonwealth, 219 Va. 560, 562, 248 S.E.2d 808, 810 (1978); Yarborough v. Commonwealth, 217 Va. 971, 979, 234 S.E.2d 286, 292 (1977)). "[A] person assaulted while in the discharge of a lawful act, and reasonably apprehending that his assailant will do him bodily harm, has the right to repel the assault by all the force he deems necessary, and is not compelled to retreat from his assailant, but may, in turn, become the assailant, inflicting bodily wounds until his person is out of danger." Dodson v. Commonwealth, 159 Va. 976, 979, 167 S.E. 260, 260 (1933) (quoting Jackson's Case, 96 Va. 107, 30 S.E. 452 (1898))."
    See Also : Gilbert v. Commonwealth, 28 Va. App. 466, 473, 506 S.E.2d 543, 546 (1998).

    No Duty to Retreat in Your Home/Curtilage
    "One, in his own curtilage, who is free from fault in bringing on the combat, when attacked by another, has the same right of conduct, without any retreat (i. e. to stand at bay and resist as fault), even to the taking of life, that one has when within his own home. See note to 5 Am. & Eng. Anno. Cas. 999 and cases cited, among them Beard v. United States, 158 U.S. 550, 15 S. Ct. 962, 39 L. Ed. 1086, approved in Alberty v. United States, 162 U.S. 499, 16 S. Ct. 864, 40 L. Ed. 1051. What force one, on his own premises, may use to eject another therefrom, short of endangering human life or of doing great bodily harm, was the subject of consideration in Montgomery's Case, 98 Va. 840, 842-3, 36 S.E. 371; Montgomery v. Commonwealth, 99 Va. 833, 835-6, 37 S.E. 841. But in no case, even within one's own home, or curtilage, is a person wholly justified in taking the life of another, who has entered the home or curtilage peaceably on an implied license, merely to punish or subdue him or to compel him to leave the premises, where there is no apparent intent on the part of the latter to commit any felony.
    As said in 1 Bish. New Cr. Law (8th Ed.), sections 857, 858: "* * the general rule is that while a man may use all reasonable and necessary force to defend his real and personal estate, of which he is in the actual possession, against another who comes to dispossess him without right, he cannot innocently carry this defense to the extent of killing the aggressor. If no other way is open to him, he must yield, and get himself righted by resort to the law. A seeming exception to this rule is the --
    "Defense of the Castle. In the early times our forefathers were compelled to protect themselves in their habitations by converting them into holds of defense: and so the dwelling house was called the castle. To this condition of things the law has conformed, resulting in the familiar doctrine that while a man keeps the doors of his house closed, no other may break and enter it, except in particular circumstances to make an arrest or the like - cases not within the line of our present exposition. From this doctrine is derived another: namely, that the persons within the house may exercise all needful force to keep aggressors out, even to the taking of life. As observed by Campbell, J., in Michigan, 'a man is not obliged to retreat if assaulted in his dwelling, but may use such means as are absolutely necessary to repel the assailant from his house or prevent his forcible entry, even to the taking of life' * *."
    But the same learned work continues, in section 858, as follows:
    " 1. Waiving Castle. One may waive the protection of his castle by permitting another to enter; * *."
    " 2. Putting out of the Castle. If a man enters another's dwelling house peaceable on an implied license, he cannot be ejected except on request to leave, followed by no more than the necessary and proper force, even though misbehaving himself therein.
    * * Hence a needless battery, resulting in death, employed in ejecting an intruder from the dwelling-house, will constitute felonious homicide."
    There is no evidence in the case in judgment tending to show that the deceased entered the premises of the accused by force. He was there, and was greeted in a manner which indicated that he was there by permission of the accused, before the affray began. His subsequent conduct, granting that it was misconduct, did not justify the killing of him, unless that conduct was such as to justify it on the part of the accused under the settled doctrine applicable to the killing of an assailant by one in defence of his own person.
    Therefore, none of the instructions in the case should have been predicated upon the existence or non-existence of the circumstance of the ordering of the deceased off the premises, since that is an immaterial circumstance so far as the instant case is concerned and could serve no purpose but to mislead the jury, unless they were more fully instructed on that subject than they were. "
    Dodson v. Commonwealth, 159 Va. 976, 979, 167 S.E. 260, 260 (1933).
    "The only case in which the law does not require the party to retreat at all, or under any circumstances, is when he' is assaulted in his own house; there he need not fly as far as he can; for he has the protection of his house to excuse him from flying; as that would be to give up by his flight the possession of his house to his adversary. But in this as in other cases, the assault must be of such a character as to expose him to imminent danger. "
    See Also : Beard v. United States 158 U.S. 550 (1896).

    stay safe.

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  11. #11
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baked on Grease View Post
    Is Virginia stand your ground law recent/new? Or is it implied entirely through case law? I was under the impression that Va was a retreat first state, and a quick perusal of code and google backs this up, i see nothing specifcally relating to a Stand Your Ground law on the books at the moment...

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    Virginia is what is referred to as a "true man state". This equates to no duty to retreat which is commonly referred to as stand your ground. However, I would suggest that prudence be your guide when you believe you are about to be confronted with an extreme situation.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 12-02-2011 at 04:42 PM.
    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?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steeler-gal View Post
    May be because the shooting happened outside of the house? (guessing)
    Whether or not the victim shot his assailant inside or outside of his home is not relevant based upon the information available in the link. If you are in apprehension of imminent serious bodily harm or worse, it makes no difference where you are located when you offer deadly force as long as you are a true victim. Now if the incident occurred at night, there is a further onus on the BG.

    INAL.
    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?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  13. #13
    Campaign Veteran T Dubya's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by protias View Post
    So why would this home owner even be charged?
    Maybe he waived his right to silence and talked to the cops.

  14. #14
    Regular Member Steeler-gal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Whether or not the victim shot his assailant inside or outside of his home is not relevant based upon the information available in the link. If you are in apprehension of imminent serious bodily harm or worse, it makes no difference where you are located when you offer deadly force as long as you are a true victim. Now if the incident occurred at night, there is a further onus on the BG.

    INAL.
    Like I said, just guessing. Why do you think the home owner was charged? (which was the Q I was speculating one)

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    As I understand it, the case law can be used quite successfully as a defense, but doesn't prevent a prosecutor from bringing charges. So the case law is great, but only useful as a defense once you've been arrested, charged and prosecuted. A formal statute would fix that, but might effectively overturn the case law, leaving us worse off than before.
    Last edited by markand; 12-04-2011 at 11:22 PM.

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    Regular Member MilProGuy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post

    ...I would suggest that prudence be your guide when you believe you are about to be confronted with an extreme situation.
    Absolutely!

    If avoidance is still an available option, then use it!
    Last edited by MilProGuy; 12-04-2011 at 11:21 PM. Reason: corrected spelling
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  17. #17
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MilProGuy View Post
    Absolutely!

    If avoidance is still an available option, then use it!
    100% spot on correct.

    There is always the distinct possibility that you might lose. Better to err on the side of caution and common sense and leave the heroics to make believe and armchair wannabes. I'd prefer to see the sunrise another day.
    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?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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