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Burglar killed in NSW break-in/homeowner charged

DW98

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This is the third home-invader to be killed in the past couple of weeks (that I've heard of) alone. It will be interesting to see how this one plays out.

A man suspected of breaking into a Newcastle property has died after allegedly being attacked by an occupant of the house.

Police said they found two men, a 33-year-old and a 32-year-old, detaining the man on a street in the Hamilton area after responding to reports of a fight early on Saturday.

Initial investigations suggested the 34-year-old had broken into the home of one of the men and attempted to steal from him.

http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-27/suspected-burglar-dies-after-newcastle-break-in/7278166
 

DW98

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Charges have now been upgraded to murder. News is reporting the homeowner found the intruder standing over his infant daughters bed and broke his neck in the subsequent fight. Unless there's something more behind it, good job, I say.
 

solus

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Charges have now been upgraded to murder. News is reporting the homeowner found the intruder standing over his infant daughters bed and broke his neck in the subsequent fight. Unless there's something more behind it, good job, I say.
i'm in awe the bloke broke his neck...wow...

ipdr
 

HPmatt

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So in Australia do you get a jury trial? If so, w 'facts' as stated, is there a big chance of prison?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

davidmcbeth

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My viewpoint makes these things very easy to decide :

1) person not authorized or invited to be on private property
2) unauthorized person is killed by landowner or someone authorized to be on his private property

#1 should not be allowed

#2 should be allowed


Don't want to be killed?

Stay off people's private property unless you gain their permission to be there. No exceptions.

This is what we should work for to be codified.

Its a very simple rule, easy for people to understand, That's how statues should be.
 

DW98

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So in Australia do you get a jury trial? If so, w 'facts' as stated, is there a big chance of prison?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yeah, trial by jury.

As for the outcome, hard to say. The homeowner has been refused bail, which is odd. There's been no suggestion they were known to each other. And the burglar had recently been released from prison. In general, people killing intruders here isn't particularly common, but when it does occur, more often than not the charges will be dropped on the grounds of justifiable homicide, but they could very well be in for years of legal issues. By the sounds of it, it's likely this guy will be sentenced for manslaughter.
 

davidmcbeth

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Charges have now been upgraded to murder. News is reporting the homeowner found the intruder standing over his infant daughters bed and broke his neck in the subsequent fight. Unless there's something more behind it, good job, I say.
Hi DW98 Do you know if justifiable homicide is either a:

1) raiseable defense (where one has to let the prosecutor know it will be part of your defense but once raised the gov't has the burden of proving wrong)

2) raiseable defense, like 1, only that one does not have to tell the gov't prior to trial

3) an assumed defense where the gov't needs to show it was not justified

4) an affirmative defense which must be proven by the defendant and raised before trial


If 1,2, or 3 he has a better shot of being found not guilty. I don't think its murder...but they won't let him out and will leverage this against him (sweat him out).

Again, never talk to the police .... change your story one little bit after being asked to tell it 20 times and they'll bring that up and say he has changed his story....
 
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Citizen

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Yeah, trial by jury.

As for the outcome, hard to say. The homeowner has been refused bail, which is odd. There's been no suggestion they were known to each other. And the burglar had recently been released from prison. In general, people killing intruders here isn't particularly common, but when it does occur, more often than not the charges will be dropped on the grounds of justifiable homicide, but they could very well be in for years of legal issues. By the sounds of it, it's likely this guy will be sentenced for manslaughter.
I'm guessing it all depends on the facts. Did the homeowner fight the crook because a fight was necessary to protect himself or daughter? Was the crook trying to leave, and an enraged father meted out "justice"? Was the broken neck deliberate? Accidental?

Did the father, not knowing to keep his mouth shut, say something incriminating to investigators?
 

DW98

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Hi DW98 Do you know if justifiable homicide is either a:

1) raiseable defense (where one has to let the prosecutor know it will be part of your defense but once raised the gov't has the burden of proving wrong)

2) raiseable defense, like 1, only that one does not have to tell the gov't prior to trial

3) an assumed defense where the gov't needs to show it was not justified

4) an affirmative defense which must be proven by the defendant and raised before trial


If 1,2, or 3 he has a better shot of being found not guilty. I don't think its murder...but they won't let him out and will leverage this against him (sweat him out).

Again, never talk to the police .... change your story one little bit after being asked to tell it 20 times and they'll bring that up and say he has changed his story....
Good question. I'm not too sure as to the answer (though I should be). I've got a feeling it's No. 2, but I'm not positive. I'll have to find out.
 

DW98

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I'm guessing it all depends on the facts. Did the homeowner fight the crook because a fight was necessary to protect himself or daughter? Was the crook trying to leave, and an enraged father meted out "justice"? Was the broken neck deliberate? Accidental?

Did the father, not knowing to keep his mouth shut, say something incriminating to investigators?
There's mixed accounts of what happened, but the popular version of events seems to be that he was tackled by the homeowner while trying to leave. Apparently there was a fight afterwards wherein the intruders neck was broken.

There's a lot of support for the homeowner, though. And it's kicked off a pretty big debate around the right to defend yourself.
 

davidmcbeth

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The shovel manufacturer should step in and pay for his defense for an endorsement contract !

Make a new model and have the homeowner endorse it. The "Wack a Wanker" model.
 

Citizen

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There's mixed accounts of what happened, but the popular version of events seems to be that he was tackled by the homeowner while trying to leave. Apparently there was a fight afterwards wherein the intruders neck was broken.

There's a lot of support for the homeowner, though. And it's kicked off a pretty big debate around the right to defend yourself.
Well.....OK.

Then I guess the correct prescription is to educate the Aussies that tackling someone trying to leave is not self-defense.

I would argue it was a citizen's legitimate right seize a felon whose right-now felony that citizen personally witnessed. If the felon resists and falls or is pushed away in an ensuing fight, breaking his neck, no blame attaches to the citizen. Or, if the felon counter-attacks the arresting citizen and offers the citizen some sort of lethal force or grave bodily injury, then I would argue the arresting citizen has the right to deliberately apply lethal force.

But, killing a departing felon cannot be justified unless that felon presents an imminent and deadly threat to the community.

Now, I am no fan of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), but every once in a while they accidentally get something right, or get it right for the wrong reason. In the 1970's, in a case called Tennessee vs Garner, SCOTUS pointed out that burglary was not a capital offense. The case was brought by the parents of young Garner. Garner didn't get any older--he died of a cop's gunshot. Short story: neighbor hears breaking glass after dark and calls cops. Cop shows up, walks around house to back yard. Cop hears door slam. Sees figure running across yard. Cop yells. Figure doesn't stop. Cop shoots young man in the back "to prevent his escape." In its analysis explaining why it reached the decision, SCOTUS points out that burglary is not a capital offense.
 

davidmcbeth

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The Tennessee vs Garner decision involved a cop shooting a 15 yr kid trying to jump a fence while escaping.

Here, we have the owner of the land wacking an intruder.

A difference that I see as significant.

Kill an uninvited person on your property and go on trial, I will always let the owner go...regardless of circumstances.
 

Citizen

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Why is US law even brought into the discussion totally ill relevant.
Because rationality is relevant to the discussion?

I mention it to give credit to the source. Meaning, I didn't thunk that one up on my own. Some one else made the observation and argument--not me. Its not like I'm wrong for citing my source or giving credit to another.
 

utbagpiper

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Because rationality is relevant to the discussion?

I mention it to give credit to the source. Meaning, I didn't thunk that one up on my own. Some one else made the observation and argument--not me. Its not like I'm wrong for citing my source or giving credit to another.
I see significant differences between a professional trained agent of the state responding to a call where there is no imminent threat to life or limb and his duty is merely to investigate and possibly secure an arrest, vs a homeowner in the heat of the moment immediately following a home invasion.

In principle, I agree with you that once the home invader turns to flee, the homeowner is not acting in self defense.

In practice, somewhere between the burglar turning his back and the homeowner seeing him on the street the next day and deciding to exact revenge, I see a lot of gray area. I'm sure you are well acquainted with the old English concept of hot pursuit (or "hot trod") and how that differed from investigating a crime after the criminals had made a clean get away.

I'm not suggesting homeowners have some right to chase down burglars for as long as they can keep their trail hot. I'm not even sure how to codify what I'm advocating, or whether I'd want it codified. I don't want to see homeowners exacting revenge, or imposing capital penalties for simple trespass the way our resident agent provocateur would encourage. But neither do I want to see law abiding citizens ruined because some criminal victimized them and the homeowner failed to know the exact moment when he was no longer entitled to defend himself.

Fully informed juries, issuing verdicts in harmony with their individual and collective consciences, and then prosecutors considering what charges if any to bring in future, similar cases, is probably the best bet of justice.

Charles
 
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davidmcbeth

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In principle, I agree with you that once the home invader turns to flee, the homeowner is not acting in self defense.


<SNIP>


Charles
Maybe the guy turned away to get the opportunity to pull out a gun? Maybe to get out of range of the other person's weapon ?

If you have a knife and I have a gun , I may very well run away, turn around, and shoot. Then the widow would later lament "Johnny should have stabbed him in the back when he had the chance..."

Why does a landowner in an invader/intruder situation be required to assume the best behavior out of an intruder?

This always befuddled logic IMO.
 

Firearms Iinstuctor

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Because rationality is relevant to the discussion?

I.
Different country, different laws, different philosophes.

It is only relevant to the US and it laws and philosophes.

Who said it is not rational to shoot fleeing criminals that idea has only come about very recently in human history.

Before Gardner it was a very common practice and thought of being very reasonable.

Only a shift to the progressive side of things changed that, the poor innocent criminal, it isn't his fault, one can't be judge jury and executioner.

Sorry the codling of criminals has lead us down he path to where we are today.
 

Citizen

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Different country, different laws, different philosophes.

It is only relevant to the US and it laws and philosophes.

Who said it is not rational to shoot fleeing criminals that idea has only come about very recently in human history.

Before Gardner it was a very common practice and thought of being very reasonable.

Only a shift to the progressive side of things changed that, the poor innocent criminal, it isn't his fault, one can't be judge jury and executioner.

Sorry the codling of criminals has lead us down he path to where we are today.
I disagree. In fact, Garner points out something I've come across in other historical sources--namely that once upon a time all felonies were capital offenses. Almost as though the word felony was synonymous with capital offense. In Garner's case, he was killed on mere suspicion (I'll even concede probable cause for the sake of discussion). But, the ultimate power of the state was applied prior to proof beyond a reasonable doubt against a suspected felon who was not in that moment an imminent threat to the community.

Imminent threat is a long-overdue refinement in the rationale for applying lethal force to an escaping suspect.

Recognizing the inconsistency between allowing police to kill a burglary suspect for a crime the state cannot kill him for upon conviction is a good thing.

I can see a difference between not allowing a cop to kill any but a certain class of suspects, and still coming down hard on the suspect upon conviction. Not allowing the cop to kill the suspect is not coddling a criminal; letting the criminal loose on society early after conviction is coddling a criminal.
 
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