Another real scenario and analysis re court.

Another real scenario and analysis re court.

This is a discussion on Another real scenario and analysis re court. within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Bart' Roberts posted his second real life scenario and court case results thread on THR HERE , and like the last I'll post the original ...

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  1. #1
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    Another real scenario and analysis re court.

    Bart' Roberts posted his second real life scenario and court case results thread on THR HERE, and like the last I'll post the original and the results/verdict post - in between of course was the views of folks on rights and wrongs. These are useful stories IMO to help us consider aspects of situations perhaps.
    On January 2, 1982, Garrison was visiting at his sister's Hartford, CN apartment, when Jeremiah Sharp, arrived on the premises. Sharp had been living with the defendant's sister intermittently for the past four years, and had his clothes in the apartment, but they had recently had an argument. The victim arrived intoxicated, and immediately got into an argument with the Garrison's sister, which the Garrison tried to stop. The sister went to her bedroom, but the argument continued between the Garrison and Sharp, with the Garrison urging the Sharp to leave.
    In the course of the argument between the two, Sharp reached inside his jacket and Garrison noticed that the Sharp had a pistol in his waistband. Although Sharp was the larger man, he was drunk, staggering and not in full control of himself. Garrison disarmed thSharp by removing the pistol from his waistband. Sharp then armed himself with a steak knife and advanced toward the Garrison with the knife held high. Garrison backed up, and fired a shot, hitting the victim in the left ankle. Despite this Sharp continued to advance and Garrison fired again, striking him in the chest and killing him.

    Two questions?
    1. Justfiable shoot?
    2. How could tactics have been better?
    Well, given the high-caliber of readers we have here, you guys identified most of the issues in the case.

    Garrison was convicted of first-degree manslaughter. In that trial, the jury appeared to believe that since Garrison had disarmed Sharp of the pistol, he could have safely disarmed him of the knife as well. In addition, the court made no factual finding of whether Sharp was guilty of criminal trespass, so a key fact in Garrison's self-defense case was missing (Garrison also had a lawyer who apparently wasn't the best or brightest). The jury was also not impressed by the fact that both sister and Sharp apparently had regular drunken arguments of this nature in the past without anybody getting hurt.

    Garrison appealed the conviction and the court of appeals reversed and remanded the conviction with instructions to the trial court to determine the following facts:

    (1) Was the defendant's use of force excessive because he reasonably believed that he could have disarmed the decedent?
    (2) Was the defendant's use of force excessive because he knew that he could retreat with complete safety?
    (3) Was the decedent on the premises as a criminal trespasser?
    (4) Was the defendant a person privileged to be in or upon the premises?

    Garrison was again convicted of manslaughter in the first degree. The jury found that use of force was excessive because they believed Garrison's earlier successful disarm attempt showed he would have been able to disarm the victim again. The jury also found that the he could have retreated with complete safety (Garrison's ace lawyer made no attempt to argue otherwise), that Sharp was NOT a criminal trespasser, and that Garrison was also privileged to be on the premises.

    Garrison appealed. The Court of Appeals declined to address the thorny issue of whether the jury's finding that he could have disarmed Sharp was reasonable since they found that his failure to retreat further after the first shot was sufficient to justify a conviction of manslaughter regardless of whether he might have been unable to disarm Sharp. The Court of Appeals upheld the conviction.

    Retreat would not have been an issue had Sharp been a criminal trespasser; but because Sharp was found to also be privileged to be on the premises, Garrison was held to have the usual duty to retreat required by state law even though he was inside a dwelling.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.


  2. #2
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    While it is not a good trial outcome, in retrospect, Garrision possibly could have retreated or not engaged in a aruement in the first place. Best way to avoid court is to avoid the situation unless no other alternative. Get the relative/friend out and let the PD handle the situation if possible would have been a better option.

  3. #3
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    Someone over on the thread pointed out this -
    ***************
    Under Florida Law, he would have been golden.

    piffle.
    ***************
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


    http://www.rkba-2a.com/ - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry
    Someone over on the thread pointed out this -
    Under Florida Law, he would have been golden.

    piffle.
    Not quite IMHO. At best he would be 50-50. He did inject himself into the problem and arguing with the "victim" would not have helped him. Both victim and defendant had the right to be in the premises so I dont think that the Castle doctrine would apply. He would have better either leave on his own or leave with the sister or call the cops. My gut feeling is that he would have been conviceted in Florida too. But then again I am not a lawyer.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

    Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
    Signed: Me!

  5. #5
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    It was a jury trial. So all bets are off. It was in Hartford Conneticut,so not a self defense loving area. I would think that in states like Colorado, Florida and Texas the laws may have helped some. It would be interesting to see the testimoney. It all comes down to what you can articulate sometimes.

    -Scott-

  6. #6
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    Should have called 911 early on - domestic disputes are not a good thing to be involved in - you are always in the wrong!

    Also, if his lawyer had showed the pictures from another thread of the cop who got cut up, it would have made the steak knife threat much more 'real' to the jury! Scares the s**t ot of me!! Glad he survived!

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    It is impossible to judge one way or the other. A lot would depend on the details of the event. How close was Sharp at the time of the shooting, did Garrison have his back to him and turned around to find a knife coming down at him, or was Sharp 8 ft away in a drunken stagger coming at him? Showing that Sharp didn't stop the attack after being shot in the ankle should have showed the serious intent of Sharp to hurt or kill Garrison. Even more would probably depend on just how drunk he was, many folks can be legally drunk and they are just as much of a threat as a sober person. Depending on these variables and given a competent lawyer things could have been different, but it all just a guess now!!
    When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Just Minutes Away!!
    Carry On!
    NCHornet

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    The shooting could have been stoped. 911 should have been called first. Disarming the drunk was a good move. Instead of shooting the drunk boyfriend, Garrison should have retreated to the bedroom with his sister and waited for the cops to arrive. If the drunk boy friend broke the door down then Garrison might have cause to shoot. Did the drunk boy friend have a permit for the gun ? Probley not and probley would have been charged for the gun.

  9. #9
    Member Array unrequited's Avatar
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    since I can't search that forum unless I'm a member, can you get the first part and if there is one link to the others?

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