Anti-prosecuters?

This is a discussion on Anti-prosecuters? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; If we follow the letter of the law,as do the police,and everybody associated with the prosecution and defense, then everything should come out fine. Let ...

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Thread: Anti-prosecuters?

  1. #16
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    If we follow the letter of the law,as do the police,and everybody associated with the prosecution and defense, then everything should come out fine. Let that system skip just one beat and who comes out on the short end of the stick ?? Only one of the above mentioned. The LEO's say,"oops sorry" the prosecuters say,"oops sorry" and the defendent........what about him ??

    Take a guess as to which one ends up the REAL looser. ------

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  3. #17
    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    Wish you were the DA here.
    The DA in the county south of me said that if I had to defend myself, in the very best outcome, I should expect to be financially ruined by legal costs. The CCW instructor here said the same thing.
    I believe that our DA will be fair and if I'm in the right, I won't be criminally charged. But I sure do expect a huge civil suit from every relative of whatever lowlife attempted to kill me.
    I sure wish MO had moved through with castle doctrine.

  4. #18
    Ex Member Array F350's Avatar
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    I know of a case back in Indiana about 20 years ago, the prosecutor even admitted he thought it was self defense, but there were some political under currents involved and he was too chicken-shinola to make a ruling. So he pursued the case and when the jury ruled not guilty with only about 30 min deliberation he declared the system worked and that he was vindicated. YEA...all except that $250,000 debt the poor SOB was left with.

    The prosecutor we have in the county where I live……I wouldn’t trust to do the right thing is directed by God himself. A so called Republican who fought against us in our battle for CCW, was spouting the typical “blood in the streets-OK corral” crap in every interview..
    There are probably some good ones out there, but remember they are all politicians.

  5. #19
    Member Array cali-da's Avatar
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    I appreciate the support and the additional comments. It is much appreciated. Hopefully no one thought I was looking for pats on the back or something like that. The job itself is a reward for me. However, I appreciate the comments anyway. It is nice to know that others appreciate the sacrifice, especially on payday.

    There were a number of comments that I thought I would address as their appeared to be some questions. First as to how hard it is to get a CCW in California depends (and I do mean depends) on what county you live in. I recently moved to a new county and both counties I have lived in make it very accessible. If you live in LA or in San Fransisco where the political demographics are less than supportive, you can expect it to be difficult. One can complain about this a ton but that is democracy in action. The populace elects an individuals to represent them and do jobs. If you don't like the attitude regarding CCW a particular official represents, you try to vote him out. If you lose in that effort, that is democracy.

    As to castle doctrine questions, I can't give a well reasoned legal opinion because we don't have that in CA that I am aware of. I am sure that it boils down to prosecute trespassers, fine them, put them in jail but if ALL that they do is trespass, they don't deserve to get shot. Now if they trespass, with a weapon, and threaten you, I would be the first in line to say use your weapon according to your training and good common sense. I am positive that many of us at one time or another trespassed on the property of someone else, even accidentaly. I don't think anyone would say it would have been ok to shoot us.

    I recognize that there is a great difference in dealing with specifics and generalizations. I would be the last to claim that there are not DA's out there who would not use a politically loaded case or an unfortunate individual to push their career (Our last democratic presidential canindate started as a DA). I am not saying that there are not elected DA's, sheriffs, and others in LE that are anti-gun except for their people. However, the entire point of my post was to point out what I saw as being general assumptions that at least in my experience I have never seen. I have worked for DA's in Utah and Nevada before I passed the bar and then in CA. Part of the job is making the correct decision under that kind of pressure and not all DA's respond as they probably should.

    As was mentioned, each jurisdiction is different. If you are aware that your sheriff or DA has a particular attitude, I would say use that knowledge and your common sense to protect yourself and your future.

    The bottom line is that DA's are people. We make mistakes, despite our best efforts. The hardest part is that no matter what you do, someone is going to be unhappy about the end result. Like all of you in your respective professions, you do the best you can and that is what it is.

    That is probably enough. As an attorney, we talk to much anyway. Hopefully an inside the system perspective will be enlightening.

  6. #20
    Member Array Olivia Chillia's Avatar
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    Cali-da, it's good to hear that there are (more) passionately ethical people in law out there.

    I think a lot of our perception (or misperception?) about the legal system comes from worst-cases that get a lot of publicity, such as the nonsense cases that come out in favor of the criminal intruder criminal intruder who is bitten by the family dog. The intruder walks, but the dog is executed. Additionally, courtroom dramas are really popular right now. Although the main characters in these shows are generally ethical and admirable, they're surrounded by enough of the other kind to provide food for thought. Whether that's representative of what's actually out there or not, it's what we see a lot of.

    For someone with no legal background I think criminal investigation and trial is terra incognita...to the point that we really have NO idea what to expect. Ask most of us what is and is not going to fly in court and we'll have no idea. It is probably safer for the average defensive shooter to assume that talking is dangerous and keep his mouth shut.

  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array randytulsa2's Avatar
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    You're a good egg Cali-DA and I wish you the best.

    I am thankful that you have taken the time to explain things from your side of the aisle. Your comments are thoughtful, thorough and reassuring.

    I work the other side of the aisle, but only in the federal system, and half a continent away.

    I haven't seen any AUSA's who are bent on pounding the undeserving, but the feds usually don't mess you with you around here unless you really are pretty bad. They just don't have the resources to expend, and they've got to justify their investigative budgets, etc. I wouldn't want their jobs. That problem with allocating their time and resources usually works in my favor.

    I have seen some LEO's cut corners sometimes. Strangely enough, though, they do so on Defendants for whom it is really not necessary (i.e., they cut corners but only on really bad guys and they don't need the shady tactics to win....go figure).

    With me, personally, outside of work, my contact with LEO's has been uniformly positive and respectful.

    The state prosecutors around here, while I haven't dealt with them much, are probably pretty good, too. They wouldn't last long in Oklahoma if they were anti-gun.

  8. #22
    Member Array dehalter's Avatar
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    Great inside look at a DAs office. Thanks. As with anything, there are good and bad. Look at the low life DA in NC. He is prosecuting those three boys on the Duke LaCrox (sic?) team. I would be proud to have you as a DA here in Austin, TX. We have a scum bag DA named Ronnie Earl. I wish he would just go away and leave us alone.

  9. #23
    Member Array denverd0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cali-da
    There were several posts that assumed that following the shooting, the CCWer would be arrested, charged and then put on trial.
    Yep. I think that's the safe thing to assume. If you go with that assumption then you'll be prepared if it turns out to be true. And if it turns out to be false, well you're certainly no worse off. If you go with the assumption that you WON'T be arrested or charged, however, and then you ARE, you may very well have just dug yourself a hole you can't get out of.

    Much better to assume the worst and hope for the best than vice versa. Indeed, that attitude goes right along with why most of us carry in the first place--because we believe we should prepare for the worst but hope for the best.
    Last edited by denverd0n; July 13th, 2006 at 05:09 PM.

  10. #24
    Member Array lostone1413's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bumper
    I agree with you, cali-da, but don't be too hard on people for being suspicious of the police or a DA that may decide to charge or prosecute. Here in Phoenix a few years back a man in his 70's was sitting at a red light in his car. In broad daylight, a man approached him cussing, with knife in hand, and opened his car door. The man had a gun in the seat next to him (perfectly legal here in Arizona) and shot the guy right on the spot. Blew his kidney right out of his back. The guy turned and walked off toward the corner where he came from and collapsed. The police came, took his gun, ran the name of the dead guy and found he had a rap sheet that included several car thefts and car jackings. They arrested the elderly man even though all of the witnesses backed up his story. When it came out on the news, the County Attorney said they had not ruled out charging the man in the "crime". After a couple of days, the CA decided they would not prosecute.

    I'm not sure what they thought they even might have charged him with or why, but I'm sure the guy was mighty scared about what the future was about to deliver to him. I think they treated the guy wrong, quite frankly. He was not prosecuted, which is good, but I think the CA was posturing for some political reason.

    You sound like you have the correct attitude for a DA, but sometimes people are thrust into a bad situation without cause. People don't kill people in self defense everyday. I don't blame them for being concerned or suspicious of what they may be in for, even if they did do the right thing....

    Oh how true what you said. Just look at Payson what the DA is trying to do to Fish. When LE investigated the case when it happened all said it was self-defense. The DA still wants to railroad Fish. Someone politically well connected is pushing this case. You can bet you soul on that.

    After watching what they are wanting to do with Fish As much time as I spent it the mountains if I had to use my gun if no one was around could very well just walk away. What is it they say at the border. Shoot , Shovel , Shut Up. Watchig poor Fish i'm not so sure that isn't the way to go. Bet Fish wishes he didn't stick around
    Today, we need a nation of Minutemen, citizens who are not only prepared to take arms, but citizens who regard the preservation of freedom as the basic purpose of their daily life and who are willing to consciously work and sacrifice for that freedom.
    — John F. Kennedy

  11. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by cali-da
    Its been a while since I posted on this forum.
    Yea! And we missed you! So there!

    Quote Originally Posted by cali-da
    I came back just to see if there was some interesting issues or posts that I might think about and ponder......I found this disturbing for a number of reasons.
    I think paranoia is a good emotion if controlled, but you have a point here, and your feelings are understandable.

    Quote Originally Posted by cali-da
    First and foremost, I am a prosecutor and every day I deal with the bottom feeders of society. I can't complain as I went to law school to be a DA. The defendants I deal with are people with little social responsibility, no defintion of right and wrong, and zero future. They do not believe in being law abiding citizens but merely are between one scheme or another, one hit of any number of drugs, or seeing how much welfare they can get via fraud. I love my job because most days I come home with the feeling that I made a difference in the community, that scum is behind bars, innocent people are free, and society is a wee bit safer.
    That is fantastic - as a tax nerd for life, I never felt that way. Nobody every says "Jez, I feel so fantastic! I just made the world safer by fixing their tax problem"
    Quote Originally Posted by cali-da
    While I can't speak for all jurisdictions, in my opinion, your local prosecutor can be one of your allies. Following a shooting, as has been mentioned, there is going to be an investigation. We all want that. Assume for a moment if the cops just assumed anything or did absolutely nothing. No one would want that either. We as a society want LE to investigate fully and determine what they can figure out whenever violence occurs. Sometimes that violence is justified.
    Absolutely!

    Quote Originally Posted by cali-da
    .......The victim was never arrested and never charged. I asked my boss about it and he just laughed. It was so clear what had happened. There was not a second thought about charging the shooter.
    I'm glad you guys can laugh too! It cleanses the soul, and burns calories!


    Quote Originally Posted by cali-da
    .....Conform to your training and the laws of your state. I just wanted to correct the assumption that any time you use your weapon in a lawful manner in self defense or defense of others (which is why I assume we all have CCW), that the DA or the cops are going to be a massive jerk and attempt to throw you in jail. I try to put those in jail who belong there and keep out those who either I can't prove did anything or didn't do anything period. I am not looking to prosecute people who are law abiding individuals. In my mind I work for them. Of course this doesn't apply individually but to all CCWers and other law abiding citizens.
    Agreed! Wish all were like you!

    Quote Originally Posted by cali-da
    I apologize if I feel like I am venting.
    Nope - not to worry in my book - excellent, well thought out post that we should all take under advisement. Thank you.

    Don't make yourself so scarce! Or a for you!

  12. #26
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Cali-DA...just would like to echo everyone else's appreciation and positive comments. It would be helpful if all other DAs (like yourself) recognize the 2d Amendment--and recognize SCOTUS rulings regarding police protection of citizens. Maybe then CCWP-holders, in the event of a defensive shooting, are not automatically assumed to be/treated as they are guilty , but are treated similiar to police officers who used their firearm in self-defense.

    If the incident is properly investigated, (hopefully) the truth will be discovered; otherwise, the rest of us fear prosecution from an over-zealous, self-serving DA with an anti-gun agenda.

    I thank you for your service and hope we do not meet in a professional setting

  13. #27
    Member Array Hunting Coyotes's Avatar
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    NYS could use DA's Like you!

    Just another note of thanks...for the work you do and your service to society. Fairness is what we expect from the law...whether it be in terms of an investigation or conviction. It is refreshing to hear from someone in your position that recognizes the good from the evil. Too many times in self-defense situations prosecutors try to paint good as evil...often for political gain.

    We certainly could use more DA's like you in NYS and throughout the country. Keep up the good work and know that there are law-abiding citizens that will give you that pat on the back because you deserve it...without asking or expecting it.

  14. #28
    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    The one thing you have to take into consideration is the various state laws.

    Can't blame the DA automatically in states like MA where our "castle law" allows an "affirmative defense" of self-defense. Loosely translated into English for non-lawyers . . . the state law just about mandates that you be charged with murder/manslaughter and it allows the defendant (victim) to try to prove his claim that he did it in self-defense under our "castle law" and should not be found guilty. This is the criminal side . . . afterwards you get to deal with the civil cases.

    Obviously a lot better in states where the "Castle doctrine" prevents you from even being prosecuted or a civil action from being filed against you.

  15. #29
    Member Array Fargo's Avatar
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    "Self-defense" is an affirmative defense pretty much, if not, everywhere. However, a DA who has his head on straight will not prosecute cases where it is clear that the shooting was justified. Ir fall under the heading of "prosecutorial discretion". Saying that state law requires that you be prosecuted is a bit off. There are all sorts of allegations and incidents which may indicate that the law had been violated but the DA doesn't really have to bring charges unless he/she thinks there is a reasonable chance of winning a conviction, and possibly not even then. A prosecutor should not bring a case unless he/she sincerely believes that an illegal action has occurred and that there is a reasonable chance of winning. Affirmative defenses should only come in if this standard has been met.

    All the best,


    Joe

  16. #30
    VIP Member Array paramedic70002's Avatar
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    Cali-DA, I understand how you are fighting the stereotype. As a Paramedic, I get a lot of constipation seeing my profession portrayed negatively and inaccurately.

    I second many of the comments here.

    My understanding of the typical self-defense situation, and commenting on previous posts:

    Anyone shot dead is assumed to be the victim of a homicide until proven otherwise.

    LEOs will probably arrest you until their investigators can do their job.

    Your firearm will most likely be confiscated. You may have to jump through considerable hoops to get it back.

    Many prosecutors will want to take you before a Grand Jury so that the "citizens" can decide whether you go to trial.

    If you are "True Billed", you MIGHT get a plea bargain offer, which is usually about as bad as being convicted.

    Any attempt to cover up the shooting, or facts therein, will be tantamount to slipping the noose over your own neck if you get caught.

    Personal opinion, there should be a law, or procedure, that if you are found not guilty in a self-defense prosecution (or any prosecution, for that matter), the government should compensate you for your costs. Not that you got off through some loophole or fancy legal wrangling, but honest-to-God not guilty, or found that you are the victim of improper prosecution. They are already are obligated to pay for a public defender, but I would like to pick my own attorney, not use the minimum wage defender.
    "Each worker carried his sword strapped to his side." Nehemiah 4:18

    Guns Save Lives. Paramedics Save Lives. But...
    Paramedics With Guns Scare People!

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