Gun and ammo choice - prosecutor's hayday?

Gun and ammo choice - prosecutor's hayday?

This is a discussion on Gun and ammo choice - prosecutor's hayday? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This covers carry guns, ballistics, carry itself and self defence. Could be some web digging will bring up details extra. I happened to slip over ...

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  1. #1
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    Gun and ammo choice - prosecutor's hayday?

    This covers carry guns, ballistics, carry itself and self defence. Could be some web digging will bring up details extra.

    I happened to slip over to the house earlier and, finished up staying an hour to watch on NBC, a program dealing with the case of Harold Fish - found guilty of killing Gary Kunsley May 11 2004 and sentenced to 10 years.

    This was in AZ and the case was judged I believe summer last year. It seemed very convoluted in many ways but - showed up several worrying aspects.

    Fish was a CCW, trained and experienced... his carry was a 1911 in 10mm loaded with JHP's.

    I can only give basic details or I'll be writing a book ........ he encountered Kunsley while walking - Kunsley was walking dogs. Fish claimed Kunsley became highly aggressive after presumably his dogs had harried Fish a bit and words may have been exchanged (altho it seems no obvious weapon of any sort on Kunsley) ..... and he threatened Fish - an older man (approx 40 vs 55 ages). Possibly very intimidatingly such that Fish was fearful of being harmed.

    Some chr witnesses claimed Kunsley was a mild man, and a good many others described him as a time bomb! Therefore It seems fair to presume that Fish could indeed have feared for his life but the disparity of force was deemed extreme. I think perhaps he might have tried to achieve distance but maybe too things happened fast.

    The other real biggie was - the prosecution made a BIG deal of the 10mm caliber and JHP's ... pointing out these were not even used by LE and were highly lethal - put over in a very damning way. OTOH defence claimed he carried for critter protection and so it was not an unusual choice of gun.

    As I said - plenty more to this but - it provides food for thought in many directions. Maybe if someone has time they could dig up some detailed web info.

    It highlights how we might be judged under threat, if a disparity of force, as well as choice of firearm and caliber.
    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.


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    Member Array jeffkirchner's Avatar
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    After I watched that, in October, last year, I took the Golden Sabres out of my 457S and replaced them with Winchester FMJ target ammo. The next day I put the Golden Sabres back in the magazine. I'm all better now. A prosecutor will make something of whatever type of ammo you use. It's unfortunate that the one juror, the girl, seemed to convict Mr. fish mostly because of the ammo he used.

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    Last edited by jeffkirchner; March 17th, 2007 at 09:34 PM. Reason: To add link and Blog
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  3. #3
    Member Array General Geoff's Avatar
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    Any competent defense attorney can negate the firearm/caliber of choice argument. A 9mm is just as deadly as a 10mm, as is a .45ACP, or a .454 Casull.

    By bringing the caliber of choice into account, the prosecution implies that use of a lesser caliber would have justified the use of lethal force.

    Unless you're packing a 20mm autocannon, caliber of choice should have absolutely NO bearing on a criminal trial that's trying a man for homicide.

    When's the last time you saw someone convicted of vehicular manslaughter because "he was driving a Hummer, he WANTED to run someone over!"?



    Oh, and any judge worth his salt would bar the jury from considering ammunition type (unless it was cyanide-tipped or something) or gun choice during deliberation.
    Discretion is the better part of valour; and a virtue beyond reproach.
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    Sad to think that a prosecutor would stoop to the level of using your choice of ammo to paint you as a "gun crazed maniac" for the jury...just to get his all important conviction...
    "I surrounded 'em"- Alvin York

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    Member Array Go Glock's Avatar
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    We recently had a thread in Ammunition and Ballistics (federal ammo fmj 40 cal ) where this came up. I believe good arguments were brought to the table.

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    Chris is it our fault that the State or Township don't give their officers good ammo and if a civilian can get it its bad because he will get the best for defense??
    "You can say 'stop' or 'alto' or use any other word you think will work but I've found that a large bore muzzle pointed at someone's head is pretty much the universal language."

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    Member Array General Geoff's Avatar
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    Stupid question: is it a prosecutor's duty to try and convict someone even if he think's the guy's innocent?
    Discretion is the better part of valour; and a virtue beyond reproach.
    Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    ya know I always think of this comment

    Remember you are being judged by 12 people who were to stupid to figure out how to get off jury duty ..

    I didn't make that up just repeating it

    So basically you take that quote and think about it and more than likely you can come to the conclusion that the jury can be made to believe what the prosecutor wants them to believe especially because most people are not as well versed as the group here on guns

  9. #9
    Member Array General Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry View Post
    The other real biggie was - the prosecution made a BIG deal of the 10mm caliber and JHP's ... pointing out these were not even used by LE and were highly lethal - put over in a very damning way.
    Why didn't his defense attorney point out that the 10mm was designed for (and used by) the FBI? And also that the vast majority of LE agencies in the country do, in fact, use jacketed hollow point ammunition?
    Discretion is the better part of valour; and a virtue beyond reproach.
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    Last edited by jeffkirchner; March 17th, 2007 at 09:43 PM. Reason: spelling
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    Agree with General Geoff; a competent defense counsel can (and in Fish's attorney's cause should have) argued that 10mm auto-pistols were adopted by LE agencies across the country, including the FBI.

    Problems with Fish's use of JHP. I'd put one of the deputies in the courthouse on the stand and asked the bullet profile of their duty rounds.....
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    Jeff - thx a lot for giving links ... much appreciated.

    I guess his defence failed him - obviously but - just struck me as example of where such factors made a difference, for the worse.
    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.

  13. #13
    Member Array General Geoff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by srfl View Post
    Problems with Fish's use of JHP. I'd put one of the deputies in the courthouse on the stand and asked the bullet profile of their duty rounds.....
    That's the best idea I've ever heard. I can see it now:

    Prosecutor: I maintain that the defendant was using EVIL HOLLOWPOINT BULLETS, and had malicious intent to deliberately murder his victim.
    Defense: Your honour, I'd like to call one of the court's officers to the stand. (speaking to the officer) Sir, would you please tell us what kind of bullets reside in the magazine of your duty weapon at the moment? Or better yet, would you care to show us?


    owned.
    Discretion is the better part of valour; and a virtue beyond reproach.
    Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association

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    Member Array Steve in ABQ's Avatar
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    That's why Mas Ayoob says he'd rather have a top-notch attorney and shoot with a .25 Raven, than a phone-book attorney and a match-grade 1911.

    Mas Ayoob can do something with the .25 Raven - but when it comes to the defense, you're completely at their mercy.

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    The AZ legislature passed a law with retroactive intent to help Fish, but the Gov vetoed it. They're trying to make another run at it.

    I hope they don't make a big deal about how sharp I keep my knife, or that I give it a double edge at the tip.

    Maybe I should go back to the elm baseball bat instead of the aluminum one.
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    Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito.
    ("Do not give in to evil but proceed ever more boldly against it.")
    -Virgil, Aeneid, vi, 95

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