Legals Unsure of Stand Your Ground Law

This is a discussion on Legals Unsure of Stand Your Ground Law within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; http://www.palmbeachpost.com/search/...dly_Force.html Laws to expand self-defense rights cause confusion By BRIAN SKOLOFF Associated Press Writer WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Norman Borden fought back twice — ...

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Thread: Legals Unsure of Stand Your Ground Law

  1. #1
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    Legals Unsure of Stand Your Ground Law

    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/search/...dly_Force.html

    Laws to expand self-defense rights cause confusion
    By BRIAN SKOLOFF
    Associated Press Writer

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Norman Borden fought back twice — once against three assailants on the street, then again in a courtroom where he was charged with murder for killing two of them.

    Borden, 44, was walking his dogs last year when three men in a Jeep tried to run him down. He pulled a gun and shot five times through the windshield, then moved to the side of the vehicle and fired nine more rounds.

    He thought the shooting was self-defense, but a prosecutor put him on trial in the deaths, despite a new Florida law that grants wide latitude to people using deadly force to protect themselves.

    The case highlights the confusion surrounding so-called "stand-your-ground" laws, which have been adopted in at least 14 states. The laws have perplexed judges and prosecutors, and, in some cases, forced attorneys to change the way they review evidence.

    In Borden's case, a prosecutor filed charges against him, even though he privately thought Borden might have been correct to open fire. In Kentucky, a man suspected of murder was offered a plea agreement because the law was too difficult to explain to jurors.

    Florida was the first state to enact such a law in 2005, removing the requirement that people who think they are in immediate peril must first try to retreat from the confrontation before using deadly force. Prior to passage of the law, only people defending themselves in their own homes, for the most part, could use deadly force without first trying to flee.

    Most states let authorities determine whether deadly force was reasonable, even inside the home. But the new laws create an automatic presumption that a person is justified in using deadly force to ward off an attacker in just about any public place.

    "We believe that self-defense is an innate human right and the law should never put the innocent victim of a crime in a position of having to second-guess themselves," said Ashley Varner, a spokeswoman for the National Rifle Association, which pushed for the laws.

    For defense attorneys, the laws offer protection to clients who have struck back at assailants.

    "The more defenses the better," said Jack King, spokesman for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He added: "Most people would rather be judged by 12 than carried by six," referring to juries and pallbearers.

    Gun-control groups worry that the laws will embolden shooters to pull the trigger first rather than as a last resort.

    "If you are protecting yourself or your family in self defense, that's a basic legal right anyway," said Elizabeth Haile, an attorney for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

    At least 14 states have revised their laws to ensure that people don't have to retreat from an attacker. Those states are: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee and Texas, according to the NRA.

    There is no way to tell exactly how many times the law has been used as a defense because the statutes are still too new to collect statistics.

    In Kentucky, prosecutors offered a plea deal to a man they accused of murder because the statute was too confusing to explain to jurors.


    Judge Sheila Isaac, who presided over the case, said the law apparently "went right through the Legislature without a single attorney looking at it."

    She said the law was addressing a problem that didn't exist, a sentiment shared by law enforcement officials across the country.

    "You just don't see cases where people are prosecuted when they are defending themselves," Isaac said.
    {What a ridiculous statement by this judge. This whole story is about a man who was being prosecuted for defending himself. I wonder what the final outcome of the trial would have been if the law was not in effect?}

    Former Republican state Rep. Dennis Baxley, who sponsored Florida's bill, argues that the law was needed to empower citizens.

    "Our judicial system tries to be so careful to protect the criminal's rights, we have neglected the right of the common citizen to protect themselves," Baxley said.

    In West Palm Beach, Borden faced up to life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of murder and attempted murder.

    One of his would-be attackers, 21-year-old Juan Mendez, admitted in testimony at Borden's trial that the three men in the Jeep planned to "rough him up." A baseball bat was also found in the vehicle.

    Prosecutor Craig Williams argued that Borden exceeded justified force when he continued firing after shooting the driver and stopping the Jeep. But Borden's defense argued that he did not have to retreat, citing the new law.

    Williams said he pursued the charges because he thought a jury needed to decide the case. But he privately wondered how he would have behaved in the same situation. When Borden was acquitted, the prosecutor was almost relieved.

    The assailants "were bringing an arsenal," Williams conceded after the trial. "It was pretty clear what the right thing to do was here."
    "Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes continual change; but this change is not [an improvement]. For everything that is given, something is taken."
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array AirForceShooter's Avatar
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    DA's and judges must hate these laws. It just takes the decision right out of their hands.
    "I can't explain it to a jury". Why is there even a charge?
    This is nuts..

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    I wonder if the DA used this as a way to set a precedent for the laws. Once it has been interpreted in court giving the defendant more lattitude it may be easier to acheive the same reult again. It didn't sound like he had his heart in convicting the guy.

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    Imho the " castle doctrine " Laws can be mis used ( no its not common at all ) if someone is so intent , so can the Domestic Violence laws ( yes it is pretty common ) . Its strange to me that the same folks who hate CD seem to be the biggest supporters of dv laws that are much more draconian , If cd followed the same format as dv in what constitutes a " crime " i could shoot someone down on the street for something i " thought i heard them say " and no other provocation .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
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    I have this disturbing feeling that the criminals are protected by law.

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    In Kentucky, prosecutors offered a plea deal to a man they accused of murder because the statute was too confusing to explain to jurors.
    Bunch of dang hillbillies. Hey wait a minute, I resemble that remark.

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    Presumption

    If it creates an automatic presumption of self defense, that is not the same as saying it is automatically self defense. A presumption is rebuttable.

    I don't know about this particular case, but could he have just stepped out of the way? Were they trying to run him down, or was he being a hard case and stepped out in front of them? Did he need to shoot anyone other than the driver if they WERE really trying to run him down to stop the threat?

    Thats by the by anyway to the point I'm making. Castle Doctrine is not a carte blanche to take on anyone. It simply removes the duty to retreat from a place you have a right to be. You can still be prosecuted for excessive force. You still have to prove you were in immediate life threatening peril. There is a difference between being forced to run and stepping back on to the curb because a car is going too fast.

    These cases are setting the standards for what is acceptable and what is not. Do you want someone blasting at your family members because he 'believes' they drove too close to him when he was crossing the road?

    Of course, who knows what happened? As usual, not enough info.

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    Member Array CraigJS's Avatar
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    I wonder if it was the nine more rounds after the vehicle passed that did him in. Sort of like shooting after a guy running away. At that point, kind of iffy to claim SD..
    Be safe.

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    OK, first I see this case is still rumiating in West Palm which I am not surprised. It is a Rich liberal bastion so they hate gun owners. I wouldn't be surprised that the prosecutor was forced to bring charges or he was just plain lying for the paper.
    As for the confusion, they only had to see other cases already decided plus decisions made by other prosecutors as guide.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gimpy View Post
    http://www.palmbeachpost.com/search/...dly_Force.html

    Laws to expand self-defense rights cause confusion
    By BRIAN SKOLOFF
    Associated Press Writer

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Norman Borden fought back twice — once against three assailants on the street, then again in a courtroom where he was charged with murder for killing two of them.

    Borden, 44, was walking his dogs last year when three men in a Jeep tried to run him down. He pulled a gun and shot five times through the windshield, then moved to the side of the vehicle and fired nine more rounds.

    He thought the shooting was self-defense, but a prosecutor put him on trial in the deaths, despite a new Florida law that grants wide latitude to people using deadly force to protect themselves.

    The case highlights the confusion surrounding so-called "stand-your-ground" laws, which have been adopted in at least 14 states. The laws have perplexed judges and prosecutors, and, in some cases, forced attorneys to change the way they review evidence.

    In Borden's case, a prosecutor filed charges against him, even though he privately thought Borden might have been correct to open fire...



    ...In West Palm Beach, Borden faced up to life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted of murder and attempted murder.

    One of his would-be attackers, 21-year-old Juan Mendez, admitted in testimony at Borden's trial that the three men in the Jeep planned to "rough him up." A baseball bat was also found in the vehicle.

    Prosecutor Craig Williams argued that Borden exceeded justified force when he continued firing after shooting the driver and stopping the Jeep. But Borden's defense argued that he did not have to retreat, citing the new law.

    Williams said he pursued the charges because he thought a jury needed to decide the case. But he privately wondered how he would have behaved in the same situation. When Borden was acquitted, the prosecutor was almost relieved.

    The assailants "were bringing an arsenal," Williams conceded after the trial. "It was pretty clear what the right thing to do was here."

    Talk about "talking out of both sides of your mouth"... JMHO I think the only reason Prosecutor Craig Williams is saying these things now, is because of all the heat he is catching since the acquittal!

    Still I am very confused why he prosecuted in the first place. He admitted in open court during his opening statement that the "the assailants were known gang bangers belonging to a particularly violent gang, they had been drinking prior to the attack, they had just watched the Al Pachino movie "Scarface" to sufficiently entice them into the frenzy, they went armed with a bat and planned on "messing the guy up!"

    So why would he prosecute in the first case, given his statements made after the trial and just posted in this recent article?

    Was he "pressured" by higher politico's? And if so, where was his moral and ethical standards? If pressured from higher ups... he should have resigned his position and quit rather than be bullied and try to send an "innocent man" to prision for the rest of his life without parole!

    That is akin to what Mike Knifong did in the Duke LaCross case....

    Mr. Williams can say what he wants as to being relieved the guy was acquitted, and he would have probably done the same thing....

    I Have No Respect for this Bottom Feeder!

    He is what gives lawyers a bad name....

    No aspersions cast to Erich and the other good attorney's who are members of this forum!
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

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    Member Array Protect's Avatar
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    Sounds a lot like Mike Nifong...
    "When a man attempts to deal with me by force, I answer him—by force.
    "... No, I do not share his evil or sink to his concept of morality: I merely grant him his choice, destruction, the only destruction he had the right to choose: his own." -John Galt, Atlas Shrugged

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    there's nothing "confusing" about it. they just don't like the reality of the laws. by law, he should not be able to be even brought up on charges, much less prosecuted in court. i hope williams/the city was counter-sued.
    War is not the ugliest of things. Worse is the decayed state of moral feeling which thinks nothing is worth a war. A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which he cares for more than his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free. -J.S. Mill

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