HST in court.

This is a discussion on HST in court. within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; How do you think a jury would look at a case involving a civilian using Federal LE Tactical HST ammunition? Do you think the lawyers ...

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Thread: HST in court.

  1. #1
    Member Array blinkstafoo1's Avatar
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    HST in court.

    How do you think a jury would look at a case involving a civilian using Federal LE Tactical HST ammunition? Do you think the lawyers could make a case that you are using "too destructive" ammunition? I bought a box and plan on using it in my EDC, when my paper work goes through, but I wanted to know what yall thought.
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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. Old saying but very true.

    Considering you are in the state of Texas, I wouldnt worry a great deal about it.

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    One would like to think that the case would be decided on the facts that disclose whether the shooting was justified or not, but unfortunately, that's not always the way it goes in court.

    Recall the incident that was reported in a news program, 20/20 IIRC, about the hiker that shot a man in self-defense. The jury found him guilty and in the post trial interview, shown in the news program, two things were clearly predominate factors in the jury's decision - the fact that he used the 'powerful' 10mm cartridge and the fact that he used hollowpoint ammo. The prosecutor was able to use the caliber and hollowpoint to make the guy look like a killer waiting to happen.

    Should it have turned out that way? Certainly not, at least not based on caliber and hollowpoints. Will he win an appeal? Likely. But what has it cost him in the mean time? Tons of money in defense, incarceration, more tons of money in an appeal.

    It is sad that jurys are not our peers, have no understanding about defensive shooting, no little about guns and ammo, and believe what they see on TV.

    So it becomes a matter of exposure. How much exposure can we afford? If this man had been using the caliber and bullet type of the local LE, he'd likely be free today.

    That doesn't answer your question, but may provide some things to think about. Also, for the few cases that turn out wrong, like this one did, there are many, many that turn out right for the right reasons.
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    Member Array Tye_Defender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blinkstafoo1 View Post
    Do you think the lawyers could make a case that you are using "too destructive" ammunition?
    Yes, I think that lawyers could make a case for just about anything. From the destructive ammo, carrying one in the chamber, carrying more than one round in the weapon. I mean, what kind of Rambo type of guy are you to think you need to carry more than one round. The fact that you carry a weapon that holds 7 rounds is clearly proof that you are some sort of vigilante!

    The trick is to have a lawyer on your side that can counter that. It must be the most humane ammunition, if Law Enforcement carries it, right? I wouldn't carry something called "Black Widow", but "LE Tactical" is probably not a horrible name.

    Quote Originally Posted by blinkstafoo1 View Post
    I bought a box and plan on using it in my EDC, when my paper work goes through, but I wanted to know what yall thought.
    Buy a few more boxes. I'd shoot at least 200 rounds through your EDC to make sure it functions without a problem.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    If you are using commercial ammunition it should not be an issue. However, it will ultimately be up to you and your lawyer to make sure it stays that way. The 10mm case IMHO was lost not because of the cartridge but because of an incompetent lawyer. How can a prosecutor deamonize a cartridge when you can point to dozens of law enforcement agencies that use that same load? It would be especially hard if that cartridge was the same as what the local and state police use in that jurisdiction.
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    Will a prosecutor try to make a issue of it? Probably. Will it work? If you have a competent lawyer it shouldn't. He should point out that the round was developed for LE. As such it is designed to stop the BG with the least amount of damage necessary. To minimize pass through and for that reason is a safety factor.
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    Anything is possible in court... what do you think a prosecutor might say about these grips?



    Evil intent with deadly handgun "cocked and locked"? What about that "hair trigger"? Did you install a "killer laser" too? The list of what a prosecutor could dig up is endless.
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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    I think it is such a non-issue that you are wasting your time thinking about it unless you are completely familiar with all aspects of your state's use of force guidelines, have read and understood all current caselaw on the subject available from the court's public law library, read and understood all relevant law review articles on the subject and have a deep understanding of the entire section related to self defense in the latest edition of American Jurisprudence.

    Read those first, then come back and inform us how much your carry ammo matters.

    Gun magazines (and internet forums) like to blow this issue up way, WAY out of proportion to its actual importance when they should be consentrating on more substantive issues.

    It just isn't that critical beyond not using handloads, and that's been discussed to death in other threads, and I'm finished on the subject.

    Those who disagree with me can go right ahead and do what they want to do...but having just been in criminal court this morning for 4 hours representing clients, I'm fairly comfortable with saying that those who disagree with me on this issue (ammo in general and handloads in particular as both relate to criminal and civil court cases) are wrong.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blinkstafoo1 View Post
    How do you think a jury would look at a case involving a civilian using Federal LE Tactical HST ammunition? Do you think the lawyers could make a case that you are using "too destructive" ammunition? I bought a box and plan on using it in my EDC, when my paper work goes through, but I wanted to know what yall thought.
    What do I think?

    I think you should buy more of it because the price of ammo is NOT going to go down and you should buy as much as you can, as soon as you can and then buy more.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I carry HST in my 45 and 9mm,I don't think it's an issue in Texas,with castle doctrine etc. IMHO if it's a good shoot you won't be indited by the grand jury.
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  12. #11
    Member Array 1911packer's Avatar
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    One of the reasons I carry HST is because it is LE ammo. If the cops carry it, how can it be bad?

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    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    I think there is much unnecessary concern about what a lawyer or prosecutor would do.

    If the shoot is justified, and one has a decent lawyer the ammo argument is not going to go anywhere.
    The man who used a 10mm would not be in jail if the shoot was reasonable, and his lawyer understood that the 10mm was discontinued by the FBI because the recoil was too much, and not because it was too deadly. That case is not a "proof case."

    I am not the least concerned about the gun or ammo I use. I use what I believe to be the best for me, and the lawyers will just have to argue, but I will be alive. I use handloads when I think they are best, and so far have not seen any evidence that handloads have ever been a deciding factor in court.

    Regards,
    Jerry

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryM View Post
    I think there is much unnecessary concern about what a lawyer or prosecutor would do.

    If the shoot is justified, and one has a decent lawyer the ammo argument is not going to go anywhere.
    The man who used a 10mm would not be in jail if the shoot was reasonable, and his lawyer understood that the 10mm was discontinued by the FBI because the recoil was too much, and not because it was too deadly. That case is not a "proof case."
    The case I mentioned, is reality. It's what happened to a man that thought he was choosing the best caliber and bullet for the purpose. The jury clearly stated that the 10mm hollowpoint was very significant to them. I wonder if he feels the same way now? I think he was blindsided in court. I think he believed he was justified and had no idea the caliber and bullet type would have anything to do with the outcome. It turns out, the thing he didn't think would be an issue was a very damaging factor.

    It shouldn't be, but it was in this case. I guess the thing is, it's one more thing to defend.
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  15. #14
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    If anyone wants a copy of American Jurisprudence 2d's index references for self defense, it is attached as a PDF File.

    My computer skills are limited, so you may have to rotate the image to read it on your computer.
    Attached Files

  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array JerryM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    The case I mentioned, is reality. It's what happened to a man that thought he was choosing the best caliber and bullet for the purpose. The jury clearly stated that the 10mm hollowpoint was very significant to them. I wonder if he feels the same way now? I think he was blindsided in court. I think he believed he was justified and had no idea the caliber and bullet type would have anything to do with the outcome. It turns out, the thing he didn't think would be an issue was a very damaging factor.

    It shouldn't be, but it was in this case. I guess the thing is, it's one more thing to defend.
    Hi Tangle,

    I realize the case you mentioned did happen. However, any decent lawyer could have obtained an expert that would have put the ammo concern to rest. They needed to know that the FBI discontinuedthe 10mm because of recoil and not because of killing power. It would have been easy to show that the expansion and penetration characteristics of the 10mm were not significantly different from other top cartridges.
    That was poor "lawyering."

    The jury might not have been convinced it was a good shoot, but whatever the reason it is not a proof case IMO. If that is the only case one can come up with out of the total shootings it does not sway me at all.

    I think it is a waste of time,energy, and brain power to be the least concerned about the ammo used. If it is a concern to anyone, then get the ammo that you think is "safe" from trial lawyers and prosecutors.

    Regards,
    Jerry

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