GOOD -- Court of Appeals to Circuit Judge...

This is a discussion on GOOD -- Court of Appeals to Circuit Judge... within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; it's OK to defend oneself, when shot at -- albeit with too much wild west thrown in. Ruling: Portsmouth driver had right to defend himself ...

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Thread: GOOD -- Court of Appeals to Circuit Judge...

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up GOOD -- Court of Appeals to Circuit Judge...

    it's OK to defend oneself, when shot at -- albeit with too much wild west thrown in.

    Ruling: Portsmouth driver had right to defend himself in highway shootout | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com

    Ruling: Portsmouth driver had right to defend himself in highway shootout

    PORTSMOUTH

    No tumbleweeds rolled in the dust, and no townsfolk emptied the streets before the inevitable shootout.

    Still, it's understandable that the idea of men trading bullets from vehicles traveling down George Washington Highway brought unwanted images of the Wild West to a judge.

    "The city of Portsmouth is not the O.K. Corral, and just because somebody shoots at you doesn't necessarily mean that you have a right to shoot back," Circuit Judge Dean W. Sword Jr. said from the bench.

    That was in November 2008, when he convicted Quinton S. Hill of malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle. Sword later gave Hill a five-year suspended sentence.

    Hill appealed. A Court of Appeals judge who reviewed the case followed up on Sword's comment regarding the O.K. Corral. And he further concluded that Hill's gunplay was not that far removed from the 1881 shootout that made the story of frontier lawman Wyatt Earp, one of Hollywood's most retold Western sagas.

    According to the appellate summary, the evidence showed Hill was at a stoplight on Feb. 2, 2008, when another car came up beside him.

    The passenger rolled down the window and asked, "What's up?"

    Hill responded, "What's up?"

    A footnote of the appellate opinion states: "It appears that in the context of these circumstances, the exchange of 'What's up?' between these individuals was not an exchange of pleasantries."

    The passenger shot into Hill's vehicle, and Hill fired back, according to testimony from a woman who drove the other car.

    Hill testified that the man shooting at him had previously shot him.

    Judge Sword said he believed Hill could have taken other measures such as "slowing down, making a turn or taking some other steps to get out of there."

    The appellate judges saw it differently. And in an opinion laced with the usual abundance of legal precedent, an appeals judge also invoked a little frontier history.

    "We absolutely agree that the City of Portsmouth should not provide a modern-day backdrop to the shootout at the O.K. Corral," the appeals court stated.

    Nevertheless, the opinion by Judge Rossie D. Alston Jr. referred to an account of the murder hearings for the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday after the famous gunfight in Tombstone, Arizona Territory.

    The confrontation killed Billy Clanton, and Tom and Frank McLaury, three men who would go down in history as the outlaws in this shooting scene.

    In the book on the inquest, edited by Alford E. Turner, the Old West Judge Wells Spicer is quoted saying the frontier at the time was plagued by lawless men with a disregard for human life.

    He found that the Earps had acted in self-defense.

    While acknowledging that Portsmouth was not a frontier country, the state appeals court came to a similar decision in Quinton S. Hill v. the Commonwealth. The appeals court determined Hill's action to be justifiable self-defense and overturned the conviction.
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    Senior Member Array Curt58's Avatar
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    Wonder what the rest of the story is with the aggressor.
    Wondering if he was ever caught, prosecuted and punished?

    If he had already shot Mr. Hill before I would think he could easily claim self defense since the BG already tried to kill him once.

    Wonder if the BG was hit from return fire?

    Itís early and Iím full of questions instead of Coffee!

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    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Sounds like 2 gangbangers,and one claimed self defense since he was shot at first,
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt58 View Post
    Wonder what the rest of the story is with the aggressor.
    Wondering if he was ever caught, prosecuted and punished?

    If he had already shot Mr. Hill before I would think he could easily claim self defense since the BG already tried to kill him once.

    Wonder if the BG was hit from return fire?

    It’s early and I’m full of questions instead of Coffee!
    A bit more detail at the following:

    http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinio...wp/0186091.pdf

    BTW -- I did a search on Thomas Chavis (the other shooter) and found nothing connected to this case.

    BTW2 -- Although this case "carries no precedential value" it is a very good read and it does quote from any number of case and provide references for those case which do "carry precedential value" in Virginia on the issues of self-defense e.g. when there is or is not a "Duty to Retreat" & "Innocent Bystander"

    If you have any questions of "Stand your ground in Virginia" this is a good one.

    It is also one of the few examples of why we need a "Castle Doctrine" law here in Virginia -- IMHO. Even though case law is right on and an anti-gun Tidewater judge might misapply statutory law, also.

    BTW3 -- This case "carries no precedential value" because nothing in the law changes. Sort of like it might be, if we had instant replay in baseball -- "First base ump, you saw that one wrong." Not like "You don't understand the rules." or "The rules change because...."
    Last edited by DaveH; June 5th, 2010 at 10:07 AM. Reason: Added BTW2.
    Μολὼν λαβέ

    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    What's up?

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    ^^^^ Whats up???? ; )
    A Native Floridian = RARE


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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    What's up?
    Not sure I understand the question.

    But, IMHO, it's just another Tidewater anti-RKBA judge being taken to the woodshed because of his opinions (contrary to State Case Law) on the issue of the issue of "Duty to Retreat" -- i.e.,

    In its principal application, the doctrine of self-defense, a branch of the broader rule of necessity[,] is a possible defense to charges of unlawful contact ranging from simple assault through murder.... The common law of Virginia ‘has long recognized that a person who reasonably apprehends bodily harm by another is privileged to exercise reasonable force to repel the assault.’.... to repel such assault by all the force he deemed necessary, ... [and to] become the assailant, inflicting bodily wounds until his person was out of danger.... If a self-defense claim is proved, the accused is entitled to an acquittal.... Justifiable self-defense arises when the defendant is completely without fault... In such a case, the defendant need not retreat, but is permitted to stand his ground and repel the attack by force, including deadly force, if it is necessary.
    Μολὼν λαβέ

    I'm just one root in a grassroots organization. No one should assume that I speak for the VCDL.

    I am neither an attorney-at-law nor I do play one on television or on the internet. No one should assumes my opinion is legal advice.

    Veni, Vidi, Velcro

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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukalmighty View Post
    Sounds like 2 gangbangers,and one claimed self defense since he was shot at first,
    If I were on a jury he would go free. Self defense should be available to everyone.

    Michael

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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    If I were on a jury he would go free. Self defense should be available to everyone.

    Michael
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    Quote Originally Posted by MitchellCT View Post
    What's up?


    Watch it there partner, them's fightin' words! "You gunna skin that Smoke Wagon, ur just stand there and bleed?"
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

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    Here, they changed the Castle Doctrine laws to include, being able to defend one's self when in one's car .... and having someone entering the car, or shooting into the car, where an immediate threat of serious injury or death .......

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveH View Post
    Not sure I understand the question.

    See above: A footnote of the appellate opinion states: "It appears that in the context of these circumstances, the exchange of 'What's up?' between these individuals was not an exchange of pleasantries."

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