Hollow points and other information used as evidence - I stand corrected

Hollow points and other information used as evidence - I stand corrected

This is a discussion on Hollow points and other information used as evidence - I stand corrected within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; So I've expressed some skepticism about hollow points, taking classes, and tuning your weapon for accuracy being used as evidence in a self-defense shooting. Today ...

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Thread: Hollow points and other information used as evidence - I stand corrected

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    Hollow points and other information used as evidence - I stand corrected

    So I've expressed some skepticism about hollow points, taking classes, and tuning your weapon for accuracy being used as evidence in a self-defense shooting. Today I did some Googling and in a few minutes I found two cases in which jurors accepted the use of hollow points as evidence of culpability:

    John McNeil: Was it self-defense or murder? | www.ajc.com A juror stated "You know anybody who carries around a gun with hollow point bullets? They aren’t just wanting to scare somebody. What did he expect would happen? I think rage just ate him up.”

    Harold Fish: Trail of evidence - Dateline NBC - Crime reports - Trail of Evidence | NBC News "And the jury had another issue to think about: Fish’s gun. The firearms investigator said that Fish’s gun — a 10mm — is more powerful than what police officers use and is not typically used for personal protection. And the ammunition Fish used to shoot Kuenzli three times, called “a hollow-point bullet,” is made to expand when it enters the body.
    The Juror, Elliot, stated: "Elliot: The whole hollow point thing bothered me. That bullet is designed to do as much damage as absolutely possible. It’s designed to kill."

    I've expressed skepticism that such information would be persuasive evidence, or event relevant and admissible. I feel into the classic trap of seeing the argument of the other side though my own eyes.

    Will I change my practice? No. But I now understand the concern is a valid one. And a defendant would be wise to assist his or her defense attorney to prepare for such "evidence" being used by the prosecutor. I'm also rather disappointed that jurors would apply such superficial analysis to facts when deciding whether to convict, but that, I suppose, is evidence of my own naivete.
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    Senior Member Array Darrow75's Avatar
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    That doesn't surprise me. I think most people get their "gun facts" from CNN

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    There is also the argument that hollow point bullets are made to decrease over penetration. That is why I chose hollow points. I would prefer that if I must shoot (and I hope I never will) that it will not pass through the target and hit an innocent bystander. I believe the police around here also carry hollow points. If it is good enough for the police there must be a valid reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradyman1 View Post
    There is also the argument that hollow point bullets are made to decrease over penetration. That is why I chose hollow points. I would prefer that if I must shoot (and I hope I never will) that it will not pass through the target and hit an innocent bystander. I believe the police around here also carry hollow points. If it is good enough for the police there must be a valid reason.
    Yeah, hollow points are theoretically going to have less of a chance of coming out the other side of the BG and hitting an innocent bystander.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradyman1 View Post
    There is also the argument that hollow point bullets are made to decrease over penetration. That is why I chose hollow points. I would prefer that if I must shoot (and I hope I never will) that it will not pass through the target and hit an innocent bystander. I believe the police around here also carry hollow points. If it is good enough for the police there must be a valid reason.
    True, but the issue is what a prosecutor may use against you and what a juror may find persuasive. You can be sure a prosecutor would not present these facts you mentioned to a jury. That would be your defense attorney's job, and he will need to be prepared to do so.

    I was skeptical because I had not read about any cases in which such evidence was used against a defendant, but I found several today. I was surprised, to say the least.
    -PEF, a Framer with a Steelie...
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    1. All guns are always loaded.
    2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
    3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
    4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradyman1 View Post
    There is also the argument that hollow point bullets are made to decrease over penetration. That is why I chose hollow points. I would prefer that if I must shoot (and I hope I never will) that it will not pass through the target and hit an innocent bystander. I believe the police around here also carry hollow points. If it is good enough for the police there must be a valid reason.
    +1 on this in fact in Massad Ayoob book of concealed carry he actually states cases in which someone not using hollow points could be held negligent because of over penetration.

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    I remember reading an article a few yrs. ago,by Massad Ayoob.A CCP holder defended himself,and shot and killed another man.Some lady prosecutor,was trying to make a name for herself.The CCP holder was charged..I can't remember,what charge exactly.She questioned the man about the destructive bullet,he used(hollow pt).The CCP holder told the prosecutor,he used the same type of ammo,as the police dept did,and if it was good enough for them,he figured,it was good enough for him.She lost the case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bradyman1 View Post
    There is also the argument that hollow point bullets are made to decrease over penetration. That is why I chose hollow points. I would prefer that if I must shoot (and I hope I never will) that it will not pass through the target and hit an innocent bystander. I believe the police around here also carry hollow points. If it is good enough for the police there must be a valid reason.
    Tho my edc gun is a 380 it's loaded with the same type of Federal ammo LE uses for the same reasons Bradyman1 said. If I found myself in court and this issue was brought up this is what I would tell the court. If I have to shoot someone the last thing I want to do is shoot the wrong person because my ammo made a thru and thru.
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    Any lawyer on the other side is going to twist anything he can against you. You use HP bullets? You must want to kill people. You use FMJ? You are irresponsible. You have a big gun? That's overkill and you must only want a big gun because you want to kill people. Have a small gun? You got that to hide it as well as possible so you could unfairly surprise someone with it. You shot a warning shot? Irresponsible. You didn't? You wanted to kill someone. And on, and on, and on, and on.......

    Carry what you feel works for you and don't even think about the rantings of the opposing lawyer. Your primary concern is making it out of the situation alive to be in court in the first place.
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    Distinguished Member Array Hodad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockingGlock32 View Post
    +1 on this in fact in Massad Ayoob book of concealed carry he actually states cases in which someone not using hollow points could be held negligent because of over penetration.
    Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Sounds like regardless of the type ammo you use in a self defense situation you are going to be characterized as irresponsible and blood thirsty. My choice is to use hollow points and reduce the chance of over penetration and potentially injuring or killing an innocent bystander.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEF View Post
    True, but the issue is what a prosecutor may use against you and what a juror may find persuasive. You can be sure a prosecutor would not present these facts you mentioned to a jury. That would be your defense attorney's job, and he will need to be prepared to do so.

    I was skeptical because I had not read about any cases in which such evidence was used against a defendant, but I found several today. I was surprised, to say the least.
    I've read about a case where a prosecutor used the fact that the shooter "didn't fire a warning shot first" as evidence of malicious intent/ murder. I think it was in one of Mas Ayoob's books but couldn't find a link.

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    In both of those cases the defendants mouths got them into trouble.......Nothing more, nothing less....
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEF View Post
    So I've expressed some skepticism about hollow points, taking classes, and tuning your weapon for accuracy being used as evidence in a self-defense shooting. Today I did some Googling and in a few minutes I found two cases in which jurors accepted the use of hollow points as evidence of culpability:

    John McNeil: Was it self-defense or murder? | www.ajc.com A juror stated "You know anybody who carries around a gun with hollow point bullets? They aren’t just wanting to scare somebody. What did he expect would happen? I think rage just ate him up.”

    Harold Fish: Trail of evidence - Dateline NBC - Crime reports - Trail of Evidence | NBC News "And the jury had another issue to think about: Fish’s gun. The firearms investigator said that Fish’s gun — a 10mm — is more powerful than what police officers use and is not typically used for personal protection. And the ammunition Fish used to shoot Kuenzli three times, called “a hollow-point bullet,” is made to expand when it enters the body.
    The Juror, Elliot, stated: "Elliot: The whole hollow point thing bothered me. That bullet is designed to do as much damage as absolutely possible. It’s designed to kill."

    I've expressed skepticism that such information would be persuasive evidence, or event relevant and admissible. I feel into the classic trap of seeing the argument of the other side though my own eyes.

    Will I change my practice? No. But I now understand the concern is a valid one. And a defendant would be wise to assist his or her defense attorney to prepare for such "evidence" being used by the prosecutor. I'm also rather disappointed that jurors would apply such superficial analysis to facts when deciding whether to convict, but that, I suppose, is evidence of my own naivete.
    In both cases, the HPs appear to be a very small part of a very large, compelling body of evidence. If the shoot is questionable, plan on everything being called into evidence. If it is righteous, the HPs will make little if any difference in the sway of opinions.
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    A prosecutor can say just about anything he wants, so can the defendant's lawyer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEF View Post
    True, but the issue is what a prosecutor may use against you and what a juror may find persuasive. You can be sure a prosecutor would not present these facts you mentioned to a jury. That would be your defense attorney's job, and he will need to be prepared to do so.

    I was skeptical because I had not read about any cases in which such evidence was used against a defendant, but I found several today. I was surprised, to say the least.
    I agree with you. It is really sad that the point of court is more like a theater rather than justice - finding the truth. There have been many cases where the prosecutors have presented evidence knowingly in a manner that was neithr factually acurate nor fair. They have, on occassion, even tried someone they did not believe was guilty. The Central Park 5 is a good case in point on this. It all comes down to politics and theater. It is pretty sad really.
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