Senate [American Just Us] white man convicted of attempted murder after successfully murdering black teen

Discussion in 'Community' started by Rogue_Ten, Feb 16, 2014.

  1. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Feb 18, 2001
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    No of course not, which is why I've never argued that SYG should be invoked as grounds against against any charges. In fact I have repeatedly said the facts of the case as reported would strongly suggest second degree murder and would even suggest second degree murder being significantly more likely to secure conviction. I'm arguing SYG law would, in Florida, constitute what I believe you call an affirmative defence or mitigating circumstance that would ultimately undermine the first degree murder charge. In that Mr Dunn used lethal force because he believed it legally appropriate as a response to the level of threat he felt; rightly or wrongly.

    Again, because I feel this point has been drowned out; I think the man is guilty of second degree murder. I stated his use of force was disproportionate and I stand by that. You seem to be taking a Wocky approach of confusing "it's murder but not first degree murder" with "he's innocent!" Not at all, Jello, and just to ensure he hasn't assumed mind control over you can you please summarise back to me the mitigating circumstance argument I just made?

    Because at the end of the day, four kids were attacked but one died and somehow the prosecutor was allowed to try and redeem itself for the Trayvon Martin case by elevating one to me a more significant target than the others (target and victim are not the same thing here). It's politicising a person's death and trying to overcompensate for the Zimmerman acquittal's public backlash being put ahead of actual justice. Ironically, that over-reaching ambition means Davis may not get justice if they can't get a retrial.

    You're the lawyer, Jello - if you had to push for first- or second-degree murder for Jordan Davis' death, what would you have gone for?
  2. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Oh, I see. So your argument is not that SYG has anything to do with reasonableness, but that it could potentially negate malice. I gotcha. Yeah, that's possible. It cannot stand as a justification for self-defense, but it could be an impediment to establishing (first degree) murder.

    It wouldn't be an affirmative defense though -- self-defense would be an affirmative defense (which is a defense that the defendant has the burden of proving). It would be a defense to the element of malice/premeditation required for first degree murder, which is an element that the prosecution has to prove.

    And I don't know enough about the case (nor am I really that interested in finding out atm, kinda just want to continue watching House of Cards right now) to say what degree of murder I'd push for, nor whether you or Wocky is correct about first or second. However, I will say that I understand what you are arguing now and I say that your argument makes sense. You are not arguing that he had a valid self-defense argument, you are arguing he didn't have premeditation.
    Last edited by GrandAdmiralJello, Feb 17, 2014
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

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  4. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    Ender, is this all you are saying now? Because what you actually said before, and what I objected to, is that there is no way premeditation could ever be sustained. You don't have a basis for saying so. The question is not whether possible defenses against premeditation can be constructed. The question is whether they were or can be overcome by the prosecution during the murder trial. I think they were. Dp4m thinks they weren't, but possibly could have been. You alone want to make a bunch of fiery denunciations of over-charging. You are a long way from proving that.
  5. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Feb 18, 2001
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    1)
    2) Linked to this with positive endorsement: http://nakedlaw.avvo.com/crime/mich...shooting-another-unarmed-black-kid-trial.html

    3)
    OK so this is just over a page into it. Pretty consistent.
    Then you come in with:
    This is telling, Wocky. As I was saying, any of the stuff - the shotgun claim, which his girlfriend undermined - does not actually give me a reasonable doubt. Simply because I cannot conceive of a scenario where he's either clearly lying, or clearly telling the truth.

    I should note I have, by this point, made numerous claims that I feel the man is wrong in conduct and action. That was never ambiguous. It's about here you began to remove the distinction between "first degree" and "second degree" with "guilty" and "not guilty" or "right" and "wrong".

    Yep, like this post which does not address arguments made by myself or dp4m properly.

    The emphasis on irony was my doing.
    Would it be a stretch to consider, Wocky, that you're probably too close to this case to be objective? Because re-reading it I can see you were involved in a totally different conversation.
  6. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    And as I was saying, your opinion about the impossibility of proving intent is not the same thing as it actually being objectively possible to do so. That you personally can't conceive of the situation in a case you haven't studied closely is not equivalent to saying that no jury ever could, after actually participating in the entire trial.

    In what sense doesn't it address your arguments? We were discussing what it takes to meet the standard of proving a charge "beyond a reasonable doubt" and I responded to your assertions on that score. I guess you'll have to help me out about how that was off topic.

    I have never claimed you felt the man acted appropriately. I was explicit at several points throughout the thread that I take issue with your claim that the prosecutor clearly over-charged, and that it would be impossible for anyone to find intent beyond a reasonable doubt just because you, with a rather cursory understanding of the case, have not. I continue to take issue with that.

    You've thrown around a lot of verbiage today about what you think I think. You've made accusations without waiting for evidence or much regard to what I've actually posted. I, on the other hand, have taken issue with one assertion that you've confirmed you made: that the charge of first degree murder would always have been inappropriate in this case. I think that difference in our behavior towards one another is more than clear, and speaks pretty loudly.
    Last edited by Jabba-wocky, Feb 17, 2014
  7. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Of course I can conceive of a situation, Wocky. It's stretching credibility but I can conceive of it. And I would again argue the jury failing to reach consensus suggest I'm right that first degree murder was stretching it. Until a court convicts for that offense, I'm sticking to my guns. (HORRIBLE PUN UNINTENDED).

    But you know, I called you in the irony of alleging arrogance and you did it again. You assume your long term following overrides any possible interpretation anyone could have of a case that is not your own. And you assume that you can dismantle his argument that he reasonably felt fear.

    I've read pretty widely on this today looking for something which proves you right. Most media outlets act like they're disappointed the conviction wasn't secured but none have reported any evidence of intent. Nor for that matter to the stories from the time of arrest.

    you claim it's feasible; I asked earlier and you conveniently ignored it so I'll ask again. Please make the case for premeditation that a reasonable mind could not reasonably doubt.

    Note: Restating Post #12 does not count.
  8. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Maybe reconsider this post Wocky.
  9. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    I have not taken issue with Dp4m's finally stated position. Nor did I take issue with your personal disagreement about that failure to meet the relevant evidentiary standard. Show me where I said:

    A) That the jury was definitively wrong to decide as it did
    or
    B) That your personal judgment about the case was illegitimate

    I said the opposite. To wit

    And what did I in fact say about your particular position?

    Here, tellingly, I take no issue with your conclusion at all. I don't even challenge it. The only thing I mention as problematic is the way you treat our disagreement.

    I do not now, nor have I ever, challenged the validity of your opinion. You have done nothing but impugn mine. I give you the benefit of the doubt that you have come to your conclusions objectively and honestly. You, on the other hand, have globalized your opinion so that it is not just a valid one, but the only valid one. You literally called the charge "wildly inappropriate." You have implied, in general, that anyone who disagrees with your take on events must be mistaken. You have said, explicitly and in particular to me, that my reaction is reflexive and irrational. Isn't it at all possible that I just disagree in a legitimate fashion?

    EDIT: And to be absolutely clear, you can keep trying to persuade me of the rightness of your position. I think that could yield beneficial discussions. But pretending that you've been called into correct a child who misapprehends the world is not .
    Last edited by Jabba-wocky, Feb 17, 2014
  10. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    But why did I say it was wildly inappropriate? Because it was greedy, because it set a standard of proof that was literally unprovable, and ensures that actually, Jordan won't get justice whilst the other kids will.

    Are you assuming I meant that he was being treated unfairly? I wasn't. I meant it was unfair of the prosecution to set a target which to me at least looks political (post-Zimmerman fallout) and had a slim, slim chance of conviction next to second degree murder.
    Last edited by Ender Sai, Feb 17, 2014
  11. LostOnHoth Chosen One

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    Feb 15, 2000
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    I haven't really followed this and I don't know that much about US criminal law but I do know that in some states, like Minnesota, there is a crime of first-degree "reckless" homicide, which would be the basis of a charge in circumstances where a person does not intend to cause the death of a person but recklessly causes the death of another under circumstances which show an utter disregard for human life - in this regard "recklessness" is considered a form of mens rea. So in this case, the fact that he fired a gun into a car could be argued as a case of reckless indifference in that there was no intent/premeditation but you pretty much show utter disregard for human life if you fire ten bullets into a car at close range with people in it. In Australia, this is a pretty well established principle but the US has much more divergent criminal laws than humble Oz.
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  12. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    It tends to go by the term "depraved heart murder" in the U.S., and it generally falls into the equivalent of second degree murder or some sort of hybrid tier between second degree murder and voluntary manslaughter. In Florida (quickly looked at the statutes), depraved heart murder is second degree.
  13. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    May 4, 2003
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    @Ender Sai: Too much of this thread has been taken up with an increasingly pointless back and forth. It should be more dedicated to mourning the murder of Jordan Davis. That being the case, I think this will be my last post on this issue. I do want to make sure you know what I was actually having a problem with, though, since you still seemed unclear.

    I know you don't think Dunn is a good man. I know you don't think he is innocent. I know that you dislike US gun laws. I don't have a problem with a single thing you've said in this thread, save one exception: I thought you were saying that no one could disagree with you about the appropriateness of a first versus second degree murder charge in a way that was intellectually honest. If that's not what you meant, and you simply were trying to say your position was better while others might still be possible, I apologize. We needn't have had all these pages of discussion. If you were or are saying that there is no intellectually honest way to think first degree murder is an appropriate charge, we'll just agree to disagree, and leave it at that.
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  14. yankee8255 Force Ghost

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    May 31, 2005
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    I agree with you (and more especially dp4m) on the 1st/2nd degree issue, but on SYG, I think you're taking your point a bit far, perhaps influenced by the hyperbole of media outlets like Rolling Stone. SYG takes the duty to retreat out of play, but it still requires your feeling threatened to be reasonable (objective standard) and proportionate. Nothing in the Florida statute changes that.

    As in the Martin/Zimmerman case, the fundamental cause is the absurdity of Florida's concealed carry statute. Take away Ziimmerman's and Dun's handguns and neither confrontation happens. SYG perhaps exacerbates the problem in emboldening people to seek confrontation, but I think it's clearly the presence of the gun that is the primary cause. Take that away and neither Zimmerman or Dunn ever get out of their cars in the first place.

    Lastly, on NY law, it's the opposite end of the spectrum -- NY even places a duty to retreat when you'rein your own home! In defense of states like Florida that have enacted SYG laws, a primary motivation was to avoid situations where victims of crime, especially abused wives, legitimately used force to defend themselves, then had to stand trial and have their legitimate decision to do so second guessed because of the duty retreat.

    Also worth mentioning another point I mentioned in the Zimmerman/Martin threads: worldwide, an affirmative duty to retreat, as New York and a handful of other US States have it, is a rarity. As I understand it, most take a simmilar view to England, that whether the person had an opportunity to retreat can be looked at in determining whether he acted reasonably.
  15. yankee8255 Force Ghost

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    I was thinking a bit more bout the 1st versus 2nd degree charge and whether the prosecutor "over-charged". In the absence of the racial aspect, I would say she definitely did, the remaining facts are textbook "heat of the moment" second degree murder. The one way I could maybe see getting first degree is by rying to argue that Dunn's actions were in some way premeditated because of his rather overt racism.

    But that's the thing: the prosecution completely downplayed the racial aspect. They never submitted the defendant's letters, which @Jabba-wocky cited earlier, as evidence. In light of that it's really pretty mind-boggling that they tried for a first-degree conviction. Except, of course, that the prosecutor here is fairly notorious for over-charging.
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  16. dp4m Chosen One

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    No, it's not. Not to derail, but here's the relevant portion:

    "A person in possession or control of, or licensed or privileged to be in, a dwelling or an occupied building, who reasonably believes that another person is committing or attempting to commit a burglary of such dwelling or building, may use deadly physical force upon such other person when he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to prevent or terminate the commission or attempted commission of such burglary."

    I know people assert that in NYS you have a duty to retreat, but in practice based on the statute, NYS' "castle doctrine" laws are some of the loosest in the nation.
  17. yankee8255 Force Ghost

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    I stand corrected. It's been a while since the bar exam!^:)^:p
  18. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    I agree with this statement wholeheartedly. If you feel like the the music in the vehicle next to you is too loud, the rational solution would be to roll up your window and/or drive away. However, I think concealed carry and SYG laws embolden people because they're of the mindset that they'll "win the arms race" if a confrontation escalates.

    What's the pro-gun truism? An armed society is a polite society, IIRC. Except no.
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  19. dp4m Chosen One

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    You're actually not wrong though, which is the frustrating part. You are technically correct that NYers, in all cases, should have a "duty to retreat" -- it's just more evident outside the castle doctrine as it's a separate statute and, in most cases, is not applied in castle doctrine cases. Because the relevant statute doesn't actually contain the duty to retreat language, it's generally applied as superseding the duty to retreat rather than being complementary.

    Long story short (too late!): don't break into someone's home in NYS, mmm'kay?
  20. yankee8255 Force Ghost

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    Admittedly, I tend to remember the Texas end of the spectrum better: not only do you not have a duty to retreat, but you can actually chase the intruder down after he's left your house and shoot him down. In the back.

    So, generally, don't break into someone's home, but if you're going to do so, better NYS than Texas!
    Last edited by yankee8255, Feb 18, 2014
  21. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    But where would you retreat to, the basement?
  22. dp4m Chosen One

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    It's worth remembering that NYS is broken down into two portions:

    New York State, and
    The Peoples' Democratic Republic of New York City

    While the largest population is in NYC, the vast majority of residences are still homes (because you include Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, areas of the Bronx and the remainder of the state).
  23. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

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    :confused: I know.
  24. yankee8255 Force Ghost

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    Ender, that's not unique to Florida, or stand your ground laws: as I understand it 49 of 50 states, even those that have a duty to retreat like New York, require the prosecution to disprove self-defrence beyond a reasonable doubt. The exception is Ohio (and possibly Louisiana, so 48.5 states), where the defendant has to prove he acted in self-defense by a preponderance of the evidence.
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  25. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Yankee are you sure? In VA at least self-defense is an affirmative defense which the D has to prove and the absence of self-defense is not an element of the crime. I was entirely unaware that this was even atypical.


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