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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    The burden of proof is the same in most adversarial systems; there exists a presumption of innocence until the case is proven either beyond reasonable doubt (in criminal matters) or on the basis of probability (in civil matters). The issue, I'd dare say, is that the systematic failure of lawmakers from the oafs who drafted the constitution on down to account for the troubles a rights-based culture, especially with a right to bear arms (granted, in a limited and different legal context, but in terms of reasonable foresight about how Americans would gorge themselves on rights like a fat child with cake). We don't, in other words, have an obscene volume of firearms to compound our woes.

    As for the bloggers point; she's right to attack SYG, it's a barbaric and insipid concept (an impressive feat given the legal context is a veritable smorgasbord of barbaric and insipid concepts) but she's also noting how perception bias enhances the risk of a scenario like this occurring.
    Last edited by Ender Sai, Feb 19, 2014
  2. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Ender, he's asking about the burden of proof for self-defense. Is it something the defendant has to prove or something the prosecution has to disprove?

    44, obviously prosecutorial showings of evidence beyond a reasonable doubt and proper jury instructions are crucial for something to survive an appeal, sure. But firstly, appellate courts are loathe to overturn jury verdicts unless they're unreasonable. Is it unreasonable that someone could have premeditated malice during a bar fight? If the fighting had stopped, I don't think such an outcome is unreasonable. That's the whole point. It seems strange to me that criminal law should be distorted because it's tougher to prove murder 1 in certain situations. I feel like that's something for legislators to do, not attorneys or judges.
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

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  4. Mr44 VIP

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    Except while I agree with all of your other points, E_S, I still think you are WAAAAYYY over-characterizing what SYG actually says. In every other country and/or state in the US that doesn't add an artificial requirement to retreat, SYG simply falls under the common law principle of self defense. It doesn't loosen any legal requirement. Legally, SYG isn't all that "barbaric," nor is it based on exaggerated concepts or norms. The concept of self defense under any circumstance is that force which will produce death or great harm can only be used against the same, and once the threat has ended, the response has to cease. Illinois doesn't have a SYG law, and IL doesn't have a duty to retreat. If you're being attacked by a mugger with a knife, you can use a piece of concrete at your feet to bash their head in. You can use a gun. or a knitting needle. Or the Five Part Exploding Heart Palm Technique. You can even run away if you can. But the legal standard remains the same.

    Perception bias isn't excused by any law. SYG doesn't make perception bias easier to prove. But perception bias shouldn't even be a factor in this case because of all the variables involved. I believe the teen's vehicle wasn't presented to the police until hours later. If I were in a group of teens, regardless of color, who had an illegal weapon and had just gotten into a deadly confrontation with it, I would ditch the weapon as well. Either there was no weapon at all and Dunn imagined it, or there was a weapon and the teens ditched it. The fact that the vehicle was removed from the scene and outside authorities weren't able to immediately verify what was or wasn't in it negates both sides of that equation. So what is left?

    What is so damaging to Dunn's case is that even under the most favorable conditions to him, he still initiated contact with a group over what is nothing more than a status offense (the worst penalty for loud music being a fine only), someone was killed because of it, and then he continued his action after any threat was removed. Tactically and rationally, what Dunn did doesn't make any sense, and it wasn't "more excused" under SYG or any idea of common law defense.

    As a strong proponent of firearm ownership, etc..etc.. It's one area were I feel there is MAJOR room for improvement within the 'pro gun' side of things. Firearm ownership is a right in the US, but more than anything, the saying of with such power comes great responsibility applies more than ever. People come to embody bumper sticker slogans like "I'd rather be judged by 12, than carried by 6.." and I don't think they truly understand the ramifications of that sentiment. But on the flip side, just because Dunn owned a gun doesn't make him a crazed killer out to blow teenagers away. Or that it automatically became premeditated. As always, the rational path is the best one here, even though humans are far from rational.
  5. LostOnHoth Chosen One

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    I can really only comment on NSW criminal law but in NSW the burden of proof for self-defence rests with the prosecution, that is, the prosecution bears the onus of proving that the accused did not act in self-defence. I last studied criminal law in 1998 and have never really practised in the area, except for a couple of very minor issues where my clients were guilty and I just turned up for court to argue for a plea in mitigation of the sentence. So I don't really know much and criminal law is a very specialised and complicated area.
    Last edited by LostOnHoth, Feb 19, 2014
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  6. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Mr44, in your experience, in what precentage of tense or potentially hostile situations did the addition of a firearm into the mix work more effectively than walking away?

    I should note my main objection to SYG, besides how it aligns neatly with the American belief in eroding the value of the life, is in the Florida context of applying castle doctrine to the self.
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  7. Mr44 VIP

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    Jello, you're still missing my point. Appellate courts are more than willing to overturn improper prosecution.

    It's not unreasonable at all that someone could have premeditated malice during a bar fight. But there has to be some evidence that points to this that was brought up in trial. Unless I'm mistaken, you're arguing that the textbook definition is enough for this, when it most certainly is not. A prosecutor can't just say "hey, 1st degree murder requires premeditation, but even though there is no evidence that to show this, trust me, the defendant probably had malicious thoughts beforehand, so it's covered..." Well, I suppose a prosecutor could say that, but it isn't going to be successful.

    A law enforcement officer needs the lesser standard of probable cause, which sits below beyond all reasonable doubt, to make an arrest. Absent of any specific evidence of action, I don't even think that using the textbook definition would qualify for probable cause, not to mention actually getting a conviction. Could you imagine a cop on cross examination proclaiming- "Honest, judge even though this was a fatal traffic crash, I arrested the subject for 1st degree murder because I'm sure they had prior thoughts about killing someone..." That almost falls to the level of official misconduct. No State's Attorney/Prosecutor in their right mind would bump up a category of penalty class without evidence of such, unless there is some sort of other political factor that is overriding the law. The right of passage joke among State's Attorneys is that if it isn't recorded (or written down), then it doesn't exist. Yeah, that's a nerdy legal pun, but it also illustrates an important concept.
  8. Mr44 VIP

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    E_S, I'm not being obtuse, but it's rather difficult to say. A story that is making the news from just last week, an off duty Chicago Police Officer saved the lives of store employees (while taking the life of a criminal) because the off duty officer properly applied the use of force. He took cover, and after dealing with the initial threat (the criminal who was killed) disengaged from the other criminals who were caught a short time later. In essence, a mixture of actions were used, the use of a firearm being one of them to actually save lives. How do you tell a cashier who is alive and able to go home to their family that the gun that made this possible is "evil?' The gun isn't good. It's not bad. It's just a tool. Now, each "side" is able to bring up anecdotes that support either. How do you gauge the percentage? I do think, just based on human nature, when something goes wrong, it is more sensational, and sells more news than when something goes right. So the media covers the bad more than it covers the good.
  9. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Sorry, an off-duty what?
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  10. harpua Chosen One

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    I've never witnessed such glaring and blatant projection before... fascinating.
  11. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

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    A gun also happens to be a very dangerous tool. Also, we're talking about a police officer here who is trained to deal with such a situation and is accountable to the public. You said that guns come with power and responsibility, but considering the amount of gun violence we have these days, maybe it's time to rethink whether people can be entrusted with that responsibility?
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  12. Mr44 VIP

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    I'd say the subject of this thread is very much accountable to the public as well, as it should be.

    This is moving more into the realm of general gun control type stuff, but the point is that people can train to shoot slowly or quickly depending on their ability. Just as the mechanical operation of a firearm depends on training, so does the individual decision to use it according to the law. Are there circumstances where a trained person can use a gun to save lives? Yes. Are there circumstances where an untrained person can make the situation worse? Yes. Does the story of "hero cop saves lives" sell air time? Yes. Does the story of "grumpy old white dude shoots black teen" sell air time? Yes. But the extreme examples don't define the norm. The point of the example was not to focus on the police aspect, but to highlight the fact that if you go by the news stories, then you just have the sensational ones as examples. An anti-gun person might say that a gun is always bad. A pro-gun person might say that a gun is always good. But neither are really correct.

    A gun can diffuse a potentially tense situation just as much as it can escalate it. In US at least, the majority of gun usage focuses on gaining control of a situation as Ender asked about. No lives are taken, and the gun is never fired at all. Does the approximate 5% of the time when a gun is fired (both properly and improperly) overshadow the 95% of the rest of the time when a gun is displayed but not fired?
  13. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    Mr44, I recently spent a month in Europe. I went from England to Holland, met Watto in Amsterdam, then down to German - Cologne, Berlin- then to Italy (Milan; Lake Orta; Florenze, Maranello, Rome).

    I only saw guns on police, and never once needed them. In fact, in the dozens of countries I've been to, I've never had a need for a firearm (excepting a few official situations when it would have been nice to have one but not necessary).

    Why is it then that in America you need guns to diffuse tense situations?
  14. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    Doesn't the police force in London not carry any type of firearm on them, or has that changed slightly?
  15. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    To try to get this back on topic -- obviously there has to be a proper showing of evidence. I'm not sure how the definition changes that just because it's hard to prove. It's not like every single murder 1 conviction has had to do with a deliberately pre-planned act. Again, my claim has always been that premeditation is plausible in such a situation -- not that the prosecution should go got it and certainly not that it's what happened.


    Misa ab iPhono meo est.

    Edit: like, of course there's no way to get into the D's head in that instance. All evidence is circumstantial, and getting proof beyond a reasonable doubt is hard. We all know that. I'm just not sure what your point is; yank and I were just saying that the theory behind malice a forethought is that it only takes an instant, not that it could be shown in every situation.
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  16. Mr44 VIP

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    Who keeps saying anything about a need? Well, someone may be, but I'm certainly not saying it.

    I just reject the absolute mentality of both sides. If you want to own/carry/keep a gun. Fine, do so. If you don't, then don't. if you just want to own a gun for competition, fine. If you want to own one for defense, that's fine as well. The majority of police officers never have to fire their pistol over the course of their career. The majority of guns owners never have to use the guns they own. The time you may need a gun, it just gives you another option. Take control of a situation. Run away. Maybe a bit of both? There is no absolute rule that says anything. A gun is simply a tool.You (the genral "You" here) don't have to view a pistol like a coiled snake, that it is going to jump up and start attacking people on its own. If you choose to carry/own one, then get the training you need to use it effectively, and you won't end up like the subject of this thread because it is a responsibility. In a perfect world, such training would be required to own/carry a firearm. The extreme pro people reject this as an infringement.. The extreme anti people just worry about banning everything under the sun so this is again lost, and the extremes again take the day.
  17. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

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    because too many people have guns
  18. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

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    they have special armed units but the detectives and beat cops do not typically have guns is my understanding. they have to call in one of the armed units for backup if they think they need a gun
  19. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    I wish our law enforcement was like that.
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  20. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

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    Aug 18, 2002
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    it would be a pretty good way to cut down on hincky police shootings. at the very least we should make LAPD do it
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Feb 20, 2014
  21. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

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    May 4, 2003
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    Except I see one huge problem with this sort of argument.

    Gun advocates are trying to sell us on the usefulness of guns by talking about something that they in every other context say should never happen. If one's expectation is that these exist largely as deterrents, what is the logic behind never revealing the weapon until and unless you intend to kill someone with it?
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  22. Ender Sai Chosen One

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    And does that translate to premediation in a legal context? i.e. if Dunn pulled his weapon with the intent of using it, it is reasonable to suggest he had intent to kill?
  23. Darth Guy Chosen One

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    Aug 16, 2002
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    It was weird watching Luther where the titular character does not carry a sidearm. I'm so used to American detective shows.
  24. I Are The Internets Chosen One

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    I really need to watch Luther.
  25. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

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    yeah my roommate marathoned the show a couple weeks back and he's like "why doesnt he just shoot that guy" or something and im like he's british they dont have guns

    it honestly never occurred to me when i was watching the show. i guess my mentality isnt american enough?
    Last edited by Rogue_Ten, Feb 20, 2014