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Thread: Florida stand your ground law finally works!

  1. #1
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Florida stand your ground law finally works!

    It seems like every instance of this law involves someone who gets aggressive towards someone else and then winds up in a bad situation where they feel that their best option is to pull a gun on the person to whom they were aggressive. Finally a story where the aggressor got what he deserved from someone who stood their ground.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/08/30/us/st...ver/index.html

  2. #2
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    In general, I don't much hold with the thinking that a person going about their business lawfully should have a "duty to retreat" when faced with unlawful aggression.

    I am familiar with a much older case from the East Coast in which a single mother was successfully prosecuted and convicted after she shot a home invader. She had retreated with her small child to the basement, and when the intruder came down the stairs, dealt with her problem.

    The prosecution argued that she could have put her child through the basement well window, and then crawled out herself. She had not fully exercised her duty to retreat.

    That seems an absurd outcome.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    I agree regarding your particular story. However it doesnt seem to bear much semblance to the current stand your ground stories eminating from florida on a semi-regular basis.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp1 View Post
    I agree regarding your particular story. However it doesnt seem to bear much semblance to the current stand your ground stories eminating from florida on a semi-regular basis.
    No, Florida seems quite an odd place. Based purely on skimming the media accounts, if I were on a jury I would likely vote to convict many of the Florida "stand your grounders". My state doesn't have as codified a "stand your grand" law, but it has been the law here since the 1950s that you have no duty to retreat if you are lawfully going about your business. And we have *very* strong laws and jury instructions about use-of-force in self-defense if a felony is being committed. We don't seem to have the same issues here as Florida.

    I've carried a firearm almost every day in CA and WA for 30+ years, and haven't ever had to shoot anyone. I've had to *begin* to shoot someone a few times, but the situation then resolved itself before any paperwork was required.

    WTF would you want to shoot someone in the first place? It's messy in so many ways.

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    Having a gun in your home is one thing but to being carrying it in public a innocent person is more likely to be shot by a person trying to help.

  6. #6
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    Bae, the case against the mom was horrible. She saved herself and the life of her son. Convicting her was horrible.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    Every incident has its details which the media doesn’t necessarily clearly define in its reporting. Reading news accounts is sketchy at best. Even sitting every day in the court proceedings, one does not get the “real scoop” because due to legal requirements some of the information doesn’t get made part of the record. You are left with some impressions that may not be true. The “stand your ground” laws have developed as a result of over zealous prosecuting attorneys taking cases to court and ruining the lives of really unfortunate people who were going about there lives honestly just as you do every day.

    Here is a real example. In a very rural area of Pennsylvania, an elderly man goes to bed. He wakes up and realizes someone is trying to kick in his locked front entry door. He grabs a shotgun and stands behind the door yelling for the actor to stop. He doesn’t and before the police can arrive, the door is About ready to fail. The elderly man fears that his life is in imminent danger and shoots through the door killing the actor. It’s later determined through further investigation that the actor was extremely intoxicated and thought he was trying to get into his own house which was nearby. The elderly man was arrested and found not guilty of homicide due it would seem to stand your ground defense.

    The following is just a part of the Pennsylvania statute on justification of use of force. It is quite a neat trick sometimes to apply such a law to every situation. Our bill of Rights and jury system protects us from over zealous prosecution. When people are placed in demanding and stressful situations that necessitate an immediate response, they are shielded from unnecessary prosecution by the “stand your ground laws”. I feel sorry for the Uber driver. He faces a life of regret, remorse and second guessing for the rest of his life. Taking a life with a firearm is not in the end a satisfying feeling. No matter what the circumstances. That is why I do not carry anymore only on rare occasions even though I am licensed to do so anywhere in the US.

    2.3) An actor who is not engaged in a criminal activity, who is not in illegal possession of a firearm and who is attacked in any place where the actor would have a duty to retreat under paragraph (2)(ii) has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and use force, including deadly force, if:
    (i) the actor has a right to be in the place where he was attacked;
    (ii) the actor believes it is immediately necessary to do so to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse by force or threat; and
    (iii) the person against whom the force is used displays or otherwise uses:
    (A) a firearm or replica of a firearm as defined in 42 Pa.C.S. 9712 (relating to sentences for offenses committed with firearms); or
    (B) any other weapon readily or apparently capable of lethal use.
    (2.4) The exception to the duty to retreat set forth under paragraph (2.3) does not apply if the person against whom the force is used is a peace officer acting in the performance of his official duties and the actor using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a peace officer.
    (2.5) Unless one of the exceptions under paragraph (2.2) applies, a person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter an actor's dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle or removes or attempts to remove another against that other's will from the actor's dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit:
    (i) an act resulting in death or serious bodily injury; or
    (ii) kidnapping or sexual intercourse by force or threat.
    (2.6) A public officer justified in using force in the performance of his duties or a person justified in using force in his assistance or a person justified in using force in making an arrest or preventing an escape is not obliged to desist from efforts to perform such duty, effect such arrest or prevent such escape because of resistance or threatened resistance by or on behalf of the person against whom such action is directed.
    (3) Except as otherwise required by this subsection, a person employing protective force may estimate the necessity thereof under the circumstances as he believes them to be when the force is used, without retreating, surrendering possession, doing any other act which he has no legal duty to do or abstaining from any lawful action.

  8. #8
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    I was appalled at the story of the man in Florida who shot the man who pushed him down because he (the concealed carrier) had verbally accosted his wife in a convenience store parking lot.

    WS, I completely agree that every story has it's nuances that never emerge in the media, but given there's video footage of this case, what's your interpretation?

    You are probably already well aware of the story but here it is. They have since arrested the shooter after many protests.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDtzofAUSJI
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
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    What was said between the participants is a key part which the video doesn’t address. I imagine the pusher said something threatening. Take the gun away from the scenario and the person who was pushed is very exposed and at the mercy of the pusher. He could have easily been beaten and kicked to death. Did the shooter need to shoot? I guess that a prosecutor is going try to convince a jury he didn’t. Not sure.

  10. #10
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Maybe it's a victory for the stand your ground folks, but Westlake has to live forever with the fact that he killed an unarmed man. The girlfriend will probably sue him. Sounds like a recipe for PTSD to me. (I don't blame Westlake--it's like one of those law enforcement tests where you have to act fast, but still...)

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