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Tags Amber Guyger , Dallas incidents , murder cases , police incidents , police misconduct charges , shooting incidents , Texas cases

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Old 1st May 2019, 08:06 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
But this was not a split second decision. She had to see Jean, deliberately unholster her gun, disengage the safety (I assume that, my knowledge of guns is a bit basic the hard bit comes out of the hole) take aim and then fire. She then decided to fire again.
.....
Some pistols, particularly the Glocks often preferred by police, don't have safeties to disengage. But in others it's just a thumb lever; people train to disengage the safety as they draw from the holster. I'm willing to grant that she drew her weapon on instinct; the issue is that she deliberately shot somebody -- twice -- when she had no conceivable grounds to do so, and, in particular, when she could have safely backed out of the unit and demanded an explanation/called for backup/etc.
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Old 1st May 2019, 08:11 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
....
Back when I took hunter safety and when the NRA was only about how to be safe with firearms, one of the first few things drilled into me was being sure about my target.
....
Not just sure of your target, but sure of everything behind your target. This was an apartment building; how many layers of wallboard and glass could a shot have passed through, with human beings behind all of them?
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Old 1st May 2019, 08:13 PM   #123
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If that 911 tape gains her any sympathy for being surprised, she loses it when she keeps saying things like "I'm gonna lose my job!" as the guy she shot is dying in front of her eyes.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 04:31 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
But this was not a split second decision. She had to see Jean, deliberately unholster her gun, disengage the safety (I assume that, my knowledge of guns is a bit basic the hard bit comes out of the hole) take aim and then fire. She then decided to fire again.

That is not a split second decision.
Neither was Noor's decision to unholster his gun and shoot an unarmed woman outside his car window, but the jury still only found him liable for 3rd degree murder, which is differentiated from more severe murder charges by a lack of intent.

We can split hairs about whether shooting at a person is ever an act without intent to kill in the general sense, but a jury won't necessarily see it that way.

If you think that Guyger committed murder with a clear intent, be prepared to be disappointed by the trial. My complete amateur opinion is that she'll get a similar outcome as Noor, a lesser degree murder charge that is more akin to manslaughter.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 05:16 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
We can split hairs about whether shooting at a person is ever a be an act without intent to kill in the general sense, but a jury won't necessarily see it that way.
We can always split hairs, we don't always split hairs. That's the problem.
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Old 2nd May 2019, 06:10 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Yes as I've said repeatedly until the same level of fervor for "mens rea" as a magic word and hair splitting over parking spots and the exact height of door numbers and placement of welcome mats is applied to black people shooting cops while executing no-knock warrants in the middle of the night (often at the wrong location funny that) or white supremacist running down protesters I maintain there's an icky sheen to this whole thing.
This. Many many times this. This is known as the double standard for burden of proof: where one demands much more burden of proof for conviction of one set of people (police), while holding another group of people (civilians who are surprised by a no-knock warrant, police screaming at them, or police shouting conflicting confusing things at them) to a much lower burden of proof for conviction.
One of these is supposedly trained for high-intensity situations, and the other just might be bleeding out on the floor.
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Old 16th May 2019, 06:39 AM   #127
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Defense trying to get a change of venue
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crim...ng-botham-jean
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Old 16th May 2019, 06:41 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
Defense trying to get a change of venue
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crim...ng-botham-jean
Someone will go to the wrong one...
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Old 16th May 2019, 07:49 AM   #129
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And shoot the prosecutor?
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Old 9th June 2019, 08:23 AM   #130
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Fired Dallas officer Amber Guyger appears in court for murder case in fatal shooting of Botham Jean

Originally Posted by Dallas News
Fired Dallas police officer Amber Guyger appeared in court Thursday, her first time before the judge who will oversee her murder trial in the shooting death of Botham Jean.

During a 12-minute hearing, state District Judge Tammy Kemp quizzed attorneys about the leaking of Guyger's 911 call after the shooting despite a gag order. In the call, Guyger sounds frantic about shooting Jean but also repeatedly mentions that she is going to lose her job as a police officer...

Kemp had previously asked the prosecution and defense to question everyone they worked with about whether they released the 911 recording. She asked the attorneys for the results of the inquiries Thursday in court. Kemp said she was "dismayed to find out the 911 call had been leaked to the media." The person who released it, she said, "lacked the integrity and the fortitude to honor" the gag order.

Prosecutor Jason Hermus and defense attorney Robert Rogers said that they had not leaked the audio and that the people they asked also said they had not. Hermus said Dallas police are still investigating whether any of the department's officers released the call. Kemp asked Hermus to notify her if the police inquiry leads anywhere.

Kemp and the attorneys decided that jury selection will begin Sept. 6 — exactly one year after Jean's death. Potential jurors will first fill out a questionnaire, and those who are not disqualified will return Sept. 13 to be questioned by the attorneys. There probably will also be two pretrial hearings in July, but those dates have not been set. Testimony is scheduled to begin Sept. 23...
https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crim...th-botham-jean
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Old 20th August 2019, 06:14 AM   #131
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An article outlining the defense's strategy with regard to Amber Guyger.
https://www.dallasobserver.com/news/...ctics-11735279

It is what we predicted here.
Mistake of Fact
Quote:
"She clearly, based on what we do know, has the defense of what we call mistake-of-fact," Dallas defense attorney Pete Schulte, a former DeSoto cop and Dallas County prosecutor, told the Observer. "If she can show to a jury that her mistake-of-fact led to this and the jury finds that it was reasonable, then she's entitled to an acquittal, because our criminal laws don't want to criminalize accidents. That's for the civil courts."
Sleep Deprivation
Quote:
To that end, the defense's expert list includes Charles Czeisler, a Harvard-based sleep researcher with expertise in circadian and sleep disorders. Guyger was reportedly on the tail end of a 15-hour shift when she shot Jean, and the Dallas Police Association has cited fatigue as a potential reason for the shooting to the media.

In addition to Czeisler, Guyger's defense also lists Marc Green as a potential witness. Green, from Toronto, has made frequent appearances in U.S. courts, according to his CV, in issues of human perception, like eyewitness identification, visibility and reaction times.
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Old 20th August 2019, 06:17 AM   #132
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"Accident"? It would've been an accident if she just came into the appartment and left. She shot a man. That's not an accident.
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Old 20th August 2019, 06:57 AM   #133
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I'm far from being a lawyer, but I hope the prosecution really hammers home questions like "So with you being as tired as you were and in possession of a lethal weapon it's safe to conclude that, had you gone to your actual apartment and found a maintenance worker inside trying to fix a gas leak you'd have shot him, too?". Only in more lawyerly language.
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Old 20th August 2019, 06:58 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
"Accident"? It would've been an accident if she just came into the appartment and left. She shot a man. That's not an accident.

"Your honor I was cleaning my compound bow and didn't realize it was loaded until it accidentally discharged and hit my wife in the back. Twice."
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Old 20th August 2019, 09:10 AM   #135
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Mind you, this happened in Texas.

My guess is she'll get acquitted and the family will get money in civil court.
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Old 20th August 2019, 10:03 AM   #136
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
I'm far from being a lawyer, but I hope the prosecution really hammers home questions like "So with you being as tired as you were and in possession of a lethal weapon it's safe to conclude that, had you gone to your actual apartment and found a maintenance worker inside trying to fix a gas leak you'd have shot him, too?". Only in more lawyerly language.
What would such a question accomplish for the prosecution?
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Old 20th August 2019, 10:12 AM   #137
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What would such a question accomplish for the prosecution?

Saying 'ask questions like' was my lazy way of expressing that's the angle I hope they pursue, by whatever lawyerly way appropriate.

Again, not a lawyer by any stretch myself, but to me the point of failure in this case was never going to the wrong apartment, it was the decision to shoot, period. Meaning if she in fact had been at her apartment as she claims to have thought, there were reasons why someone might be in there which didn't involve anything nefarious. In either the hypothetical 'correct apartment, guy fixing gas leak' situation or the one that played out in reality, it's my layman's opinion (want to emphasize that part since I can't claim any expertise here) that she should have done a far better job assessing the situation before deciding to shoot. Doing so would have allowed her to see (hypothetical) 'dude is fixing a gas leak, so don't shoot', or (reality) '****, I'm in the wrong apartment - don't shoot'.
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Old 20th August 2019, 10:20 AM   #138
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
"So with you being as tired as you were and in possession of a lethal weapon it's safe to conclude that, had you gone to your actual apartment and found a maintenance worker inside trying to fix a gas leak you'd have shot him, too?".
Objection! The prosecutor is asking for speculation.
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Old 20th August 2019, 10:28 AM   #139
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Objection! The prosecutor is asking for speculation.

Would pay to see CourtTV coverage that included "Objection, Your Honor : Rule of 'so'.".
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Old 20th August 2019, 10:43 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Mind you, this happened in Texas.

My guess is she'll get acquitted and the family will get money in civil court.
I'd be surprised if she has any money worth taking from her at this point. They might get it from the city and police department, however.
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Old 20th August 2019, 11:26 AM   #141
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
Saying 'ask questions like' was my lazy way of expressing that's the angle I hope they pursue, by whatever lawyerly way appropriate.

Again, not a lawyer by any stretch myself, but to me the point of failure in this case was never going to the wrong apartment, it was the decision to shoot, period. Meaning if she in fact had been at her apartment as she claims to have thought, there were reasons why someone might be in there which didn't involve anything nefarious. In either the hypothetical 'correct apartment, guy fixing gas leak' situation or the one that played out in reality, it's my layman's opinion (want to emphasize that part since I can't claim any expertise here) that she should have done a far better job assessing the situation before deciding to shoot. Doing so would have allowed her to see (hypothetical) 'dude is fixing a gas leak, so don't shoot', or (reality) '****, I'm in the wrong apartment - don't shoot'.
I don't see how finding someone unexpected in (what she believes to be) her apartment changes the calculus much whether it's really her apartment or not.

Probably a better line for the prosecution would be to challenge her decision to go armed, if she really was as fatigued as she claims. If she was so tired that her judgement was impaired, why was she even wearing her gun at that point?
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Old 20th August 2019, 11:33 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
"Your honor I was cleaning my compound bow and didn't realize it was loaded until it accidentally discharged and hit my wife in the back. Twice."
I see you're trying to appeal to my stated love of testimony-related analogies.
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Old 20th August 2019, 11:39 AM   #143
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I don't see how finding someone unexpected in (what she believes to be) her apartment changes the calculus much whether it's really her apartment or not.

Probably a better line for the prosecution would be to challenge her decision to go armed, if she really was as fatigued as she claims. If she was so tired that her judgement was impaired, why was she even wearing her gun at that point?
I'm probably not explaining myself properly as I'm in full agreement with your first sentence. There's been much to-do in this thread about how she should have known it wasn't her apartment because of <list of reasons>. IMO those arguments aren't right or wrong, they're simply not relevant. Even if she had been in her apartment and found someone there, or if we allow that it was a totally understandable and forgivable mistake to have gone to the wrong apartment thinking it was hers, the decision to shoot was clearly in the wrong and she didn't do enough to assess the situation before deciding to shoot.

As to the 'too impaired to carry' line, I don't feel qualified to weigh in. I don't know what overall LE policy is regarding situations like that (maybe it's SOP that you do something with the weapon if you're impaired or whatever, I honestly don't know). I'm looking at it strictly from the standpoint of someone whose grown up with firearms and has taken safety courses (never carried or owned for defensive reasons though). I simply don't see how she could have done close to a reasonable assessment of the situation and come to the conclusion that it was safe (let alone justified) to shoot, regardless of what apartment she was in or thought she was in.
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Old 20th August 2019, 12:49 PM   #144
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I'd be surprised if she has any money worth taking from her at this point. They might get it from the city and police department, however.
Yes, I apologize, that's what I was referring to is that the city will end up paying a handsome lawsuit.
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Old 21st August 2019, 01:14 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Yes, I apologize, that's what I was referring to is that the city will end up paying a handsome lawsuit.
I agree that much of the criminal defense will be to put the blame on the city for ignoring policy for overtime. Thus, they created the situation where the good man, Botham Jean ended up dead.

The civil lawsuit will name City of Dallas and Amber Guyger.

Amber Guyger, if found not guilty, might even sue the City.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 06:22 AM   #146
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
There's been much to-do in this thread about how she should have known it wasn't her apartment because of <list of reasons>. IMO those arguments aren't right or wrong, they're simply not relevant.
they are absolutely relevant to a reasonable person because one has to get by them before even considering your question. If the answer is going to be 'too tired' to all them, then your question would be irrelevant as she would have been too tired to determine.

Last edited by Whip; 22nd August 2019 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 09:57 AM   #147
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Originally Posted by Whip View Post
they are absolutely relevant to a reasonable person because one has to get by them before even considering your question. If the answer is going to be 'too tired' to all them, then your question would be irrelevant as she would have been too tired to determine.

Again, in my non-lawyerly opinion, that isn't the central question in the matter. Both sides will doubtless hammer on that point from their respective directions, but the key thing to me is that there simply is no answer to the 'should she have known' question which would then make the decision to shoot okay. If she should have known then it might make things worse for her, but if determined that it was a perfectly reasonable mistake of fact to have made it doesn't then put a big 'OK' stamp on her subsequent actions. To use an exaggerated analogy, if a person is on trial for a drive by shooting we might also look at the question of 'was the car used stolen' to see if that exacerbates things. But the answer to 'stolen or not' can never be one which justifies the drive by, which is the central issue in the case.

Not being a lawyer I could find myself totally wrong in this, of course. When/if that happens I won't be utterly shocked, just disappointed. So I guess I'm approaching this more from a moralistic 'how it ought to be', and not an 'according to statute <x> what she did qualifies as ...'.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 10:01 AM   #148
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
I agree that much of the criminal defense will be to put the blame on the city for ignoring policy for overtime. Thus, they created the situation where the good man, Botham Jean ended up dead.

The civil lawsuit will name City of Dallas and Amber Guyger.

Amber Guyger, if found not guilty, might even sue the City.
Only if she's not up for more the... *dramatic pause* 16 WHOLE HOURS OMG THE TORTURE then she'll just mistake the city for a deer and shoot it.

Racist apologetic across the board nonsense.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 12:21 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
Again, in my non-lawyerly opinion, that isn't the central question in the matter. Both sides will doubtless hammer on that point from their respective directions, but the key thing to me is that there simply is no answer to the 'should she have known' question which would then make the decision to shoot okay. ...snip....
Nope still not buying that. There were plenty things she could have done apart from unholstering her gun, deciding to shoot her gun, taking aim, firing, taking aim again and firing.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 12:30 PM   #150
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Nope still not buying that. There were plenty things she could have done apart from unholstering her gun, deciding to shoot her gun, taking aim, firing, taking aim again and firing.
So does this come down to basically the question of: Is this murder or negligent homicide?

I don't think there are any circumstances where it's ok for her to have been at the wrong apartment. At the fundamental level you should know where the hell your living quarters are and how to get there.

I don't want to dig through the thread, but at any point did it say how long she had lived there? I'm sure that it's been said before, but her being a cop makes this a bit worse. I've been tired at the end of a work day as well, but I can't recall a time that I've walked into a completely different apartment...and I have self inflicted short term memory issues .
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Old 22nd August 2019, 12:49 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Nope still not buying that. There were plenty things she could have done apart from unholstering her gun, deciding to shoot her gun, taking aim, firing, taking aim again and firing.

Erm, that was precisely my point. Deciding to shoot was unacceptable. And the question of 'was it reasonable for her to mistake which apartment she was in' can not be answered in any way such that it renders the subsequent decision to shoot acceptable.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 03:53 PM   #152
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
Erm, that was precisely my point. Deciding to shoot was unacceptable. And the question of 'was it reasonable for her to mistake which apartment she was in' can not be answered in any way such that it renders the subsequent decision to shoot acceptable.
"Acceptable", "unacceptable", those terms are less important here than "legal" and "criminal".
I think we all grok (at least a little bit) that Texas (among other States) seems to grant a person a great deal of latitude when deciding to shoot someone, especially if that someone is in their home uninvited.

Ask yourself the question: "is it likely in Texas that Guyger walks if the exact same events had played out in her apartment" ?
If you think it likely that she does, you must acknowledge that primary determining factor in the likely outcome is the reasonableness of her error.

It seems to me like an error that a reasonable person could certainly make. Another splendid example of why people shouldn't be walking around armed.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 03:56 PM   #153
Blue Mountain
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
I don't think there are any circumstances where it's ok for her to have been at the wrong apartment. At the fundamental level you should know where the hell your living quarters are and how to get there.
I'm going to disagree, from personal experience.

I live in a multi-floor apartment block. The floors are not like a suburban neighbourhood where houses generally have distinct shapes and paint jobs, different lawns and ornaments, different fences, etc. Every floor is decorated exactly the same: the carpet and colour scheme are identical to other floors. Every door is in the same location and has the same general look to it.

I have on more than one occasion left the elevator at the wrong floor, walked all the way to where my apartment is on my floor—ignoring obvious clues like a door having or not having a wreath or hanger of some sort on it ("Oh, it looks like the owner changed it")—only to stop at what I thought was my door and pause because something "seemed wrong" about it. Perhaps it had a different lock, or scratches and small gouges on the door frame looked wrong. Only then did I actually look at the apartment number, prominently visible on all the doors, and determine I was on the wrong floor. (Why didn't I look before? Because I thought I was on the correct floor!)

The real kicker? The elevator announces the floor number as the doors open. I missed even that obvious clue. And I wasn't stupid out of my mind tired; I was either thinking about something or listening to a podcast on my phone.
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Last edited by Blue Mountain; 22nd August 2019 at 03:59 PM.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 04:23 PM   #154
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People get too hung up on the "I can see myself doing it..." thing.

Just because you can see yourself doing it doesn't mean it's not a crime (or a lesser crime or a crime with an apologetic modifier or whatever.)
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Old 22nd August 2019, 04:35 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
"Acceptable", "unacceptable", those terms are less important here than "legal" and "criminal".
I think we all grok (at least a little bit) that Texas (among other States) seems to grant a person a great deal of latitude when deciding to shoot someone, especially if that someone is in their home uninvited.

Ask yourself the question: "is it likely in Texas that Guyger walks if the exact same events had played out in her apartment" ?
If you think it likely that she does, you must acknowledge that primary determining factor in the likely outcome is the reasonableness of her error.

It seems to me like an error that a reasonable person could certainly make. Another splendid example of why people shouldn't be walking around armed.
I can't claim to understand what the law says and so can't guess how it will rule. I've been arguing this more along what I feel would be the moral/just way to handle things. Hopefully the law would align with that but I won't pretend it does. I actually don't know. From that angle I feel very strongly that if the events played out in her apartment exactly as they did here then she shouldn't walk. I've already brought up the maintenance worker example for cases where the person in your apartment might have a valid reason for being there. I'd take that further - if the person inside was in fact a burglar and they took no offensive/threatening actions once she walked through the door, shooting would not be proper.

Of course if that were the case she could easily play the 'he lunged toward me' card. Taking that sort of action would be a clear threat and put shooting on the table as an option for me. I think it'd be easy to claim that he lunged at her when he did no such thing. At that point it'd be up to all those Quincy types to reconstruct the scene to try and establish if that was possible based on body position, etc.

So at the end of the day she might walk for a number of reasons. I hope not, but won't be bowled over with surprise if so. But in my opinion that would be a flawed result from a moral standpoint, because even if she had been in her apartment as she claims to have thought that doesn't automatically justify bypassing all basic target/environment assessments and dropping into Quickdraw McGraw mode.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 04:42 PM   #156
Distracted1
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
People get too hung up on the "I can see myself doing it..." thing.

Just because you can see yourself doing it doesn't mean it's not a crime (or a lesser crime or a crime with an apologetic modifier or whatever.)
Yet if you consider yourself a reasonable person (as most of us do), and can remember making similar errors, it pretty much is a lock for a "reasonable error" or "mistake of fact" if you prefer.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 04:58 PM   #157
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
Yet if you consider yourself a reasonable person (as most of us do), and can remember making similar errors, it pretty much is a lock for a "reasonable error" or "mistake of fact" if you prefer.
1. Well I can't actually imagine myself walking into the wrong apartment, not noticing I was in the wrong apartment and staying in a perfect balance of "light enough to tell there is a person in my apartment but dark enough so I can't notice IT'S NOT MY GODDAMN BLOODY APARTMENT AND THE PERSON IN IT ISN'T ARMED" to draw my gun and shoot them and I've been awake a LOT longer then "All day OMG the inhumanity of it all" and handled a weapon.

2. I don't really believe anyone else does either.

3. Even IF I accept 1 and/or 2 are true you can't just legally assign the title of "reasonable" person to yourself. Everyone thinks they are reasonable. Meaningless. I think it's "reasonable" to sit in your home and not get shot by some dumb broad wandering in and opening fire because a full duty day apparently turns her into a rage zombie, crazy that.

4. Yet again I wonder where this conversation of excuses and "yeah buts" and fan fiction are in other cases.
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Old 22nd August 2019, 05:08 PM   #158
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
Yes, I apologize, that's what I was referring to is that the city will end up paying a handsome lawsuit.
No apologies necessary!
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Old 22nd August 2019, 05:12 PM   #159
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Interesting read

https://newsone.com/3882962/dallas-m...-jean-killing/
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Old 22nd August 2019, 05:26 PM   #160
Distracted1
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
1. Well I can't actually imagine myself walking into the wrong apartment, not noticing I was in the wrong apartment and staying in a perfect balance of "light enough to tell there is a person in my apartment but dark enough so I can't notice IT'S NOT MY GODDAMN BLOODY APARTMENT AND THE PERSON IN IT ISN'T ARMED" to draw my gun and shoot them and I've been awake a LOT longer then "All day OMG the inhumanity of it all" and handled a weapon.

2. I don't really believe anyone else does either.

3. Even IF I accept 1 and/or 2 are true you can't just legally assign the title of "reasonable" person to yourself. Everyone thinks they are reasonable. Meaningless. I think it's "reasonable" to sit in your home and not get shot by some dumb broad wandering in and opening fire because a full duty day apparently turns her into a rage zombie, crazy that.

4. Yet again I wonder where this conversation of excuses and "yeah buts" and fan fiction are in other cases.
You can point to another case that is as unusual as this?
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