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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 3rd September 2019, 01:26 PM   #601
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
The whole "Well I'm just saying what the jury might say" still comes across as rather distasteful and sideways apologetics to me.
No, it is honest analysis of what is coming next.

There will be a trial. Lawyers for the prosecution will say she is guilty. Her defense lawyers will say she is not. They will argue at least that she is not guilty due to mistake of fact. The prosecution will argue that even with mistake of fact she is still guilty. The jury of Texans will make a decision based on those arguments.

When you talk about the law outside of that context it just doesn't matter. Who cares what the law is in Idaho of Illinois, or what the law should be in Texas. (Well, I care a bit about that last one.) What matters, what is topical to this thread, is what have other Texas juries decided. Other Texas juries in big cities like Houston and Dallas, not just backwoods juries for West or Centerville*. That is why people are saying that this defense is not asa crazy as it would sound in most other places. Crazy **** happens down here.




* West is really in Central Texas and Centerville is really in East Texas. That is how confusing Texas is.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 03:15 PM   #602
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
I don't get where you guys think that she has to prove self-defense.
I Said where I am getting it. It is from the word "occupied" in the law. Schulte did not mention that issue, so I don't think he considered it. He may not even be aware of it and is just talking to the press using a general interpretation of the castle law without looking at the actual details.

I interpret "occupied" to mean that the house had to be occupied when someone broke in. The defense may offer a different interpretation. The defense may argue that once someone enters their house with a burglar inside, then the house becomes occupied and the law applies. In other words, if someone breaks into an unoccupied house, the resident can't just shoot them through the window, but if they go into the house then they can shoot. That's not my interpretation, but it is not a completely unreasonable interpretation.

To rule on the interpretation the court would likely look to case law and congressional intent. I can't find any cases that hinged on that issue. There may not be any case law.

So the court would look at congressional intent. What did the legislature mean by "occupied"? That's not an easy question. It appears the legislation did not discuss that word when the law was passed. they just copied language used by other states.

We can look at what other state legislatures said, but it appears the language actually came from groups supporting the legislation rather than the legislatures themselves. I have dug back in the history of castle laws a bit, but I haven't got back far enough to find out where that word got introduced. I expect the defense and prosecution have been doing some heavy duty research into that word.

If the court interprets the law as I do, then the castle law does not apply. Guyger would then have to prove use of lethal force for self-defense.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 03:37 PM   #603
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
I interpret "occupied" to mean that the house had to be occupied when someone broke in. The defense may offer a different interpretation. The defense may argue that once someone enters their house with a burglar inside, then the house becomes occupied and the law applies. In other words, if someone breaks into an unoccupied house, the resident can't just shoot them through the window, but if they go into the house then they can shoot. That's not my interpretation, but it is not a completely unreasonable interpretation.
There might even be a third interpretation of "occupied" and that is a home in which someone lives. You can imagine a vacant home with a For Sale sign in the yard. That home is not occupied at all and it is also nobody's castle, so to speak.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 03:48 PM   #604
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Castle Doctrine and "laying in wait"...

How would Castle Doctrine work in this hypothetical situation?

A guy intends to rape a woman. He breaks into her home through the back door and hides, knowing that she is not home and will return. He has no weapons and isn't stealing anything. She enters through the front door and then soon sees him. She is armed.

Is Castle Doctrine (CD) cancelled because he was inside first? Does CD only kick in the moment he touches her? Is CD in effect from the moment she sees him regardless of what he does? Or what?
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Old 3rd September 2019, 04:15 PM   #605
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
There might even be a third interpretation of "occupied" and that is a home in which someone lives. You can imagine a vacant home with a For Sale sign in the yard. That home is not occupied at all and it is also nobody's castle, so to speak.
Well, it would have to meet the definition of "habitation", which is defined in Texas law. It basically means a place where people sleep. I don't think there is any question that the apartment is a "habitation".

In some cases the word "occupied" is used as you describe. But it would seem unusual here. The law also mentions vehicles and businesses. As I read it, the word "occupied" also applies in those cases. Other states specifically refer to an "occupied vehicle". Using you definition wouldn't really make sense in terms of a vehicle.

Also, this would mean that if someone had a furnished rental property with no current renter and they were there at night cleaning and someone broke in, the castle law would not apply. I'm not sure it would make sense for the legislature to specially exclude such circumstances.

Terms like "occupied habitation" are used frequently in laws. It doesn't appear to always mean the same thing. There is probably some standard that applies tot he Texas law. I'm not sure what that standard interpretation is.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 04:33 PM   #606
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Castle Doctrine and "laying in wait"...

How would Castle Doctrine work in this hypothetical situation?

A guy intends to rape a woman. He breaks into her home through the back door and hides, knowing that she is not home and will return. He has no weapons and isn't stealing anything. She enters through the front door and then soon sees him. She is armed.

Is Castle Doctrine (CD) cancelled because he was inside first? Does CD only kick in the moment he touches her? Is CD in effect from the moment she sees him regardless of what he does? Or what?
I've been considering that scenario for several weeks. It certainly seems like the castle law would apply in that case.

The same for a vehicle. Bad guy is hiding in the back seat. The driver gets in. The bad guy jumps up. Does castle law apply even though the vehicle wasn't occupied when the bad guy got in? If it does apply, what would an "occupied vehicle" mean?

What is the purpose of the word "occupied"? Just to exclude unrented apartments and such, for some reason?

These deadly laws are confusing.

This case could draw out a lot of issues on castle law, defense of property, duty to retreat, etc. I think these laws should be reconsidered and at the very least be extremely well defined. I hope this case may cause some improvement to these types of laws.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 04:36 PM   #607
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No references to her employment status will be made during the trial...

Originally Posted by News One
...Dallas News reported on Tuesday that “people who seem extremely pro-police or highly sympathetic to the causes of groups such as Black Lives Matter” will not be selected as potential jurors in the murder case.

Many people who have been following the case from the beginning have said they don’t trust law enforcement and courts in Dallas to bring justice to Jean’s family. That was true again last month when Guyger appeared in court late last month, when her defense lawyers and prosecutors agreed not to make reference to her employment status during the trial. It was unclear if that meant that lawyers wouldn’t say that Guyger, 31, was off-duty when she shot Jean, who was just 26 years old when he died. It may have been referring to her being fired from the Dallas Police Department. Or perhaps both...
https://newsone.com/3886001/amber-gu...-dallas-police
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Old 3rd September 2019, 05:10 PM   #608
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Here's another twisty hypothetical concerning CD and "occupied home".

A mother and her 19 year old daughter live together in a home. The mother works a typical day shift and the daughter is unemployed and mostly stays at home. Almost always when the mother returns from work the daughter is there at the house.

That rapist from my first hypothetical is in this scenario as well. He intends to rape the mother and breaks in the back door and hides and waits. Again he is unarmed and steals nothing. She comes in the front door and she is armed. She sees him. Immediately she thinks, "OMG what has he done to Amy and what will he do to me?" Within seconds she draws her gun and shoots him dead. She searches the house and cannot find Amy anywhere.

Amy had left the house to have ice cream with her friend Stacy. She left about 5 minutes before the guy broke in and he even saw her leave - knowing that the house would then be unoccupied.

The mother knows about CD and believes that it covers her in killing this guy. But when her daughter tells her about the ice cream trip she suddenly realizes that, "OMG, I killed a guy who entered my unoccupied home and I can't be protected from prosecution because my house was unoccupied and I didn't know it was unoccupied". The following day she is charged with Murder because CD doesn't apply because the house was unoccupied.

So, is she screwed and will go down for Murder because CD is cancelled? Or, will CD protect her because she had a Mistake-Of-Fact?

Mistake of Fact: Mother thought the house was occupied by the daughter (but it wasn't).
Castle Doctrine: It applies and protects her because she had a real mistake of fact.

She is acquitted because of the combination of Mistake of Fact and Castle Doctrine.

Or, is she found guilty and does some hard time behind bars?
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Old 3rd September 2019, 05:27 PM   #609
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
So, is she screwed and will go down for Murder because CD is cancelled? Or, will CD protect her because she had a Mistake-Of-Fact?
She would be protected because she had a reasonable belief. In this case "the actor knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used unlawfully and with force entered...the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment"
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Old 3rd September 2019, 05:37 PM   #610
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
She would be protected because she had a reasonable belief. In this case "the actor knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the deadly force was used unlawfully and with force entered...the actor's occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business or employment"
Bang! Bang! He's dead.

Amy comes running down the stairs.

Mom, what did you do?
I shot that son of a bitch! Are you okay? Did that man hurt you?
Mom, that's my friend Arnold. You haven't met him before. He came over for a visit. Why did you kill him?
Because Castle Doctrine.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 06:37 PM   #611
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Bang! Bang! He's dead.

Amy comes running down the stairs.

Mom, what did you do?
I shot that son of a bitch! Are you okay? Did that man hurt you?
Mom, that's my friend Arnold. You haven't met him before. He came over for a visit. Why did you kill him?
Because Castle Doctrine.
This is the dilemma of the castle law. On one hand, if a person is at home and a bad guy is breaking in, the resident should not have to wait to confirm for sure that there is a deadly threat because the bad guy is not going to hesitate. On the other hand, shooting without hesitation is going to result in some mistakes.

The castle law will save some people who otherwise would have been killed by a criminal. But it will also result in some innocent people being killed. This is not an easy situation to address. It is not easy at all.

But I think we are digressing into the benefits and drawback of castle law, rather than the actual topic of the thread.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 06:58 PM   #612
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
I Said where I am getting it. It is from the word "occupied" in the law. Schulte did not mention that issue, so I don't think he considered it. He may not even be aware of it and is just talking to the press using a general interpretation of the castle law without looking at the actual details.

I interpret "occupied" to mean that the house had to be occupied when someone broke in. The defense may offer a different interpretation. The defense may argue that once someone enters their house with a burglar inside, then the house becomes occupied and the law applies. In other words, if someone breaks into an unoccupied house, the resident can't just shoot them through the window, but if they go into the house then they can shoot. That's not my interpretation, but it is not a completely unreasonable interpretation.

To rule on the interpretation the court would likely look to case law and congressional intent. I can't find any cases that hinged on that issue. There may not be any case law.

So the court would look at congressional intent. What did the legislature mean by "occupied"? That's not an easy question. It appears the legislation did not discuss that word when the law was passed. they just copied language used by other states.

We can look at what other state legislatures said, but it appears the language actually came from groups supporting the legislation rather than the legislatures themselves. I have dug back in the history of castle laws a bit, but I haven't got back far enough to find out where that word got introduced. I expect the defense and prosecution have been doing some heavy duty research into that word.

If the court interprets the law as I do, then the castle law does not apply. Guyger would then have to prove use of lethal force for self-defense.
Ok, but might you be putting too much reliance on 'occupied'? I don't think it was ever intended or foreseen to intersect with mistake-of-fact, and if MOF is accepted, she is 'occupying' 'her' home.

Except that she was in the hallway, and as far as we know never actually touched his property at all, except to push a key into the lock...

**** it. I give. See you guys on the thread where she is acquitted and Dallas turns into a war zone.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 07:15 PM   #613
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I did a bit more looking into this “occupied” issue. I’m not sure if I am more or less confused.

The best resource I have found is this Supreme Court case United States v Stitt and United States v. Sims.

https://www.supremecourt.gov/DocketP...itedStates.pdf

I have not read through it entirely. It is rather lengthy to go into all of it.

The shortish version is that the term “occupied habitation” comes from burglary law. They used to use terms like “dwelling house”. The word “occupied” started being used to differentiate certain places where breaking in would be burglary and places where it would not be burglary.

An “occupied dwelling” would be a place where people actually live. Breaking in there would be burglary. But an abandon dwelling where nobody lives would not. A structure like a barn or shed would not be, unless it was actually occupied by someone at the time.

Something can be an “occupied dwelling” even if nobody is in the building at the time, but an “occupied structure” means that there has to be someone actually in the building. The word “occupied” means two different things.

I think that is where we get castle laws that have “occupied habitation or occupied vehicle”. And even the Texas law that has “occupied habitation, vehicle, or place of business”. That one word “occupied” can mean “generally lived in” when applied to a habitation, but also mean “somebody is actually in there” when applied to a vehicle.

Historically, that seems to be the most common reading.

But it is not entirely clear how it is meant in Texas law. Especially because the next line says, “attempting to remove unlawfully and with force, the actor from the actor's habitation”. The word “occupied” is absent when it is clear the person is in the house.

Is the word “occupied” there to limit the castle law to a home invasion where someone is at home and there are people breaking in, or is it far less meaningful word that is a hold-over from old-timey burglary laws?

The more I look at it, the more it looks like WilliamParcher’s suggestion is correct: occupied in this context just means a place where people are living. If the court takes that interpretation, Guyger has a pretty clear path to avoiding a murder conviction. Which feels somewhat troublesome. It makes the castle law rather broad.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 07:22 PM   #614
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That's my assumption, too: 'occupied' intending to distinguish a place where you could kill people living in there, as opposed to a storage shed where you would expect no living people to harm
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Old 3rd September 2019, 07:45 PM   #615
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
That's my assumption, too: 'occupied' intending to distinguish a place where you could kill people living in there, as opposed to a storage shed where you would expect no living people to harm
Yes. But it is a bit weird.

It makes sense in terms of defining burglary, because then we are considering the mind of the burglar. Busting into a home poses much more danger to the public than busting into a storage shed. Unless someone is actually in the shed, in which case it would then be considered occupied.

But with the castle law, things are reversed. We are considering the mind of the resident.

I think the idea is that the castle law basically says that when you are in the place where you regularly live, you have a special right to feel secure in that place, therefore you get the presumption that deadly force is necessary for anyone breaking in or who has broken into that place.

I think that is what the law is getting at. Which is obviously horribly ironic in this case.
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Old 3rd September 2019, 07:47 PM   #616
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Originally Posted by DevilsAdvocate View Post
Something can be an “occupied dwelling” even if nobody is in the building at the time, but an “occupied structure” means that there has to be someone actually in the building. The word “occupied” means two different things.
Yeah, there is almost no limit to the weirdness.

A house is vacant with no furniture and a For Sale sign outside. An armed burglar breaks in and starts stealing fixtures. A few minutes later another burglar who is unarmed breaks in wearing all-black with a ski mask and gloves. He is obviously not the home owner or the realtor. Burglar #1 immediately shoots him dead.

Is Burglar #1 protected by Castle Doctrine because he was occupying the structure and therefore it was an "occupied structure"?

"You can charge and convict him with trespassing or burglary or both, but you can't do that for Murder because when he entered that unoccupied structure he then occupied it and therefore it immediately became his Castle. The Castle Doctrine gives him full rights to kill the intruder who was dressed in black."
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Old 3rd September 2019, 08:00 PM   #617
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Is Burglar #1 protected by Castle Doctrine because he was occupying the structure and therefore it was an "occupied structure"?
No. Burglar #1 did not have a reasonable belief that someone was entering his occupied habitation. He knew the habitation wasn't his (the actor's).

And Burglar #1 was "otherwise engaged in criminal activity", which excludes the castle law. And actually excludes any use of force. That's why Guyger has to use mistake of fact. She was engaged in criminal activity (trespass, if nothing else). The mistake of fact can (presumably) negate that that criminal activity where she can make a self-defense claim, and perhaps apply the castle law.
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Old 5th September 2019, 06:17 AM   #618
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Evidently someone else read the Police Chief's actions the same way I did.

Quote:
Dallas Police Preparing As If Amber Guyger Will Be Acquitted For Killing Botham Jean
https://newsone.com/3886001/amber-gu...dallas-police/
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Old 5th September 2019, 07:31 AM   #619
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Originally Posted by Drewbot View Post
Evidently someone else read the Police Chief's actions the same way I did.



https://newsone.com/3886001/amber-gu...dallas-police/
Welcome to 2 pages ago. You always prepare for the worst case scenario, it's called "planning" and "strategy". Perhaps if this stupid bitch would have planned and strategized better we wouldn't be having this conversation as she wouldn't have barged into the wrong apartment and shot a man for doing nothing.
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Old 5th September 2019, 07:34 AM   #620
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Of course she's gonna walk. All it's gonna take is one juror to swallow the nonsense we've now two threads in about.
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Old 5th September 2019, 07:35 AM   #621
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
My answer was very clear.
But it wasn't an answer to the question I asked.

Are you going to answer THAT question at any time? Or is the answer unconvenient?
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Old 5th September 2019, 07:42 AM   #622
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Of course she's gonna walk. All it's gonna take is one juror State to swallow follow the nonsense precedent we've now two threads in about.
FTFY
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Old 5th September 2019, 07:47 AM   #623
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I like the "bothsidesism" in this thread. It's a perfect way to be right no matter what happens.

If she gets indicted and sent to prison you get to say, "YAY, that's what I totally wanted to happen omgz!!!!"

If she doesn't you get to say, "I told ya. I knew this all along."

Good stuff.
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Old 5th September 2019, 07:49 AM   #624
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
I like the "bothsidesism" in this thread. It's a perfect way to be right no matter what happens.

If she gets indicted and sent to prison you get to say, "YAY, that's what I totally wanted to happen omgz!!!!"

If she doesn't you get to say, "I told ya. I knew this all along."

Good stuff.
What I want to happen and what I think will happen aren't the same thing. That's not playing both sides.
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Old 5th September 2019, 07:50 AM   #625
Thermal
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
I like the "bothsidesism" in this thread. It's a perfect way to be right no matter what happens.

If she gets indicted and sent to prison you get to say, "YAY, that's what I totally wanted to happen omgz!!!!"

If she doesn't you get to say, "I told ya. I knew this all along."

Good stuff.
It's not bothsidesism. It is discussing what should happen versus what likely will happen. That's uh...strange to you?

eta: ninja'd by a poster who thinks mistake of fact doesn't exist. I need to rethink my life.
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Old 5th September 2019, 08:20 AM   #626
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
But it wasn't an answer to the question I asked.



Are you going to answer THAT question at any time? Or is the answer unconvenient?
It was a full and complete answer to what you asked me. Perhaps reread it?
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Old 5th September 2019, 08:24 AM   #627
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A woman walked into an apartment that was not hers, and shot the person who lived there, and was sitting there peacefully, twice, killing him.

These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

If she walks away with nothing, there is a problem with our justice system.
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Old 5th September 2019, 08:25 AM   #628
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
A woman walked into an apartment that was not hers, and shot the person who lived there, and was sitting there peacefully, twice, killing him.

These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

If she walks away with nothing, there is a problem with our justice system.
Yup. That's the theme, here.

And not just a problem. A freaking abomination
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Old 5th September 2019, 08:28 AM   #629
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
A woman walked into an apartment that was not hers, and shot the person who lived there, and was sitting there peacefully, twice, killing him.

These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

If she walks away with nothing, there is a problem with our justice system.
The legal theorizing here is fantasy. The most charitable interpretation would still be manslaughter. If she walks, it's because the jury.

Juries love cops. Even in the case of the shooting of Walter Scott, the first case ended in mistrial because of a holdout juror who would not vote guilty on the killer cop.

Not sure how you fix that. Unjust juries give unjust verdicts.
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Old 5th September 2019, 08:41 AM   #630
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Not sure how you fix that. Unjust juries give unjust verdicts.
Maybe by taking away a legal concept so broadly and universally applicable as "LOL sorry as I was wrong, guess you have to let me go" so they can no longer apply when a white cop shoots a black guy in the literal most ludicrous possible scenario but not to the dozens of white cops who shoot black people?

Again when legality has been watered down to "We're going to judge you via the scenario that you had playing in your head oh and we're also not going to require the scenario in your head to match reality on even the most basic level" we've basically taken the legal system to the "Do you want to be a criminal, yes or no, honest answers only please" level of pointless.
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Old 5th September 2019, 08:42 AM   #631
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
A woman walked into an apartment that was not hers, and shot the person who lived there, and was sitting there peacefully, twice, killing him.

These are the facts, and they are undisputed.

If she walks away with nothing, there is a problem with our justice system.
The fact is that she shot twice and hit him once.
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Old 5th September 2019, 08:43 AM   #632
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
The fact is that she shot twice and hit him once.
"Listen I only hit the black guy once. In Texas that's only a 20 dollar fine."
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Old 5th September 2019, 08:47 AM   #633
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"Listen I only hit the black guy once. In Texas that's only a 20 dollar fine."
Nonsense, thats typical stereotyping Texas abolished the fines for missing a black person years ago. Mind you there is the damage to the wall to pay for. Presumably that would have come out of her security deposit for her apartment.....
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Old 5th September 2019, 08:48 AM   #634
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
"Listen I only hit the black guy once. In Texas that's only a 20 dollar fine."
I set a trap and it worked. I knew that if I corrected this "undisputed fact" you would swoop in on it.
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Old 5th September 2019, 08:52 AM   #635
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Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey View Post
Juries love cops.
This was posted a couple days ago in post #607...

Originally Posted by News One
Dallas News reported on Tuesday that “people who seem extremely pro-police or highly sympathetic to the causes of groups such as Black Lives Matter” will not be selected as potential jurors in the murder case.
So maybe they let in pro-police but not extreme pro-police. Or maybe it's all a scam meant to give the impression of impartiality and lack of bias.
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Old 5th September 2019, 08:53 AM   #636
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I set a trap and it worked. I knew that if I corrected this "undisputed fact" you would swoop in on it.
Okay.
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Old 5th September 2019, 09:02 AM   #637
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
It was a full and complete answer to what you asked me. Perhaps reread it?
Let's.

How is this:

Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Going to the wrong door is something I can accept one can do "unconsciously" if you like.

But entering an apartment, and deciding to kill someone and taking several steps to do that - nope I don't think you can do that "unconsciously" (and if someone could they are a clear and literally a deadly danger to society!)
An answer to this:

Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Uh-huh, but do you agree with the consequent: if you allow that she could reasonably think she was home, would it not mean that should be expected to defend that home?
I didn't mention unconsciously or anything else. I said that once your expectation of being home is reasonable, is it not also reasonable to defend it?

Your answer was to a different question. I suspect by your behaviour that the answer is "no", but then it would mean that you don't think you have a right to defend your home in the first place.
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Old 5th September 2019, 09:05 AM   #638
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Okay.
Joe, you and I cannot stop ourselves. I cannot stop myself from correcting a fact about this case and you cannot stop the subsequent swoop.
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Old 5th September 2019, 09:08 AM   #639
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Nonsense, thats typical stereotyping Texas abolished the fines for missing a black person years ago. Mind you there is the damage to the wall to pay for. Presumably that would have come out of her security deposit for her apartment.....
The repairs should come out of his security. He had the audacity to appear to be in her apartment.

Mistake of fact squared FTW
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Old 5th September 2019, 09:15 AM   #640
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
I set a trap and it worked. I knew that if I corrected this "undisputed fact" you would swoop in on it.
There is no correction. She shot twice, hit once
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