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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 26th August 2019, 09:02 AM   #361
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Not exactly. If you conclude from the available information that you have good reason, then it's not necessarily a crime, even it it turns out that you were working with faulty or incomplete information.
That's exactly what I said.
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Old 26th August 2019, 09:15 AM   #362
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
While Guyger did probably intend to kill the man (in a technically correct is the worst kind of correct sort of way), I don't think it's murder. Not unless she knew it was his apartment, knew he wasn't a threat, and intended to kill him anyway.
It should make absolutely no difference. She murdered a man in his apartment that was no threat to anyone or anything because she was either negligent or entirely too stupid to find her own apartment. Either way her carelessness cost a man his life, and she belongs in prison for it.

It's my hope that she spends at least the next 20 years of her life thinking about it while admiring her orange jumpsuit.
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Old 26th August 2019, 09:25 AM   #363
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
That's exactly what I said.
I make a distinction between having a good reason and thinking you have a good reason when you don't.

So I think it's not exactly what you said. You said it's not a crime if you have a good reason. I say it's not a crime if you reasonably believe you have a good reason, even when you don't.
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Old 26th August 2019, 09:26 AM   #364
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
It should make absolutely no difference. She murdered a man
Calling it murder begs exactly the questions of knowledge and intent that are in dispute.
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Old 26th August 2019, 09:31 AM   #365
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Calling it murder begs exactly the questions of knowledge and intent that are in dispute.
No, it doesn't. Negligent homicide is still homicide by definition:

Quote:
the deliberate and unlawful killing of one person by another; murder.
There is no doubt that she deliberately shot Botham to kill him. She didn't fire once, she fired twice. You can certainly argue intent, but there is absolutely zero doubt that she is guilty of negligent homicide at the very least.
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Old 26th August 2019, 09:38 AM   #366
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
What do you mean "nope"? Where are we disagreeing, exactly?
Your opening paragraph. It makes not one iota difference whether her initial mistake was reasonable or not. She isn't on trial for trespassing, she is on trial for making the decision to kill Jean.
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Old 26th August 2019, 09:41 AM   #367
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Calling it murder begs exactly the questions of knowledge and intent that are in dispute.
She intended to kill him, her intent when she drew her gun, aimed, fired, aimed again and fired again was to kill him. She wouldn't have shot him otherwise.
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Old 26th August 2019, 09:50 AM   #368
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I make a distinction between having a good reason and thinking you have a good reason when you don't.

So I think it's not exactly what you said. You said it's not a crime if you have a good reason. I say it's not a crime if you reasonably believe you have a good reason, even when you don't.
https://sharpcriminalattorney.com/bl...-consequences/

Quote:
Criminally Negligent Homicide vs. Manslaughter
Criminally negligent homicide is similar to another criminal offense known as manslaughter. In terms of punishment, criminally negligent homicide is not as severe as manslaughter. However, these two charges share some characteristics.

For example, they both involve the killing of another person without the element of premeditation. Manslaughter, however, refers to the death of another person caused by recklessness. A person who commits a “heat of passion” killing may be charged with manslaughter because they acted with disregard for another person’s life, even though they did not plan to. Also, a person who fires a gun randomly and kills another person may be charged with manslaughter because they recklessly disregarded gun safety.

Criminally negligent homicide is a distinct charge because it refers to a death that is caused by a person who omitted certain actions even though they should know better. For example, a person who fails to help a person that they have injured may be charged with this offense if that person dies as a result of their injury.
Manslaughter seems to fit the case better than criminally-negligent homicide.
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Last edited by jimbob; 26th August 2019 at 09:52 AM.
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Old 26th August 2019, 09:53 AM   #369
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And we're right back to what even is a crime when you can just go "I thought the situation was different" to something of this magnitude.
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Old 26th August 2019, 10:07 AM   #370
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
https://sharpcriminalattorney.com/bl...-consequences/

Manslaughter seems to fit the case better than criminally-negligent homicide.
But she didn't fire the gun randomly. She fired it with a specific intent, and that intent was to kill someone.
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Old 26th August 2019, 10:22 AM   #371
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I make a distinction between having a good reason and thinking you have a good reason when you don't.
I don't. If you can be judged to have a reasonable suspicion that something is true, then that's good enough for me. In this specific case it does not clear that bar.
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Old 26th August 2019, 10:23 AM   #372
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Your opening paragraph. It makes not one iota difference whether her initial mistake was reasonable or not. She isn't on trial for trespassing, she is on trial for making the decision to kill Jean.
Except that whether she was reasonable in her expectation to be at her home is central to that question. If she was (she wasn't) then she could be expected to defend her home.

Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And we're right back to what even is a crime when you can just go "I thought the situation was different" to something of this magnitude.
If her expectation was reasonable, which it wasn't.
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Old 26th August 2019, 10:27 AM   #373
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I'd say there's a relative difference between shooting to kill someone you assumed was out to harm you without do anything to verify, and shooting to kill someone whom you knew wasn't a threat just because you wanted them dead.

The baseline for what she did here was totally unacceptable. I don't know what specific charge it should be, but her actions were clearly in the wrong. However if for example she went to his apartment and intentionally shot him dead because he was playing his stereo too loud that would be worse than what actually happened here, at least in my opinion. Saying 'x is worse than y' doesn't mean y is just hunky dory.

Actions aren't a simple binary 'okay/not okay'. What happened in this case is not even remotely okay, but it could have been something worse. I'd hate to see her get overcharged with that 'could have been worse' (say with something involving premeditation) and walk because she didn't technically meet that higher bar.
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Old 26th August 2019, 10:32 AM   #374
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
Actions aren't a simple binary 'okay/not okay'. What happened in this case is not even remotely okay, but it could have been something worse. I'd hate to see her get overcharged with that 'could have been worse' (say with something involving premeditation) and walk because she didn't technically meet that higher bar.
I may be wrong about this, I'll let someone correct me if I am, but the jury can decide to charge with something other than what the prosecution comes with. I know that there have been a few situations where a person has been charged with crime x but got convicted of the lesser charge of crime y because the jury decide it that way. So I don't think they have to worry about overcharging and coming away with nothing. They can shoot for the stars and take what they get, I guess.
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Old 26th August 2019, 10:37 AM   #375
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
And we're right back to what even is a crime when you can just go "I thought the situation was different" to something of this magnitude.
I'd say we're at "what crime was actually committed?"

If she knew where she was and who she was shooting, it's murder.

If she should have known where she was, etc., but didn't, then it's some form of criminal negligence.

If she didn't know where she was, etc., then it still might be criminal negligence, but maybe not, depending on the details and what the jury thinks of her argument.
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:19 AM   #376
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'd say we're at "what crime was actually committed?"

If she knew where she was and who she was shooting, it's murder.

If she should have known where she was, etc., but didn't, then it's some form of criminal negligence.

If she didn't know where she was, etc., then it still might be criminal negligence, but maybe not, depending on the details and what the jury thinks of her argument.
You missed out manslaughter. If firing a gun randomly and recklessly killing someone is manslaughter, then what she did was worse.
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:28 AM   #377
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Originally Posted by plague311 View Post
But she didn't fire the gun randomly. She fired it with a specific intent, and that intent was to kill someone.
True, but it certainly fits with at least manslaughter.
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:42 AM   #378
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Peter: Man this is worse then going deer hunting with Dick Cheney.
*Cut to Peter and Cheney standing in a field dressed in hunting garb*
Peter: So are you all set to go hunting?
*Cheney raises his gun, shoots Peter several times in the face and chest. Peter falls forward and Cheney shoots him several more times in the back*
Cheney: Sorry, thought you were a deer.
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:44 AM   #379
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'd say we're at "what crime was actually committed?"

If she knew where she was and who she was shooting, it's murder.

If she should have known where she was, etc., but didn't, then it's some form of criminal negligence.

If she didn't know where she was, etc., then it still might be criminal negligence, but maybe not, depending on the details and what the jury thinks of her argument.
And if she couldn't be bothered to care one way or the other but decided to kill whoever it was anyway, on property she did not even own, murder 2.
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:50 AM   #380
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These Yosemite Sam fantasies are great till you kill the plumber in your apartment building. Then maybe you stop and think about how good an idea these OK Corral laws in Texas are. Hopefully the people of Texas will consider this, much like other countries who clamp down on guns when they hit their bad scenarios.
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:54 AM   #381
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
True, but it certainly fits with at least manslaughter.
As has been noted, "manslaughter" in Texas doesn't mean what it may mean in some other states. Deliberately pointing a gun at someone and shooting at them twice is not just "reckless," like say, drunk driving or cleaning a loaded gun in a crowded room. It is intent to kill, and murder is the right charge.

https://www.medlinfirm.com/blog/the-...rder-in-texas/
https://www.jedsilverman.com/blog/20...rges-in-texas/
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Old 26th August 2019, 12:03 PM   #382
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
These Yosemite Sam fantasies are great till you kill the plumber in your apartment building. Then maybe you stop and think about how good an idea these OK Corral laws in Texas are. Hopefully the people of Texas will consider this, much like other countries who clamp down on guns when they hit their bad scenarios.
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Old 26th August 2019, 12:05 PM   #383
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
These Yosemite Sam fantasies are great till you kill the plumber in your apartment building. Then maybe you stop and think about how good an idea these OK Corral laws in Texas are. Hopefully the people of Texas will consider this, much like other countries who clamp down on guns when they hit their bad scenarios.
The closest thing to an OK Corral law was actually one banning weapons in the town of Tombstone, actually. So not a great choice by you.
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Old 26th August 2019, 12:08 PM   #384
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
You missed out manslaughter. If firing a gun randomly and recklessly killing someone is manslaughter, then what she did was worse.
What's worse? Firing recklessly, or firing mindfully based on faulty information?
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Old 26th August 2019, 12:21 PM   #385
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
The closest thing to an OK Corral law was actually one banning weapons in the town of Tombstone, actually. So not a great choice by you.
Thought I was going to get read the riot act for doubling the 'r' in corral. Near miss, that
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Old 26th August 2019, 12:42 PM   #386
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Thought I was going to get read the riot act for doubling the 'r' in corral. Near miss, that
I am often asked to provide estimates for contracting work that require me to inspect the outside of a home while the owner is at work.
I routinely ask if there is access to the area, if there are dogs, and half jokingly -if there are neighbors with itchy trigger fingers.
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Old 26th August 2019, 12:44 PM   #387
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What's worse? Firing recklessly, or firing mindfully based on faulty information?
The latter, by leaps and bounds. So much more so when there was no imminent threat visible to the trains and armed cop, and a multitude of options at her disposal. There should be no provision for absent- mindedly executing a guy minding his own business at home. In a sane world, anyway.
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Old 26th August 2019, 12:50 PM   #388
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
What's worse? Firing recklessly, or firing mindfully based on faulty information?
Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
The latter, by leaps and bounds. So much more so when there was no imminent threat visible to the trains and armed cop, and a multitude of options at her disposal. There should be no provision for absent- mindedly executing a guy minding his own business at home. In a sane world, anyway.
Yup.

And she didn't have faulty information. She mads a series of outrageous false assumptions culminating in the idea that someone in their own apartment was a threat to her. IF ONE IS BEING GENEROUS TO HER.

Even if it had been her apartment, he wasn't trying to get into it, and she gave him no chance to explain himself - or if she did, she wasn't listening.

I know theprestige doesn't like analogies, but in this case it's like someone forgetting where her home was, going to someone else's house and shooting the lawful inhabitant when she sees him there.

I suck at analogies.
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Old 26th August 2019, 12:53 PM   #389
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
I am often asked to provide estimates for contracting work that require me to inspect the outside of a home while the owner is at work.
I routinely ask if there is access to the area, if there are dogs, and half jokingly -if there are neighbors with itchy trigger fingers.
Preach. I do service on rental properties where I will not set foot till a text confirmation of my arrival. Haven't had a gun pulled on me but have had tenants who seemed unhappily surprised to have company
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Old 26th August 2019, 02:41 PM   #390
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
Except that whether she was reasonable in her expectation to be at her home is central to that question. If she was (she wasn't) then she could be expected to defend her home.







If her expectation was reasonable, which it wasn't.
We have to be careful not to forget we are only able to use the limited information we have at this time and base our judgements on that, so of course the below may alter when we here the evidence at the trial.

Now according to what we know the following happened.


She came home from work in her uniform with her gun loaded and stored as she would have when on duty.
She went to her apartment, we know she didn't but some argue going to the wrong address is a mistake many people could make. This is the "mistake of fact".
She (this is a point we have very little clarity) apparently found her door already opened.
She entered the apartment (thinking it is her apartment again the "mistake of fact")
She saw someone - no mistake here there was someone in the apartment
She at that point decided to kill that person - there is no mistake of fact in this decision
She drew her weapon - she did not think she was pulling out an unloaded gun or a taser so no mistake of fact in that action
She aimed - again no mistake or accident at this point, she did what she intended to do
She fired her gun - again no mistake or accident here, her finger didn't slip, she didn't stumble and accidentally fire her gun.
She aimed the gun - the same as above
She fired her gun - again no mistake, no accidental firing

This is why I keep saying the "mistake of fact" only gets her to the wrong apartment, it played no part in her decision to try and then succeed at killing Jean.
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Old 26th August 2019, 03:12 PM   #391
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
We have to be careful not to forget we are only able to use the limited information we have at this time and base our judgements on that, so of course the below may alter when we here the evidence at the trial.

Now according to what we know the following happened.


She came home from work in her uniform with her gun loaded and stored as she would have when on duty.
She went to her apartment, we know she didn't but some argue going to the wrong address is a mistake many people could make. This is the "mistake of fact".
She (this is a point we have very little clarity) apparently found her door already opened.
She entered the apartment (thinking it is her apartment again the "mistake of fact")
She saw someone - no mistake here there was someone in the apartment
She at that point decided to kill that person - there is no mistake of fact in this decision
She drew her weapon - she did not think she was pulling out an unloaded gun or a taser so no mistake of fact in that action
She aimed - again no mistake or accident at this point, she did what she intended to do
She fired her gun - again no mistake or accident here, her finger didn't slip, she didn't stumble and accidentally fire her gun.
She aimed the gun - the same as above
She fired her gun - again no mistake, no accidental firing

This is why I keep saying the "mistake of fact" only gets her to the wrong apartment, it played no part in her decision to try and then succeed at killing Jean.
With reservation at item 6, (you do not know what she "decided to do" WRT killing Mr. Jean- or more specifically when she decided this) conceded every item.

Question for you.
If you remove the second item from your list, have you described a legal killing?

Edit, in case my question is not clear.
Had it actually been the apartment she thought it was, have you described a legal killing?
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Old 26th August 2019, 04:49 PM   #392
Darat
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
With reservation at item 6, (you do not know what she "decided to do" WRT killing Mr. Jean- or more specifically when she decided this) conceded every item.

Question for you.
If you remove the second item from your list, have you described a legal killing?

Edit, in case my question is not clear.
Had it actually been the apartment she thought it was, have you described a legal killing?
She aimed and fired her weapon at someone, firing a gun at someone is intentionally trying to kill them, that is why they are known as "lethal weapons" .

Why do you want to discuss different circumstances, she is being tried on what she actually did not on some other event. That said I don't know why anyone would think much changes if it is her apartment.
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Old 26th August 2019, 05:02 PM   #393
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
She aimed and fired her weapon at someone, firing a gun at someone is intentionally trying to kill them, that is why they are known as "lethal weapons" .

Why do you want to discuss different circumstances, she is being tried on what she actually did not on some other event. That said I don't know why anyone would think much changes if it is her apartment.
WRT your first paragraph:
Indeed. Firing a gun at someone is clearly an attempt to kill them, however, your timeline has her deciding to fire it before confronting Mr.Jean. That seems like an important distinction.
She may have done that, but there is little evidence to suggest that is the case.

WRT your second paragraph:

Primarily because it would seem to be an entirely legal killing if it were her apartment.

That she believed that it was, brings legal concepts into play meant to prevent someone who does something that is possibly illegal by mistake from always being considered criminals.
If the act would have been legal had she not been mistaken then one of the barriers to the application of that principle is eliminated.

Earlier,a poster pointed out that in the Oscar Pastorious incident whether or not he truly believed there was an intruder in his bathroom was essentially a moot point because even if there was he would still have been breaking the law by shooting through the door.

It seems that is not the case here, and if her assesment had been correct she would not have been breaking the law.
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Old 26th August 2019, 05:34 PM   #394
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Originally Posted by Joe Random View Post
I'd say there's a relative difference between shooting to kill someone you assumed was out to harm you without do anything to verify, and shooting to kill someone whom you knew wasn't a threat just because you wanted them dead.
That's called "imperfect self-defense". That basically means the person honestly believed they were acting in self-defense even though that belief was not reasonable. That would only be a mitigating factor, not absolution of a crime.

Texas law does not have such a distinction. However, such circumstances would likely be considered in sentencing (I wouldn't be surprised if it is in sentencing guidelines). And such circumstances might be considered by a jury in determining which level of offense a person is guilty of, simply because a jury can kind of do what they want.
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Old 26th August 2019, 10:22 PM   #395
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Originally Posted by Distracted1 View Post
WRT your first paragraph:
Indeed. Firing a gun at someone is clearly an attempt to kill them, however, your timeline has her deciding to fire it before confronting Mr.Jean. That seems like an important distinction.
She may have done that, but there is little evidence to suggest that is the case.

WRT your second paragraph:

Primarily because it would seem to be an entirely legal killing if it were her apartment.

That she believed that it was, brings legal concepts into play meant to prevent someone who does something that is possibly illegal by mistake from always being considered criminals.
If the act would have been legal had she not been mistaken then one of the barriers to the application of that principle is eliminated.

Earlier,a poster pointed out that in the Oscar Pastorious incident whether or not he truly believed there was an intruder in his bathroom was essentially a moot point because even if there was he would still have been breaking the law by shooting through the door.

It seems that is not the case here, and if her assesment had been correct she would not have been breaking the law.
I don't think so. I'm no lawyer, but my lay reading of Texas law regarding use of deadly force in self defense (linked below) makes me think it was still not justified.

For example,Texas has the condition that the actor must reasonably believe deadly force was necessary. I think the prosecution will argue that she does not meet this standard, as she claims she could not even see him. The statute goes on to list other requirements, including specifically what must be met to be reasonable. She fails on each count to meet the standard. Even for the lamest of justifications, that of imminent intent to commit a robbery, I would expect the prosecution to argue that she had no actual reason to believe this. Suspicion, sure, but no more. And you can't pop a couple rounds based on suspicion.

https://codes.findlaw.com/tx/penal-c...sect-9-32.html
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:01 PM   #396
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I believe there's more than a few cases where an assumption is made that someone was attempting to break into a house.
Only for it to be a friend of family member who was shot dead dead due to the mistake.
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:11 PM   #397
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
This is why I keep saying the "mistake of fact" only gets her to the wrong apartment, it played no part in her decision to try and then succeed at killing Jean.
That is correct. A mistake of fact in entering the wrong apartment is not a justification for the intentional killing. I think it was undisputedly an intentional killing.

The importance of the mistake of fact is that if there was no mistake of fact (she actually knew she was going into the wrong apartment) then she was committing a crime and therefore cannot claim self-defense.

If entering the apartment was a mistake of fact, then she can claim self-defense. It doesn't mean it automatically is self-defense. It simply means that claim can be made.

Then, the big question is whether or not it was self-defense. Specifically whether it was self-defense that justified using deadly force.

For that question, we simply do not have enough information. We don't know what happened in that apartment. Maybe something happened where Guyger had a legitimate reason to believe that deadly force was immediately necessary. Or maybe she didn't.

We simply do not have enough information at this time to determine whether or not a self-defense claim is legitimate. Guyger will have the burden of proof. We know that Jean did not have a gun or other weapon. On the 911 call Guyger only said he did not follow commands; she did not say she thought he had a weapon. So, Guyger will have some explaining to do. But she has been tight-lipped about what happened. And so have the police. Until we hear the evidence, we can't make a firm judgment on this claim.

Even if self-defense is accepted, there still becomes the question of criminal negligence. That would mean Guyger legitimately thought she was going to her own apartment and reasonably believed she was facing a threat warranting deadly force. But was she criminally negligent in creating the circumstance that resulted in Jean's death?

She was certainly erroneous. She was wrong. But the question of whether she was criminally negligent is a different matter. It is not an easy matter because of the complications of the circumstances and the significance of the consequences. If it was just a matter of someone walking into someone else's apartment, realizing they were in the wrong place, and then leaving; then it would be easier.

But this case isn't easy. We can't put blinders on and look at one thing in isolation and declare guilt or innocence. We must consider the totality, which has back-and-forth issues of offenses and defenses. Just focusing on one offense or defense gets us nothing but around and around.
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:17 PM   #398
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Originally Posted by ShadowSot View Post
I believe there's more than a few cases where an assumption is made that someone was attempting to break into a house.
Only for it to be a friend of family member who was shot dead dead due to the mistake.
For that, castle doctrine would usually apply. But castle doctrine in most states (and in Texas) only applies when someone breaks into their home while they are in their home. It doesn't apply when someone goes into their home finds someone.
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Old 26th August 2019, 11:37 PM   #399
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Originally Posted by ShadowSot View Post
I believe there's more than a few cases where an assumption is made that someone was attempting to break into a house.
Only for it to be a friend of family member who was shot dead dead due to the mistake.
Yes, but in those cases the shooter was already in the house and someone was trying to get in.

That's a lot easier to understand.
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Old 27th August 2019, 12:03 AM   #400
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Yes, but in those cases the shooter was already in the house and someone was trying to get in.

That's a lot easier to understand.

My point is it seems there should be a requirement to make at least an attempt to identify the supposed intruder. Makes it less likely to shoot a child, or spouse, or friend who's supposed to be there.

I don't specifically see it that much different, personally, but I can understand legally it is.
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