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Spokane verdict ignites debate on use-of-force

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Dave Workman, Apr 10, 2014.

  1. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Western Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Spokane jury acquits man who shot car theft suspect


    A Spokane jury Thursday acquitted a local man on manslaughter charges in the march 2013 shooting death of a many who was driving away in his SUV, and later determined that the shooting was justified, so defendant Gail Gerlach could be reimbursed for his trial expenses, according to KHQ News.


    http://www.examiner.com/article/spokane-jury-acquits-man-who-shot-car-theft-suspect
     
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  2. Nick Burkhardt

    Nick Burkhardt NE Oregon Well-Known Member

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  3. fd15k

    fd15k Tigard,OR Well-Known Member

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    Do they still hang horse thieves around there ?
     
  4. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Charges should have never been brought in the first place. Everyone should not only be able to protect themselves, but their property as well.
     
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  5. GunRightsCoalition

    GunRightsCoalition Vancouver Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    RCW 9A.16.050
    Homicide — By other person — When justifiable.
    Homicide is also justifiable when committed either:

    (1) In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his or her presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or

    (2) In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his or her presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which he or she is.
     
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  6. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Western Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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  7. BigStick

    BigStick Sherwood, OR Well-Known Member

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    "Owner John Saul said he caught Cesar Chavez stealing belts and buckles red-handed before unloading as many as five shotgun rounds into the 22-year-old."

    But, but, he was just starting to turn his life around. The proof is that he was trying to get some belts for him and his homies to start keeping their pants up so they can stop sagging and be respectable. Now you have doomed his homies to a life of crime and illegitimacy because they didn't get their belts.

    GRC posted the law, and as long as he was caught in the act, it is reasonable to believe that when catching a criminal in the act, there is a high potential that they will attack you in some way. Sounds like a clean shoot to me.
     
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  8. Dave Workman

    Dave Workman Western Washington Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Whoa!
    sure not a lot of sympathy in this crowd! :rolleyes::D
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2014
  9. BigStick

    BigStick Sherwood, OR Well-Known Member

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    My sympathy is with the citizens who are being preyed upon by criminals, and then have to deal with the legal system that has been twisted to favor criminals. Shooting at your car as some theif drives it away may be a little extreme, but when the police stop prosecuting or even investigating property crimes, what other options are there before the criminals become more and more bold, and we are left at their mercy (of which they have none)?
     
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  10. roknHS

    roknHS Idaho Member

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    I don't feel bad for the dead thief. You play with the bull............you may get the horn.
    However, I can't believe the shooter was totally aquitted. If you have watched the news coverage of this play out, you have seen pictures of the vehicle with the back window shot out. The thief was definitely trying to escape in the opposite direction. I find it difficult to imagine how the thief was going to drive the stolen vehicle away rapidly and stick a pistol out the window over his shoulder and fire a shot at the disgruntled owner. That just doesn't add up for me. Ergonomically, that is nearly an impossible feat for any criminal to pull off. The thief was found unarmed, although the shooter said he thought he was about to be fired on.

    The way I understand the law, you don't shoot unless the bad guy is coming at you with some kind of weapon or at the very least is facing you with a weapon. If the bad guy decides to go in the opposite direction, you gotta let him go. This shooter must have been very convincing for the jury to listen to cause all the details presented in the news coverage I've seen, would lead me to the conclusion the thief was no imminent threat.

    I'm happy the shooter was found innocent. But, I'm surprised that he was.................................imagining myself in that situation, I doubt I would have been so lucky.
    I'll bet you dollars to donuts the thief's family files a wrongful death civil suit against the shooter and wins.
     
  11. GunRightsCoalition

    GunRightsCoalition Vancouver Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Read the law above. It does not require that you personally be in imminent danger. The thief was committing a felony against him which gives him justification per the law. The only surprise is that they actually followed the law when making the decision. I'm not going to get into any debate about whether he should or should not have used lethal force in this situation as I was not the one there. Simply that he was within the law doing so.
     
  12. slimer13

    slimer13 Deer Park Well-Known Member

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    Make no mistake about it, the law is perfectly clear and backed up repeatedly by case law. You are allowed to use deadly force to prevent a felony against your PERSON. There is zero room for interpretation and you WILL catch a bubblegum storm if you shoot to prevent property theft in the state of WA.
     
  13. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Maybe, but that is not the law - and if you are going to shoot someone you had better be able to present a *good* case that it was due to protecting someones life and not their property.

    Personally, I don't necessarily wanting the law saying you can shoot someone to protect property. Where do you draw the line in that case? What if someone steals your pencil? Shoot them then? If they steal an apple off your tree?

    If you want to protect your property with a firearm, then get between the thief and your property. At that point you can make a case that they are threatening you - just do not try to make a case using property protection as your defense - you probably won't be as lucky as this guy was.

    Q: Since when are defendants *in a criminal case* reimbursed for their legal expenses when they are acquitted??
     
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  14. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    On a side note: it never seems to fail that the family of a criminal always portrays the criminal as the victim - "he was a good boy", etc.
     
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  15. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    In Washington State, in some cases. Been going on for years.
     
  16. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    I teach a Deadly Force Review class in Washington State for LE folks, so am well versed in that aspect.

    The point I was making...if someone steals your vehicle, you should have every right to try to keep it...including deadly force if needed. The use of deadly force to retain your vehicle will make folks think twice before doing such a thing. Kind of like chopping off fingers for those caught stealing...

    As to using deadly force to protect your pencil? Yep, I can see where there would need to be parameters on such a law, as folks would run wild with it if there wasn't.
     
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  17. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    Given the fact that I spend a lot of time out in the wilderness... it's commonly considered a death sentence to leave someone without food, water, transport and/or a firearm out there. At the same time, for plenty of small business owners out there, that "work truck" is their livelyhood... it goes MIA, and unless it, and the stuff inside is fully insured, that may be a death sentence for his business.

    When it comes to thievery, I have zero tolerance on certain things, and think we should have VERY harsh punishments when it comes to crimes that may set someone back a decade or more, even if there was no use of violence or force.

    Apparently the guy's grandma hasn't looked up 'sacrificial lamb', because as it turns out those are made to be slaughtered.
     
  18. 8ball

    8ball WA Quit talkin' and start chalking!

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  19. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim West of Oly Springer Slayer 2016 Volunteer

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    If you are a thief you deserve punishment, what punishment is up to the person you are ripping off!!!
    I don't dial 911, but have the coroner's number on speed dial.

    Want to cry for the thief go to Ifish!!!!
     
  20. Doc In UPlace

    Doc In UPlace Tacoma-ish Well-Known Member

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    In the final analysis, the law is what a jury and judge decides it is.

    Although the statute does state "...and property," the reality is, community standards may or may not agree. Is a car worth a person's life? And as observed above, after the criminal trial here comes the wrongful death or personal injury suits filed by the scrote's family.

    By that time the scrote will have sprouted angel wings and a halo, bought a suit and haircut and look pitiful as all get-out in his new wheelchair or funeral picture.

    West of the mountains IF the vehicle was not coming toward me, I'd probably let the vehicle go, (unless being stranded in the wilderness during winter were the only other option); and call police and my insurance agent -as difficult a choice as it would certainly be.

    Sometimes doing the smart thing can be as frustrating an experience as can be. Sometimes in my job we have to let our subjects go during surveillances, and that kind of frustration is enormous; it lasts for hours. Sometimes, days.

    East of the mountains, as we see in this instance, the jury may be more favorable, but with any jury trial, it's a roll of the dice.

    We have a saying: "do you want to be the test case?" "Is it going to be worth the hassle of your life?"