Another trap, another dead teen

Discussion in 'Too Hot for Swamp Gas' started by rivergator, May 3, 2014.

  1. 92gator
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    92gator Well-Known Member

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    I won't argue with that--you certainly forgo certain rights--but do you forgo ALL RIGHTS?

    Even the most fundamental right--the right to LIFE?

    I mean, one certainly assumes risk in doing such--but surrendering any and all rights, including right to one's very existence....there's just no way to draft a carte blache exception to the most fundamental right of...

    ...oh wait...never mind... forgot Roe v. Wade did just that...
  2. CHFG8R
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    CHFG8R Premium Member

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    It's a tricky subject, to be sure. But I think my red light example holds water in this case. The runner of the red light doesn't deserve to die and he didn't legally forfeit his right to life, but there has to be some expectation that loss of life is an understood potential outcome of committing the crime. When I was little, we lived outside Atlanta in what was then a rural area (pretty much metro Atlanta now). There were certain fenced properties (large) with Posted, No Trespassing signs and there was always the rumor (probably started by our parents) that the owners of said property were mean and would shoot trespassers. Thus, we steered clear.
  3. DaveFla
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    DaveFla VIP Member

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    To answer this question, we first have to look at your original statement, the one with which I disagree:

    Florida's "Castle Doctrine" says the following:

    IOW, the presumption of fear of "death or great bodily harm" is automatically assumed with the process of "unlawfully and forcefully entering" your home. Yes, the presumption is rebuttable, but the absolute way that you claimed "if you don't fear for your life, and you shoot someone in your home, it's murder" simply is not the case in Florida as the mere fact that someone broke into your home can be translated to qualify as a fear of death or great bodily harm in and of itself.
  4. SmootyGator
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    SmootyGator Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for linking the statute, that is pretty much the way I remember it. My "fear for your life" was just an encapsulation of that.

    As for your last statement, isn't that kind of what I said in my original post? I agree that it is (I'm sure there are some outlying exceptions) assumed that there is a presumption of fear of "death or great bodily harm". That's why I said it would be difficult to determine. However my point is if you aren't in fear of "death or great bodily harm" and you kill an intruder, it's murder. Sure, you're going to say that you were in fear, and you'll likely get away with it. That being said, that situation probably doesn't happen too often.
  5. DaveFla
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    DaveFla VIP Member

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    I think the point is, regardless of how you actually feel when you hear someone breaking into your house, you have the right to use deadly force as the FS removes the requirement that you, yourself, fear death or great bodily harm.

    You don't have to tell the law that you were in fear of great bodily harm or death. It is implied when the 'dead' person broke in.

    Before, LEO wanted to hear you say that you were "in fear of great bodily harm or death." There is no need to hear that from you now as the mere fact that the person broke into your home implies just that.

    Semantics? Perhaps.
  6. SmootyGator
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    SmootyGator Well-Known Member

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    Yes! :D
  7. 92gator
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    92gator Well-Known Member

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    @ bolded: The statute creates- a presumption that one is in such fear; it does not dispense with the 'requirement' of being in fear. So I think it's more substantive than 'semantics'. The fear must still be there--it just doesn't have to be affirmatively established, as it is imputed--if (and only if) the Castle doc. elements are present. The totality of the circumstances--the circumstantial, peripheral, collateral, direct, forensic (or other) evidence--must not disprove the presumption.

    In this case, if it were in Florida--the circumstances don't appear to support that presumption, and he could easily be prosecuted here as well.

    Note--from your link above:


    (a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and

    (b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.


    What indication was there at all, of "FORCEFUL/FORCIBLE ENTRY"?

    What reason was there to believe that forcible entry or act had occurred, or was occurring?

    He (reportedly) left the garage open--thereby negating (almost) the possibility of 'forcible' entry into the garage--where the vic. was killed.

    So he's back to relying on good old fashioned self-defense, imho.

    NOTE: I'm not addressing your analysis of this case, as I haven't seen it--just applying the above to this case.
    Last edited: May 9, 2014
  8. DaveFla
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    DaveFla VIP Member

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    Not talking about this case. It's in Montana.

    I was merely pointing out that in Florida, there is no need to be in actual fear of great bodily injury or death. The mere fact that the dead guy broke on eliminated that requirement.

    And, no. Merely highlighting the words in order to change the meaning of the statute doesn't mean that I am wrong...
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. 92gator
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    92gator Well-Known Member

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    Presume you mean broke IN. Where did this happen? I mean the 'break in'. The forcible entry. Where/when/how? I seem to have missed it.

    'Hi-lighting' the words wasn't done to 'change the meaning' of the statute--it was done to draw attention to the part you want to pretend isn't there.

    It is.

    And not because I hi-lighted it.

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