Joe Horn shooting controversy

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by mattskramer, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. mattskramer
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    mattskramer Senior Member

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    I have not seen any comments on this board concerning this controversy.
    Joe Horn shooting controversy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Did the illegal aliens not understand what Horn was saying? If they would have understood would they have obeyed? Aside from whether or not what he did was legal, did he go “over the top”? Did he do the ethically and morally right thing? Since it was only property that was taken and since it seemed that Horn was not in danger of losing his life, (reports say that the crooks were shot in the rear) was the shooting unnecessary?

    On the other hand, did he do the community a service? The crooks were illegal aliens and gang members. If Horn had let them go, it would have been more difficult for them to be apprehended and unlikely that his neighbor would have received his property back. The criminals might have continued living a life of crime and leave people in fear.

    I lean toward the notion that he did the right thing, but a small part of me things that the shooting was unnecessary for reasons mentioned above.

    Your thoughts?
     
  2. mattskramer
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    mattskramer Senior Member

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    Ooops. Sorry. There are several posts on it. :redface::redface:
     
  3. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Yeah but they're deteriorating into name-calling. Might be a good idea to have one that addresses the issues.

    On question I have, not knowing much about US laws is that if a grand jury tossed the case can the DA or A-G get an ex officio indictment?

    And if one grand jury tosses it this time, does that mean a grand jury in a similar circumstance is bound to follow or can it just make up its own mind (given that no two sets of circumstances are identicial)?
     
  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike VIP Member

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    Diuretic:

    I'm pretty sure there'd have to be some substantial new evidence to present to another grand jury. Otherwise prosecutors could just shop cases around from grand jury to grand jury until they got the result they wanted. Not sure on the texas law on that though.
     
  5. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    Good point thanks Steerpike. The reason I ask is that we don't have (and never have had) grand juries. Instead a case has to go before a Magistrate and if there's a prima facie case to answer then the matter is committed to a superior court. However there have been some instances when a Magistrate refused to commit (some states here call it a "presentment" which I think is the old English law language) and the Attorney-General (of the State) actually preferred the indictment and got the case sent up for trial.
     
  6. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    It's not going anywhere. He got off on a technicality. The two thieves were on his property when he shot them. That is legal here in Texas if interpretted a certain way.

    The actual intent of the law is you can protect your property and your life, and the lives of your family. I believe it is a separate law that states you can use deadly force if necessary to stop a violent crime being carried out on another person.

    The short version is, this guy was told to stay inside. Instead, he went outside to confront the two thieves and he shot them both in the back as they attempted to flee. IMO, that is NOT the intent of the law, and only brings the law under attack when idiots like this are allowed to misuse it.
     
  7. Swamp Fox
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    Swamp Fox Active Member

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    My guess would be that the prosecutors figured no one in Texas would convict the guy so they let it go on a technicality. Arizona law allows for the shooting of people if a reasonable person would be in fear of their life. "Reasonable" allows for a lot of leeway.
     
  8. Steerpike
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    Steerpike VIP Member

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    The prosecutors didn't let it go. It went to the grand jury, who refused to return an indictment.
     
  9. jreeves
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    jreeves Senior Member

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    Yep, the Castle Doctrine saved him.

    A Castle Doctrine (also known as a Castle Law or a Defense of Habitation Law) is an American legal concept derived from English Common Law, which designates one's place of residence (or, in some states, any place legally occupied, such as one's car or place of work) as a place in which one enjoys protection from illegal trespassing and violent attack. It then goes on to give a person the legal right to use deadly force to defend that place (his/her "castle"), and/or any other innocent persons legally inside it, from violent attack or an intrusion which may lead to violent attack. In a legal context, therefore, use of deadly force which actually results in death may be defended as justifiable homicide under the Castle Doctrine.
    Castle Doctrine in the US - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Even though he didn't break the law, I feel property doesn't equal taking human life.
     
  10. Diuretic
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    Diuretic Permanently confused

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    But the grand jury refused to indict. I know that proceedings of the grand jury are in secret so I suppose that means that no-one will know why they refused to indict. I suppose they just thought that the two crooks got what was coming to them. But also wonder that if the law was a bit tighter would they still have refused to indict? How much is this about a grand jury's interpretation of the allegations compared against the law and how much is it about a grand jury's attitude about crime in their area?
     

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