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Stay on the Outrage Bus! - VERDICT

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Stay on the Outrage Bus! - VERDICT

Old 1st Dec 2014, 13:56
  #21 (permalink)  
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Flying Lawyer, from what I understand of this, the two German lawyers are not licensed to practice law in Montana, so that they are there in the status of amici curiae.

It might be technically so that the German lawyers are simply giving advice to the court, but here it has been made very clear that they are there on behalf of the victim and his German family, helping the prosecution to see that the American who shot the German is prosecuted to the fullest extent of Montana law for having done so.

As you may know, there was a case some years ago of a Japanese exchange student who was shot and killed after he merely rang a doorbell to ask directions of a Louisiana homeowner, who then shot him out of hand! Then the homeowner was acquitted on the basis of home defense, which made the Japanese government and people rather upset.

Here, it seems that the German government were worried that, without their participation, the shooter might get away without really having to answer for what he has done, given that he does have a law to hide behind or to depend on, according to your point of view.
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 13:57
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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While not necessarily agreeing with you Brick, your position is a reasonable one to take as an American. However if you thought there was an intruder in your garage would you open fire into the dark without being able to see who/what you were shooting at? It could be a burglar, but it could be a toddler got out of next door and gone walkabout!
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 14:04
  #23 (permalink)  
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One for brick ...

Read up on this shooting and then tell us, as a responsible gun owner, if you think this was the correct way to deal with someone pulling a burglary of your garage.
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 14:35
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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CP, it is my personal technique to ID my target before shooting to avoid a friendly fire. It is my most fervent hope that I never have to do so in a real-life situation in civilian life.

chuks, sorry, but I won't be doing much further research other than just read a WaPo article on it.

Homeowner had had enough of being robbed.

Set up his personal property to stop a further such occurrence.


That said, an ambush is illegal if out in the street.

A homeowner defending his property and the line gets clearer.

It appears the German was in the garage which was not his.

Under castle doctrine, and Montana is a pretty independent state, the homeowner has a pretty good defense.

His undoing, if the WaPo report is anywhere near accurate, is his action of going out, then onto his driveway, and then into his garage, firing blindly.

Self-defense may be harder to argue, but not impossibly so.

So, in summation, the homeowner was trigger-happy, but perhaps justifiably so. He did exercise poor judgment in firing blindly.

The German deliberately went into the garage. It is not ok to go into another's premise without permission.

He didn't have to. The German was stupid. In this case, terminally so.

Tragic, but the chain could've been broken by not trespassing. The homeowner may have had an itchy trigger finger, but this German, at least, would not be dead if not for his own actions of trespassing.
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 14:56
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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birck: I agree 100%.

chuks:

Here, it seems that the German government were worried that, without their participation, the shooter might get away without really having to answer for what he has done, given that he does have a law to hide behind or to depend on, according to your point of view.
So how about the Americans go over to YOUR court system and try to enforce our beliefs and law in your country. Do you realize what you wrote?

Back to the old saying... "When in Rome".

Last edited by Gordy; 1st Dec 2014 at 14:57. Reason: Speeling yet again
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 15:02
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Anyone know what has happened to the burglary/petty crime rate in Missoula since this incident?
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 15:06
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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I think you'll find that Chuks is an American abroad, so perhaps uniquely qualified to comment!
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 15:07
  #28 (permalink)  
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So how about the Americans go over to YOUR court system and try to enforce our beliefs and law in your country
I woould have thought that any person/state/country that felt that their court and legal system was correct would welcome outside scrutiny, rather than throw accusations at others!

Unlike China that will not permit UK MPs into Hong Kong to investigate the recent riots
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 15:07
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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chuks
It might be technically so that the German lawyers are simply giving advice to the court, but here it has been made very clear that they are there on behalf of the victim and his German family, helping the prosecution
You may be right but if that is their role then they would not be classified as amici curiae in any jurisdiction within my knowledge. The role of an amicus is to be neutral and objective - which assisting one of the parties is clearly not.

I have assisted (at their request) lawyers acting for parties in two jurisdictions in which I did not have 'rights of audience'/a licence to practice. (Aviation cases, criminal and civil.) On all occasions I advised on the aviation aspects of the relevant law, suggested strategies and, in advance of and during the hearings, suggested questions/areas on which witnesses should be cross-examined etc.
No licence to practice was required because I did not address the court myself.
My role was definitely not that of an amicus; I was there to assist the lawyers employing me to present their case.
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 15:32
  #30 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by chuks View Post
Why he did not stay in the safety of his bedroom and call the cops is a good question,
Because when seconds count, cops are minutes away.
 
Old 1st Dec 2014, 15:37
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Without wishing to offer an opinion on US gun culture this is what happens when shooting irons are legion. The homeowner goes to investigate,probably fully expecting to be shot at and gets his retaliation in first. I can see why if you think the intruder is armed you might want to do that.

This case seems to have many elements similar to the Tony Martin one.
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 15:45
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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As a matter if interest how many home owners are taken out by robbers?
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 15:49
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I would imagine in the US a lot.
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 16:05
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Some more up to date information from the missoulian.

Wonder if the Germans will request extradition, if the US court fails to convict?

(I didn't see anything here about German lawyers involvement in the trial, so that may be a red herring)
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 16:13
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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From the news article:

An unarmed juvenile shouldn’t be killed for trespassing in a garage.”
Don't trespass.

Really cuts down on the chances of being shot by a homeowner.

As to extraditing, I bet this Administration would roll-over in a heartbeat.

It also reads that the homeowner is a world-class jerk/stoner.

Don't trespass.

Not rocket (oops, too close to mentioning the war?) science...
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 16:40
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Unlike China that will not permit UK MPs into Hong Kong to investigate the recent riots
To be fair I wouldn't trust a UK MP to investigate anything.
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 16:57
  #37 (permalink)  
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FL ... that's probably my mistake about the role of an amicus, then. I assume that the German lawyers are there to assist the prosecutor, acting on behalf of the family of the late student, rather than to give impartial advice in general, acting in the way you tell us that amici must. As reported here, their role is not an impartial one.

I'm sure that the lawyers want the defendant prosecuted according to Montana law, not German law.

Under German law he probably would not have had a shotgun in the first place, but it would have been quite clear in any case that he would have been facing a murder charge for acting as he did. There's no such thing here as "stand your ground" or whatever it's called. He would have been expected to just sit there in the bedroom waiting for the cops to show up. No cops, just let the perp run off with whatever it was he could steal from the garage, when the cops could try to catch him later. If it came to an invasion of the bedroom, a threat to the homeowner and his family, that would have been a different matter, but going out to gun down a burglar ... not allowed here, not at all!

If this fellow cared so much about his property, then why didn't he lock, or at least close, his garage door? An open door is an invitation to theft.

For an example of German law, we have a CCTV system, but it's not allowed to show anything but views of our own property. We can't have it show anything of the street right in front of the house, for example. Privacy, and the right to life, are rated much higher in Germany than the right to keep your property safe from theft.

As well as the two lawyers who are participating in some capacity, I believe that a German diplomat is attending the trial as an observer.

There have been cases of the USA prosecuting crimes against our citizens that were committed abroad, so that I assume, given an extradition treaty, it must be possible to extradite this citizen of ours for trial before a German court for the killing of a German national in the USA.
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 17:32
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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An open door is an invitation to theft.
Absolutely.

But not permission.

The German not trespassing would have made this a non-event.

The dope-smoking homeowner not setting up a (successful) trap would have made this a non-event.

But, given the facts presented thus far, the dead German is the one who committed the original crime of trespass and thus, under common U.S. understanding (I do not know Montana law on this) within his rights to defend himself, his family, and his property with up to deadly force.

Circling around to shoot from the driveway into the garage (wonder what the backstop is/was? Ironic if his blind firing had penetrated into his home and hit his family.) may not pass the smell test for a clean acquittal, but not murder, IMO.
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 17:42
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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brick:

Montana’s Expanded Self Defense Law

You can use deadly force, with no duty to retreat, if you are in a place lawfully and there is a reasonable belief it is necessary to prevent imminent death or seriously bodily harm to yourself or another person.

You can use that same deadly force to defend an occupied structure when it is reasonably believed that it is necessary to prevent assault against yourself or another.

Duty to Retreat: No, in certain locations

Where the Law Applies: Your home or anywhere else where you legally have the right to be, so long as you are not engaged in unlawful conduct.
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Old 1st Dec 2014, 17:43
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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Under German law
Again---who cares. I am with brick on this one----it happened in the US NOT Germany, and the German started the whole process by trespassing.

In life there are consequences.
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