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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - Florida to shoot first and ask questions later?
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#1 Posted on 6.4.05 2217.47
Reposted on: 6.4.12 2219.27
Florida eyes allowing residents to open fire whenever they see threat

So... is this as bad as it reads?
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CRZ
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#2 Posted on 7.4.05 0434.15
Reposted on: 7.4.12 0435.32
Bad for criminals? ;-)

Here, read the text of the bill yourself:
http://www.flsenate.gov/session/index.cfm?Mode=Bills&SubMenu=1&BI_Mode=ViewBillInfo&BillNum=0436


(edited by CRZ on 7.4.05 0454)
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#3 Posted on 7.4.05 0650.13
Reposted on: 7.4.12 0652.47
(deleted by CRZ on 7.4.05 0715)
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#4 Posted on 7.4.05 0812.44
Reposted on: 7.4.12 0815.22

    (3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful

    8 activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or

    9 she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right

    10 to stand his or her ground and meet force with force,

    11 including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is

    12 necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to

    13 himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of

    14 a forcible felony.


So legally, would this bill allow deadly force against someone for stealing a TV from your house, even if you were not personally in any danger? There seems to be some internal inconsistincies and confusion in this bill. Some parts seem to point at only being able to use deadly force if you are personally in danger, but the bolded words seem to counteract that. But what is a forcible felony?
FLRockAndLaw
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#5 Posted on 7.4.05 1005.34
Reposted on: 7.4.12 1011.09
We've been talking about this at the public defender's office where I work. My opinion? The legislature and Jeb have almost completely screwed over the State Attorneys' Offices as far as prosecuting cases for assault, battery, and maybe even disorderly conduct/breach of the peace. If this bill is passed into law, then there's no duty to retreat or run if threatened by someone.

Bear in mind, the bill's language says to "meet force with force." It's meant to be equal force. You can't just shoot someone to death just because he raises a fist against you.

And to answer the question, Section 776.08, Fla. Stat. (2004) contains the following language:


    "Forcible felony" means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.


So under this bill, in theory, if someone did break into your house to steal a TV? Yep, you could use deadly force. Breaking into a house to commit a crime inside is burglary, which is a forcible felony.

Of course, once these criminal cases start getting dismissed by the State Attorneys' Offices because they can't get around this law, watch them complain to the legislature and watch this law get repealed faster than you can say, "Self defense."

Edit: fixed the quote lines.

(edited by RageRockrr on 7.4.05 1106)
spf
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#6 Posted on 7.4.05 1027.19
Reposted on: 7.4.12 1028.04
    Originally posted by RageRockrr
    "Forcible felony" means treason


Oh shit. Time for the liberals in Florida to duck and cover. How long until some left-winger gets shot and the defense is that what they were proclaiming or protesting about was treasonous?
On a more serious note though, is "meeting force with force" legally the same as "meeting force with equal force"? It would seem like in the world of legalese those should be two discrete and very different phrases with very different meanings.

(edited by spf on 7.4.05 1030)
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#7 Posted on 7.4.05 1353.52
Reposted on: 7.4.12 1356.20
I'm just curious if "Aircraft Piracy" is actually stealing an aircraft or if someone happened to watch a few to many episodes of "Tail Spin".

-Jag
bash91
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#8 Posted on 7.4.05 1529.18
Reposted on: 7.4.12 1539.06
    Originally posted by RageRockrr
    We've been talking about this at the public defender's office where I work. My opinion? The legislature and Jeb have almost completely screwed over the State Attorneys' Offices as far as prosecuting cases for assault, battery, and maybe even disorderly conduct/breach of the peace. If this bill is passed into law, then there's no duty to retreat or run if threatened by someone.


Seriously, why should there be a duty to retreat or run if threatened? I can see the points you make in the rest of your argument, but that one makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. You seem to be suggesting that my only acceptable response to a threat is to run away and I just can't buy into that position. Why should I not be allowed to stand my ground if I'm not acting illegally and the person threatening me is acting illegally? Why should it be my duty, as the offended, to retreat rather than expecting the offender to retreat or suffer the consequence of being met with equal force?

Tim
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#9 Posted on 7.4.05 1542.59
Reposted on: 7.4.12 1543.25
So how radical of a departure is this from previous laws? For instance, if someone were to approach me with a knife, and I shot them without attempting to run away, would I have been held liable for murder/manslaughter, or would I have been legally acting in self defense.

From the way this story reads to me, it seems that there are a broad range of hypothetical situations where this statute could apply, but in the end it should serve mainly to help people defend themselves.
texasranger9
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#10 Posted on 7.4.12 1609.58
Good thing this story has nothing to do with the here-and-now.
FLRockAndLaw
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#11 Posted on 7.4.05 2303.25
Reposted on: 7.4.12 2303.29
Easy, Tim. Put that gun away.

I'm not saying I agree or disagree that there should be a duty to retreat in any situation. I'm just stating the law in the State of Florida before this new bill gets signed. Part of me is concerned that this bill may become a license to make Florida into a statewide shootout at the OK Corral. At the same time, as a defense attorney, I think it's great, because it's going to make a lot less cases get prosecuted since the State Attorney can no longer try to argue that, since a defendant didn't retreat from a scene, there can't be self-defense. Which in turn means that a lot less b.s. cases should be set for trial, and we can focus on the cases that really do need to come to trial.
Jobberman
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#12 Posted on 8.4.05 0847.12
Reposted on: 8.4.12 0847.21
    Originally posted by RageRockrr
    So under this bill, in theory, if someone did break into your house to steal a TV? Yep, you could use deadly force. Breaking into a house to commit a crime inside is burglary, which is a forcible felony.


I don't know what the law is here in Florida, but if someone broke into my house I would shoot him dead before I knew his intentions....
CHAPLOW
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#13 Posted on 8.4.05 1523.52
Reposted on: 8.4.12 1523.55
spf is right though-
using the phrase "meeting force with force" will be a debatable point in any case and can become an issue in of itself- as to whether it is equal force or just any force.

I can see that this bill is meant to help with self defense but it can also be used to support unreasonable amounts of "self defense".
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#14 Posted on 10.4.05 1026.23
Reposted on: 10.4.12 1028.20
    Originally posted by bash91
    Seriously, why should there be a duty to retreat or run if threatened? I can see the points you make in the rest of your argument, but that one makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. You seem to be suggesting that my only acceptable response to a threat is to run away and I just can't buy into that position. Why should I not be allowed to stand my ground if I'm not acting illegally and the person threatening me is acting illegally? Why should it be my duty, as the offended, to retreat rather than expecting the offender to retreat or suffer the consequence of being met with equal force?

    Tim

I think the point of requiring retreat is so that people aren't taking the law into their own hands everytime they get the chance. I don't know if any of you remember the story of the Subway Vigilante, but do we really want THAT happening all the time?

Furthermore, I'm not positive about criminal self-defense statutes, but I believe that in most (all? almost all?) jurisdictions in the country, tort law (the law of lawsuits) requires retreat if you're not in your home before you use DEADLY force in self-defense. I wonder if this Florida law, which is a criminal statute, will change the standards for tort law. My instinct would be to say no, so people might start getting sued like crazy for use of unprivileged force.

- StingArmy
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#15 Posted on 16.4.05 1257.39
Reposted on: 16.4.12 1258.17
    Originally posted by Jobberman
      Originally posted by RageRockrr
      So under this bill, in theory, if someone did break into your house to steal a TV? Yep, you could use deadly force. Breaking into a house to commit a crime inside is burglary, which is a forcible felony.


    I don't know what the law is here in Florida, but if someone broke into my house I would shoot him dead before I knew his intentions....


Completely agree. Bah, I know that may make me seem like an cold-hearted bastard, but if somebody breaks into MY property, with intent to do anything illegal, they suffer the consequences. I don't have a wife or kids, but I can imagine if I did, I'd feel 100x more inclined to protect my territory. They may be just "stealing a TV", but coming into my house, where my family should feel safe, you're gonna have to go. Nobody should be held accountable for what they do to someone who invades their home with intent to commit a crime. That's on the criminal's head.
Joseph Ryder
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#16 Posted on 16.4.05 2229.21
Reposted on: 16.4.12 2229.37
    Originally posted by FurryHippie
    Completely agree. Bah, I know that may make me seem like an cold-hearted bastard, but if somebody breaks into MY property, with intent to do anything illegal, they suffer the consequences. I don't have a wife or kids, but I can imagine if I did, I'd feel 100x more inclined to protect my territory. They may be just "stealing a TV", but coming into my house, where my family should feel safe, you're gonna have to go. Nobody should be held accountable for what they do to someone who invades their home with intent to commit a crime. That's on the criminal's head.


Speaking of a criminal's head, would anyone here behead someone who broke into their house? I know most of us would want the death of someone stealing our TV to be relatively quick and easy, but a beheading does kill the criminal rather quickly. Is it too gory for some of us? I know it may seem odd if the police show up to see a guy who was likely shot to death but is also missing his head (well, not MISSING, it'd be laying there next to him!), and they might question your sanity, so let's assume you as a homeowner forwent the whole gun thing and solely attacked him with your machete. He's unarmed, so you just run at him and *SWIPE*!! For whatever reason, I don't see many of us going that route, though it may be an easier path to murder. Shooting a gun accurately is hard, especially if the target is moving and we're still a little groggy from sleep. Those of us without the proper training might not even be able to KILL the burglar with a gun.

Would this bill protect someone who committed a beheading? It appears to...but I don't think I'd wanna be working with someone who, the night before, protected his property by beheading someone.
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