Narrative v. Facts, aka #FakeNews

Those of you who have been in my classes will recall that I strongly emphasize that anything you read about in the “news” about a use-of-force event must be presumed to be 100% wrong until proven otherwise. Sometimes the errors are simply honest mistakes, the result of simple ignorance, and sometimes the “errors” are a natural consequence of journalists propagandizing a desired narrative.

We have a great example of the latter in a recent article out of USA Today involving a woman convicted of murder attempting to escape liability for her crime by presenting herself as an innocent victim of evil men—a common theme in these cases is “woman as victim of sex trafficking.” (This form of narrative seems to be enjoying a particular popularity recently, as it was similarly propagated in the case of Cyntoia Brown.)

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Law of Self Defense Show: Jan. 9, 2019

Welcome to the Law of Self Defense Show for January 9, 2019. I’m Attorney Andrew Branca for Law of Self Defense.

First, our disclaimer: This show is provided for general educational and entertainment purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice you must retain competent legal counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.

Today’s show will address the legal privilege to defend against a reasonably perceived apparent threat even if that perception is mistaken, Indiana’s efforts to adopt self-defense immunity and how such immunity works in practice, a question about the recent instance of six armed citizens confronting a pair of nail gun thieves in Washington state, a second question about whether there is a legal duty to provide aid in the aftermath of a self-defense event, and finally our 50% off sale this week on our Law of Self Defense LEVEL 1 state-specific course for four selected states.

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COTW: The Risks of Being Judged By Strangers

This week’s “Case of the Week” involves some perhaps non-obvious risks and uncertainties you incur if you’re involved in a use-of-force event that you now have to legally justify, specifically the risk that the folks investigating and judging your conduct may themselves be profoundly flawed individuals.

Most of you will recall Michael Drejka, the Florida “handicap parking spot shooter”. Drejka shot and killed Markeis McGlockton after McGlockton shoved Drejka to the ground upon seeing Drejka chastising McGlockton’s girlfriend for unlawfully parking in a handicap parking spot.  

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Slow Sunday: Blast From the Past

Not much self-defense in the news today, so I'll just share a photo of my first visit to the FBI Academy back in 2011. I've been back several times since, sometimes to visit, sometimes to teach, they even hauled out a Prohibition Era Thompson for me one time (yes, full auto!), and always have a great time.

I know plenty of people have plenty of concerns about a modern politicized FBI leadership, but I can tell you that all the individual agents I've ever dealt with have been world-class, and genuine patriots.

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Transferred Intent: Also, "Awful but Lawful"

A terribly sad case out of Alabama touches upon one legal doctrine--the doctrine of transferred intent--and one legal aphorism--the 'awful but lawful' self-defense shooting. 

The case involves a shootout between two groups of men, in the course of which a bullet fired by one of three men on one side of the fight struck and killed a 2-year-old at the scene.  The three men were each charged with capital murder.

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Q: "Believe All Women"? A: Women Lie, Too

We live in an era governed by mass-hysteria child-like tantrums based on patent falsehoods, one prominent example being the "believe all women" mantra that is part of the current #MeToo movement.

Naturally, any person with normal cognitive function and life experience will be well aware that lying is something that all humans are capable of, and women are no exception.

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I'm Quoted in Monkey Dance News Piece

Also, yesterday I was quoted in a news article yesterday re: a Monkey Dance that ended in a shooting recently in Florida.

A fistfight between neighboring businesses leads to Charles Cook III punching a man, who in turn shot him. But no arrests were made.

That's not so unusual. What is unusual is this particular reporter spent a considerable time on the phone with me learning the difference between self-defense, stand-your-ground, and self-defense immunity, and I think you can see that reflected in her article.

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One Punch, One Kill

I often caution that a bar-handed attack, absent substantial aggravating factors, is almost invariably going to be treated by the courts as a non-deadly force attack--one not likely to cause death or serious bodily injury--and thus as a consequence can generally only be defended against by non-deadly defensive means: meaning, not a gun.

Many folks who carry guns lawfully for personal protection aren't happy to hear this, as they don't want to have to wait to be punched perhaps to the point of no longer being able to defend themselves before they can resort to their primary defensive tool--usually a gun--to defend themselves.

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Claim Self-Defense While Committing A Crime? Sure

I often run across the misconception that in order to claim self-defense it's a necessary condition that the defender be "white as the driven snow," and certainly not be engaged in any unlawful activity of his own at the time.

While being utterly innocent of any misconduct of any kind is certainly helpful in a general way in any kind of criminal defense, it's explicitly not a required condition of a claim of self-defense.

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Will Arkansas Become the 37th Stand-Your-Ground State?

Although it’s often reported that only a minority of somewhat odd (usually “racist”) states can be described as stand-your-ground jurisdictions, in fact the large majority of states do not impose a legal duty to retreat on persons otherwise acting in lawful self-defense.

Several of these have transitioned from duty-to-retreat to stand-your-ground since the hubbub over stand-your-ground that inappropriately arose over the legal doctrine during the trial of George Zimmerman. No state in recent years has moved from stand-your-ground to duty-to-retreat.

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Could Your Self-Defense Insurance Be Cancelled on You? Yep.

The insurance industry publication Business Insurance reports that Lloyd’s of London affiliates have settled with New York state insurance regulators over its partnering on NRA Carry Guard self-defense insurance.

In addition to paying $5 million, the insurers agreed to not issue insurance policies to cover liability from self-defense shootings. They also agreed to “not enter into any agreement or program with the NRA to underwrite or participate in any affinity-type insurance program involving any line of insurance covering persons or entities whose home state is New York.” In addition, they agreed to cancel existing policies.

Note that last sentence:

In addition, they agreed to cancel existing policies.

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You Know Anti-Self-Defense Crowd Is Lying When They Generalize "Homicide"

As I’ve written about several times in the last few weeks, Ohio is considering adopting several badly changes to its self-defense laws. One of the provisions that had been under consideration, but had apparently been dropped in the mistaken hopes that doing so would induce Governor Kasich to sign the proposed self-defense changes, was stand-your-ground: relieving folks who otherwise lawfully defend themselves from also having a legal duty to retreat before they could use defensive force against an unlawful attack upon themselves or their families. Instead, Kasich (featured image) vetoed the bill anyway, and now OH is hoping their legislature can override that veto.

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Merry Christmas! But not for Cyntoia Brown :-(

First, wishes for a happy and safe Merry Christmas to all the great Law of Self Defense community!

Second, it would appear that Cyntoia Brown will not get her preferred Christmas present this year, that being clemency from Tennessee governor Bill Haslam. I first reported on Brown’s relatively recent love fest from the mainstream media in a post made exactly two weeks ago:

A lot of people have been forwarding me articles about Cyntoia Brown, a then 16-year-old prostitute who was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated robbery. Recent news coverage includes this very sympathetic piece from CNN and another from NPR, as well as a deluge of similarly sympathetic coverage from a wide variety of other sources.

Brown argued self-defense at her trail, but was unsuccessful, and was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. She will first be eligible for parole after serving 51 years of her sentence.

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News: “When Is Evidence of Attacker’s Character/Bad Acts Relevant?”

Today’s post involves a decision in a preliminary hearing out of Tennessee.  This case involves the killing of a black suspect, Daniel Hambrick, by a white police officer, Officer Andrew Delke, and is being pursued aggressively by prosecutors who argue that Delke shooting the fleeing Hambrick in the back three times constitutes murder, despite the fact that it is undisputed that Hambrick was armed with a handgun.

 

This post doesn’t discuss the merits of this case (on which you can find more details here) but rather focuses on one particular issue:When can the character or prior bad acts of the victim be relevant in a self-defense case.

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