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View Diary: What Is Justice? (39 comments)

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  •  I think this is an interesting question: (1+ / 0-)
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    because of how the determination of justice was shaped by laws that advantaged some behaviors even at the expense of the most basic right of all of another human being, the right to life.
    so the question is: what law could be changed that would've changed the result?  defense went with a standard self-defense claim.  what made the difference was the burden.  so is the public policy response, then, to change the law so that people claiming self-defense have to prove it by something like a preponderance of the evidence?  
    •  I start with acknowledging I am not a lawyer (0+ / 0-)

      But is it not the case that if the defendant is allowed to assert self-defense under stand your ground the burden shifts almost entirely to the prosecution to prove he did not have a rationale fear?

      In most states a simple assertion of self defense is a matter for the jury to assess, and doesn't that mean to some degree what you are proposing, that while still alower standard, even if not exactly preponderance of the evidence as in most law suits, the defendant must be able to demonstrate some rationale or reasonable standard of believing that self-defense was necessary, that the requisite standard of fear applies.

      If the assertion of SYG is denied, as was the case for the African-American woman who fired a warning shot, it becomes much more difficult, even under Florida law, to assert a self-defense claim.

      Unless you assume either or both racism and sexism were determinative in how the juries ruled.

      "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

      by teacherken on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:15:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Why are you or anyone using the words... (5+ / 0-)

        ..."stand your ground"? It only serves to muddy and confuse the situation.

        There was zero application of the Stand Your Ground law to this case. If such a law didn't exist in Florida the case would have gone exactly the same.

        This case was a plain vanilla self defense one like you might expect anywhere. T got shot. Z said it was in self defense. The state tried but failed to prove that the shooting wasn't self defense. Z is acquitted. SYG was not involved.

        (-5.50,-6.67): Left Libertarian
        Leadership doesn't mean taking a straw poll and then just throwing up your hands. -Jyrinx

        by Sparhawk on Sun Jul 14, 2013 at 07:31:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  this part isn't SYG related as I understand it. (2+ / 0-)
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        ferg, Sparhawk

        the law in , as it is in the majority of places, is that if the defense has a "prima facie" self-defense claim (a low burden: just some facts that show that the D might have acted in self-defense), then the burden shifts to the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.  thats what happened here.

        If Z had to prove self-defense by, say, a preponderance of evidence, there'd be a much higher likelihood of conviction.  Ohio is one of the jurisdictions where self-defense must be proven by the defendant, so there's at least some data on how the change in burden impacts prosecutions, both generally and with respect to racially disparate effects.

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