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View Diary: DA Angela Corey Now Seeks 60 Years Against Marissa Alexander In 2nd Trial (227 comments)

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  •  I wait with baited breath (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theatre goon, ER Doc, FrankRose

    for all of the gun control Kossacks to pile onto this diary and tell us how much better Florida will be for blacks once SYG is repealed. Under the wording of Florida's SYG law, Marissa Alexander could not claim SYG as a defense, so Marissa Alexander is a prophetic example of how fair and impartial justice will be served to Floridians of all races when no one can claim SYG anymore.

    For added snark, the NRA is apparently pushing for a change to Florida's SYG law that would allow warning shots like Marissa Alexander's to also qualify for SYG protections, ironically placing the NRA in the position of supporting legal changes more protective of Marissa Alexander than those who want to scrap the law in its entirety.

      •  Is anything I said factually incorrect? (4+ / 0-)

        Or unclear? Or unsourced? Or is what I said simply both true and embarrassing for all the people running around with their hair on fire about SYG?

        Face it, poll any dozen people here at Kos, myself included, and if we had been on the Dunn jury we would have turned in a murder verdict. And if we had been in Corey's position we would not have done anything worse than file a misdemeanor weapons charge against Marissa Alexander. The first of those would have been a legit interpretation of the jury instructions and the second would be perfectly acceptable prosecutorial discretion.

        Given that and that Marissa Alexander is a perfect example of what Florida "justice" is for blacks without SYG, by all means make your arguments that Angela Corey will be magically transformed into an impartial paragon of justice by scrapping SYG. As I've pointed out elsewhere, deep blue Rhode Island has a "stand your ground" law, but we don't hear outrage about racial injustice in prosecution and jury verdicts in shooting cases up there. You think just maybe it might have something to do with the people enforcing the law more than the law itself?

        Horace, if you have something substantive to say about my comment, this is a liberal site, so we actually encourage that sort of thing.

        •  What a circular argument (18+ / 0-)

          Florida has SYG and that has not helped Alexander, who hurt nobody, while it has helped two white men who murdered unarmed young black men. How is this a perfect example of what things would be like without SYG? and not a perfect example of the racist intent and effect of it?  

          If the Republicans ever find out that Barack Obama favors respiration, we'll be a one-party system inside two minutes. - Alan Lewis

          by MadRuth on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:44:19 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  One more time (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            theatre goon, ER Doc, FrankRose

            Let's try this again.

            Is self-defense an inherent right of human beings independent of nationality or things like the 2nd Amendment?

            If so, then a) self-defense is inherently legal, b) you are under no obligation to run away from an attack, and c) the burden is on the State to show that your actions were otherwise. All of which are part of the various SYG laws in both the red states and the blue states that have them. So far, so good.

            (and if you do not think that self-defense is an inherent right of people everywhere, then we're just going to have irreconcilable differences on the matter).

            If the State chooses to enforce, not enforce, allow or disallow self-defense as a legal defense on racial grounds, that is not a failure of the law, it is a failure of the people enforcing it (hence my comparison between how Kossacks and people in liberal states like Rhode Island would read and interpret the exact same law).

            If you, MadRuth had been on the Dunn jury, would you have interpreted Florida's SYG law to think that Dunn had been in reasonable fear of his life from "thug music" and was thus justified in his actions? If not, then you would have interpreted the Florida SYG law in the Dunn case in the exact same way as I would have, and the SYG law would have in no way prevented justice from being done. Right? If you or I had been on the Marissa Alexander jury, I at least would not have convicted her on a charge that would get her a 20 year sentence. How about you?

            Given that both of us and hopefully all of the people reading this would have used the current laws to generate proper justice, how is either of these cases thus a failure of the law?

            •  It seems to me that part of the problem, (9+ / 0-)

              in the Dunn case anyway, is that there's no evidence that there was actually an attack against him.

              And the problem is that "reasonable expectation" of harm is too subjective of a standard when we're talking about people's lives.

              If you're a racist who believes all young black men are thugs, then you're going to believe that the (in reality, irrational) fear that you have of them is reasonable.  And anyone on the jury who has the same idea about people of color as you do will feel the same way.  Just about everyone considers themselves to be "reasonable."

              •  Got it in one (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                theatre goon, ER Doc, FrankRose

                Exactly. We cannot change society by changing the law (e.g. Prohibition, War on Drugs, etc.). We change it by changing attitudes.

                And if we cannot change the attitudes at a lower level, then the laws that deal with infractions have to exist at a level high enough that a locality cannot abuse them with impunity.

                So, if you really want to make a change regarding something like a state's SYG and how it is enforced and implemented, it needs to be at a federal level like civil rights legislation. If the Feds could have stepped in, called this a hate crime and tried it in a federal court, how do you think the verdict would have turned out?

                Otherwise, the "states rights" types will always find a way to twist it to their own particular needs and biases (as we see with voting rights, same-sex marriage, abortion, etc.).

                •  The law follows social change (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  i saw an old tree today, a2nite

                  It appears that social change is going against the gun enthusiasts who argue for the littlest possible firearms oversight.  

                  You're right that the law can't change the social dynamics.  

                  It's going to happen the other way around, and the people who argue for reasonable restrictions on access to firearms are the ones who have the best argument right now, and the public is listening.  


                  by otto on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:18:44 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There's reasonable, and there's reasonable (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    theatre goon, FrankRose

                    Gun enthusiasts might also point out that the firearms homicide rate per capita has been dropping, it has done so in the absence of new and more restrictive laws to cause this drop, that things like the Brady Handgun law and the Clinton-era "assault weapon" law had no measurable impact on crime rates (a sharp drop around the time of Brady started before Brady and thus does not correlate to it), and thus the call for new and more restrictive laws is a) not necessary and b) the social dynamics are apparently changing on their own.

                    Plus of course we already have laws on the books about unlicensed dealers and background checks that are not currently being enforced by this administration, and until that starts happening, new laws that won't be enforced either are not going to do much.

                    Now, about "reasonable". Personally, I favor more enforcement of background check laws, competency-based licensing (law and practical) and uniform national standards for licensing rather than the patchwork of inconsistent state laws. For that attitude I have been called an NRA shill, gun nut, deluded and paranoid. By the intelligent, insightful, tolerant and inclusive Kos gun control community, of course.

                    On the other hand, we have an individual here at Kos who thinks that violating a gun regulation should result in an arrest for intent to commit murder, that 18th century flintlocks have too high a rate of fire for any weapon allowed for civilian ownership, and that any firearm accident, however trivial, should result in complete loss of firearm ownership privileges for everyone in that household for many, many years ("many, many years" is their preferred phrasing, not mine). That attitude gets you promoted to full blog admin at a Daily Kos group dedicated to repealing part of the Bill of Rights.

                    Which of the two of us sounds more "reasonable"?

                    •  Still trying to pick out strawmen? (0+ / 0-)


                      Did you call them "privileges?" Is that what you really think they are?  not rights?


                      by otto on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:43:18 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Here's the thing. (0+ / 0-)

                      The reforms you're talking about to gun control laws?  I agree with you that they're reasonable.

                      And there is certainly some validity to your argument.

                      But there's also validity to the argument that countries like Australia, that have much stricter gun control laws, have a lot fewer gun deaths than we do.

                      There's also validity to the argument that if one reads the entirety of the second amendment, it could also be interpreted as applying mainly in the context of a well-regulated militia.  Which, granted, in theory, your advocacy for national competency-based licensing standards sort of goes along with.

                      I do think some of the things you mentioned are things most of us can agree on, no matter which side of this debate we happen to fall on.  And they need to be discussed more.  Unfortunately, groups like the NRA convince a lot of people that even those discussions are simply one more step toward taking away your guns.

                •  But my point is (0+ / 0-)

                  that yes, people have the right to defend themselves if attacked.  The problem is, in Florida's SYG cases, there seem to be quite a few incidents of this argument being used, even though whether or not an attack actually occurred is debatable, at best.

                  Mind you, I don't interpret any of what you've said as a defense of Dunn.

                  And I do think you're correct when talking about hate crimes and such at the federal level.  I do agree that's a viable solution to things like this.

        •  What? For years, abused women have been using (6+ / 0-)

          Self-defense arguments. Sometimes successfully, sometimes not. But SYG is unnecessary to self-defense cases.

          •  You don't need a SYG law (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It's pretty simple.  We don't need a SYG law to use a firearm in response to a serious or deadly physical threat.  


            by otto on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:22:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Tell me... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              happymisanthropy, FrankRose

              What is to prevent the "victim" of a legimate self-defense act with a firearm from suing the crap out of the shooter in civil court? They might not win, but they could still bankrupt the person who shot them. What could possibly prevent this sort of travesty from happening?

              Oh right. The wording in many of the SYG laws that you want to scrap in their entirety...

              •  What is there to prevent them? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Nothing.  Why should there be something to prevent someone from using the court system to attempt to address a grievance?  

                Seems like a pretty pointless response.  


                by otto on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:44:23 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You are assuming they would be using (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  the court system to actually attempt to resolve anything rather than to harass and bankrupt.  Remember, SCO was able to keep their case against IBM going in court for ten years without having to provide a single scrap of evidence.

                  You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                  by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 09:48:43 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  That would be an extremely rare case (0+ / 0-)

                    That case would be very rare.  The question was what about who is the victim of a legitimate self defense.  

                    If the court rules that they have standing, then they have standing.  

                    But, how many judges do you think would take such a ridiculous case?  The person is harmed as a result of a defensive action against them by another person.  

                    Honestly, I don't know the law on this.  It just seems like it's not really a big enough issue to use as a means of derailing the discussion.  That's pretty much all gun enthusiasts want.


                    by otto on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:38:51 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There are all sorts of tricks that can be (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      used in court to delay things and run up the costs for the defendant thus bankrupting them even if you don't have a case.

                      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                      by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 11:58:10 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  You'd be mistaken (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      This is a paramount feature within SYG laws that is often times overlooked.

                      Primarily, if a victim acts in a Bon a Fide act of SD, SYG shields him from having to mount a usually bankruptcy inducing criminal and civil defense BEFORE the process begins.  Why should a victim (who had a choice to live or die) who exercises his natural right to self defense, lose EVERYTHING he and his family ever worked for, in defending himself in court?

      •  Oh, that qualifies (3+ / 0-)

        easily. I don't think there's a hard and fast rule governing the number of words or paragraphs of that sort of thing....

        This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

        by lunachickie on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:31:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  "baited" breath is right. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        newpioneer, FogCityJohn

        though, of course, illiterate.

        To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

        by UntimelyRippd on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:33:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Huh? (2+ / 0-)

      Why is it that you are so concerned about other people here?  Why don't you just make the case for yourself without bringing up other people?

      It seems like that would be more successful, and I think that's your goal, right?  Your goal can't just be to start useless arguments with other people, can it?


      by otto on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 06:52:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Transpose that (2+ / 1-)
        Recommended by:
        theatre goon, FrankRose
        Hidden by:
        Your goal can't just be to start useless arguments with other people
        I prefer to think of it as "other arguments with useless people". Those sorts are generally immune to logic and reason on these issues, and it does not matter whether they are irrational conservative ideologues or irrational liberal ideologues.

        However, they do serve as useful foils to present sound arguments directed towards rational readers of the topic in question, and since the ideologues generally can't stop themselves from making increasingly irrational replies, evasions, diversions and other sorts of non-answers, it further separates the sound arguments from the "I believe this because it gives me warm fuzzies" level of argument.

        The point remains that the only change being proposed to Florida law that would help people in the circumstances of Marissa Alexander is a change to Florida's SYG law that is being supported by the NRA (I'm not a member and I actually dislike them, I just find it ironic). When Florida Democrats propose something better, write a diary comparing the two proposals, let me know and I promise to discuss and comment on it in a polite and rational fashion.

        •  You have four long comments above. About (3+ / 0-)

          two sentences of all of the sentences in the four comments make sense. Now, you are calling other people here "useless"?

          I MISS CACTUSGAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          by rubyr on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 07:57:10 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The very first thing you mention (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tobendaro, sethtriggs

          You start off your post by being concerned about other people and how they will react.

          That's what I asked you about.  I asked you if it was necessary for you to try to gin up a useless argument.  

          I have two kids.  If their arguments are losing, they turn their attention to me, personally.  

          The arguments of the right wing gun enthusiast lobby are failing badly.  


          by otto on Sun Mar 02, 2014 at 08:21:17 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The subjects are intertwined (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            My original comment was to point out the inconsistency of those who think that getting rid of SYG is going to prevent racial bias in self-defense cases in states where racial bias in the law seems to be a fact of life.

            And the irony that the only change being proposed to the law that would benefit those in Marissa Alexander's position is being made by a group like the NRA. Where's the Democratic proposal to change the law in a way that would help here?

            Now, out of all the followup comments, how many of them have managed to address what I originally brought up, and how many have simply criticized me for daring to bring it up or have changed the subject?

            You for instance, diverted the subject over to access to firearms, which is at least as tangential to the issue as anything I have said.

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