Florida's No Retreat Law

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by stevento, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. stevento macrumors 6502

    stevento

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    #1
    I read something on CNN that I found interesting, so I did a bit more research on it. Sheriff: Law protects SUV owner who shot, killed woman

    In florida, when you're under attack, from an attacker, you don't have to retreat. You can use deadly force. Florida's no retreat law

    Because the man pointed a gun at the family, the father had the right to use deadly force to protect his family. But this is what has deeply confused me: Isn't that the law in all states?
    I would do the same thing. If someone comes up to my loved ones and points a gun at them, I would not hesitate for one second to use deadly force to protect them.
    Based on the amount of detail that is present in the story, I don't think the father should feel guilty in any way. But would he have gone to jail in other states?
    This is a controversial law signed by... get ready for it.... Jeb Bush. But this is one time that I have to agree with a Bush.
    What do you think?
     
  2. pooky macrumors 6502

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    #2
    This is generally common practice in most states, but in general, I think prosecutors in each jurisdiction have discretion as to whether to press charges. In other words, it is taken on a case-by-case basis. Also, in California, for example, it is illegal to carry a loaded firearm in a vehicle. Had this occurred in CA, the father may well have been charged for that, while being spared a homicide or manslaughter charge if the prosecutor deemed it was justifiable self-defense. From the wording in that article, it sounds like the man automatically becomes immune to any charges related to the incident because the incident involved self-defense.
     
  3. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #3
    There two important parts, here: First is that there is no duty to retreat from some clown who offers gratuitous threat. Second is the part, "It also gives immunity from criminal or civil charges to a shooter as long as the person shot is not a police officer."

    That keeps some shyster from getting the relatives of some bad guy with a record five miles long to sue on behalf of the "precious little angel". While courts usually find in favor of the righteous shooter, he's still out a bunch of wasted money on legal fees as well as the emotional stress and hassle.

    'Rat
     
  4. srl7741 macrumors 68020

    srl7741

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    #4
    Good 4 Florida

    Florida will save Million's of dollars with this new Law. I'm happy for any and all potential future victims.
     
  5. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #5
    I agree 100% with this law. If you know how to fire a gun and someone breaks into your house unload on them. If you don't know how to fire a gun, learn. If you refuse to learn you shouldn't have access to one, you'll get yourself killed.
     
  6. jarjarblinks macrumors 6502

    jarjarblinks

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    #6
    Deadly force is usually the easiest of all threatening situations.

    The question remains when the threat is not of deadly nature, or yet, but possibly leading up to. Does this give the defendant the right to "escalate" the situation - knowingly or unknowingly - to discharge force, up to deadly force to protect himself?

    Let's say, you are mugged at an alley, the aggressor has a knife, and he is easily 2-3 metres away from you. At that instant, you pull out a pistol and shoot him. You perceive that you are under deadly threat because of a knife which can be fatal in the aggressor's hands, but unlike law enforcement, as a civilian does this give you the right to hop over the "challenge and warning" procedures before discharging a round?

    Another grey area is that of self defence that leads aggravated assault. You are under threat by a man who is attempting to harm you by punching you repeatedly. You grapple with him and unknowingly breaks his arm, or dislocates his arm, effectively causing him a much more significant amount of damage than what he originally intends to cause upon you.

    Fair, or disproportionate use of force in the name of self defense?
     
  7. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #7
    well in example 1. You are at least always allowed to 1 up the person. If they go to a knife you go to a gun.

    The 2nd one clear case. You caused more harm than they intended to cause to you. So what they intended to cause you harm you can one up them. They intended to inflict minor injures with the possibility of causing major. You cause a much worse injury but still they were harming you.

    Over all I see nothing wrong with the law. For every grey area case it would protect a 100 crystal clear from being covered legal fees. The only people who truly will hate this law will the the lawyers who are cut out of a lot of money.
     
  8. dsnort macrumors 68000

    dsnort

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    #8
    I believe in some states you are required to attempt to escape the threat through retreat, deadly force is only permissible when retreat is no longer possible.

    It's been a few years, but I think Delaware and Maryland either have or did have this law.
     
  9. jarjarblinks macrumors 6502

    jarjarblinks

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    #9
    Don't get me wrong, I fully support this law.

    It's just a little tenacious in the spotty areas, such as where escape is evidently possible, or you inflict serious damage to an attacker in order to incapacitate him just so stop him from inflicting a much lesser act of physical damage onto oneself.

    This has repurcussions into the areas of vigilantes the way I see it. The important thing is, it leads to escalation. In time to come, every attacker, besides being opportunistic, will remain cautious of the ability of the defendent to be fatalistic. It will not bode well for the average citizen, especially so for law enforcement Officers.
     
  10. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #10
    The figure I've heard most often is 21 ft, i.e. anything within that range can be considered a lethal threat, so sayeth my cop friends whom I asked about this. If 21 feet is good enough for a cop wearing body armor, it should be good enough for the rest of us.

    In this I'd guess it depends on the continuing nature of the threat and whether or not it has been neutralized. If his arm is broken and he's clearly out of the fight and you withdraw, I don't see a problem. Beating the crap out of him in rage/anger when he's down crosses the line.
     
  11. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #11
    jarjarblinks, the onus is on the one who begins hostility. When gratuitous violence is offered, there is no such thing as a fair fight. If you come at me with your fists, I will do my best to ruin one of your knees and probably your sex life. I'm old and slow, but I can walk faster than a one-legged man can chase.

    Four meters with a knife? If your handgun is concealed, and I begin with a knife at that distance, you WILL be cut. You don't have time to stop me, absent skills in unarmed self-defense.

    I Googled for "Tueller Drill", and this is but one of many articles about it: http://www.policemag.com/Articles/2008/11/Beyond-the-Tueller-Drill.aspx

    Basically, the time required to identify a threat and draw and present a handgun takes at least 1.5 seconds. A healthy person can cover some 21 feet in that time: Seven meters.

    As far as personal opinion, I can but ask why any honest person has any duty to retreat from evil. It's just the opposite: An evil person should fear me--or you--and retreat.

    'Rat
     
  12. jarjarblinks macrumors 6502

    jarjarblinks

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    #12
    Well augmented. I concur with many of your points.

    However, in my opinion, the general public will have to educated that escape, where available, should be pursued. Thererupon call law enforcement and let them respond to the neccessary threat. Many civilians are unarmed, untrained, and if they physically commit to aggression with a motivated attacker, the dice might be rolled against them. Self preservation should be the main consideration.

    That being said, vigilante pursuant is admirable, but only to the correct individual with the neccessary skills sets. However, that does not entail a stand off, aloof reporting while leaving the innocent in harm's way. I definitely do not subscribe to that mentality. I will be involved. But that's me, because I am a trained individual. I agree that its irresponsible to blanket coverage the entire civilian populace with that civic duty.
     
  13. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #13
    The general belief among street cops, based on what they actually see on the street, is that those who resist as strongly as possible--whether trained or untrained, no matter--suffer less injury than those who try to run or who merely obey.

    Newspaper stories usually are given over to the politically appointed chiefs of police, who always say the opposite. Chiefs are many years removed from street work, and often have spent little time "out there". They're politicians.

    Drifting, and FWIW: I know or have known on at least a "beer drinking buddy" level some twenty cops. This is across many states and several decades. (I'm not a "cop groupie".) All of them view the Second Amendment as does the NRA. Among the moderators at a couple of RKBA sites where I moderate, we have at least two active LEOs and three retirees.

    'Rat
     
  14. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #14
    While that is good in theory and in practice a better idea. If retreat is an option if threaten then retreating is more than likely the best option. But here is where it breaks down.

    Civil law suites. Lets say for example you where threaten by some one with a knife and got back into a corner where you thought you could not retreat. you pulled the gun and killed the guy. Now the cops did not see a problem with the choice but that guys mother is mad because you killed her baby and turns around and sues you under the argument that you had the option to retreat. Now you will win the law suite but you are going to be out thousands in legal fees paying for a lawyer and lets not forget the huge amount of stress all that mess would add. You have no hope of recovering that lost money.

    it protects you more from that than anything else. It protects you from having to prove that you could of retreated. It protects you from paying a huge amount in lawyer fees and the stress from the law suit.
     
  15. srl7741 macrumors 68020

    srl7741

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    #15
    I agree

    Based on my experience I support that opinion and will simply say even if they were not out of touch (which most are) they still could not publicly support it. That is one of those topics that do not fare well and can get blow out of proportion quickly.
     
  16. jarjarblinks macrumors 6502

    jarjarblinks

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    #16
    I guess it really goes both ways. 'Rat is right in saying that retaliation is a good means of defense, fully agree on that.

    Likewise concur about the additional lawsuits which could have been avoided if prudence in action was adopted.

    I think 1 thing that we can all concur on is - if our loved ones are being attacked, there will be no quarter, no back down, no hesitation involved in the discharging of aggression to protect and keep them out of harm's way.

    I will, without a doubt, even if that entails deadly force. Whatever that could happen, will happen. But at that moment, its my loved one's safety above else. No other worry will come close.
     
  17. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #17
    Impressively macho attitude, but presumably you are not entitled to "unload on them" if someone merely breaks in. Surely they have to offer force themselves before you can claim self-defence.
     
  18. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #18
    Breaking in is force and danger enough in my book.

    They are breaking into where I live and that is dangerous to me. I am not going to try to figure out if they are going to harm me or run. If they do not start turning the 2nd they see me expect multiple slugs to enter their body.

    They are breaking in with the intend to steal and me being there is an huge unknown in how they will react. Just that unknown factor means I am not going to risk my life nor my family life on the possible they are not going to hurt me.
     
  19. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #19
    I did not ask whether you shared Zombie Acorn's "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude, I asked whether he was legally entitled to make himself judge, jury and executioner in the absence of a clear threat. Fortunately perhaps, such blanket assertions of willingness to kill intruders are not the same as legal entitlement.
     
  20. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #20
    This varies heavily from state to state in the United States. As I'm sure you're aware, many states are quite proud to promote that "impressively macho attitude." A great uncle of mine was a quintessential Georgia sheriff, and often offered advice along the lines that if someone is at your door threatening you, shoot him and then drag him inside. Intruders inside your home are considered fair game.
     
  21. rhett7660 macrumors G4

    rhett7660

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    #21
    Skunk..

    Wouldn't someone in your house who broke in be a clear threat? One does not know the true intention. For some reason I am not going to wait around to find out. Would you?
     
  22. MikhailT macrumors 601

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    #22
    This explains the information about the "Stand Your Ground" Law also known as No Retreat law.
     
  23. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #23
    I would not assume that a person who broke into my house was intent on causing physical harm to me or my family. Why would they be?
     
  24. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #24
    skunk, it is a common belief that if somebody breaks into your residence when you are home, they are willing to kill. Why would they not be? After all, it is reasonably thought that some 40% of all US households have one or more firearms. It is thus taken that anybody breaking in is himself likely to be armed. Who would criminally go into a dangerous situation otherwise?

    That belief is the position taken by various legislatures around the country.

    The reality, of course, is that if you don't have to shoot, you don't. Just because you're legal, shooting is not mandatory. If nothing else, there's all that carpet cleaning!

    And most of us who halfway regularly mess with guns figure that the macho-type Keyboard Kommandos are closer to Special Edu. than Special Forces.
     
  25. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #25
    oh yea? laws such as colorado's "make my day" law disagree with you

    if someone knowing breaks into my house, it is with ill intentions from the start. id have no issue shooting them if necessary

    if they dont want to accept that chance of being shot, then dont effing break into my house to begin with

    its a simple concept really

    what do you assume? they are there to make friends with you? lol

    chances are no, they are there to rob you and use violent means if necessary
     

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