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Default What should he get?

May 30th, 2009, 17:14
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090530/…cy_shooting_11

A pretty strong case of vigilante justice. The extra shots in the back are clearly overkill, but like the one guy quoted in the article says, when do you turn the adrenaline switch back off. I suppose you'd have to question what life the kid was going to lead. He's into armed robbery before he's even 18, and he's taken a head shot—pretty well a waste of air going in and probably with serious medical issues going forward. You could argue that the kid's better off.

I suppose some of the bleeding hearts around here won't even endorse the first shot, but it should lead to some interesting discussion.

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May 30th, 2009, 17:19
I'm completely fine with that first shot, but the adrenaline/self defense bit doesn't fly when he has to stop, go get another gun, and then shoots the guy some more. If he had stopped to reload his first gun it would indicate the same thing.

If he had unloaded like six shots into the guy all at once I owuld be fine with it since I would probably do the same sort of thing if someone held me up. Besides, he turned his back on the guy when he went to get the second gun - doesn't strike me that he viewed the guy as much of a threat at that point.
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May 30th, 2009, 17:42
This is all over our news here. I know where the pharmacy is, and let's just say I wouldn't be driving over there in broad daylight to get a prescription, let alone want to work there. Nonetheless, I think this is a good example of why some people don't need to have access to firearms—they panic and do things beyond the pale. Five gut shots to an unconscious and unarmed person?

I agree with the general concept that actions have consequences and that the druggist had a clear right to defend himself and the two women working with him. I also agree that when a kid sticks a gun in your face, you know he doesn't have much judgment or understanding and is very likely to feel no problem about killing you. One shot to the head, some firing in the air at the others, though, should have been enough.

I think the guy clearly intended murder (and revenge, and teaching them all a lesson, etc) from the moment he walked back to get another gun, not self-defense. But I'm sure he'll walk on the charges.

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May 30th, 2009, 18:00
Well, we don't do that sort of thing over here; by our standards, self-defense is legitimate only in absolutely extreme circumstances. An armed robbery isn't it, if it appears likely that the robber won't shoot anyone if he gets what he was after. The idea is that it's the police's job to catch the perps and the justice system's to punish them, not the individual's. In Finland, he would probably have been jailed for manslaughter; as a first-timer, he would probably do about four years in the clink.

In your neck of the woods, the community standards about what constitutes acceptable use of force are clearly different, and the case would have to be judged accordingly. Still, I'd imagine that even by those standards, shooting someone who's already down is beyond the pale.
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May 30th, 2009, 18:11
It depends on the state - most states have a "castle" clause in terms of self defense. Basically, your home is your castle, if some guy comes in and threatens you and tries to use force to make you leave you're free to shoot/harm/kill the invader. A good deal of states apply this to your business as well. Mags, do you know if Oklahoma has that clause or not?

Even without that clause, he most likely wouldn't even have been arrested if he hadn't gone back to get that other gone. "I was afraid for my life" is a pretty powerful excuse here in court. That's pretty cold-blooded.
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May 30th, 2009, 18:16
Answer's in the article:
Under Oklahoma's "Make My Day Law" — passed in the late 1980s and named for one of Clint Eastwood's most famous movie lines — people can use deadly force when they feel threatened by an intruder inside their homes. In 2006, Oklahoma's "Stand Your Ground Law" extended that to anywhere a citizen has the right to be, such as a car or office.
And yes, this guy clearly went above and beyond. I suppose the question the leads to is why is the situation there in the first place. Do you blame the guy for overreacting in a situation not of his choosing? Or do you blame the criminals for everything that comes out of a situation they create?

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May 30th, 2009, 18:52
You blame the criminals for creating the situation, and the defender for making it far worse than it had to be.

On a personal level I'm not all that sure how much good punishing the defender will do though. Meaning, will putting the defender in prison make him less prone to overkill if he's ever in a situation like this again (compared to just doing nothing at all). All the negative attention he'll recieve ought to be enough to ensure that he'll never do something this stupid again.

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May 30th, 2009, 19:05
@Rith; dte's got it right on the law. His actions initially were totally legal under Oklahoma law, and sadly, the feelings here are mostly on his side. In all fairness, in response to Prime J's idea that an armed robbery doesn't justify lethal force—here, the likelihood of the perp firing his gun is very high, exactly because he's a juvenile. He knows he in all likelihood will not be tried as an adult, and whatever he does will be taken off his record at 18.

The situation is there because of the society it exists within, plain and simple. It's just the way things are here, and it grows out of a culture that is very closely tied to it's 'Wild West' roots and to poverty, poor education, and meth labs.

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Last edited by magerette; May 31st, 2009 at 02:06.
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May 30th, 2009, 20:21
I hope they send him to jail for a long time.

The first shot was understandable. But the other 5 shots after the break were not justified at all because his own life was not in danger. It was self-justice, nothing else.

When I read stories like this I'm happy to live in a country where one of the key principles is the reasonableness of means of the reaction towards an action. Lethal force is only allowed if a life is in accute danger. Shooting somebody who is stealing an apple is not allowed, even if he doesn't stop when the police orders it.
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May 30th, 2009, 20:37
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
You could argue that the kid's better off.
Yeah, you could, but only because you could argue anything you want. Charlie Manson likes to explain when murder is appropriate, and his supposed intellect dazzles some folks, but he's got a screw loose, like everyone else who thinks murder can be justified.

The kid who was killed was only sixteen years old. He was unconscious, unarmed and lying on the ground. At that point he wasn't a threat; he was a kid who needed an ambulance, but what he got was murdered instead.

That's why this guy is under arrest; it's why he'll be prosecuted, and it's why he'll be convicted of murder and sent to jail. I wouldn't call what he did justice of any kind. The government will now exact justice.

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Last edited by Squeek; May 30th, 2009 at 20:49. Reason: This needed rewording
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May 31st, 2009, 04:41
Not trying to justify this in any way, but I read somewhere that if you shoot someone, it's better to ensure you kill them since then they can't sue you for millions. Would that be correct?

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May 31st, 2009, 07:23
Sued for millions - worst case = bankrupt
Tried for murder - worst case = lethal injection or life in prision

I think that risk analysis needs some work
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May 31st, 2009, 08:00
Plus, I kinda doubt that you'd consider stuff like that in the heat of the moment. A hardened criminal might kill in order to get rid of a witness, especially if he's facing a severe punishment anyway, but this is a bit different IMO.
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May 31st, 2009, 13:18
All I know is if some guy came at me trying to kill me and I had a gun, I'd probably empty the entire clip in him in a panic, and end up pulling one of those "super emotional action movie scenes!!!111" in which the protagonist dry fires for like thirty seconds.

That would probably be considered completely fine in court (if I was even charged with a crime). But if I reloaded a la Shawshank Redemption, or got an entirely new gun like this guy, that is when we cross the Rubicon from self-defense into cold murder.
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May 31st, 2009, 15:01
I agree, Rith, and I applaud the DA for bringing the charges.

Here's the timeline and all the little developments on our local channel.
Two interesting(legally) points as the case progresses:
1)The shooter has had death threats and petitioned the court to be able to continue to carry his gun at his bail hearing. The DA supported him, but the judge said no:

Now prosecutors fear Ersland's life could be in danger. District Attorney David Prater insisted Ersland be allowed to carry a gun even though he was charged with first degree murder. The judge seemed stunned by the request.

"You're saying the DA in Oklahoma County wants him to have a gun," Judge Tammy Bass-Lesure said.

"That's right," David Prater said.

The judge did not agree, and her decision has angered some of Ersland's supporters.
2)The criminals were taken to and from the robbery by a 32-year old convicted felon, who was the getaway driver, so one wonders whether they were being used due to their juvenile status to execute the robbery, presumably with the assumption that they could get away with it with nothing more than a stint in juvy… though now I think everybody involved is facing murder charges.

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June 1st, 2009, 11:12
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
He knows he in all likelihood will not be tried as an adult, and whatever he does will be taken off his record at 18.
Really? What a crazy law.

For myself, I'm not hugely impressed by his actions and the second handgun does come across more like revenge than like self defence. That said though, I'm a big believer in contributory negligence, and on balance would expect the life of the person killed to have been destructive rather than constructive.

I'd like to see something done so that there's a message of proportionality, but nothing major.
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June 1st, 2009, 15:14
Originally Posted by Benedict View Post
Really? What a crazy law.
Well, I've tried to research it a bit for you benedict, but it's a complex legal area beyond my knowledge. Here's a fairly clear article on the subject.
History of the Juvenile Court Justice System
I know that juveniles can be and usually are tried as adults in serious crimes, such as murder, and they may be in this case since a murder occurred as a result of the robbery, but normally the premise is that for something like walking into a store and waving a gun around (and even firing it) then departing with your ill-gotten gains, the penalties would be much less serious for a juvenile than an adult.

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June 1st, 2009, 15:26
The problem is that the juvie system was set up under the assumption that juvenile crimes would be minor and that juveniles could easily be rehabilitated. By running them under a different system, you avoid putting a kid in prison for 5-10 for stealing a candy bar. Youths are committing adult crimes these days and they aren't having that epiphany to "change their wicked ways" that the bleeding hearts think happens to folks that are incarcerated.

I'm surprised. Apparently we've got a bunch of bloodthirsty lefties around here. I really expected some touchy-feelie psychobabble claiming the first shot was "just plain wrong".

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June 1st, 2009, 15:27
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
Well, I've tried to research it a bit for you benedict, but it's a complex legal area beyond my knowledge. Here's a fairly clear article on the subject.
History of the Juvenile Court Justice System
I know that juveniles can be and usually are tried as adults in serious crimes, such as murder, and they may be in this case since a murder occurred as a result of the robbery, but normally the premise is that for something like walking into a store and waving a gun around (and even firing it) then departing with your ill-gotten gains, the penalties would be much less serious for a juvenile than an adult.
Oh I can see the point in that, indeed we have something similar in the UK, it was the suggestion of taking everything off the record at the age of 18 that seemed insane. We've got various rehabilitation of offenders things that mean that records are for most careers no longer an issue after a certain time, but actually wiping the records completely seems like quite a jump from that.
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June 1st, 2009, 15:34
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
I'm surprised. Apparently we've got a bunch of bloodthirsty lefties around here. I really expected some touchy-feelie psychobabble claiming the first shot was "just plain wrong".
I'm not left wing by any normal frame of reference . . . if the republicans weren't so ideologically driven & chock full of loonies I'd probably be relatively indifferent to american politics or even leaning slightly to the right.

Anyway, it's not necessarily bloodthirstiness. I'm not glad that he was killed, it's not by any remotely emotional perspective the best way this could have played out, it's just something that from a purely utilitarian standpoint hasn't involved the death of someone with an expected net positive value to society.
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