Doesn’t matter if it’s okay or not, it IS the law. Try convincing the IRS you should not suffer the legal consequences of a penalty because you “didn’t know the law” as regards taxes and filings. It is the same for fish and game laws, particularly those that aren’t even American laws, because foreign law does apply to Americans if they try to obtain a foreign (i.e. – not native to the US) species of fish. People have no idea what those laws are because they are the laws of another nation… yet they can be applied to us, and the Fish/Game people don’t give one fig that you’ve never heard a whisper of those laws.Too bad citizen, you're responsible for knowing all the laws. See you in court.
Is that OK? The analogy is not a perfect one, but I think you can see the point.
Under the rubric of law you’re proposing, a ten-year old could jump into a motor vehicle and attempt to drive his injured friend (who is bleeding badly) to a hospital, slam into a van full of preschoolers, killing them all, and face no penalty at all since we can’t expect a kid of ten to know all the applicable motor vehicle safety laws, nor that the laws of physics are not your friend when you try to bring a heavy mass to a sudden stop. So would you let this kid go free, no penalty whatsoever? That sounds remarkably like the urban gang philosophy of having kids pull the trigger in a gang hit on the theory that the penalty will be far less for them being kids and all.
I’m just not a believer in the tail wagging the dog. These rules/laws were made and put in place for good and valid reasons. It’s one thing for conflicting laws to put a citizen in the middle as your scenario about helping the cop to arrest poses. It’s another thing entirely to use a firearm on a person who is not armed and posing no immediate threat to you. Ignorance doesn’t get you a pass.
I don’t know what the laws are regarding stealing a tank from the National Guard armory and driving it up and down the streets, over the top of cars. But while ignorant of those, I would not expect to be set free were I caught doing that. I don’t have to know the exact penalty to understand it’s probably going to be pretty steep.
(Side Note: If I AM going to get a pass for doing that, please let me know a.s.a.p. because there are two vehicles in my 'hood that need tanking in order to quash the never-ending stream of obscenities that issue forth under the auspices of Hip Hop music. I just need the combo to the lock at the armory gate. )This isn’t rocket science… the law envisions a case of a person coming under attack and responding to that attack with normal reactions. Guy reaches into your open car window and tries to grab you – you open the door and with all your strength blast it into the guy. Your intention is to drive him back away from you with force… but you drove the corner of your heavy metal door square into his temple and shut his lights off for good. That’s accidental, and it didn’t involve a deadly weapon in the normal sense. The car door became a deadly weapon in this case, but is not itself a deadly weapon on par with a gun or a knife.However Florida's excusable homicide law excludes acts done with a deadly weapon - so not perfectly on point here.
I don’t see the reported scenario being any sort of accident. Could be if the shop keeper picked up the gun and it did that thing we all hate to hear, it “just went off.” But so far I don’t see anyone making any claim that anything like that happened.
You’re right about juries being a big unknown, and part of that is because they are told two different stories, each claiming to be the truth. One attorney wore wingtip shoes to court that day, and Juror #4 doesn’t trust people who wear wingtips. That attorney’s summation will not fly in Juror #4’s eyes.
Sticking solely to the elements of the crime that must be proved in order for a conviction, I believe the shooter has an uphill battle trying to convince a jury that he shot a robber in the face with a firearm and didn’t expect something really bad to happen. If I was on this jury I would also be sympathetic to the same factors you cite, but not sympathetic enough to dismiss it all.
Last edited by OHEng; 07-07-2019 at 03:11 PM.
A man with two watches never really knows what time it is.
I think the feminists probably need some serious man in their lives.