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Discussion Starter #1
For those of us that have taken classes or studied Use of Force, we know it is generally the case that when an attacker is retreating, it is unlawful to use deadly force against the attacker. Instead, we should just let the guy go and report the attack to the police. Now it seems someone used deadly force against their attacker, and while they are claiming that the gun went off accidentally (Yea, right!), although the trial court didn’t buy their argument, the appeals court did.

Please understand that I do not recommend that you use deadly force against someone that is trying to escape. This being stated, the court ruled it lawful in this situation and we are reporting the decision. It’s always possible that this ruling will be overturned.

Read on http://florida-gun-law.blogspot.com/2009/08/can-you-now-kill-retreating-attacker.html
 

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To me the rule of thumb has always been fear of life or great bodily harm, either your own or an innocent persons. Anything else enters the world of interpretation. That may be done by a sympathetic jury or Court OR a totally anti gun, anti self defense, anti anything done against a perp. entity.

Remember, shoot to STOP, not to kill. STOP means stopping an attack, not an escape.

Your milage may vary BUT so may your sentence.:D
 

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To me the rule of thumb has always been fear of life or great bodily harm, either your own or an innocent persons. Anything else enters the world of interpretation. That may be done by a sympathetic jury or Court OR a totally anti gun, anti self defense, anti anything done against a perp. entity.

Remember, shoot to STOP, not to kill. STOP means stopping an attack, not an escape.

Your milage may vary BUT so may your sentence.:D
:rolf Got that right sir.

If he's moving off, good for him, he's no longer a threat at the moment. I'd likely keep him muzzled and at the first hint he's re-engaging, take it to him again, but I agree with your thought process that "STOP means stopping an attack, not an escape."

Brownie
 

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Discussion Starter #4
To me the rule of thumb has always been fear of life or great bodily harm, either your own or an innocent persons. Anything else enters the world of interpretation. That may be done by a sympathetic jury or Court OR a totally anti gun, anti self defense, anti anything done against a perp. entity.

Remember, shoot to STOP, not to kill. STOP means stopping an attack, not an escape.

Your milage may vary BUT so may your sentence.:D
Roger that! :rolf
 

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I'm not really sure how the issue of shooting a retreating attacker applies to this case...it sounds more like the BG's friends were trying to pull him off of the victim. Being involuntarily pulled from the fray while trying to continue the attack is hardly the same as voluntarily retreating and 'quitting the field of battle'.

The victim still screwed up, IMO, by attempting to use a loaded firearm as an impact weapon; and by asserting that the shooting was unintentional, I would think that he'd possibly forfeit his ability to invoke a claim of lawful self-defense for the shooting and open himself up to a negligent manslaughter charge. I have read of situations recounted by Massad Ayoob where prosecutors attempted to convict a GG of manslaughter, denying the defendant's claim of self defense and contending that the shooting was actually accidental and thus, unlawful.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not really sure how the issue of shooting a retreating attacker applies to this case...it sounds more like the BG's friends were trying to pull him off of the victim. Being involuntarily pulled from the fray while trying to continue the attack is hardly the same as voluntarily retreating and 'quitting the field of battle'.
Excellent point. Once we leave the fact pattern in that case, all bets are off.

The victim still screwed up, IMO, by attempting to use a loaded firearm as an impact weapon; and by asserting that the shooting was unintentional, I would think that he'd possibly forfeit his ability to invoke a claim of lawful self-defense for the shooting and open himself up to a negligent manslaughter charge. I have read of situations recounted by Massad Ayoob where prosecutors attempted to convict a GG of manslaughter, denying the defendant's claim of self defense and contending that the shooting was actually accidental and thus, unlawful.
Another point made. Self-defense generally precludes a claim of unintentional discharge. I'm thinking that may be a point or error the state uses to bring this to the Supremes. It wouldn't be hard for a prosecutor to distinguish this case from their fact pattern, but until then, I'm glad it's in the books. I see myself using it.
 

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This is obviously a very serious issue but.....I can't help picturing the scene in the movie The Great Outdoors, w/ J. Candy and D. Akroyd, where they shoot the bear, heading out the door, in the butt with that shotgun..The attack was over but the revenge was sooooo sweet!!!:laughing
 

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I believe the courts are finally starting to rule in favor of the victims instead of the BG's. In my opinion, and this is in no way the way I see the law, just my opinion, that the BG, even if retreating is still a threat until he is captured or incapacitated. What is to stop him from attacking another victim if he walks away unscathed? He has the ability and the will and is already guilty of the crime. Maybe it's just my lack of sympathy, but I got tired of arresting the same people over and over again costing the state more and more money and creating more victims. I personally have no problems with someone being shot AFTER the fact while they are still in said vicinity, ie, in the house, car, within reach. Florida seems to be taking a stand on self defense, and we should be proud and lead the way. :drinks
 

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Sounds good but I would wait until there are a few more test cases on the books. There is a fine line between attacking and retreating. If the BG turns and runs 10 feet he is retreating but if he then stops and turns around with a weapon the attack is on again and you (hesitating because of the retreat) may not be ready to respond.

Plus there is a difference between retreating across a Walmart parking lot and retreating backwards out of a car (pulled or not). In the case of the car anyone still in the car is still capable of maintaining the attack.
 

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I believe the courts are finally starting to rule in favor of the victims instead of the BG's. In my opinion, and this is in no way the way I see the law, just my opinion, that the BG, even if retreating is still a threat until he is captured or incapacitated. What is to stop him from attacking another victim if he walks away unscathed? He has the ability and the will and is already guilty of the crime. Maybe it's just my lack of sympathy, but I got tired of arresting the same people over and over again costing the state more and more money and creating more victims. I personally have no problems with someone being shot AFTER the fact while they are still in said vicinity, ie, in the house, car, within reach. Florida seems to be taking a stand on self defense, and we should be proud and lead the way. :drinks
This is what I think as well. A VICTIM that just has had a crime commited against them (one that allows deadly force) should be able to use that deadly force in the immediate timeframe whether someone is retreating or not. Granted, someone should not be able to go hunt down someone and use that deadly force after the criminal has left the scene and out of sight.

Due to the castle doctrine, I am able to shoot someone in my home no matter what for the most part. If that person is not supposed to be in my home, that is sufficient enough to prove that this person intends harm and I can use deadly force. The law does not say that I can't shoot him in the back as he is running away from me in my home. So why should it make a difference in a public place where I am lawfully allowed to be. When a person that commits a crime that allows deadly force to be used, that person accepts that fact. Quit punishing the victims. I did not ask for the crime to be commited. The criminal started the act and should be held accountable for the actions that result.

I do not wish death onto any human being. But when a person commits a crime that warrants deadly force against them, I am hoping the VICTIM can come through with their right to use said deadly force. A criminal loses all rights to life when they themself are willing to commit criminal actions that could result in the loss of another life. End of story. A person does not automatically gain that right back just because they are running away. They will do it again.

I do not and would not look to end someone's life. And I don't think I would be able to use deadly force against a fleeing person. But that's me personally. But I feel that it should be allowed by law.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I'm not sure if Florida is really taking the stand. Seems only to be the Court. The AG disagrees with the ruling. I sent his office an e-mail yesterday explaining why I though it was important to let this one go. I'm guessing Chief Justice Warren is rolling over in his grave over this one.
 

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Mr. Buckley,

I must ask a favor. I appreciate your legal credentials and respect your knowledge, but please be more aware of us "regular" folk. Regarding the prior post you used the phrase CJ Warren. I spend twenty minutes hunting the internet to find out who CJ Warren was. I found car dealers and karate masters and many others. Then it hit me CJ was not the man's intials it was his title.

Just a heads up.
 

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Mr. Buckley,

I must ask a favor. I appreciate your legal credentials and respect your knowledge, but please be more aware of us "regular" folk. Regarding the prior post you used the phrase CJ Warren. I spend twenty minutes hunting the internet to find out who CJ Warren was. I found car dealers and karate masters and many others. Then it hit me CJ was not the man's intials it was his title.

Just a heads up.
:rolf:rolf that is some funny stuff. I agree that when I read it, I did not even give it a second thought. It was only when you said it was his title did it hit me that CJ stood for Chief Justice
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Mr. Buckley,

I must ask a favor. I appreciate your legal credentials and respect your knowledge, but please be more aware of us "regular" folk. Regarding the prior post you used the phrase CJ Warren. I spend twenty minutes hunting the internet to find out who CJ Warren was. I found car dealers and karate masters and many others. Then it hit me CJ was not the man's intials it was his title.

Just a heads up.
Hey now, I knew all about Warren prior to even thinking about law school. And I am regular folk. Gasp! I even drive a clunker! :laughing
 

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More importantly, it is very hard to tell when someone is retreating. One general once said he never retreated, just advanced to the rear. Moving away from you may be to get in a better tactical position not necessarily a retreat. a retreat.

If the guy is running away in a wide open field that is one thing. If running to a place where there is cover or concealment and still armed, its not a retreat from a tactical standpoint.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
More importantly, it is very hard to tell when someone is retreating. One general once said he never retreated, just advanced to the rear. Moving away from you may be to get in a better tactical position not necessarily a retreat. a retreat.

If the guy is running away in a wide open field that is one thing. If running to a place where there is cover or concealment and still armed, its not a retreat from a tactical standpoint.
Jack Bauer! :pistols
 

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LOL I did the same thing at first..In my head I was like 'I was sure his first name was Earl.. was it Charles?? ....
 

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It was not that I did not know of CJ Warren, I just did not think of Chief Justice out of the box.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
A client just called to ask me if I heard about "the new law" in Florida that says you can shoot an attacker running away form you. This sucks! Someone is going to get in trouble. :aarg
 

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A client just called to ask me if I heard about "the new law" in Florida that says you can shoot an attacker running away form you. This sucks! Someone is going to get in trouble. :aarg
Its sad but yet funny at the same time. :rolf
 
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