Monday, May 21, 2018

Misunderstanding Self-Defense: Legal

So I saw a link to a story on the website "The Root" that trumpeted that a shooter they called "the George Zimmerman of Alabama" had been found guilty of manslaughter. Not being familiar with the case, I clicked over to read the details:
"Around 7 a.m. on June 16, 2016, Scott was making a delivery in his bread truck in Huntsville, Ala., when he noticed that the door of his truck was open. That’s when Scott said he noticed Mustafa walking away with his black lunchbox, reports. 
Scott testified that he yelled to the boy to drop the lunchbox but said the young man responded by giving him a “screw-you look.” 
“I told him, ‘Drop it or I’ll shoot,’” said Scott. When Mustafa didn’t comply and began to run, Scott shot at the teen but missed. So Scott shot again. And again. And again. And again. 
On the sixth try, Scott finally put a bullet in the back of the 16-year-old’s head."
Okay, that's pretty much exactly not anything like George Zimmerman, outside of the relative races and ages of the shooter and shootee. Beyond that, there's not a single similarity...legally or morally...between shooting a more physically powerful assailant who is pounding the back of your head against the pavement and backshooting somebody for misdemeanor lunchbox theft.

Totally the same thing as a fleeing lunchbox.
As a bonus,  I read the first batch of comments.

Almost everyone there was shocked he'd been convicted of manslaughter. They thought the charge should have been "Murder 2", because thanks to Law & Order, everybody knows the New York Penal Law, so they must have gone after manslaughter because racist and Alabama.

Rather, in this case, the prosecutor wisely went after the slam-dunk Manslaughter because it took the "heat of the moment" defense off the table and reduced Scott to trying to claim that he unluckily struck the kid with one of the fusillade of "warning shots" he sent after him.

Your carry permit is not a Batman badge. The only person more clueless about the legalities of self-defense than the column writer and his commenters was the trigger happy clown who just got twenty years to think about the error of his ways.