The heroic husband was shot in arm but stabbed the robber, who remains at large. Want to bet the next thing he does is buy a gun?
Recently in Use of Force Category
The heroic husband was shot in arm but stabbed the robber, who remains at large. Want to bet the next thing he does is buy a gun?
It is possible, I suppose, to imagine an extraordinary circumstance in which it would be necessary and appropriate under the Constitution and applicable laws of the United States for the President to authorize the military to use lethal force within the territory of the United States.One need not imagine. It has happened. President Washington used military force to put down the Whiskey Rebellion. President Lincoln used military force to quash a larger rebellion. President Eisenhower sent the 101st Airborne to deal with Little Rock High School. Fortunately, they didn't have to shoot anyone in the latter instance, but they might have.
We have not hesitated to criticize Mr. Holder on this blog when he is wrong, but he is right in this instance. A lawful use of military force, even on American soil, cannot be ruled out in advance, even though the circumstances would have to be extreme and are unlikely to occur in our time.
Update: The WSJ has this editorial Thursday:
The country needs more Senators who care about liberty, but if Mr. Paul wants to be taken seriously he needs to do more than pull political stunts that fire up impressionable libertarian kids in their college dorms. He needs to know what he's talking about.
Update 2: The AG has sent Sen. Paul a supplemental letter:
It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: "Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?" The answer to that question is no.
The attorney for the man who shot and killed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin said Monday he'll seek to get the case dismissed using a traditional self-defense argument and not the state's "stand your ground" statute.I've been saying for some time I didn't think this was "stand your ground" case.
Mark O'Mara, who is defending George Zimmerman against a second-degree murder charge in the fatal February shooting, said the traditional self-defense approach is appropriate because the facts suggest his client couldn't retreat from a beating Martin was giving him.
Zimmerman's attorneys had said last week that they would use Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force -- rather than retreat -- if they believe their lives are in danger.
"The facts don't seem to support a 'stand your ground' defense," O'Mara said.
Some states, however, don't need a "stand your ground" statute because their courts never made a "duty to retreat" rule by caselaw in the first place. Bob Egelko has this story in the SF Chron noting that California is one such state. Overall, though, California law is not particularly friendly to people using deadly force against the initial aggressor. Of the three briefs that CJLF has filed in support of defendants over the years, two of them have been in California cases where the initial victim was charged with murder for using supposedly excessive force against the initial aggressor.
Both Egelko and Curt Anderson for AP note additional advantages for the defendant in the Florida law, aside from the "stand your ground" aspect.
Anderson says, "The U.S. Supreme Court has never weighed in on the constitutionality of such laws, and none has been struck down by a lower court." Well, of course not. People can, should, and do debate the wisdom of such laws, but what serious argument could be made that they are unconstitutional? It has apparently become part of our modern legal mentality that we assume every important question must be a constitutional question, and a federal one at that.
Bill Cosby weighs in with an interesting interview at CNN.
Eventually, a grand jury will issue a report based on its investigation. In the meantime, there are two competing narratives. In one narrative, Zimmerman followed Martin, attacked him, and then murdered him. Let's call this the "M narrative." In Zimmerman's account, he followed Martin, caught up with him, and then left; while he was leaving, Martin attacked him, knocked him to the ground, and began slamming his head into the pavement. Let's call this the "Z narrative."I am not making any judgment about which narrative is more plausible. The grand jury will do that. For now, it should be noted that neither the M narrative or the Z narrative has anything to do with a duty to retreat. The retreat issue would only be relevant if Martin were the aggressor, and Z had the opportunity to escape from Martin in complete safety. Then, and only then, would different state standards about retreat be relevant....
The core Florida law on deadly force in self-defense leads to clear results. If M is true, then Zimmerman's firing of the gun was a criminal homicide. If Z is true, the act was lawful self-defense. The results would be the same in every other state.
The "Stand Your Ground" laws in Florida and other states should all be repealed. At best, they are redundant. At worst, as in the Trayvon Martin killing, they are nothing but a license to kill.But of course it's not true, as Robinson comes pretty close to admitting further down the page:
The consensus view, which I've heard expressed by supporters of Stand Your Ground, is that police were wrong to extend the law's self-defense immunity to Zimmerman so quickly without a more thorough investigation -- and that, given what we have learned about Zimmerman's pursuit of Martin, the law does not seem to apply.The consensus happens to be right for once. If the facts are as the initial media blitz led us to believe, it's a case of murder, and the Florida law provides no defense. On the other hand, if the facts are as Zimmerman reported and one witness partially corroborates (see report by Rene Stutzman in the Orlando Sentinel), then it would be self-defense even without the Florida law. Duty to retreat is irrelevant if you are on the ground with the attacker on top of you, as Zimmerman claims.
One of the more depressing things about these [London] riots is the way that the only thing that the Police can think of to say to us non-looters and non-arsonists is: "Don't join in" and "Let us handle it." If the bad guys start to torch your house, let them get on with it. If they attack your next door neighbour, don't join in on his side. Run away. Let the barbarians occupy and trash whatever territory they pick on and steal or destroy whatever property they want to.
There was a fascinating impromptu TV interview with some young citizens of Clapham last night, not "experts," just regular citizens, one of whom stated the opposite policy. Law abiding persons should get out of their houses, he said, en masse, and be ready to defend them.
The trouble with "letting the Police do their job" is that in the precise spot in which you happen to live, or used to live, their job probably won't start, if it ever does start, for about a week. In the meantime, letting the Police do their job means letting the damn looters and arsonists do their job, without anyone laying a finger on them, laying a finger on them being illegal. This is a doomed policy. If most people are compelled by law to be only neutral bystanders in a war between themselves and barbarism, barbarism wins. The right to, at the very least, forceful self defence must now be insisted upon.
Question: How did we get the intelligence that made possible the raid that killed Osama?
Fake answer: By whimpering, "Why do they hate us?"
Real answer: By extracting information that, left to their own devices, captured al Qaeda operatives would never have divulged. Fortunately, under President Bush, they were not left to their own devices.
John Hinderaker makes the point on Powerline:
More information is coming out about how American intelligence identified and tracked down the al Qaeda courier who led to Osama bin Laden. It appears that the CIA's interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Faraj al-Libi provided the information that began the chain the culminated in bin Laden's death yesterday:
Officials say CIA interrogators in secret overseas prisons developed the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.
Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden's most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information from Mohammed's successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.
KSM and Libi are two of the three al Qaeda leaders who were waterboarded. Published accounts indicate that waterboarding was key to getting valuable information from them. Our intelligence on al Qaeda and other terrorists groups is of course much better than it was in 2001, but it is still possible that in the future we may capture a terrorist who has information that we have an imminent need to extract. Should that happen, it is unfortunate that waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques, which can best be viewed as humane alternatives to torture, have been taken off the table.
I have often questioned this Administration's seriousness in fighting crime. It happily went along with the Crack Dealers Relief Act (formally known as the Fair Sentencing Act); it appointed an Attorney General who gushes all over himself seeking the approval of the defense bar but can't decide where, or whether, to try terror mastermind KSM; and we have a DOJ that looks the other way at club-wielding thugs menacing a polling station.
This story, however, reaches the point of low comedy. Frankly, it sounds so bizarre that I have trouble believing it. But so far as I have been able to discover, the Administration does not deny it.
The story is, in short, that we are fighting the war on illegal immigration at the border, and its intimately related massive drug smuggling, with beanbags. Not too surprisingly, the opposition is not returning the favor, and is using guns. One of them killed a federal agent. If this has inspired any re-thinking of the Administration's policy, however, I haven't been able to discover that either.
Why a terrorist, or even a cat burglar, would take this crew seriously remains a mystery.
Had Californian Wesley Jones read this case, maybe he would have thought twice about rigging a grenade to his vacation home door. He apparently did not, and is now dealing much more serious - and criminal - consequences than his Iowa farmer counterpart. Jones's wife heard the pin drop when she opened the booby-trapped door, but fortunately the grenade did not detonate. Jones originally faced an attempted murder charge, but pleaded guilty to lesser offenses and was sentenced to eight years for burglary, assault, and weapons charges. Read the AP story here.
After 55 1/2 hours, it finally was over.
The stalemate between authorities and a mentally unstable and wanted man holed up for more than two days in a Sacramento apartment with a 16-month-old boy as his hostage ended Friday evening with the man dead and the boy safe.
"This is, in fact, by any measure a very, very successful outcome," said Sheriff John McGinness who said he gave the green light for deputies to use deadly force against Anthony Alvarez, 26, if the boy could be safely rescued.
Salinas police have said Moore, 29 at the time, pushed Harish Dinesh Davis to the ground on Dec. 26, 2008, causing him to hit his head on the pavement. Police have said Moore shoved Davis after the transient, about age 60, ignored repeated requests to stop washing the windshield of Moore's BMW.
A shove is not force likely to cause great bodily injury. It is force likely to cause no injury at all. It is an entirely appropriate amount of force to use when a trespasser to one's chattels refuses to desist after being warned. In this case, it caused accidental injury resulting in death. But a legal use of force against the transgressor does not become a crime because of an unlikely and unintended consequence, however unfortunate. That consequence is the result of Davis's own misconduct, and that is where the blame lies.* * *On Thursday afternoon, Moore pleaded no contest to assault with force likely to cause great bodily injury. He also admitted to an enhancement of causing great bodily injury. He is scheduled for sentencing July 7.* * *Before the confrontation, police have said Moore and a female companion stopped at the gas station while traveling through Monterey County on Highway 101.
They said Davis was seeking donations in exchange for washing windshields, and Moore walked into the station store to complain about him. They said Moore saw the transient arguing with the woman, came outside and pushed Davis, causing him to hit his head.
We need to revise California's law of authorized use of force. Given that our state cannot afford to protect us, it can at least allow us to protect ourselves.
Reed Elsevier and Mac's Shell address areas copyright and franchise law, but today's decision in Johnson held that in the context of the Armed Career Criminal Act's definition of "violent felony," the phrase "physical force" means violent force. This means that in order to qualify for enhanced sentencing under "violent felony" section of the Armed Career Criminal Act, a person must have engaged in "force capable of causing physical pain or injury to another person." The individual could not be sentenced for a violent felony if the person had been convicted for "unwanted touching."
In 2007, Curtis Johnson pleaded guilty to knowingly possessing ammunition after having been convicted of a felony. This violated 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(1). Based on its determination that Mr. Johnson had three earlier convictions for violent felonies, the district court sentenced him to 185 months in prison. Mr. Johnson appealed the court's determination with respect to his 2003 conviction for "unwanted touching," which had been elevated from simple battery to felony status because of a prior battery conviction.
In today's 7-2 decision, Justice Scalia wrote that Johnson's 2003 "conviction was a predicate conviction for a 'violent felony' under the Armed Career Criminal Act only if '[a]ctually and intentionally touch[ing]' another person constitutes 'physical force' within the meaning of §924(e)(2)(B)(i)." When the Court ruled that it was not, it reversed the judgment of the Eleventh Circuit, set aside Johnson's sentence, and remanded the case for further proceedings. Justice Alito wrote a dissent, which Justice Thomas joined.
Prompt legislative action is in order.
Notably, opposition to the investigation runs much higher among the attentive public -- Americans who say they follow news about national politics "very closely." Among this group, 36% approve and 63% disapprove of the investigation. On the other hand, a majority of Americans who follow national political news less closely approve of the investigation.