Should self defence entitle us to use extreme force per USA

Discussion in 'The NAAFI Bar' started by Monty417, Aug 19, 2009.

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  1. In the USA, members of the public are legally entitled to use extreme force in defence of themselves, family, friends and employees, if they are in severe danger from an attacker. Here, we are allowed to use reasonable force in the same situation. However, it is our citizen's duty to go to the aid of someone in that situation, sometimes resulting in the helper being prosecuted. I think that the American law is less confusing and more protective of the victim than in the UK.

    What are your views on this?
     
  2. I think as this forum is is mainly for squaddies I think you ll find most of them would and will use extreme force to defend themselves rather than get a good shoeing!
     
  3. Agreed, the last thing you want to be thinking about as someone is setting fire to your house after raping your dog and stealing all your kit is whether you are going to get banged up for tw*tting him/them.
    What was that farmers name? Tony Martin? He fell foul of this legal quagmire.
     
  4. tricky one because it all depends on the situation but if I me of my girlfriend was in danger I wouldnt think twice about putting someone down on ther arrse by whatever means possible.
     
  5. There are others on this site far more qualified than I to answer this question BUT: I believe under UK Law any person may use Lethal Force against an attacker if they honestly believe that is the only way to save thier own or someone else's life.

    Of course, they will then have to justify this to the police, courts etc.
     
  6. You must bear in mind that US law varies from state to state and in some cases it depends on what city or county you live in. A friend of my ex lives in Arizona and the general gist is if you find someone in your home or if someone forces their way across the threshold, the best bet is to kill them, that way there is only your side of the story. I understand Texas is even more broad minded on that.

    Also with some US states a lot of the personal defence laws stem from frontier law which has been largely unchanged in some areas, and it wasn't that long ago that the average citizen in certain areas was routinely armed.

    The Tony Martin case I am not sure about now as it's been a long time, but didn't he shoot someone in the back as he was running away? If that is the case then the threat was removed so he went a little too far. Not that I blame him for doing it as they were pikey types and that's the only thing that most of them comprehend. However legally he had used excessive force if what I have just posted above is correct.
     
  7. Stab, exactly right; Martin shot the Pikie in the back while it was running away. He should have never been charged with Murder, given the stress and fear he was under at the time Manslaughter would have been fair. Especially since he would never have been in that situation if not for the police effectively giving up and allowing Pikies to do whatever they wanted.
     
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  9. Absolutely correct. You can meet force with force as long as its proportionate and necessary.

    Bear in mind an honestly held belief is a subjective thing and will be open to a legal test in court. Just because you believed it was necessary to act as you did, does not mean you would not be required to justify your actions in court. Others may not agree with you. Like the judge.

    That said, I personally would have no problems with acquainting billy burglar with a baseball bat if I caught him screwing my house. I would be prepared to take my chances in court. I would just make damn sure I could justify it to a jury of my peers.
     
  10. Purely hypothical of course, Marco, but if billy is unarmed when he come calling, would it be effective to twat Billy first, then stick a BFO knife in his hand while he's sleeping?
     
  11. I'll hazard a guess that that's been done more than once. If I heard a noise in the night and crept downstairs with my trusty cudgel and saw some cnut in my house, I really don't think I'd think about the consequences if he ran at me. Saying that, I've got dogs, I think that I might be liable in law if an intruder was found somewhat torn up.

    Marco is right though, that is why I think our law on this, is more confusing than the law in the various states of the USA (re Stabradrop) and is not so victim friendly.
     
  12. Many years ago, in a pub I worked in part time, the manager ran a burglar through the shoulder with an old wartime bayonet, bungling burglar lay at the foot of the stairs bewailing his fate and the Gendarmes turned up, manager told them what had transpired, but Monsewer le Flic told the manager that in HIS opinion the intruder had brought the bayonet with him and had stumbled on the stairs and impaled himself as he decended at a tumbbly rate of knots after being discovered nudge, nudge, wink, wink, statement signed to that end and intruder is carted off to hospital and then cells. Result
     
  13. Ref US laws, when I was living in Florida there was a local case of a shop owner who found some people browsing the shelves after closing time. He shot and killed one and the other got away. He was still arrested and had to prove his case.
    In my opinion the laws generally in the States don't differ that much from here, it's the same case as here where you can use reasonable and necessary force against an intruder.
    It's just that their opinion of reasonable and necessary aren't quite the same, and people are generally armed.

    When my ex's daughter said she saw someone at her window while she was changing I ran out there with a baseball bat. A neighbour heard the ruckus and when I told him what had happened he popped back in the house for a second and brought out two automatics that he had specifically for home protection.
    Never found any sign of bloke at window and the ex thought I was a bit stupid for only going out there with a bat. There was every chance that the intruder would have been armed too
    Same rules, just a different way of looking at them
     
  14. As Stabadrop pointed out, the Law changes from State to State in the US; Texas pretty much has a kill-them-all-God-will-know-His-own attitude. Try to break into a house in the Lone Star State and it's open season on you. :twisted:

    A couple of years ago a Texan shot dead two scumbags who tried to break into his NEIGHBOUR'S house! No case to answer, said the Texas legal system... :wink: