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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spartacus Maximus wrote:
In cases like that of the war veteran mentioned earlier, I would agree that the situation probably gave him few other recourse. He was old and he was outnumbered by younger perhaps stronger armed attackers. However, the fact that he was initially charged and taken before a magistrate proves the point that claiming self defense is very difficult to do. Courts can be costly and trials can have terrible consequences even if one wins.

The general public perception of people who are trained to inflict pain such as active/ex soldiers, martial artists etc is always a disadvantage in court cases where such persons are involved.

Escaping at the first opportunity is the best insurance because it clearly shows who is the defender if the parties end up in court. It also prevents the attack from escalating to a more serious conflict.
You make very good points, and I agree. This perception that you talk about is something that I think needs to change. If not, then perhaps the jury should consist of self-defense experts and former fighters then? Someone who actually understands what happens in conflict, and not untrained civilians that get some bad ideas and concepts from movies and such.
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Spartacus Maximus
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately the popular perception among ordinary people who's only familiarity with martial arts, combat or anything of that nature come from popular culture and the media. It has changed somewhat but it is still superficial at best. Urban legends, myths and misconceptions are still widespread. There is not much that can be done to change this because the average person has no serious interest in learning the truth. If they were, everybody would be involved in martial arts etc.

Knowledgeable and experienced individuals are few and far between. They could be called upon to bring their opinion to a court case the same way psychologists are called to assist but it is not so common.

It would be quite difficult to assemble an entire jury on short notice. Doing this would also negate the purpose of a jury, which is meant to represent the society by including men and women from various social and professional backgrounds.

Being aware of this is an important thing to discuss and remember so that accurate and realistic preparations can be made for the event of a self defense situation. It is unfortunate that so few instructors teach this to their students in addition to all the physical techniques. Too many skilled practitioners lack the skills and awareness to keep themselves out of situations where martial skills would be needed.
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In cases such as these, its important for a witness for the accused to be an expert in self-defense and use-of-force. A good attorney would probably be able to line up an expert witness such as this, which would be able to help the case.

I do agree with you in regards to urban legends and the like. There are lots of misconceptions out there, and its important that through the process of the trial, that the jury is educated about these misconceptions, and how they can't be applied.
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Spartacus Maximus
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Few ordinary people have the means to hire an attorney. Even less have one at their disposal and available to be consulted at their request. More than likely both parties in the case will be represented by a public defense attorney.

In light of this it is much wiser to take the precautions necessary for preventing legal action; or at least increasing the likelihood that a claim of self defense will be easily established and supported. Any expert called to give an opinion based on the circumstances will be expected to do so honestly. This can be a double- edged sword especially if any point is ambiguous.

Realistically speaking though, when dealing with an attack by a stranger there is a strong probability that such an attacker will not want to bring the incident to the authorities. It is far more probable that he will attempt to escalate the assault or seek revenge. Escaping at the first opportunity solves this problem.

I would also add that self defense situations don't always happen in familiar circumstances or environment. It is best not to assume that the authorities or legal system will agree on who is at fault. As for me, I would rather not take the chance to find out.

After the shock of an attack, the injuries and other aggravtions the last thing I want is having to spend countless hours explaining and pleading my case. I would much rather have that time for recovering, unwinding and thinking about if I could have handled it better so that such an experience does not repeat itself. One time is too many, even if you do make it in one piece physically, emotionally and financially.
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All are points that I agree with you on. Avoiding a confrontation at all costs is paramount. But I think this guy did the right thing, and is being punished for it, and that's wrong. But, I digress...

A mantra you see bandied about a lot, and usually by people who don't have a clue, is the old quote, "Better to be tried by twelve, then carried by six." If it comes down to it, and you don't have a choice, then yes, defend your life as you need to. But, its important to know what the consequences could be. Its definitely better to be at a trial then in a box at your own funeral, but the former could end up costing some of your livelihood, as well.
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Harkon72
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is true, I agree. I just hope we have a choice. My Sensei says to us that if you are calm, if you can see options and maybe their consequence, then you are blessed. The Red Mist is a dangerous place to be; it may save your life but it could end it also. I pray that I will always see some options and that the day where I am faced with the point of no return never comes.
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Spartacus Maximus
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would add that the advocates of "better tried by 12 than carried by 6" also invariably tend to have only one very extreme way of "defending" themselves. This type of thinking is very dangerous because it allows fear and other emotions to take over judgement.

Proponents of this attitude will have difficulty evaluating situations and will respond to ANY type of threat as if they were in mortal danger. This will result in an overkill "defense" that will certainly land them in serious trouble and not just with the law. It is tempting to believe that rules do not exist in self-defense. They are different from the ring or dojo but they do exist even if they are not explicit.
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bushido_man96
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. Many will go over the top in defending themselves, and wind up in trouble themselves.
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ShoriKid
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Styles: Matsubyashi-Ryu, Okinawan Kempo, wrestling, bits of BJJ

PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bushido_man96 wrote:
I agree. Many will go over the top in defending themselves, and wind up in trouble themselves.

Conversely, many people are injured and killed for fear of the consequences of using force. Combined with the asinine mantra, "Violence is never the answer" being hammered into people and it is a mix that makes a violent aggressor's job too easy. People should not be afraid to defend themselves when they need to do so out of fear of the law.

In my home state there is no duty to retreat. Which has nothing to do with the way the media has portrayed these laws. It does not provide justification to use violence, up to deadly force, just because I feel like it. The same standards for use of force exist, but it eliminates the need to prove I tried to flee. If there is a legal right to be somewhere, you are not the instigator of the use of force/situation and your use of force is proportional, you have a good chance of being able to claim self-defense successfully.

In the US prosecutors have a great deal of discretion on who is charged and with what crimes. If said prosecutor is not a proponent of robust self-defense laws and rights of citizens, they have the authority to charge people claiming self-defense with crimes and try to get a conviction. Through the expense, time and complexity of trail they can get that conviction, or convince someone to plea to a lesser charge in order to avoid greater penalty. Thus, criminalizing a natural act. So what is legal, and acceptable in one location, could land you a long term in prison in another.

There is more to my response, but time to head off to work, where by company policy I am disarmed and discouraged from defending myself because lawyers write the policies.
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Archimoto
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The survivor always tells their side of the story and the system is burdened with determining whether a crime has been committed. Many have assumed that the original post in this thread is fact but the system can not make such assumptions.
In fact I find that most systems and laws have it right and sadly that it often boils down to which side has a better attorney or representation.
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