Consequences of Pulling the Trigger

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Malum Prohibitum, Jul 25, 2006.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Jury says not guilty. But your job is gone. You already spent more than a year in jail. 448 days of staring at concrete walls. Your finances are ruined. You celebrated two birthdays with only cellmates. A brother died while you were in jail.

    What would you do if a drug dealer, on whom you had just informed, cornered you and charged, yelling "Where them snitch MF at?" while reaching behind his back to his waistband?

    I know I would stop to correct the improper use of a preposition at the end of a sentence and the complete lack of a verb.

    But what would you do? And would you expect the consequences this man faced? Something to think about.

    An article that is well worth reading:
    http://www.azstarnet.com/dailystar/metro/138974.php
     
  2. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

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    AZ had a real bad self-defense law till this year, but the DA should be ashamed of himself. :x

    It was really ironic that AZ had such easy carry laws but such a difficult to prove self-defense law.
     

  3. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    Just to elaborate on what it means to have your finances ruined by something like this, consider:

    If you had a house (with a mortgage) when you were arrested, you don't anymore. The mortgage was foreclosed and your house taken after you missed the first several payments.

    Unless you had no debts when you were arrested, your credit is crap. You haven't worked in 15 months, which means you probably haven't paid any bills in over a year.

    If you owed money on a car, it's gone.

    If you lived in an apartment, you were evicted. Your stuff that was worth anything was sold by the landlord to pay your rent. The rest was put on the curb.

    If you had a wife, you may or may not still have one, but she, too, was evicted and lost a car, assuming she needed your income to keep above water.

    Your resume, no matter how sterling it used to be, now has a 15-month hole in it that does not scream "hire me."

    You are penniless, because anything you had in the bank was garnished to cover all those default judgments your creditors got against you.

    What was happening in your life while all this was going on?

    As MP said, you've been staring at block walls.

    The only light of day you ever saw was on the way to the courthouse for your occasional court appearances.

    You got to shower twice a week.

    You haven't had a decent meal, or any food of your choosing.

    If you got sick or injured, you got low-standard or no health care.

    The recliner, the TV, the boat, the guns, the garden, the friends: whatever you had worked to enjoy in your life, you were deprived of for that time, and most of them are gone even after you get out.

    You've been living with a group of men who were, for the most part, criminals. Never mind that you weren't and never had been.

    While you were living in jail, you were treated no better than anybody else that had been duly convicted of a crime and was there serving a sentence.

    All because you pulled the trigger to stop yourself and others from being killed by drug dealers.

    This is why I say we arrest way too many people in this country. Some of these things can happen after just a few days in jail (a lost job may be difficult to replace).
     
  4. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Pretrial Bond?

    Why was this guy in jail for more than a year before being given the trial that acquitted him? There is no category of offenses, even homicides, even murders, that automatically allow the state to hold somebody without a bond. Did he have some kind of criminal history that would justify denying this fundamental constitutional right?

    Or did he have a bond set, but neither he nor any of his friends and relatives feel like putting up the money? Did professional bonding companies also consider him a flight risk and deny him their services?

    Arresting somebody is easy. Probable cause is a very low standard to meet. Credibility of witnesses and weighing of conflicting evidence is normally left for trial juries to rule on, not for disposition by a single judge.

    Holding somebody without bond while his life falls apart is supposed to be a very unusual situation that isn't supposed to happen to an otherwise decent, law-abiding citizen.
     
  5. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    It's not unusual for people to sit in Fulton County Jail waiting for their trials. Those that do either don't have bond (this does happen in murder cases here) or can't make it.
     
  6. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

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    After haviing some expierance with our LEGAL not justice system I can attest that it is a nightmare. Just the criminal complant cost 5 grand for the defense atty, 1 grand for the PI, and another grand for the bail bondsman. All that for a case that was never going to make.
     
  7. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    ONE grand for the bail bondsman?

    They charge ten percent.

    This was a murder charge. Attempted first degree murder, later reduced to attempted second degree murder, two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and one count of aggravated assault causing serious physical injury. That is four felonies involving violence and a firearm.

    Do the math.

    UPDATE: Sorry, ber950, I see now that you were speaking of your own experience, not this guy's. Suffice it to say that if there was any bond at all, it would have been hefty in this case.

    Gunsmoker, this guy was a maintenance man at an apartment complex. It is not unusual at all for people like this to sit in jail for long periods of time. I have seen it happen many, many times.
     
  8. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

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    They charge more than that. It was more like 13%.
     
  9. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

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    Even if you can't make bond, why would you not invoke your right to a speedy trial? I am, of course, not a lawyer, but as I recall, the Fed time limit is 70 days, without findings on the record by the judge for some exception, which are much harder to justify when bond is not offered. In GA, I think you have to make a particular filing demanding such, but can't you just tell your public defender to do that, even though penniless. Then we're talking around 70-90 days at most.
     
  10. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

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    They charge more than that. It was more like 13%.
     
  11. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired New Member

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    I think ber950 has developed a stutter.... :lol:
     
  12. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

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    I was talking to a bondsman while at a bar one night and he quoted me 10%. Could they charge based on the risk they believe the accused poses or other market forces?
     
  13. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    Bond percentages are regulated by statute. Bondsmen are free to charge any amount up to the maximum allowed (which varies based on the amount of the bond), and they are subject to some extent to market forces.