Not Guilty! Destroy Gun?

Discussion in 'In the News' started by Malum Prohibitum, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    A man was charged with "assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and inflicting serious injury" next door in North Carolina. The Jury found him not guilty with almost not deliberation or hesitation. Then the judge orders the man's gun destroyed!



    The jury returned after about 10 minutes and a not guilty verdict was read by courtroom clerk Vivian Jackson.

    After the verdict was read, Judge Ammons gave Mr. Hines some advice.

    "Take that concealed weapon permit and turn it in to the Sheriff's Office - you don't need it," Judge Ammons said. "If the gun is returned to you, go sell it. You don't need it."

    Mr. Strickland [the local and overzealous district attorney] told Judge Ammons he wants the gun destroyed.

    Judge Ammons convened a hearing to decide the matter.

    "In a hearing before a judge, the weapon can either be returned to the defendant or I can order the firearm turned over to the sheriff and destroyed," Judge Ammons said.

    Mr. Hayes defended Mr. Hines' right to keep his firearm.

    "The court heard the evidence, Mr. Hines is in lawful possession and has a legal permit," Mr. Hayes said. "You're destroying a $600 to $800 gun which belongs to someone who has never committed a violent crime and you've heard testimony of his good character and reputation."

    "We have heard the evidence and Mr. Hines took a firearm into a situation late at night where he knew it might be used," Mr. Strickland said. "The state is concerned a similar incident might happen again."

    After hearing arguments from both sides, Judge Ammons ruled the firearm be turned over to Harnett County Sheriff Larry Rollins and destroyed.

    :shock:


    Link to Original Article
     
  2. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Although he can of course appeal, what is the guess as to the cost of an appeal compared to the $600-800 cost of the firearm?

    :soapbox:
     

  3. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    Yeah, thats what New York and some other states have been doing with the Drug laws for a long time. Oh that $1000 in cash you were taking to your family in Mexico, well it smells like drugs so we will confiscate it, if you want it back you can pay a lawyer $5000 or more to get it back.

    I read about a case in NYC where a person was busted speeding in a nice car and it was impounded. The charge was reduced but they would not give the car back.

    I would let them go ahead and have it. Then file a police report and an insurance claim that it was stolen, when the check arrives I would go down the street to a dealer and get a new one.
     
  4. viper32cm

    viper32cm New Member

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    Oh if our founding fathers were still around today...
     
  5. rajl

    rajl New Member

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    I'm not a lawyer, but how could you report something as "stolen" if it was confiscated by court order?

    I do admit, the idea of filing a police report that a judge or police officer stole something of mine in this situation does bring a smile of mischief to my face. 8)
     
  6. ls1ssdavid

    ls1ssdavid New Member

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    This man should take his case to the NRA and see if they could help him. They could assist to foot the bill of the appeal.

    He took a gun late night in an area which he knew it might be used. Isn't that the point of purchasing a firearm? To defend oneself when necessary for life or liberty.
     
  7. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    I am not one either, but I have a few ideas. I know you can't lie, but depending on the circumstances of how it was taken and how firearm theft reports are submitted, you might be able to do it.

    If it is just paperwork to fill out, it would be much easier than if a LEO wrote the information.
    I would assume that an officer confiscated the gun when he was arrested. So I would report exactly what happened when I was arrested but leave out a few of the details.

    Hypothetical Example:
    On the night of Friday, May 4th while in the parking lot of the Kmart, I was approached by 4 males and 1 female all of whom I have never met before. Some of them pulled out guns and made me lie on the ground like you see in those police shows, which is when one of them took my firearm. They told me not to move and the man that took my gun left. After it was all over I took a ride to the police station, but by the time I got there I was too shaken up and upset to report it.
     
  8. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    Something less risky but just as good would be to claim the firearm as a charitable donation and deduct the expense from your taxes. :twisted:
     
  9. rajl

    rajl New Member

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    I'd probably sue over it anyway, even it would cost more than the gun was worth. Keeping the govt in check is well worth the price anyway.
     
  10. ls1ssdavid

    ls1ssdavid New Member

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    rajl- I agree isn't that why we pay dues to the NRA??? So they can stand up for this man and help him with the court costs.
     
  11. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Troublesome Cases

    I like the simple, bright-line rule that says if you were acquitted of a crime, the law should consider you to be innocent of that crime for all purposes, period. But there are problems with such a simple rule, and that's why sometimes it is not followed.

    Technically, a jury's verdict of acquittal is not to be read as "Having heard all the evidence, we are convinced that the defendant is innocent." Instead, you can think of an acquittal as the jury saying: "Considering only the evidence deemed legally-admissible by the judge, we all agree that the State has not proven, beyond any reasonable doubt, each and every element of the crime the accused was charged with, and that the crime took place in the same manner as described in the indictment (or accusation)."

    The second phrase still allows for the possibility that the jury is 80% sure that the guy did it, but they're not sure "beyond a reasonable doubt." Or they could be 100% sure that he committed a serious crime OTHER THAN the crime described in the indictment. I mean, suppose the State charges a person with only kidnapping, nothing else, and the jury is convinced that the suspect did point a gun at the victim and order the victim out of the building and into the trunk of the car, but because the victim ran away instead of getting into the trunk, the jury doesn't feel that the "kidnapping" was completed, and the State failed to charge the lesser-included offense of attempted kidnapping, and similarly didn't charge aggravated assault, battery, terroristic threats, or anything else. Suppose the jury would have easily convicted the defendant of "aggravated assault," but their only choice was either "kidnapping" or acquittal?

    Or suppose the victim and main witness against a robber is an elderly person who has a heart attack and dies (natural causes unrelated to the crime) before trial. Without him as a witness to tell the jury what happened, the case goes from a very strong case based on direct evidence and compelling testimony to a case that will rely only on circumstantial evidence and no input from the victim, because his prior statements to the police and investigators will be ruled to be inadmissible (the defendant can't confront or cross-examine the now-deceased accuser). If this case ends with an acquittal, or even if the DA's office just dismisses the case rather than go to trial on something they know they'll lose, should the defendant just immediately get his gun back?

    BOTTOM LINE: "Innocent until proven guilty in a court of law" is a catchy phrase that sounds really good at first, but in real life there ARE situations where a person is guilty, where there is plenty of evidence that they are guilty and should not be trusted to possess a deadly weapon, and yet the State will not be able to secure a conviction at a jury trial.

    [/b]
     
  12. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Different Standards

    To convict a person of a crime, the proof has to convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

    In contrast, in a civil case, which may include a nuisance or forfeiture claim, the judge need only be convinced by a preponderance (51%) of the evidence. Some types of cases in some jurisdictions would use other low standards of proof, such as "on substantial evidence."

    This is why even though OJ Simpson was found "not guilty" at his criminal trial, later he was found liable for both murders by a civil jury hearing a wrongful death lawsuit.

    This is why licensed professionals (doctor, teacher, police officer, lawyer) can have their licenses to work in that field suspended by some Board or Administrative Law Judge as soon as some evidence of an offense is uncovered, and that suspension can remain and become permanent even if the offense (alleged to be a criminal violation) is never tried in criminal court, or when the defendant beats the criminal charge.
     
  13. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

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    I agree with gunsmoker that life is not as simple as 'bright line rules' in many, if not most, cases. I don't have a problem with the law in this case, just the application thereof by the judge. In this instance, the essence of the issue is the man's possession, carrying, and wise or unwise use of his gun. The judge simply decided here that he disapproved of the man's decisions, the very ones that had just been adjudicated by the jury. Who is he to substitute his judgement for that of the people? Adjudicating and managing proceedings in a fair and lawful manner, and appointing oneself the trier of fact after the real one has spoken, those are two completely different things.
     
  14. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    Gunsmoker, this was no close case, where the jury acquitted the man despite strong evidence against him. A judge refused to issue a warrant against him, ruling there was no probable cause. The prosecutor thereafter obtained an indictment, which we all know is not particularly difficult to do. The jury acquitted the guy after deliberating for 10 minutes.

    Even if it had been a close case, however, I don't agree with the notion that the state should be able to confiscate property without compensation when no crime has been committed. This is especially true when the property is itself subject to special constitutional protection.

    How would you feel if the judge had ordered the man's printing press confiscated and destroyed because the judge, despite the man's acquittal for printing "terrorist" pamphlets, just "did not trust the man to have a printing press?" I, for one, would be equally outraged.
     
  15. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Or what if the judge had the defendant's lawyer confiscated?
     
  16. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I am still mad over this thread. :x
     
  17. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

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    It's the first time I have seen it, and I'm ticked too.
     
  18. Axeman

    Axeman New Member

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    :evil: :censored:
     
  19. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

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    That's a crock of bull sh*t !!!! :evil:
     
  20. CoolHand

    CoolHand Active Member

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    Next thing you know the government will start arresting citizens on "secret" evidence and holding them indefinitely without charge or trial and intimidating the press into not reporting stories that are not flattering to the government like they do in those 3rd world totalitarian regime type countries such as Russia and China.

    Oh! wait a minute..... they're already doing that here too. :roll: At least they're doing it for the safety of the children. :puke: