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Consciousness of Guilt — the flaw in Michael Dunn’s self-defense narrative

Consciousness of Guilt — the flaw in Michael Dunn’s self-defense narrative

Dunn’s actions in fleeing the scene and failing to contact police all pointed to a “guilty mind”

Monday afternoon I was a guest on KOGO (AM600) radio in San Diego at the kind invitation of Victoria Taft, to talk about the Michael Dunn “loud music” murder trial.

This broadcast took place prior to last night’s Nightline interview of Juror #4 (identified only as “Valerie”).

In the interview, she explained that by the end of deliberations fully 25% of the jurors had concluded that the State had failed to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt with respect to the gun shots that killed Jordan Davis.

I mention this because in the KOGO appearance I speculate that a single juror with this position may have been all that hung the murder charges against Michael Dunn.  We now know, courtesy of Juror #4, that it was three jurors, not just a single hold-out, who foiled Corey’s efforts for a murder conviction against Dunn.

If not for Dunn’s actions betraying a consciousness of guilt — such as fleeing the scene and not calling police even when in a safe place — who knows whether Dunn could have sold his story to the jury.

If you missed the live broadcast, or even if you merely must have more of my dulcet tones, here you go:

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

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Comments

Dunn was convicted of pumping lead into a fleeing vehicle, not of murder in the killing of a black sociopath.

Considering Dunn’s behavior noted here, I’d say that losing three jurors means the state’s 1st degree case was never close, and will not prevail in the appeal either.

After OJ, Obama, the knockout game and all the public event wildings, not to mention the regular tidal wave of black on white violent crime, juries are just about done with the false narratives of black thugs as victims.

A growing willingness of white jurors to nullify prosecutions will hopefully send a chilling message to violent black sociopaths and save innocent lives.

The bottom line: Dunn did not start this confrontation. Directing individuals to cease anti-social behavior is not equivalent to anti-social behavior.

It is not culpable behavior, just as Zimm keeping a eye on Trayvon the Perp was not culpable behavior.

Think straight.

    @Bildung “The bottom line: Dunn did not start this confrontation. Directing individuals to cease anti-social behavior is not equivalent to anti-social behavior.”

    It is more than anti-social when you use a 9mm to have some kids cease their anti-social behavior. Some folks in Florida find it Murder 2.

    Ragspierre in reply to bildung. | February 20, 2014 at 9:19 am

    “Dunn was convicted of pumping lead into a fleeing vehicle, not of murder in the killing of a black sociopath.”

    WTF…??? That is some tall tele-diagnosis from someone who never got near this kid.

    “I’d say that losing three jurors means the state’s 1st degree case was never close, and will not prevail in the appeal either.”

    Did you mean “re-trial” or “appeal”?

    “Directing individuals to cease anti-social behavior is not equivalent to anti-social behavior.”

    Have you thought of migrating to N. Korea?

      bildung in reply to Ragspierre. | February 20, 2014 at 6:46 pm

      I regard the ‘loud music’ culture created and perped mostly by blacks as a form of sociopathy, just another manifestation of a deeply dysfunctional culture.

      Perhaps you disagree.

      I’ve never thought about migrating to North Korea–can you guarantee me there aren’t any pettifogging lawyers there?

        Yukio Ngaby in reply to bildung. | February 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm

        Since you make up your own definitions of words, perhaps you would be kind enough to make a list of what you believe are “sociopathic” behaviors?

        Some suggestions:

        Laughing too loudly

        Attending parties

        Listening to “Colored” music

        Making eye contact

        Being uppity

        Ragspierre in reply to bildung. | February 20, 2014 at 8:21 pm

        “North Korea–can you guarantee me there aren’t any pettifogging lawyers there?”

        Absolutely. You bet your life.

        There is no tolerance of “anti-social” behavior, either. You’d love it in the summer.

    Phillep Harding in reply to bildung. | February 20, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    I’m a bit conflicted about him shooting up the bad mannered teens, but it was an illegal act.

    Rational in reply to bildung. | February 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    So Davis was a ‘sociopath’ with no criminal record? I guess he must have been a very good one.

    The wildings referred to a rape in Central Park, NYC. I guess you missed the part where the convictions were reversed because the kids were innocent. It wasn’t reversed on a technicality. They were all innocent and they had convicted with coerced confessions.

    What exactly do Obama and OJ have in common? Right! They are both black.

    “A growing willingness of white jurors to nullify prosecutions” They always have; particularly in the south. Ever heard of Medgar Evers & Byron De La Beckwith? De La Beckwith had 2 trials where some jurors ‘nullified’. Evers was no thug. But he was ‘uppity’

    Now all of you can tell me, again, how this case had nothing to do with racism.

      bildung in reply to Rational. | February 20, 2014 at 7:03 pm

      Oh I would never try to tell you this case has nothing to do with race.

      OJ and Obama’s Justice Department have shown us that there never will be a ‘post racial’ future, so we can just stop trying so hard to make up for the Evers and de la Beckwiths of the past by ignoring the tsunami of real word criminal evidence.

      I note you skipped over my references to the knock out game and the preposterously lopsided incidence of black on white crime.

      Why?

      Wilding is hardly confined to that ancient Central Park case. And they did go wilding, did they not, even if they(supposedly) didn’t do the rape–isn’t that correct?

      Just this past week a mob of blacks was ejected from the Florida State Fair, black flash mobs knocking over stores are all over the news and YouTube, and black riot mobs routinely disrupt public festivals all over the map.

      Are you daft?

      Bottom line: Dunn didn’t start it.

        Yukio Ngaby in reply to bildung. | February 20, 2014 at 8:10 pm

        Dunn just finished it by shooting up a car and being convicted of just how many felonies again? Four?

        He’s a real hero.

          So what’s your problem, other than being a grievance mongering running dog for the Left?

          Today’s juror thread lays out from the horse’s mouth that Murder 1 never had a chance; as Andrew has pointed out, there’s no murder conviction at all.

          Why? Because the anti-social nature of Davis’ behavior gave credence to the SD claim beyond a reasonable doubt.

          Put simply just for you: Davis started it.

          Dunn received lengthy time for then going beyond self defense, in the opinion of the jury, which I wont second guess, and firing on a retreating vehicle.

          But I would wager that with a better funded defense and less consciousness of guilt behavior from Dunn, he’d be looking at much less time.

          You seem to be the one making up definitions by applying such innocuous examples to the term ‘sociopath’.

          Let me quote the Oxford English Dictionary definition:

          a person with a personality disorder showing itself in extreme anti-social attitudes and behavior

          I know this definition was written by white guys, but I’d have to say the blaring gangsta rap certainly conveyed sociopathic attitudes and Davis (and Trayvon, etc ) formed their behaviors based on this sort of psychological consumption.

          And they got dead for it.

          But tell the truth now–what good is gangsta if nobody gets dead–you’re just upset it wasn’t Dunn.

          Rational in reply to Yukio Ngaby. | February 21, 2014 at 11:35 am

          “Why? Because the anti-social nature of Davis’ behavior gave credence to the SD claim beyond a reasonable doubt.” Dunn wasn’t acquitted, either. 9 jurors thought there was no reasonable doubt that he committed murder. Neither side was confirmed. He may be retried. This was a no call.

          “I’d have to say the blaring gangsta rap certainly conveyed sociopathic attitudes” I guess you have never been a teenager. You must have gone from child to adult with no in between. Besides, blaring music doesn’t meet your definition. Davis never had a brush with the law. He was going to school and had ambitions. No one came forward inside or outside of court to disparage his character. On the other hand, a number of people disparaged Dunn’s character out of court. It is claimed that he threatened 2 ex-wives with a gun (unproven). Some of his neighbors thought he was a lowlife (unproven). The info is on the internet. None of that is evidence. But neither is the claim that Davis was a sociopath.

          On something you wrote earlier: You dismissed the juror nullification of de la Beckwiths as old news. Then you said there was “A growing willingness of white jurors to nullify prosecutions”. But there is no continuum? There is no pattern? There rationales are different. Funny because Evers was definitely seen as a threat to the white supremacist community. He was a much bigger threat than the incidents you mention.

          I didn’t answer your other points because you are selective and there is no guilt by association. You are selective because whites of that age engage in anti-social behavior, too. Most whites and blacks do not. It is guilt by association because the incidents you mention don’t imply similar behavior by others.

          You called Yukio Ngaby a “grievance mongering running dog for the Left”. That was useful coming from an vicious, grievance mongering white racist. Both comments are very useful. Not.

          Yukio Ngaby in reply to Yukio Ngaby. | February 21, 2014 at 11:42 am

          @ bilDung

          “So what’s your problem, other than being a grievance mongering running dog for the Left?”

          Start with an ignorant insult. Cute. I dare you to find one word in any of my comments where I support a Leftist cause. Good luck.

          Oh wait! I know. It’s because I don’t think that Dunn has the legal right to shoot mouthy and annoying teenagers. Remind me, was it Lenin or Mao that held that position?

          “Put simply just for you: Davis started it.”

          What is this, grade school? Jimmy started it, give him the detention.

          There’s a lot more to self-defense than simply who started it. You see the defender has to respond with appropiate force. If someone was “starting it” by throwing a box of popcorn at the defender, for instance, the defender then does not have the legal right to shoot that person since it’s ludicrous to think that there was either a lethal threat or threat of serious injury from a box of popcorn. Starting it has basically nothing to do with it.

          In Dunn’s case, he didn’t even have that. He had a mouthy teenager listening to loud music. If you want to believe that Davis had a shotgun that (a) completely diappeared within seconds (b) only Dunn and NO other witness could see and (c) Dunn mentioned only to the police– after he fled and was later arrested, well that’s your business.

          “But I would wager that with a better funded defense and less consciousness of guilt behavior from Dunn, he’d be looking at much less time.”

          Yeah. And if Dunn hadn’t pulled out a gun, chambered a round, and then shot at them he’d be looking at a lot less jail time. And if we could digest grass I wager we’d eat it. I’m not playing the speculative “if” game with you. Go write sci-fi if you want to do that.

          “I’d have to say the blaring gangsta rap certainly conveyed sociopathic attitudes and Davis (and Trayvon, etc ) formed their behaviors based on this sort of psychological consumption.”

          So according to you, Davis showed sociopathic behavior by listening to loud music, being mouthy, and Black– “I regard the ‘loud music’ culture created and perped mostly by blacks as a form of sociopathy, just another manifestation of a deeply dysfunctional culture.”– and Dunn showed no anti-social behavior (and barely any responsibilty, because, you know, “Davis started it”) by shooting up a car full of people.

          Hmm. Got it. That’s some top-notch reasoning. You should write a book– “When is It Morally and Legally Okay to Shoot Up a Car Full of Unarmed People– *Hint: It has a Lot to Do With People’s Choice of Music and the Dysfunctional Culture of those in the Car.”

        Rational in reply to bildung. | February 20, 2014 at 8:27 pm

        I am convinced. Blacks are so out of control that if one even looks at you crosswise, you can shoot first and ask questions afterwards. Yeah, I think you have made you position clear.

        Blacks have all the advantages and anytime they complain, it is political. They should be assumed to be nasty thugs until they prove otherwise. There is collective guilt. If one does something bad, any other one might have to pay.

        We don’t need no stickin’ historical context. All wrongs have been righted.

        I’ve got it now. Thanks for straightening me out.

          bildung in reply to Rational. | February 21, 2014 at 9:50 am

          Funny you should hoot about historical context. Indeed, 80 years of crime statistics provide a tremendously powerful evidentiary basis for white fear of black intent.

          I’d say its only, er– ‘rational’.

          As far as collective guilt goes, blacks are the main perps here, from the Obama/Holder Justice Department right down to Perp Davis’ parents as noted in today’s juror thread.

          I don’t even need to go into the Perp Trayvon circus, do I?

          Rational in reply to Rational. | February 21, 2014 at 5:15 pm

          Thank you for letting your freak flag fly. Your animus is clear. Your reason not at all.

        Ragspierre in reply to bildung. | February 20, 2014 at 9:49 pm

        “Directing individuals to cease anti-social behavior is not equivalent to anti-social behavior.”

        Perhaps not.

        But it will get your ass whipped in most every ice house, road house, biker bar, and quite a few gay bars in Texas.

        We don’t take well to “direction”.

          bildung in reply to Ragspierre. | February 21, 2014 at 9:38 am

          Yes, I suppose if Dunn had walked into a black club and ordered the music turned down, he’d probably have gotten rough treatment there too.

          And I wouldn’t have thought much of it–these examples you cite amount to semi-private contexts, not an unambiguously public accommodation like a gas plaza.

          The common sense expectation in such a context is socially normative behavior–not aggressively loud, vulgar, offensive behavior of any kind.

          I’m pretty sure most Texans feel the same way.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | February 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm

          Well, you’d be wrong. But you ARE consistent! Sometimes, that is no virtue.

          I doubt very much that “most Texans” feel that rude behavior…or loud music…is an “aggression” that they simply have to stomp down or else we’re all gonna go to hell.

          I REALLY doubt that stupid behavior by teenage boys has to be met with anything more than a look of derision.

          But I REALLY also know you are a nut and a bigot. As demonstrated…

        Ragspierre in reply to bildung. | February 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm

        “Why? Because the anti-social nature of Davis’ behavior gave credence to the SD claim beyond a reasonable doubt.”

        Umm… You have it backwards. There was left reasonable doubt, hence the jury verdict on that count. Dunn was NOT exonerated. He just was not convicted.

        What has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt…and, seriously, you can stop now…

        is that you’re a nut and a bigot.

        A diagnosis of sociopathic personality disorder is tricky for a mental health professional after hours of time with a patient/client and a battery of psychological instruments.

        It is just stupid from a guy throwing around terms on a blog comment thread to justify his bigotry.

        Ragspierre in reply to bildung. | February 22, 2014 at 9:25 am

        http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2014/02/21/austin-police-arrest-jogger-because-she-couldnt-hear-them/

        Say…

        maybe SILENCE is aggressive anti-social behavior, too.

        Hmmm… Can’t have that.

“Considering Dunn’s behavior noted here, I’d say that losing three jurors means the state’s 1st degree case was never close, and will not prevail in the appeal either.”

The jury was also instructed on second degree murder and manslaughter, and those three jurors failed to find him guilty of those lesser included charges, as well.

Of course, if a juror believes the State has failed to disprove Dunn’s claim of self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt then they are obliged to find him not guilty of ANY criminal charge for the use of that force.

Thus, the perception among these three jurors that the State had failed to sufficiently disprove self-defense could have had nothing to do with any supposed “over-charging” on the murder charge.

Whether Dunn’s conduct met the elements of the crime charged has nothing to do with whether his conduct also met the elements of self-defense. The two are completely separate analyses.

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Phillep Harding in reply to Andrew Branca. | February 20, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I’m getting a headache trying to understand the logic of the last paragraph, unless the way things turned out is an example of what you mean.

    No, I’m just going to sit here and try to figure it out on my own.

    And take some more aspirin.

    Did that burden of establishing SD change when SYG was added to the law? I seem to remember that a defendant claiming SD justification was required to put on a ‘affirmative’ defense. He had to prove SD beyond a reasonable doubt. Now the burden is on the state to disprove SD beyond a reasonable doubt.

    I doubt anyone wants to rehash the facts in the case. But Dunn had no corroboration for his claim. Under the old standard, would simply saying you saw a gun qualify you for SD?

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Rational. | February 20, 2014 at 4:34 pm

      From my completely layman’s reading of “Stand Your Ground”, the only real effect was that when you claim self defense the fact that you didn’t try to escape, even if a safe avenue was available, can not be used to negate your self defense claim.

      Basically, it says that you can meet force with force and that you had no duty to retreat. Here is the relivant paragraph from the Zimmerman trial jury instructions that contains the SYG wording (link provided below).

      “If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

      https://legalinsurrection.com/2013/07/zimmerman-final-jury-instructions/

      The SYG wording is simple and direct, “he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force”. That is it SYG in a nutshell.

      (I would note for all the Anti-SYG goobers out there that it does not say that you can just shoot someone, it says you can meet force with force, which means that force has to be directed at you or about to be directed at you.)

      Also, Andrew actually addressed above that the testimony of the accused is enough to claim self defense and my understanding is that the SYG changes had no effect on what it took to claim self defense, it just removed the duty to retreat.

        Rational in reply to Gremlin1974. | February 20, 2014 at 5:20 pm

        You didn’t understand the question.

        I understand what SYG means. But there are articles that claim that changes were made to who had the burden of proof in a SD case at the same time or that the language of SYG effectively reversed the burden. If you want to answer the question, please refer to the previous post.

          BrokeGopher in reply to Rational. | February 20, 2014 at 7:06 pm

          I’m not a lawyer but I don’t think the SYG law shifted any burden of proof. I think the state has always had to disprove self-defense.

          It used to be much more common for states to use the “Ohio” burden of persuasion–that is, that the defendant must PROVE self-defense by a preponderance of the evidence, rather than the State disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt.

          But the trend has been entirely in placing the burden of persuasion on the State for decades, to the point where only Ohio remains a stubborn hold-out.

          Also, the shift in the burden of persuasion has nothing whatever to do with SYG, which is a wholly different legal concept. For example, although the Ohio legislature is currently moving forward legislation to become the 35th SYG state, at present they are one of the 16 duty-to-retreat states.

          The OTHER 15 duty-to-retreat (non-SYG) states all place the burden of persuasion upon the State beyond a reasonable doubt, just as do the 34 SYG states.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Rational in reply to Rational. | February 20, 2014 at 8:50 pm

          @Andrew Branca Thank you. That change has been bothering me from the outset.

          I would think that placing the burden on the state to disprove a claim of SD will make it extremely difficult to get a conviction in a 2nd Dunn trial. While I believe that Dunn was not engaged in SD, I cannot say that he didn’t think he saw a gun. How could anyone? One would literally need to read Dunn’s mind. Perhaps, in the future, defendants will need to testify while inside a functional MRI machine.

          “I would think that placing the burden on the state to disprove a claim of SD will make it extremely difficult to get a conviction in a 2nd Dunn trial.”

          Haha, I spend much of my life reading many thousands of cases where the State was tasked with disproving self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt and manages to accomplish the task with alacrity.

          Keep in mind that MOST claims of self-defense that end up at trial are nonsense, and the facts clearly expose the claimed self-defense for the fraud that it is. Almost always the defendant’s own conduct destroys any credible claim of self-defense.

          There are, of course, more close run cases, and in a close run case the shift of the burden to the State is decisive–but no more decisive, really, than the State having to prove the elements of the crime itself beyond a reasonable doubt.

          “While I believe that Dunn was not engaged in SD, I cannot say that he didn’t think he saw a gun. How could anyone? One would literally need to read Dunn’s mind.”

          The test for reasonableness in self-defense is NOT merely subjective. Dunn’s conduct in self-defense must be BOTH subjectively reasonable AND objectively reasonable. Fail either, and self-defense goes away.

          “Perhaps, in the future, defendants will need to testify while inside a functional MRI machine.”

          In a prior life I was involved with a group in the Netherlands developing high-strength functional MRIs for research purposes–all the way up to 16T, many-fold more powerful than clinical machines typically at 2T or less. One of their areas of research was detecting falsehoods spoken by patients in the machines.

          The results were astonishingly accurate.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Ragspierre in reply to Rational. | February 20, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      This was a good, contributory comment.

    Interesting elaboration Andrew.

    Since Corey’s ego will not allow her to leave well enough alone, do you think she can jury shop her way a further conviction, or could the state actually lose ground and see Dunn receive further absolution or reduced sentences?

The post-trial question is more than whether Corey will re-try Dunn. That’s pretty much a forgone conclusion. The question is what are Dunn’s chances to reverse the judgment on appeal.

Dunn’s “Behavior Expert” was not allowed to testify. This could be the reason that he gets a new trial. There has been much made about the sequence of shots; 3-4-3, and the timing between the middle and last volley. (6 seconds) There was a case in Durham, NC, (Michael Seagroves) in the 1990s where a homeowner surprised some teens who were breaking into his garage. One teen who was killed was shot in the back when he was already in the driveway. The defendant there had an expert testify to the stress of deciding to shoot, and not stopping, as he began to shoot when they were in the garage. The jury found him not guilty.

If I were Dunn’s appellate attorneys, I would argue reversible error because his witness was not allowed to explain why Dunn continued to fire his weapon, after the teens were clearly leaving the gas station.

    IIRC, there’s no money for “his attorneys” to defend him in a retrial so he’ll be getting a public defender, making a conviction much more likely.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Redneck Law. | February 20, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Frankly, from what I saw his expert wasn’t much of an expert.

      He was, indeed, not much of an expert.

      I think Healey was wrong to exclude him, because it would have been the safe thing to do. Let him take the stand, eliminate that issue as a grounds for appeal, and let the State eviscerate the guy’s expertise on cross.

      Instead, Healey’s handed Dunn grounds for an appeal.

      Having said that, I don’t think these are very good grounds for an appeal.

      To be reversible error one needs both an error–which excluding the expert might arguably be–and the error must be of a nature that the outcome of the trial could have been different had it not occurred.

      I just don’t see the proffered expert as having any real hope of changing the verdict, given his paucity of qualifications.

      Had he been a very solid expert, the analysis obviously changes. Then we might be looking at a robust claim of reversible error.

      But with THIS expert, I just don’t see it.

      Of course, Dunn’s got plenty of time to read up on the subject.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        tom swift in reply to Andrew Branca. | February 21, 2014 at 1:41 am

        And I recall predictions that Corey et al would shred Dunn on cross.

        But that didn’t happen.

        It’s not out the realm of possibility that the expert witness would turn out to be a surprise, too.

          Cory didn’t conduct the cross of Dunn, of course. Naturally, as the boss she is nevertheless responsible for the performance of the ASA she assigned to do that task.

          In any case, none of that changes the utter lack of this expert’s credentials on the issues in the case. That was made very clear during the Daubert hearing.

          Of course who knows what the appellate court might do. They might agree that this particular expert would have been no help, and still reverse and remand for a new trial simply to establish a new policy moving forward.

          If they make such a decision, however, it certainly won’t be on the basis of this expert’s credentials in this case.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    Rational in reply to Redneck Law. | February 21, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    The expert that Dunn needs is one who will testify that the shots were fired into an open door and that Davis was shot while retreating back into the car. I am sure one can be found. The courts sometimes allocated money for defense experts when the defendant is indigent. FL is probably not generous.

    I am not saying that I think that is what happened. But that would give Dunn a better defense then a ‘stress’ expert.

    But that does beg the question. Dunn had no duty to retreat. But Dunn’s best case scenario is that Davis stepped out but was retreating. That is what the defense tried to establish on cross and in Dunn’s testimony. Given the location of the bullets in the door and in Davis, the best the defense could claim is Davis stepped out, but was diving or falling back into the car as Dunn fired.

    Later, the car retreated. At what point does a retreating person gain the protection of the law?

    I find it interesting that Davis, while dying, didn’t drop the alleged shotgun and that he closed the door after him. That was very thoughtful of him. BTW, nobody saw an open door as the SUV drove away. If the defense wants to claim that the door was opened, it might need to explain how it was closed. There was testimony that the occupants of the front seat got out and opened the rear doors when the SUV stopped.

In other, unrelated news, a group of adults, 30s-60s, got together to ride the carousel at the Westfield Mall in Oceanside, CA, and were thrown out by security guards. The issue was not any noise they made or any other objectionable behavior, but because of their manner of dress: steam punk, described as “Victorian finery with a little sic-fi edge.”

My point here is that you don’t have to be black, or young, or loud to have some jackass take offense.

    bildung in reply to Valerie. | February 20, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Completely unrelated.

    For it to be related, our prisons would have to be bulging with costume hobbyists, and costume hobbyists would have to be committing violent and property crimes and at a rate about six times beyond their statistical weight in the general population.

    If that were true, it wouldn’t just be jackasses that found costume hobbyists anti-social.

    Think straight.

      Yukio Ngaby in reply to bildung. | February 20, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      “If that were true, it wouldn’t just be jackasses that found costume hobbyists anti-social.”

      No. It would be racists.

      Rational in reply to bildung. | February 21, 2014 at 12:20 pm

      Gee, I wonder why evidence like yours isn’t admissible in court.

      Some blacks are violent and/or commit property crimes, therefore it is OK to assume that a black who is playing loud rap music is a potential killer and you can shoot him.

      I have a question for you. If you really think that any black playing loud rap music might be violent, would you ask them to turn the volume down or would you ignore him or move? Why would you engage people that you thought were potentially murderous? I guess you might if you had a gun and were angry at ‘them’. How dare they?

      For the rest of you, I am not claiming that it is unjustified to have a gun or use it in SD. This is directed to bildung who has made it clear that black kids have forgotten their place and better learn it or else.

Andrew, I must take issue with the idea that an innocent forced to defend themselves would not flee the scene of the incident beyond the distance necessary to secure safety and then not report the incident to authorities. While these exist in law as evidence of a guilty mind, an innocent having survived an incident and escaped to safety must now weigh the possible outcomes of the next step. We have now all been treated to witnessing a vicious prosecution driven by race based political considerations. We have all seen that even with overwhelming evidence of innocence a victim can be branded for life as a hate fueled racist despite good evidence to the contrary. And we have all seen that even when justice prevails a man’s life can be destroyed. The opportunity to keep mum and keep your life intact would seem to be an attractive choice to take a chance on.

Because of these considerations I feel that fleeing and not contacting authorities is no longer evidence of guilt but rather evidence that the victim had been well informed by the Zimmerman trial.

(And yes I understand that the sequence of events does not make the ZTrial a lesson for Dunn, but the psychology remains applicable)

    And you’re entitled to that opinion. 🙂 Certainly, a defense attorney representing a client in such a scenario might be wise to make just that argument, if not in the trial proper than in his opening or closing statements.

    How effective would it be? I suppose that would be a function of the rhetorical abilities of defense counsel and whether the other elements of the case are already leaning towards a compelling narrative of self-defense.

    Say, if one shot, not ten, had been fired. Or if other witnesses had observed the attacker’s shotgun or aggressive emergence from the vehicle. Or if the defensive shooter had shared the details of his harrowing tale with at least his accompanying fiancé, if not with law enforcement.

    The devil is in the details.

    But while one can perhaps make a straight-faced argument that flight and failure to report may have a rational explanation, it’s never going to HELP make the case for self-defense.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    kentuckyliz in reply to SpectreRider. | February 20, 2014 at 10:48 am

    I can understand the decision to flee. When in severe stress, we have an adrenaline dump, which puts us into the primitive part of the brain and fight or flight mode. This was still operational in his moment of deciding to flee. It takes time to get back to the rational part of our brains, the prefrontal cortex, to reason through what we should do. The initial decision to flee is not problematic to me. (I am not addressing the decision to shoot in this particular analysis.)

    Another twist: the risk of retribution, immediately or when other friends show up. If he stayed, he might have continued to be in danger. Thugs be like that.

      Flight for purposes of safety is always permitted.

      Flight well beyond the point of safety and that looks for all the world like someone who thought he’d “gotten away with it” is more problematic.

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to kentuckyliz. | February 20, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      Not to jinx you :), but I’m surprised you haven’t received as many ‘thumbs down’ as I have for suggesting the same thing about the guys calling their homies for back-up. LOL! Most people know it happens, we’re just not supposed to talk about it. 🙂

    tom swift in reply to SpectreRider. | February 20, 2014 at 11:40 am

    A couple of years after Bernie Goetz made it to the headlines, a superficially similar event occurred. Like the Goetz case it was in the NY subway. Several men of black persuasion were beating a white guy in a subway car; just before a stop the victim pulled out a gun and shot several of his attackers. The others then desisted, the train stopped, the doors opened, and the shooter left. He never officially surfaced, and nobody seemed too hot to apprehend him later. Even the New York papers didn’t try to fluff it up into “Goetz II”; as described by witnesses, it was very obviously a clean case of self-defense, and the press seemed to acknowledge that the defendant may have been wise to just leave the scene and stay anonymous.

    Whether it’s a good idea or not I certainly can’t say, but there do seem to be some advantages.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to tom swift. | February 20, 2014 at 8:42 pm

      After what was done to George Zimmerman, I can’t completely fault Dunn for hitting the road, and he didn’t know at the time that Jordan was dead. I would also be fearful that the friends of these guys might show up at the scene any moment, and that they, themselves, would return.

      Some people think Dunn should somehow have behaved like a professional – cool, calm and collected.

      geTaylor in reply to tom swift. | February 22, 2014 at 8:36 am

      ” . . . A couple of years after Bernie Goetz made it to the headlines, a superficially similar event occurred. Like the Goetz case it was in the NY subway. Several men of black persuasion were beating a white guy in a subway car; just before a stop the victim pulled out a gun and shot several of his attackers. . . ”

      I don’t recall that Mr. Goetz was physically beaten during this incident – better check that assertion. He was convicted for the illegal possession of a handgun and for pausing, like a comic-strip character, to comment before firing another slug into an already wounded and fallen victim.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to SpectreRider. | February 20, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    I would add that this particular demographic of kids are well known to call their homies for back-up when they smell blood in the water.

    What we have seen in this case, IMO, are the high-profile negatives of black culture’s chickens coming home to roost. If a culture advances the notion that it’s real badass and others should walk in fear of its ranks, then it’s possible that some day those they would oppress with such fear through bullying and intimidation will indeed react in fear through some means other than cowering. It’s really a no-brainer. Stated another way, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, odds are very, very good that it’s a duck and it will be treated and responded to as a duck. And not all crawled into a hole when Genghis Khan was on a rampage.

Recoil & repercussions: now Dunn has the quietness he was aiming for, but w/o peace of mind – forever. Because of Dunn’s lack of self-control a young man died.

The young men could have seen a grown man acting mature. Instead they saw a passive-aggressive bully fire his weapon at them, trying to ‘fix’ the ‘problem.’

Actually, Dunn’s entire self defense narrative was hopelessly flawed, from any legal or logical point of view.

This idea that the state has to disprove an unsupported claim made by the defendant is simply foolish. In this case, not only was there not a single independent witness to Dunn’s claim that Davis had a shotgun, let alone pointed it at Dunn, but there were three witnesses, albeit involved participants, who testified that Davis did not have a shotgun and one was never found nor was any evidence presented that indicated that any of the youths had been in possession of a shotgun in the immediate past. Dunn could just as easily have claimed that his pistol was taken from him by a person passing by, who actually fired the shots in question, and, under the same rational, the jury would have had to believe that the state could not disprove his claim that he was innocent and acquit him.

Any defense has to have some basis in fact and there has to be some evidence to support the word of the defendant, in order for the defense to be viable. There was nothing, presented at trial, to lend any viability to Dunn’s defense.

Jurors always bring a lot of personal baggage with them, into the jury room. Maybe the three jurors found Dunn to be a likable and believable witness. Perhaps they harbored some animosity toward people who play loud music. Maybe it was something else. We will likely never know. What we do know, however, is that three jurors completely ignored the plethora of evidence which would support a conviction for homicide. Unfortunately, with the current jury system, there is nothing that you can do about it.

    “Any defense has to have some basis in fact and there has to be some evidence to support the word of the defendant, in order for the defense to be viable. There was nothing, presented at trial, to lend any viability to Dunn’s defense.”

    This is just silly. Dunn’s testimony IS evidence.

    A great many self-defense cases involve only the defender/shooter able to offer testimony, because it is common for criminals to attack isolated victims. Are none of them to be able to argue self-defense, because there’s no evidence other than their own testimony?

    As for the three witnesses who testified there was never a shotgun, they were under no magic spell that ensured they could only utter truths, and certainly they were in no position (no one is) to “prove” a negative.

    It’s up to the jury to determine the credibility of any witness. Dunn’s testimony was not, by default, any inferior or superior to that of any other witness. Any witness’ testimony may be truthful or false, objective or biased, reliable or unreliable. That’s why we have juries as finders of fact.

    Here fully 25% of the jury concluded that Dunn’s testimony–and it could ONLY have been his testimony–was sufficient to raise at least a reasonable doubt that he may have acted in self-defense in the shooting death of Jordan Davis.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Think about this, for a minute. Why should the defendant’s testimony carry any more weight than anyone else involved in an incident? In this case, the testimonial evidence was 3 to 1 against Dunn’s claim. There was absolutely NO independent testimony, physical evidence or inference to support it. Yet, for reasons lacking all logic, three members of the jury decided to disregard this and decide that the state had not proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Davis threatened Dunn with a shotgun. When did it suddenly become the job of the prosecution to prove a negative?

      The prosecution proved, far beyond a reasonable doubt, that none of the youths exited their vehicle, that no shots were fired at Dunn and that Dunn did engage in a verbal argument during which he armed himself and opened fire upon the other vehicle and its occupants. And, that, according to the other participants, none of them was armed. Yet, because he makes a totally unsubstantiated statement, on the witness stand, all other evidence should be automatically disregarded. This is, as you put it, silly. Jurors are not mystically endowed with the wisdom of Solomon, simply by virtue of being picked for a jury. As you know, being in the biz, most jurors are chosen based upon their lack of knowledge and malleability. In determining whether a statute has been violated, leaving the decision up to a jury of untrained, largely knowledgeable laymen, is not a very efficient way of safeguarding the public.

        “When did it suddenly become the job of the prosecution to prove a negative?”

        If you don’t understand that, there’s simply no point to this discussion.

        The law is not what you’d like it to be, or what you imagine it to be, but what it is.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        gxm17 in reply to Mac45. | February 20, 2014 at 1:50 pm

        IMO, Dunn’s testimony should have less weight as it was riddled with inconsistencies. It’s astonishing that three people either missed the discrepancies or chose to ignore them.

          Sure, I assign no great credibility to Dunn’s testimony. Quite the contrary.

          But my doubts of its credibility is a function of the specific facts and circumstances of this case.

          What I object to is a blanket statement that the testimony of someone who claims to have acted in self-defense is inherently worthless.

          The jury decides its credibility and weight.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to gxm17. | February 20, 2014 at 7:08 pm

          Testimony from anybody involved in a highly stressful incident is usually inconsistent to some degree. The order of details become muddled, missing or less distinct due to hormonal secretions of adrenaline, glucocorticoids, etc.. They comprise the ‘fight or flight’ chemicals that focus the brain only on what is seen at the moment/instantaneously. It is this ‘in the moment’ chemical response that causes people to say, “I wish I’d thought to do that at the time.” But they can’t, and that’s because the brain will only focus on immediate perceptions. That’s why soldiers, police, firefighters, etc. constantly train on the same activities over and over such that their responses become rote rather than relying on the brain to find the best solution ‘in the moment.’ An example would be something as simple as this: You’re walking along a sidewalk carrying something important, perhaps your small child. You hear a loud commotion behind you, maybe a crash or squealing brakes or something very heavy falling. You will not contemplate what it was. You will move that child as far away from it as you can as fast as you can. You might seek cover of some kind. Later, when asked what happened, you will say, “I don’t know, I heard a loud crash/squeal/explode/something big falling and I ran like hell. I don’t remember were I ran to or how far. I just ran. I don’t know if I turned a corner or what I got under. I just kept going.” Fear of injury or death to your child and yourself caused a huge flood of chemicals to saturate your brain as the ‘fight or flight’ response. You don’t remember the details of who, what, where, etc.. You will have good memory of what you were doing, about where you were and what time it was BEFORE you heard the sound, but you won’t have clear memory afterwards in terms of details, the amount of time passing and the order in which you went here or there, saw this or that, stopped here or there to look, etc.. This would also explain why Dunn was mostly a pretty poor shot during most of the incident. People inexperienced with shooting under the stress of fear have a lot of trouble holding the weapon steady enough to actually hit their target. In contrast, shooting in anger doesn’t manifest this way because the brain isn’t overcome with the same flood of chemicals released in the fight or flight response.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Mac45. | February 20, 2014 at 8:17 pm

        So….the other three guys in the car are incapable of coming up with self-serving testimony?

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | February 20, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      I think it is interesting that some folks seem to forget that just being accused of a crime doesn’t immediately make you guilty. You know that whole “Innocent until proven guilty” thing that Mac45 doesn’t seem to grasp.

      Also, they don’t seem to grasp the term “BEYOND a reasonable doubt”. If there is any reasonable doubt remaining then you have to vote not guilty, its just that simple.

    Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | February 20, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    “What we do know, however, is that three jurors completely ignored the plethora of evidence which would support a conviction for homicide.”

    Naw. What we can speculate is that three jurors…as reported by one juror…were not convinced that the State had met its burden WRT the defense raised by the accused.

    And that’s about it. Seems to me….

      How did they do that> By ignoring the plethora of evidence presented which showed, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Dunn committed a homicide. This the problem with the “reasonable doubt” standard. There isn’t one. 9 people are firmly convinced that the state proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Dunn committed homicide in the death of Davis. 3 decided that the prosecution had not met that standard. So, exactly what is the standard of “reasonable doubt”? No one knows. A jurist may be required to explain his definition. But, not a member of a jury.

        Ragspierre in reply to Mac45. | February 20, 2014 at 12:42 pm

        I’m curious, and this is not snark…

        do you come from an engineering background?

        You seem to be kicking against the pricks here. Juries are composed of people. I think they generally do a remarkably good job, while also having seen both judges and juries do some absolutely loopy stuff. People…whatcha gonna do? You want to replace them with a snazzy computer?

          tom swift in reply to Ragspierre. | February 20, 2014 at 3:28 pm

          do you come from an engineering background?

          Watch where you’re treading there, hombre – I’m from an engineering background.

          Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | February 20, 2014 at 9:21 pm

          I sussed that out, compadre.

          I loves ya still, mah brotha.

          Some of my best friends are engineers…but they don’t serve on my juries…!

          Heh!

        Phillep Harding in reply to Mac45. | February 20, 2014 at 1:38 pm

        Homicide is a class of death causes, and does not automatically indicate illegality.

        tom swift in reply to Mac45. | February 20, 2014 at 3:08 pm

        No. The problem is not “reasonable doubt” or the abstract concept of “reasonable doubt”. The problem is you and your bizarre idea that you are the one who determines “reasonable doubt”. You apparently can’t conceive of a world in which someone else could dare to think that something is reasonable when you’ve convinced yourself that it is not.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Mac45. | February 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm

        That is because our justice system is supposed to err on the side of the accused. That is way we use a jury system, because the person accused is innocent until proven guilty and that proof has to be sufficient to convince not 1, not 2, not 3 but from 6 to 12 jurors. Yes, that system means that sometimes the guilty go free, but it is one of the protections woven into our justice system to keep someone who is innocent from being wrongly convicted.

        Or would you prefer that we have a system where accusations are enough to jail you and then have a single person decide your fate? Anyone, with even 2 functioning brain cells would choose the former.

        It also protects from someone like you, whom I believe made the decision he was guilty before the trial ever took place, from being the sole deciding factor in a mans fate.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Mac45. | February 20, 2014 at 7:16 pm

        “Homicide” is any death at the hands of another. In itself, it does not have a criminal connotation. It’s simply a term for a cause of death, just like natural causes, suicide, accident (misadventure) or unknown.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Mac45. | February 20, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    “What we do know, however, is that three jurors completely ignored the plethora of evidence which would support a conviction for homicide.”

    Well Thank God, since Homicide isn’t necessarily a crime, it is simply the act of once Human killing another Human, it is only a crime when it is determined to be Murder or Manslaughter. You do your arguments no favor when using incorrect terms.

    Also, it is only your opinion that “three jurors completely ignored the plethora of evidence which would support a conviction”, but that is only your opinion and frankly only matters if you are one of the 12 folks who were chosen to decide Michael Dunn’s fate.

    Please also take into account that were I in a position on that Jury, I have made no secret that I would have lobbied hard for Manslaughter, but once again I was not chosen to decide Michael Dunn’s fate.

    Yes, our system has flaws, however so does every system and I would much rather have ours than any of the others I have seen.

I’ve always wondered why jurors do not receive at least some basic training for such an important task. I’ve served on three juries — two civil, one criminal. The last one is freshest in my mind. I believe I was the only juror with more than a high school degree. I got the impression during deliberations that some of them had almost no critical thinking skills. It seems to me that that’s a problem.

    tom swift in reply to nightowl. | February 20, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    I’ve suspected that it’s because lawyers think that it’s their legitimate job to influence juries in ways favorable to their clients. It follows that the ideal jury is one which is easily influenced or even blatantly manipulated. And a jury of the ignorant is best for that. And so anyone with actual experience or – horrors! – expertise in the matters expected to play a part in the trial is excluded, if possible.

      Ragspierre in reply to tom swift. | February 20, 2014 at 3:34 pm

      I work to avoid really ignorant jurors of low intelligence. They are going to make a decision on something, and I want it to be rationally related to the case.

      At the same time, I also work to avoid engineers, and most attorneys. They walked into the court knowing every damn thing, and usually are eager to make sure everyone knows it.

      The aim is to empanel a jury that can “sop up” the important elements of the case and what both sides are going to present without imposing what THEY think should be considered or SHOULD have been presented.

      I think a lot of jurors, but I think a lot of people.

        tom swift in reply to Ragspierre. | February 20, 2014 at 3:52 pm

        I also work to avoid engineers, and most attorneys. They walked into the court knowing every damn thing, and usually are eager to make sure everyone knows it.

        Pretty much a paraphrase of what I wrote. You want to control the jury – maybe even believe yourself uniquely qualified to do so – and don’t want competition from anyone who might exercise more influence over the jury than you.

          Ragspierre in reply to tom swift. | February 20, 2014 at 7:22 pm

          “You want to control the jury – maybe even believe yourself uniquely qualified to do so”

          Wul, duh. As opposed to someone who THINKS they know a damn thing about the case or the issues?

          Lemme think…mmmm. YEH!

          I’d BETTER think I’m uniquely qualified to present the case I’ve prepared to people with the most open minds I can manage to empanel. It is my case.

    Nightowl, how about only permitting juries that are composed of police officers? After all, they’re trained in at least the rudimentary principles of the law as part of their training; it’s only logical that even the greenest rookie is more of an expert on whether a person is guilty or innocent as a bunch of untrained amateurs.

    So why don’t we do it this way? Because you can’t train people like this and not have it shape and mold their perceptions in a particular, known direction. (It’s why control of education is so important to those of particular political persuasions.) Even if it’s just crash course trained jurors (and who would pay for this?) we must ask, who does the teaching? What are they teaching and why? Are the courses encouraging jurors to put much greater weight on the testimony of particular sorts of people, such as police officers? And so on.

      tom swift in reply to JBourque. | February 20, 2014 at 4:02 pm

      A few years ago I read a detailed report of a liability case. Some fool on a riding mower had managed to run over a poor kid who was running around outside his wife’s daycare facility, so he was trying to claim that the mower was defective. In this case it was clear that (unofficially) this wasn’t about a financial settlement so much as “proof” that it wasn’t this guy’s negligence and lack of sense which had killed a customer – something I imagine his wife would never let him forget for the rest of his life – but some sort of malfeasance by Big Industry. It seemed pretty clear from the account that not a single person on the jury had the least knowledge of machine design, manufacturing, liability cases of the past, or, for that matter, mowing. The guy’s attorneys went full sob sister and the jury ate it up, even arranging reunions so in future they could continue their hate fest for those heartless manufacturers.

      With a relatively large number of jurors, we could hope for some sort of cross-section of the populace, and could reasonably expect that at the least one person on the jury would have some idea about how one is supposed to handle mowers in a way which doesn’t kill casual bystanders. Lacking any such person, a jury is more susceptible to manipulation.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to tom swift. | February 20, 2014 at 7:29 pm

        Though they often go hand-in-hand, ignorant people are not as easily manipulated as those who are just plain dumb.

        I’ve met some poorly educated people who are good listeners and often possess more common sense than their detractors in academia and the media.

        I think it used to be the case that those permitted to be on a jury were expected to have an education that would make them at least reasonably up to the task since judges, after all, aren’t necessarily experts either. Education (my personal tilt is language, to be precise) has deteriorated to the point that a lot of the people available for duty are less able to cope than we might like. On the other hand, excluding them creates an inequality issue that’s political poison. In theory jury selection takes the worst elements out, but that’s one very imprecise process.

        Not sure what we have that could improve the issue and still be considered appropriate for a free society though.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to nightowl. | February 20, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Jurors are given a very specific set of instructions to follow, which I will allow can sometimes be confusing.

    Its interesting to hear how you felt about your jury experience. It reminds me of a quote from a movie called; “Lets go to prison” when the main character says that a jury trial is when “12 people who weren’t even smart enough to come up with an excuse to get out of jury duty are deciding your fate.”

    Not sure how much training you could afford to give a jury and good luck getting the prosecution, defense, and bench to agree on a set of standards.

“A growing willingness of white jurors to nullify prosecutions will hopefully send a chilling message to violent black sociopaths and save innocent lives.”

Newsflash: Dunn was found guilty of three counts of attempted murder. The violent sociopath is the guy (that would be Michael Dunn) who opened fire on a car full of teens.

“The bottom line: Dunn did not start this confrontation. Directing individuals to cease anti-social behavior is not equivalent to anti-social behavior.”

Playing loud music is not “anti-social” behavior. Quite the opposite, it’s what teens do when they socialize. And this form of socializing is not limited to race or music genre.

Conversely, opening fire on a car full of unarmed kids is extremely anti-social behavior. Which is why Michael Dunn is sitting in jail.

    Bruce Hayden in reply to gxm17. | February 20, 2014 at 4:38 pm

    Just to clarify – the music definitely could be anti-social, if, as some have suggested, the purpose is to aggravate the rest of society. Yes, they bond with their own, but alienate the rest. Arguably though little different from the long hair the guys were wearing 40 years ago.

      I just find it strange that, apparently, some folks think that playing loud music is “anti-social.” Even if someone like Michael Dunn doesn’t like what they were playing, one can’t jump to the assumption that the teens were playing it to bother him. As far as influencing anyone within listening distance, they were most likely trying to impress or attract the attention of girls. IMO, someone like Michael Dunn was the last thing on their minds.

      The testimony of the witness in the pickup truck had the perfect response to the music with his joke about wishing the teens would turn it up. You’d think that a middle-aged man like Dunn would remember what it was like to be a teenage boy and just smile and let it roll of his back. But, no, he’s got to go shoot their car up.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to gxm17. | February 20, 2014 at 7:57 pm

        Teenagers and adults in the ten or so years beyond like loud music. To this day, I play music louder than my husband likes. I get that. But when the music being played is vile, full of insults and profanity, at a place of business (not a home or even a public park) where people are trying to go about their daily lives, they should move on or turn it down. The very worst behavior would be to turn it up louder, then make threats and escalate the situation. Once those threats are made, any bystander, not just Dunn, would be wise to be preparing for trouble.

        The demographic of this particular group of teens hanging out is well known for violence to anyone paying attention to what is happening in our country, and they are pretty much unsupervised and out of control. People are afraid of them. Dunn couldn’t see what weapons were readily at hand in that car. Driving away? They could easily follow him and try to run him off the road or open fire on him. They sure as hell wouldn’t be the 1st or even 10,000th carload of blacks that harassed, threatened and opened fire on somebody.

        Tell me, why does a white/Asian/Hispanic person have to watch everything they say and do in order to not “offend” our perpetually offended black citizenry, but it’s perfectly acceptable for blacks to subject whites/Asians/Hispanics to very loud music denigrating their ethnicities and their wives, daughters, mothers, religion, etc.?

        Yes, teenagers play music very loud, but that doesn’t give them the right to make threats and possibly point a weapon at somebody who asks them to turn it down. Jordan is dead, and it’s his and his parent’s fault. With better behavior from him and better parenting, he’d be alive today. The young men could have taken their behavior elsewhere – cruising around or to a park instead of hanging out disrupting a business – but he had to be a badass, escalate the situation and make threats.

          “But when the music being played is vile, full of insults and profanity, at a place of business (not a home or even a public park) where people are trying to go about their daily lives, they should move on or turn it down.”

          Or else get themselves and their car shot up.

          “Once those threats are made, any bystander, not just Dunn, would be wise to be preparing for trouble.”

          And to then shoot them and their car.

          “Dunn couldn’t see what weapons were readily at hand in that car. Driving away? They could easily follow him and try to run him off the road or open fire on him. They sure as hell wouldn’t be the 1st or even 10,000th carload of blacks that harassed, threatened and opened fire on somebody.”

          So Dunn had to shoot them– oh, and then go hom, order a pizza, walk the dog, etc. and then fervently hope that no one wrote down his liscense plate number. Makes sense.

          “Tell me, why does a white/Asian/Hispanic person have to watch everything they say and do in order to not ‘offend’ our perpetually offended black citizenry, but it’s perfectly acceptable for blacks to subject whites/Asians/Hispanics to very loud music denigrating their ethnicities and their wives, daughters, mothers, religion, etc.?”

          Dunn had to shoot them beacuse they were Black. He was just protecting his wife, daughter, mother, and religion from mean and perpetually offended Blacks.

          “Yes, teenagers play music very loud, but that doesn’t give them the right to make threats and possibly point a weapon at somebody who asks them to turn it down. Jordan is dead, and it’s his and his parent’s fault.”

          But none of it was Dunn’s fault. He was just scared and defending all that is White and pure and wholesome and white and white and good and white from that certain demographic of these particular teens who are evil.

          “With better behavior from him and better parenting, he’d be alive today. The young men could have taken their behavior elsewhere – cruising around or to a park instead of hanging out disrupting a business”

          I don’t know about that. According to your own “special” analysis, apparently all it would take is that a peeved and threated White guy with a gun be in that park for them to be justifiably shot. Or is that one can only justifiably shoot down kids at a convenience store and not at a park… you know, due to zoning laws and whatnot?

          “but he had to be a badass, escalate the situation and make threats.”

          Which is a perfectly reasonable reason for someone to start blazing away at the loudmouth. Oh, that and texting during a movie. That’s another one, right?

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | February 20, 2014 at 9:24 pm

          YN, your hatred of whites is palpable in almost every post you write on these cases. Your post above is not worthy of a thoughtful reply.

          @ JackRussellTerrieist

          My hatred of Whites? Yup. I’m that White-hating political conservative that you’ve read so much about. LOL. Please, by all means, give an example of my hatred toward Whites. Oh wait, you don’t have any– aside from my belief that Dunn doesn’t have the legal right to shoot down Black teens because they’ve got it coming. I guess Andrew Branca hates Whites too.

          I just don’t like your many racist comments that you insist on putting up here.

          Here’s just a few of “The Best of JackRussellTerrierist’s Racist Comments” from this site:
          https://legalinsurrection.com/2013/07/in-busting-zimmerman-myths-jonathan-capehart-perpetuates-the-greatest-myth-of-all/?replytocom=442554#respond

          “The black kids are feral savages born of feral savages”

          “Ain’t nobody in dat jury pool gonna convict wonna dey heroes.”

          “black women despise white woem because that’s what black men want, by and large. The fact that white women who succumb to such relationships have an extremely high likelihood of being murdered, severely beaten, living in poverty for the rest of their lives or struck down by AIDS doesn’t seem to slow miscegenation.”

          “If you don’t think black culture in America is a swirling cesspool of savage violence and immorality, fine. I do. If you think black culture’s bastardization of our language is a good thing and doesn’t contribute to their failures, fine. I don’t.”

          As I said before, there’s nothing like some good ol’ fashioned racism harking back to the days when blacks and Jews could be zoned out of “restricted” neighborhoods, right? Oh, if only you could time warp back to those days and feel safe enough to not feel the need to shoot young Black people… Or to revel in it when it does happen.

          But all of your previous unarguably bigoted and racist comments aren’t really at issue– let alone your directly stated belief that Jordan Davis just got what he deserves because he’s Black, loud and obnoxious. No, no. You’ve defined the real problem– it’s my “palpable” hatred of Whites. LOL. Stop it! Sides aching from laughter!

          If only there were hate speech laws to protect you, JackRussellRacist, from the likes of me.

          @ JackRusellRacist

          Oh wait! I’ve got another one of your “Best Racist Comments.”

          “I say give him [Theodore Wafer of Michigan who shot a drunk/high young black woman in the face while she was knocking on his door in the middle of the night] award for getting another drunk driver off the road and ridding society of a selfish, undisciplined woman who, like so many blacks do, demand immediate gratification and service for their every little need because they can’t seem to ever fend for themselves or think of a rational solution to their own problems. They just act like savages, make demands, and become violent when they don’t get what they want right that instant. That comes from living in the moment and never developing foresight and understanding what ‘consequences’ are.”

          I’m sure you want to give Dunn an award too.

          You’re as race obsessed as Al Sharpton. Congrats!

          Yukio Ngaby is right. That’s one racist rant. First, you have no idea what the teens’ demographic is outside of age and race. There are other factors like income, religion, etc. And to infer that it’s okay to kill black teenagers because people are afraid of them is downright evil.

          FTR, Jordan’s parents are lovely people who loved their son very much. They did nothing to deserve losing their child in such a terrible way.

When Not To Shoot | February 20, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Andrew, I’m actually surprised you don’t mention the “angry/fear” test that my weapons instructors taught us. Basically if one’s hands are cold and clammy, the person is scared out of their wits because blood is being restricted from the extremities. If one’s ears are “burning” that means one is acting out of anger, NOT fear.

At 1:47 on the Nightline clip Dunn says in his testimony “You’re not going to kill me, you son-of-a-bitch” which, to me, tells me he was angry, not afraid for his life.

Our weapons instructors keep nailing into us: “If your ears are burning, put the gun down” because bad things can happen. As shown by Dunn’s actions.

    I don’t mention it, because it’s not legally relevant.

    There’s no requirement in the law of self-defense that you be in a state of physiological fear.

    It’s common to state that “one must be in fear of death or great bodily harm,” etc., but all that really means is one must reasonably be apprehensive of the threatened harm.

    There’s absolutely no legal requirement that your blood vessels are constricting blood from the extremities, etc. (By the way, having tossed myself out of perfectly good airplanes a half-dozen times, I’m intimately familiar with acute physiological fear.)

    As for the anger issue, it should go without saying that any person who cannot responsibly control their anger has no business walking around with a gun in the first place.

    As, arguably, shown by Dunn’s actions.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to When Not To Shoot. | February 20, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    “You’re not going to kill me, you sonofabitch” tells me he was in fear of his life. Obviously, he thought Jordan or one of them was going to kill him, and he simply informed them he wasn’t going to let them do it. The fact that Dunn referred to him as a “sonofabitch” simply reinforces his steadfastness that he was not going to be killed by this bunch. People can display an angry demeanor when they are fearful, but it is the fear for one’s life that is the legal issue in self-defense deaths. I think your quotation of Dunn’s statement enhances the self-defense aspect rather than diminish it. “You’re not going to KILL me” carries a lot more weight in the claim of self-defense than “sonofabith” does in disproving it.

    In addition, some people cuss a lot out of habit. I don’t take the same connotation from “sonofabitch” that you do, nor apparently did three jurors.

      Please explain the evidentiary basis for a juror to believe that Dunn had a “reasonable” fear of death or serious bodily harm if he didn’t start firing in Davis’ direction at the moment he did. TIA.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to RickyJ. | February 20, 2014 at 9:20 pm

        Three jurors didn’t believe the State defeated Dunn’s explanation of self defense. They believed Dunn. Therefore, the evidentiary basis is Dunn’s testimony.

        “Three jurors didn’t believe the State defeated Dunn’s explanation of self defense. They believed Dunn. Therefore, the evidentiary basis is Dunn’s testimony.”

        Strictly speaking, the second sentence is not an inevitable consequence of the first. They could easily have disbelieved Dunn’s claim of self-defense, just not so strongly that they felt it disproved beyond a reasonable doubt.

        The evidentiary basis for ANY belief in Dunn’s claims of self-defense must necessarily come from his own testimony, as that was the ONLY source of evidence supporting self-defense.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Everything, including the alleged SOB comment, Dunn said and did show anger and consciousness of guilt, not fear. If Dunn had truly been in fear that Jordan was pointing a shotgun at him, he would not have taken the time to get his gun out of the glove box, chamber it and aim it at the teens. Presumably Dunn’s keys were in the ignition, he could have thrown the car into reverse much faster than retrieving his gun. (Like the kids did once he started shooting at them.) Nothing in Dunn’s false narrative add up, he claims he was afraid they were going to come back for him yet he leaves his gun in the car and takes the dog for a walk. He claims he was calling his next door neighbor cop to find out how to turn himself in, yet we find out later that his neighbor is an Agriculture cop and in the conversation Rhonda overhears, he never mentions the shooting. Dunn’s testimony was lie after lie after lie. That anyone fell for it is both troubling and astounding.

BannedbytheGuardian | February 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm

This man should have taken to Yoga On A Paddleboard as soon as classes turned up in the bay.

Now he can contemplate the ying & yang of every pea on his plate & ponder the macrobiotic principles of food combinations in prison. No tomatoes , no eggplant & no potatoes .

Andrew, you mentioned in you interview that the decision to “stand your ground” does not abrogate the necessity of one’s subsequent actions being reasonable in the circumstances. Thus I wonder if it really necessary to use SYG language in the law. Suppose the following phrases were excised from Florida law, what would be the practical effect?

776.012 and does not have a duty to retreat if
776.013 (3) has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground
776.031 A person does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be.

It seems some people have claimed these phrases mean that if someone faces the choice of safely retreating or opening fire, he or she can chose the latter with impunity.

    I have a lengthy post on what SYG does and doesn’t mean in the pipeline for tomorrow.

    So keep your eyes stuck right here at Legal Insurrection.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

Saying he had a guilty mind is not really enough. Any sane person if they were drunk & driving and at the scene of a shootout, they would flee. Does not mean he is guilty of attempted murder. Its hard to say, the motivation they give isn’t very compelling. this is not a guy who goes around being a gang banger, or doing much of anything illegal, so basically he snapped for some reason and tried to kill some black kids. I just don’t understand it, unless they were wielding guns of their own.

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