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Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

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Old 06-07-2005, 08:20 PM   #166
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Re: Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

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Originally Posted by skinsguy
That's kind of a fine line though. The definition of self-defense according to the law might vary from what you think is self-defense. From what I have studied in the past, I believe you can shoot an intruder and claim self-defense in your house, but outside the house, things can be a different story.
It's actually even more restrictive than that. Actually, only in very few states can you actually shoot someone solely on the basis that they have broken into your house. The reasoning is that the right to property is inferior to the right to life. Therefore, (and I know this seems F'd up) a very large majority of states would find that the intruder's right to life supersedes your right to protect your property. As such, the only time you can shoot an intruder is when you are protecting the life or physical well-being of yourself or your family member. In other words, if you get up in the middle of the night, and catch a guy carrying your tv, you can't shoot him unless you have a legitimate fear that your life is in danger (for example, if he has a gun). Same thing for if you shoot him in the back if he starts to run.......do that and you will go to jail in most states because if he's fleeing, you can't claim you felt your life was in danger. If you catch him sneaking into your kids' bedroom, then in most states fire away because most juries will just assume your fear was reasonable. I know this seems messed up, and most of us would fire away at any guy climbing in our window, but the law doesn't actually allow you to in most states. In fact some states are still so messed up that they actually impose a duty on you to flee from your own house if you can before using deadly force against the intruder (fortunately that is a very small majority and most states have abolished the duty to flee your own residence).
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Old 06-07-2005, 08:23 PM   #167
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Re: Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

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Originally Posted by PSUSkinsFan21
First, I really like you RF. Usually we agree on most topics, but even when we disagree, we can both do it in an intelligent and respectful way. That's why I love this site.



Certainly if they shot at Taylor that would be introduced to impeach the witnesses. My post did not contemplate that fact scenario because I wasn't aware that they fired at ST when I made my post. And I agree that the fact that ST thought his ATVs were stolen by the alleged victims would be brought out. However, IF the alleged victim has not yet been convicted of the theft, then the defense cannot say "don't believe this witness, he's the one who stole the ATVs to begin with." He may be able to say that ST believed the witness stole his ATVs, but that doesn't help to exonerate ST in any way, and it's questionable that it would really challenge the credibility of the witness.

I betcha' Sean's lawyers are better than the two who "stole" the ATVs.



Again, Florida may be different, but at least under the Federal Rules (which most states have used as a model for their own rules of evidence), "specific instances of conduct of a witness, for the purposes of attacking or supporting the witness' credibility, other than the conviction of a crime ... may not be proved by extrinsic evidence. They may, however, in the discretion of the court, if probative of truthfulness or untruthfulness, be inquired into on cross-examination of the witness (1) concerning the witness' character for truthfulness or untruthfulness ...." (See Fed. R. Evid. 608(b)). Under this rule, only prior acts related to a witness' truthfulness may be admissible, and even then it is a judgment call for the judge. It's been a few years since my crim courses, but I'm rather certain that acts like theft are not probative to truthfulness unless they involve some deception (i.e. theft by forgery, fraud, etc.). Simply stealing a car has nothing to do with a witness' ability to tell the truth.

Furthermore, you are correct that prior crimes are admissible, but at least with respect to the Federal Rules (Rule 609), the evidence must be of a felony conviction and, again, the "probative value of admitting this evidence outweighs its prejudicial effect to the accused." Therefore, my point is that 1. the alleged victims/theives have not been convicted of stealing the ATVs, and 2. there is a strong argument for the prosecution that the prejudicial effect of allowing any such conviction would outweigh its probative value. Regardless of what side you think the judge would come out on, at least it's worth mentioning that it's still a judgment call for the judge. The admission of evidence related to either prior acts or past convictions is not permitted per se as a matter of law. It is only permitted after the judge conducts a balancing test.



I agree that the issue would be raised. I think I disagree with you as to what effect that fact has on the ability of the defense to impeach or challenge the credibility of the witness. Which brings us back to where this all began......how strong of a case does the prosecution have if it's based on eye-witness testimony? I think the fact that we've gone back and forth so much on just this one evidentiary issue shows that nobody really can tell for sure.........but I think we can agree it's not cut and dry either way.
I betcha' Sean's lawyers are going to be better than their's!
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Old 06-07-2005, 08:36 PM   #168
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Re: Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

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Originally Posted by PSUSkinsFan21
It's actually even more restrictive than that. Actually, only in very few states can you actually shoot someone solely on the basis that they have broken into your house. The reasoning is that the right to property is inferior to the right to life. Therefore, (and I know this seems F'd up) a very large majority of states would find that the intruder's right to life supersedes your right to protect your property.
Actually, that doesn't sound as screwed up as you think. Going by the assumption that the right to life wins over right of property, then it makes perfect sense. One great example is the guy that the LA police cornered on the freeway today. The police could have easily shot the guy to death for committing a crime, but instead, they took every precaution to ensure that not only would innocent citizens be safe, but that the cops would be relatively safe and that the guy running from the police would be unharmed.

Of course I don't know how it all turned out, but you don't shoot somebody for stealing something from you.
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Old 06-07-2005, 08:47 PM   #169
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Re: Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

I believe that it's a moot point because this statute doesn't take effect until October 1st. But the new FLA law (potentially) alters the situation regarding justified self-defense. It basically says you no longer have to "retreat" if you can before defending yourself. And it's not limited to home invasion. It aims to redress the worries that PSUskinsfan 21 spoke about. Here the sections that seem most relevant to Sean's case:

(3)A person who is not engaged in an unlawful
activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or
she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right
to stand his or her ground and meet force with force,
including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is
necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to
himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of
a forcible felony.

(4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or
attempts to enter a person's dwelling, residence, or occupied
vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit
an unlawful act involving force or violence.


One question is whether he had the right to be there. Another is whether he was justified in concluding that he was under sufficient threat to warrant a deadly response. But if he can show that he had a right to be there, and legitemately felt threatened, I think this statute would authorize him to pull his gun. Or it would if it were in effect. (As I said, I take it it's a moot point, though it does show you the FLA attitude about self-defense, which may well play in Sean's favor.)

Here's a link to the full statute: SB 436

Here again is the WPost article on the law: Fla. Gun Law to Expand Leeway for Self-Defense
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Old 06-07-2005, 09:21 PM   #170
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Re: Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

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Originally Posted by PSUSkinsFan21
First, I really like you RF. Usually we agree on most topics, but even when we disagree, we can both do it in an intelligent and respectful way. That's why I love this site.
In reading your posts, I don't think we're actually that far apart - I think we're splitting hairs. I'm not familiar with Florida law; I've only had experience with the Federal (in law school and as an intern/clerk at the U.S. District Court - Eastern District of Wisconsin), New York (as a paralegal), and Wisconsin (law school) Rules of Criminal Procedure. So, I really don't know what is and is not admissible in Florida.

It's so much easier to debate someone on the fine points of the law when they have no background in it. So, when I discovered that you went to law school, I said to myself, "Damn! I can't B.S. this guy."

In any event, you're definately a master debater. Where did you go to law school and when did you graduate?
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:12 PM   #171
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Re: Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

RamseyFan, no felony arrest record? Oh, come on!
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:14 PM   #172
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Re: Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

I posted this in another thread but I will post it here since this thread is about Taylor.

The NFL network has just reported that Sean Taylor DID NOT fire a gun. The Washington Post, according to the NFL network, is reporting that Taylor may have been a VICTIM in this crime, but that part of the investigation is unconfirmed.

Sounds better for Sean Taylor...now he needs to get his butt into training camp!
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Old 06-07-2005, 11:25 PM   #173
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Re: Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

Oh, well, I guess maybe that was a bit premature. Sean is still in trouble....oh well...I was hoping to get him in Washington, but I guess it's not gonna happen...
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Old 06-08-2005, 12:10 AM   #174
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Re: Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

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RamseyFan, no felony arrest record? Oh, come on!
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I'm somewhat familiar with the D.C. criminal justice system - I was arrested for possession of about half of a joint when I was 19. Fortunately, the charges were dropped......and I'm not even a football player!
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Old 06-08-2005, 09:48 AM   #175
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Re: Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

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Originally Posted by Ramseyfan
It's so much easier to debate someone on the fine points of the law when they have no background in it. So, when I discovered that you went to law school, I said to myself, "Damn! I can't B.S. this guy."

In any event, you're definately a master debater. Where did you go to law school and when did you graduate?
LOL.....sorry if I ruined your fun. I graduated Villanova Law in 2002......been practicing in Philly ever since (general litigation for a firm here........mostly corporate clients). I liked the debate though.....made me refresh myself a little on criminal procedure. I hardly ever get any criminal matters, so you're keeping me on my toes......I know I can't BS you either.
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Old 06-08-2005, 03:18 PM   #176
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Re: Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

Now I know who to call if some punks take my ATVs! :thumb:
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Old 06-08-2005, 04:25 PM   #177
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Re: Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

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Now I know who to call if some punks take my ATVs! :thumb:
LOL........Yah, call the COPS first!........then you won't even need me or RamseyFan.
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Old 06-08-2005, 05:07 PM   #178
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Re: Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

oh yeah that's true. i can't believe this discussion is still going on though, im gonna wait to pass judgement until i see what happens first.
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Old 06-08-2005, 05:14 PM   #179
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Re: Sean Taylor Charged with Aggravated Assault

Me too. I just hate the fact that he DID have a gun at one point.
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