Criminal Justice

The Execution State, Not the Death Sentence State

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This year, The New York Times reports, Texas accounted for 62 percent of the country's executions. But contrary to the state's reputation, it is not especially likely to impose death sentences. It is just more likely than other states to carry them out:

According to a 2004 study by three professors of law and statistics at Cornell published in The Journal of Empirical Legal Studies, Texas prosecutors and juries were no more apt to seek and impose death sentences than those in the rest of the country.

"Texas' reputation as a death-prone state should rest on its many murders and on its willingness to execute death-sentenced inmates," the authors of the study, Theodore Eisenberg, John H. Blume and Martin T. Wells, wrote. "It should not rest on the false belief that Texas has a high rate of sentencing convicted murderers to death."

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  1. “What’s the point of having this superb death penalty you’re always talking about, if we can’t use it?”

  2. Is this supposed to give me a better impression than before of the Texas criminal justice system?

  3. Texas’ reputation as a death-prone state should rest on its many murders

    I think the state tourism bureau has found its new motto!

  4. No Country for Old Men agrees. Death-prone state, indeed.

  5. Murders are attempted in Texas at just below the national average; it’s just that our killers are much more effective.

    I attribute this to better marksmanship and weaker victims.

  6. More possibilities:

    “Texas: come here for the humidity. Stay here for your funeral.”

    “Texas: taking state pride way too seriously since whenever the hell we were admitted into the Union.”

    “Texas: now with air conditioning!”

  7. “Texas: I once dated a guy who was born there.”

  8. Everything’s deathier in Texas.

    Don’t mess with Texas or we’ll kill you.

  9. Jennifer: Those are great!

    Texas: We hate Mexicans but love their food!

    Texas: Our white people live in fear!

    Texas: WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  10. “Texas: our big hats are NOT meant to compensate for other shortcomings, and if you say they do we’ll kick your ass.”

  11. I can think of one candidate from Texas who’s gonna die, electorally speaking. But go ahead and send him money anyway.

  12. “Texas: the inspiration for Hit and Run’s most prolific trolls!”

  13. Texas: You’ll get the DNA to exonerate me when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

  14. Our nation is great enough to accommodate time zones reckoned in centuries as well as hours. The Texas Time Warp being the largest and deepest,its courts best demonstrate how inquisitional logic can prosper indefinitely in synergy with a strong secular arm.

  15. Texas: If you can’t do the time for the crime, we’ll execute your worthless ass – well we might when we get around to it in ten or twenty years.

    ps: The big hats are for deflecting all the bullshit that gets thrown at us.

  16. “Murders are attempted in Texas at just below the national average; it’s just that our killers are much more effective.

    I attribute this to better marksmanship and weaker victims.”

    …or, perhaps, it may be your lousy emergency rooms.

  17. The thing I love most about Texas is that everything in Texas is shaped like Texas. Texas-shaped belt buckles, grills, earrings, etc. I hope they have a Texas-shaped electric chair.

  18. Texas: Where any white woman can become Miss America!

  19. Texas: It’s like a whole other state.

    Sorry.

  20. Lamar wins. On principle. I in practice. Mwah-hah-hah!

  21. I lived in San Antonio for a relatively short period of time. I was in the Air Force and went through both basic training and tech school at Lackland Air Force Base. The town itself I liked. It reminded me (Texans, forgive me if this offends you but I mean it as a compliment) it reminded me of San Francisco with a Texas accent. It was quite beautiful and had the best food I ever put in my mouth. The River Walk helped keep me sane when I was on break during Tech School. I must admit that I have never been anywhere in Texas outside of the greater San Antonio metropolitan area but that part of it at least, I cannot speak a single word against.

  22. There is a recent story out of Texas that HnR really should have blogged, but hasn’t.* Short version of the story:

    Two undocumented immigrants from Columbria break into a house and are making off with loot. Next door neighbors calls 911, says he will shoot the burglars, is told by the 911 operator not to shoot the burglars, tells the operator that he is going to shoot the burglars anyway and proceeds to shoot the burglars to death. Police show up and decline to arrest. It is not clear whether any criminal charges will be brought against the killer.

    More:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/us/23texas.html?em&ex=1198558800&en=8fd40a9a62c46725&ei=5087

    Also, the tape of the 911 call is available on the Nets and worth hearing.

    On the one hand, you can kind of see why HnR hasn’t found this blogworthy, what with: (i) the bad light it casts on undocumented immigrants; and (ii) HnR‘s Texas correspondent having taken the position that people won’t casually shoot other people just because guns are easily accessible. However, these are also exactly the resons that HnR should have reported this interesting story.* So they can explain to the gunnuts why what Joe Horn did was okay. So the gunnuts will have a response when this item comes up in chit-chat.

    FOOTNOTE:

    * Correct me if I am wrong on this. Also, I don’t follow that Chas. Oliver thing if they still do that.

  23. I can think of one candidate from Texas who’s gonna die, electorally speaking. But go ahead and send him money anyway.

    k thx bye

  24. Who needs to be told why Joe Horn was justified in doing what he did? He was protecting the property of his neighbors, which is allowed under Texas law. Perhaps you would loosen up on the stupid racial angle if you knew that the neighbors Horn was protecting are Vietnamese.

  25. “So they can explain to the gunnuts why what Joe Horn did was okay. So the gunnuts will have a response when this item comes up in chit-chat.”

    I find it interesting that people who support the second amendment are often called “gunnuts” while people who support any of the other amendments in the Bill of Rights are not given a label with the suffix “nuts”. For the record I do not currently own a firearm. Perhaps I should buy one though as it looks more and more like I may need one to defend my rights from an increasingly oppressive government. If I do buy one, I will make sure I buy at least one via the black-market or other unofficial channel. That way if the ant-gun crowd successful passes a gun ban I will still have at least one gun with which I can defend the few rights I will have left.

  26. He was protecting the property of his neighbors, which is allowed under Texas law.

    Yeah, I shouldn’t have cited the Times article. They do play up the race thing waaay too much. I guess my angle is that Horn did not have sufficient reason to know they were burglars when he shot them. You really need to be surer than he was when shooting fleeing people in the back with a shotgun. The fact that this guy is not being charged reflects badly on gunnuts and on Texas, even though they did turn out to be burglars here.

    also: I think the relevant Texas law requires that the neighbors told you to guard the property ahead of time. If so, they may be able to convice the Souphanousinphones to perjure themselves here. Still, next time it is going to be a window repairman or somebody else with permission. Bad law. Bad police work.

  27. “I find it interesting that people who support the second amendment are often called ‘gunnuts’ while people who support any of the other amendments in the Bill of Rights are not given a label with the suffix ‘nuts’.”

    I thought that’s what “wingnuts” referred to. BTW: Joe Horn seems to have lucked out. If the “robbers” were actually, say, the cousins of the neighbors and were, say, playing a practical joke, then Horn would be (and should be) screwed.

  28. support the second amendment are often called “gunnuts”

    I support the second amendment. I don’t think everybody who supports the second amendment is a gunnut. Not even every second amendment supporter who would have us read the word “well-regulated” out of the amendment is a gunnut. The kind of people who support Joe Horn are gunnuts though. The kind of people who are likely to use the 2d amendment, than any of the other BOR amendments, as a litmus test for a judicial / political candidate are gunnuts. The people who would deny that they understand the concept of “gunnuts” are gunnuts.

  29. Joe Horn’s case hasn’t come before the Grand Jury yet, I believe – although it probably will. He’s gonna be in a whole lot of trouble when it does.

  30. “Still, next time it is going to be a window repairman or somebody else with permission.”

    Unless you were actually there (please tell us if you were) you do not know all of the sensory information that this person had before he made the decision he did. Whatever information he had, it guided him well enough to make a correct decision. We have no reason to believe he would have made the same decision if it was a widow repairman, a cleaning person or someone else with permission.

  31. The fact that this guy is not being charged reflects badly on gunnuts and on Texas, even though they did turn out to be burglars here.

    The fact that the guy has not YET been charged, pending a grand jury hearing, does not reflect badly on anyone. That’s how cases like this should be handled. If it’s then found that he committed a crime he will be charged accordingly. What’s wrong with that?

  32. Unless you were actually there (please tell us if you were) you do not know all of the sensory information that this person had before he made the decision he did.

    I listened to the 911 call. I would recommend that you do the same. Really Reason should put the thing on ReasonTV. I can’t believe they are making me do their job for them here!

  33. “The kind of people who support Joe Horn are gunnuts though.”

    So even though I do not own a firearm I am a gunnut. Interesting.

    “The kind of people who are likely to use the 2d amendment, than any of the other BOR amendments, as a litmus test for a judicial / political candidate are gunnuts.”

    The reason some people are more likely to use the 2nd Amendment as a litmus test than other BOR amendments is because that is one amendment that is ignored by a higher percentage of judges and congress-critters than any of the others. Although, I must admit that the signers of the McCain-Feingold bill did blatantly violate the 1st. BTW, I am no fan of McCain and that is one reason.

  34. That’s how cases like this should be handled.

    No, usually in the case of a shooting, there is an arrest and a bail hearing and timely, sworn witness statements (eg, from the neighbors). Unless you are Dick Cheney, I suppose . . .

    What is more, this guy disobeyed direct orders from the police not to shoot (lissen to the 911 call). That kind of disobedience generally results in bail being denied. The idea is that if you don’t follow police instructions, then you won’t follow the court’s instructions.

  35. Amendum to my above post: the 10th Amendment is also ignored by almost all congresscritters and judges.

  36. “Texas: our big hats are NOT meant to compensate for other shortcomings, and if you say they do we’ll kick your ass.”

    Yeah, with our size twelve boots. 😉

  37. “I listened to the 911 call. I would recommend that you do the same. Really Reason should put the thing on ReasonTV. I can’t believe they are making me do their job for them here!”

    Are 911 calls now via videophone! Wow! Also, a phone conversation will miss a great deal of audio as well.

  38. Amendum to my above post: the 10th Amendment is also ignored by almost all congresscritters and judges.

    Yup. My Con Law prof (now a high level judge, I believe) heartily endorsed the Supreme Court’s idea that the 10th amendment was a tautology. I counterargued after class that even the statement “A Is A” implies that A exists and exists to a meaningful extent. I am sure that he thought I was a States Rights Nut. I am, and dang proud of it!

  39. No, usually in the case of a shooting, there is an arrest and a bail hearing and timely, sworn witness statements (eg, from the neighbors). Unless you are Dick Cheney, I suppose . . .

    I said this is how these types of cases SHOULD be handled, not how they USUALLY are handled. Do you understand the difference? Or, are you saying that any case involving any shooting, including self defense, should result in immediate arrests?

  40. My litmus test is the 3rd amendment. I guess that makes me a quarternut.

  41. Madeline Albright | December 26, 2007, 12:04pm | #

    “What’s the point of having this superb death penalty you’re always talking about, if we can’t use it?”

    All right, I know this is threadjack, but I see that someone has once again completely misunderstood that famous Albright quote, and it’s a pet peeve of mine.

    You see that verb in that sentence? “CAN’T?” You see how it isn’t “WON’T?”

    When Albright got into that argument with Powell, he was talking about how it was a bad idea to use the military in Kosovo, and she wasn’t making a point about the purpose of having a military to be to go to war.

    He was explaining to her that the United States Army was incapable of putting a force together to deploy to Kosovo in less than six months. Literally, not able to carry out the deployment. Powell was explaining that ground troops would need to be defended by helicopters, and the helicopters could only be stationed if they were defended by Abrams tanks, and it would take at least six months to get the Abrams and their supporting equipment to the theater.

    People keep using that quote as if it was a paraphrase of “There’s no point in having an army if you won’t go to war.” It wasn’t. It was a paraphrase of, “We spent trillions of dollars on this army, and it can’t do the job it was supposed to do?”

    It’s a statement about the physical capabilities of the military, not a philosophical statement about when to use force. Powell dishonestly mis-caste the statement to mislead his readers.

    All right, then. Carry on.

  42. Or, are you saying that any case involving any shooting, including self defense, should result in immediate arrests?

    Not neccessarily all. However, ones where a fleeing, unarmed, dead victim result generally should result in an arrest, even if charges aren’t deemed appropriate in due course. That is especially true in this case in light of what was said during the 911 call.

  43. Oops,

    “When Albright got into that argument with Powell, he WASN’T talking about how it was a bad idea…”

  44. . . . not a philosophical statement about when to use force.

    I burned those kids in order to save them. What is the point of having a flamethrower, etc., etc. Whatevs, joe.

  45. joe,

    So, instead of Albright being a warmonger, she is an idiot. Good to know.

  46. Grownups recognize that it is a problem to spend a trillion dollars on something that doesn’t work.

  47. “Whatevs, Joe.”

    Grownups also care about whether the things that say are true or not.

  48. What is the point of being First Lady if you can’t tell the President what to do?

  49. Personally, I think there is rather significant difference between a Secretary of State who thinks that the presence of a big military is a reason to start a war, and one who does not think that.

    Frankly, anybody who claims to be against war but doesn’t think this is a meaningful difference is full of shit.

  50. “Grownups recognize that it is a problem to spend a trillion dollars on something that doesn’t work.”

    Grownups also recognize that just because you spend a trillion dollars on an effective way to kill people does not mean that you should kill people. If it would be immoral for IBM or McDonalds to do something it is also immoral for the United States Government to do it.

  51. Grownups also care about whether the things that say are true or not.

    Depends on what your definition of “true” is.

  52. I confused. Why did Powell argue that you need tanks to defend a helicopter deployment? Can’t you do that with aviation assets? Was he putting his US Army cap on or was he not so subtly trying to influence policy?

  53. Stopn me if you’ve heard it before. Nah, screw it.

    Texas ain’t so tough, they paroled William Suff ten years into a 70 year sentence for beating his baby to death. Good behavior. Then he came to my town and killed a truckload of women.

    Got damn good thing Texas is so tough on criminals.

    Oh and since today is Kick Texas Around Day allow me to add that The Best Thing Out of Texas is I-40.

    Thanks, I’m here all week.

  54. joe,

    Grownups recognize that it is a problem to spend a trillion dollars on something that doesn’t work.

    It works just fine. The military deploys slow and then kicks ass. That is how it does its job.

    Little story to prove my point. In the summer of 1986 (after jr year of high school), I toured the college I would eventually attend. The Industrial Enginerring Dept gave a demo that was a slimmed down and non-secret version of a program/project they developed for the DoD. It enabled them to find minimum deployment times for military action in different countries. I think the example they gave us was Korea. They walked thru pieces of it showing us some of the “problems” such as the army band could get there in days but the guys with guns took a bit longer. The program allowed them to put order to things, so that Abrams tanks would arrive before helicopters or whatever. Anyway, the point is, I knew that deployment times were slow in 1986, well before Kosovo, and Albright had access to better info than I had.

  55. Be nice if I’d close my tags, eh?

    there

  56. Set {True} = 1 where DaveW is null.

  57. PIRS,

    Grownups also recognize that just because you spend a trillion dollars on an effective way to kill people does not mean that you should kill people

    I agree. Pretty much everybody in America agrees. As does Madeleine Albright, despite the best efforts of certain people to misrepresent what she said.

    de stijl,

    Powell was against getting involved in the Balkans from the beginning, so it’s a safe bet that he was being dishonest. We didn’t need six months and Abrams tanks in Panama, which was carried out on his watch. But he’d lost the argument about the wisdom of the policy, so he tried to invent bureaucratic roadblocks. That’s my read, anyway.

    robc,

    I don’t disagree, but it wasn’t Albright calling for the Abrams. Powell set out to convince her that they were needed, so he could show that the missions couldn’t be executed.

  58. Al Gore, the standard bearer of the Democrat Party in the 2000 election did not invent the internet.Skepticism about his wild claims
    contributed to his narrow defeat in the State of Florida.

  59. Wait, what does a shooting in Texas have to do with corn syrup? Were the two Columbians high on HFCS or something?

  60. Not neccessarily all. However, ones where a fleeing, unarmed, dead victim result generally should result in an arrest, even if charges aren’t deemed appropriate in due course. That is especially true in this case in light of what was said during the 911 call.

    Again, you’re assuming things here. Horn said he didn’t know if they were armed or not. He said that they had at least a crowbar, which could be used as a weapon. He said that they had approached him on his front lawn “I had no choice, man”.

    Recap: Were they unarmed? Maybe, but he did see them with a crowbar, so possibly NO. Were they fleeing? A person comes at you with a crowbar, you pull a shotgun – at the same moment the attacker reassesses the situation and figures your shotgun might hurt more and turns away while you pull the trigger – I would answer NO.

    Of course, I’m assuming a lot as well in the scenario above. So again, do we arrest him with the possibility that he did nothing wrong?

    “It’s possible that he was legally defending himself in his own yard, but let’s arrest him anyway and let the courts sort it out”

    Is that how you think it should be handled?

  61. joe,

    Panama and The Balkans arent really the same. One was about kidnapping one guy. The other was about, well, Im still not sure. Protecting a country or sorta weakening another or something. Stupid nation building, I think. Powell’s method sounds great for the way we should fight wars on those very rare occassions we do. Take your time, load up with everything you got and crush the enemy mercilessly. A 6 month deployment and then roll over Serbia in short order would have worked just fine.

  62. Please allow me to resume my earlier conversation.

    Dave W. wrote:
    “Yup. My Con Law prof (now a high level judge, I believe) heartily endorsed the Supreme Court’s idea that the 10th amendment was a tautology. I counterargued after class that even the statement “A Is A” implies that A exists and exists to a meaningful extent. I am sure that he thought I was a States Rights Nut. I am, and dang proud of it!”

    I am very glad that you defend states rights. Now, if you do defend states rights, by logical extension you should also defend the right of Texas to not prohibit firearms ownership and to create its own laws surrounding their use even if the Federal government does not approve of these laws (unless a bullet crosses state lines which it did not in this case)

  63. PIRS,

    The River Walk helped keep me sane when I was on break during Tech School.

    The River Walk reminded me of Gatlinburg with bigh giant troughs instead of roads.

  64. Powell was against getting involved in the Balkans from the beginning…

    There is some precedent here.

  65. There is some precedent here.

    FF, you should check out my farewell address too.

  66. Why did Powell argue that you need tanks to defend a helicopter deployment? Can’t you do that with aviation assets? Was he putting his US Army cap on or was he not so subtly trying to influence policy?

    I think choppers are under Army control, not Air Force. IANAMG but I think the Army probably has strict rules about deployment, and the rule probably says “NO CHOPPERS WITHOUT TANKS” or something like that. If that’s the rule, then I’m not surprised he said “no can do ma’am”.

    The military sort of has a bureacratic mindset, if you didn’t know that already.

  67. Plant Immigration RIghts Supporter,

    Check out Big Bend National Park sometime.

  68. Guy Montag, when were you there? I was there in 2000. It might have changed.

  69. Guy Montag, did you mean Gatlinberg TN?

  70. Plant Immigration RIghts Supporter,

    I alos like San Antonio, BTW.

  71. robc,

    Again, I’m not disagreeing with you about the military doctrine.

    Powell, and the anonymous poster above, misrepresented Albright’s statement, to make it look like she was making a statement about when the United States should use force, when she was saying nothing of the sort.

    That’s my only point here. Powell was probably right about how the military, with the equipment, organization, and doctrine it had at the time, could operate. Albright was expressing frustration that, for all the money and effort spent on building it up, it was still so slow.

    A lot of people agreed with her, which is why the Stryker was developed, for example.

  72. Now, if you do defend states rights, by logical extension you should also defend the right of Texas to not prohibit firearms ownership and to create its own laws surrounding their use even if the Federal government does not approve of these laws (unless a bullet crosses state lines which it did not in this case)

    Generally speaking, I want laws of defense of property to be made at the state level just like the Texas law is. OTOH, if I were a journalist living in Texas, I certainly would have pointed out the idiocy of the Horn case by now.

    A person comes at you with a crowbar, you pull a shotgun

    I think it takes a gunnut to believe that the two men with the crowbar (if they really had one) were approaching the standing in his yard with the shotgun. I also think it would take a gunnut to forgive the shooter (and the cop!)for lying about something like that.

  73. Cara, I just looked it up. It looks fascinating. I will have to take a trip there. Thanks for the tip.

  74. I thought San Antonio had canalwalks, not riverwalks.

    Lowell has both, btw.

  75. joe,

    Im not disagreeing with you about the misrepresentation of the statement. Im just saying that the “correct” interpretation makes her an idiot. Thats my only point here.

  76. As for the Joe Horn case, you don’t get to claim self-defense or defense of another when YOU grab a gun and go out of your safe, secure house to confront THEM.

  77. As for the Joe Horn case, you don’t get to claim self-defense or defense of another when YOU grab a gun and go out of your safe, secure house to confront THEM

    He doesn’t need to claim self-defense, in Texas you can shoot in defense of property as well. I would think all he has to do is present plausible evidence that he thought they were stealing, and he’s good to go. Especially seeing as they were, you know, stealing.

  78. robc,

    Why is she an idiot to think the military should be able to deploy faster for emergencies?

    A lot of people thought that – so many that they developed the Stryker platform and the Stryker Brigade, and expanded the Special Forces.

    We had an army meant to sit in Western Europe and fight off a Red Army assault. A big, slow, cumbersome army.

    She was right – in the post-Cold War world, our army needs to be quicker.

  79. PIRS,

    It was close to 2000, maybe a year or so either side and yes it reminded me of that Sevier County Tennessee town.

    E,

    I think choppers are under Army control, not Air Force. IANAMG but I think the Army probably has strict rules about deployment, and the rule probably says “NO CHOPPERS WITHOUT TANKS” or something like that. If that’s the rule, then I’m not surprised he said “no can do ma’am”.

    The military sort of has a bureacratic mindset, if you didn’t know that already.

    Depends on the helicopter, but the Air Force helicopters are mostly search and rescue. The attack, utility and heavy lift ones are mostly Army with some in the Marines and Navy.

    Not sure of your ‘bureacratic mindset’ includes little things like, you know, securing the airfield where the aircraft park to make sure they don’t get mortared from the surrounding dominant terrain, or that folks can’t just walk up to them and toss grenades inside. That really falls into basic force protection and you do want the proper mix of people and weapons for that.

  80. A big “Fuck all y’all” from this Texan.

  81. Episiarch,

    No, in Texas you can defend YOUR property rather than retreat. This wasn’t his property, nor even his current location. The Castle Doctrine is about not letting people drive you off your own property. You can’t shoot a guy if you see him pick somebody’s pocket, even in Texas. So that’s one problem.

    Second, he didn’t defend, he attacked. He went after them.

  82. A person comes at you with a crowbar, you pull a shotgun

    Just like a Columbian to bring a crowbar to a gunfight.

  83. Even the Fuck Y’alls are bigger in Texas.

  84. Why the Joe Horn threadjack?

    I’ll bite. The 911 tape indicated the operator/dispatcher told him not to go outside for his own safety. He was under no obligation to follow any instruction/order from this person.
    One or both of the perpetrators was reportedly shot from a distance of less than 7 feet. Considering age and physical condition of all parties involved this suggests the perps approached Mr Horn initially. If I was his neighbor I would thank him.

    Guy PIRS,


    The River Walk reminded me of Gatlinburg with bigh giant troughs instead of roads.

    I was there last month and the Gatlinburg comparison was my first and lasting impression.

  85. My understanding of the Texas law is that it allows defense of property. At least according to the Cop Talk board, it allowed defense of property at night at first and was recently expanded to allow defense of property in the day. Whatever the law said, we are talking about specific (and recent) statutes here, and not the commonlaw.

    A couple interesting issues are raised. One is whether it is a good idea to allow deadly force to protect property at all. Another is how far this prerogative to use deadly force extends both in geography and time. If I see a guy with a stolen watch and I know that the true owner lives in the same Texas city as me, then can I shoot the guy dead to get the watch back.

    Sadly, I don’t think we will get to these issues above the fold. Mr. Sullum is under the misimpression that just because guns are easily accessible does not mean that ppl will slide into using them too casually. I am pretty sure the Horn case is in the I-Can’t-see-you zone as far as hims is concerned.

  86. I hope Joe Horn is acquitted, and if I ever have to move to Texas I want to buy the house next door to his.

  87. I think it takes a gunnut to believe that the two men with the crowbar (if they really had one) were approaching the standing in his yard with the shotgun. I also think it would take a gunnut to forgive the shooter (and the cop!)for lying about something like that.

    1. I’m not a “gunnut”. I don’t own a gun, nor do I plan on buying one in the near future.
    2. You don’t know the facts of the case, and neither do I.
    3. I don’t forgive the shooter or the cops for anything.
    4. I also don’t jump to conclusions regarding guilt or innocence in this case.
    5. You do.
    6. Regarding 4 – that’s the grand jury’s duty to sort this out and (probably) charge Mr. Horn with something.

    And, joe, I don’t disagree with that at all. He should have stayed in the safety of his house. However, was it a crime for him to go outside of his house into his yard? no. With a shotgun? no. Do we know exactly what transpired in the yard afterwards? no. Regarding DW’s comment – should the guy be arrested? no (at least not yet).

  88. Don’t get pissy, Guy. First of all, do you deny that the military is very bureacratic? Secondly, my comment referred to the fact that rules in the military are supposed to be followed (for instance, for the reasons you cited) and Powell couldn’t break them just to get stuff someplace faster.

  89. Thanks Cara! I really want to go!

    Of all of the functions of the Federal Government the national parks are one of three functions I consider to be benevolent. They preserve natural beauty, they do not have the inherent ability to point guns at people and no one is forced to go there. I wish I could earmark where my federal tax dollars went. I would send it there, to NASA and the Library of Congress.

  90. Joe Horn? In my book, if he thought the thieves were armed and he blew them away that is self defense enough for me. I wish TN and VA would change their laws to that standard instead of my having to inform my attackers that they are “scaring me to death” and aske them to leave me alone.

    Even if they are breaking into my vehicle on my property in front of me I must let them be unless they threaten my life. The threat of a bloody nose is not enough to shoot them.

  91. Guy Montag,

    Given the military capabilities of the Serbs, the air power available to the coalition, and the capabilities of even plain old American infantry, I have to say that Powell’s insistence that Abrams tanks, and only Abrams tanks, could provide adequate security for the bases looks a lot like either bureaucratic by-the-bookism, or a deliberate attempt by a uniformed military commander to mislead the civilian leadership in order to win a policy fight.

  92. E,

    I am not the one getting pissy and yes, they can be quite bureacratic, especially in the office building where I work.

  93. Nigel Watt, I have nothing at all against Texas. I liked what I saw of Texas. I liked the people I met there.

  94. joe,

    I cant think of a situation where we need to be able to fight a war in under 6 months. Hell, it will take that long to get congress to pass a declaration of war, unless we have a Pearl Harbor type event. Even then, it took us forever to get up and running in Europe.

    In most “emergencies”, marines and special forces are what is needed. If your goal is to crush an enemy army, patience is a virtue.

    She was an idiot for thinking we had the capability. Even the Stryker needs outside support when it is going up against heavily armored units. We didnt spend trillions to be able to respond fast, we spent trillions to guarantee we can defeat any military willing to meet us in the field of battle.

  95. Jennifer-

    I don’t know enough about the facts of the case and the Texas laws to know whether he violated any laws. Nor do I know enough about the facts to judge whether there should or should not be a law against what he did.

    But I do know enough to say that he’s an idiot with a gun, and I wouldn’t want to live next door to an idiot with a gun.

    Not every act of stupidity should be illegal, but that doesn’t mean I want to live next door to the people who do those acts of stupidity.

  96. jimmydageek,

    I will allow how it’s tough case, but if you pick a fight with a stranger – you throw the first punch – and you end up killing him in “self-defense,” you carry at least some of the responsibility.

    Nobody had to die here. People should not go looking for lethal confrontations.

  97. I hope Joe Horn is acquitted, and if I ever have to move to Texas I want to buy the house next door to his.

    You must be really careful with your keys!

  98. And spare me the justifications for why these two deserved to die.

    We’ve got judges and juries to make that decision.

  99. Nor do I know enough about the facts to judge whether there should or should not be a law against what he did.

    Let me help, T.:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7jqLie6-Y0

  100. But I do know enough to say that he’s an idiot with a gun, and I wouldn’t want to live next door to an idiot with a gun.

    I like the idea of living next door to someone neighborly enough to keep an eye on my house for me when I’m not there. And returning from vacation to find the chalk outlines where a dead thief once lay beats the hell out of returning to find my house emptied and my life’s possessions gone.

  101. robc,

    I cant think of a situation where we need to be able to fight a war in under 6 months.

    Kosovo. If we were going to stop the ethnic cleansing, we couldn’t wait half a year.

    We didnt spend trillions to be able to respond fast, we spent trillions to guarantee we can defeat any military willing to meet us in the field of battle.

    Defeating main-force militaries willing to meet us on the field of battle is not the extent of the actions our military may be called on to perform. There needs to be something in between Operation Overlord and a helicopter full of SEALs.

  102. “And spare me the justifications for why these two deserved to die.

    “We’ve got judges and juries to make that decision.”

    OK Joe, suppose you were picked to be on his jury. Knowing what you know now (I know facts would come out in the trial we do not have now) but knowing what you know now how would you vote and why?

  103. Nobody had to die here.

    True. The theives could’ve gone out looking for honest work instead. Too bad. If reincarnation is real, maybe the lesson they learned at the end of this life will carry over into their next one.

  104. Jennifer,

    I think the point is that a guy this dumb and irresponsible can’t be counted on to only create chalk outlines of “evildoers.”

  105. . . . where a dead thief once lay . . .

    should statutory rapists get the death penalty too?

  106. PIRS,

    What jury? What trial?

    I would not have sentenced the two burglars to death. Probably a multi-decade prison term. Burglary at night is some bad business, but it’s not a capital offense by itself.

  107. “True. The theives could’ve gone out looking for honest work instead. Too bad. If reincarnation is real, maybe the lesson they learned at the end of this life will carry over into their next one.”

    Great answer Jennifer! They were the first ones to initiate force against another person.

  108. joe:

    If the absent homeowner tells police that he asked his neighbor to watch over his property, that could play in the shooter’s favor, defense attorney Tommy LaFon, who is also a former Harris County prosecutor, told the Houston Chronicle. “That could put him (the gunman) in an ownership role.” (Link here)

  109. I think the point is that a guy this dumb and irresponsible can’t be counted on to only create chalk outlines of “evildoers.”

    I find nothing dumb or irresponsible about protecting your neighbor’s property from a thief when your neighbor’s not around to do it himself. I find it admirable.

  110. There are many in this world who deserve life, Jennifer Baggins, and many who deserve death. Will you give it to them?

  111. I would not have sentenced the two burglars to death. Probably a multi-decade prison term. Burglary at night is some bad business, but it’s not a capital offense by itself.

    Neither is assault, but while I would never vote for the death penalty for a man who’s been arrested and put on trial for assault, neither will I criticize the neighbor who shoots him dead while the assault is actually being committed.

  112. Joe, OK, so you would have sentenced these two burglars to jail. Now, what would happen to them if they tried to escape? Force would have been used against them to put them back in prison. The more force they used to escape the more force would be used against them. If they resist enough, they die. These two burglars were trying to escape. The morality of an action is not dependent upon having a tin star.

  113. Jennifer,

    RTFA, for God’s sake.

    The guy was told that there were police on their way, they are going to be looking for armed men, and he shouldn’t go outside with a gun. So he goes outside with a gun.

    Sure, that’s a real Einstein right there. No way someone like that could ever be a threat.

    And hey, evildoers got killed.

  114. Assault can quite possibly end in death.

    Leaving a place you just burgled cannot.

    “Defense” requires that someone could actually be harmed.

  115. I will allow how it’s tough case, but if you pick a fight with a stranger – you throw the first punch – and you end up killing him in “self-defense,” you carry at least some of the responsibility.

    Nobody had to die here. People should not go looking for lethal confrontations.

    For the most part, I don’t disagree. But what do you consider “throwing the first punch”? Mr. Horn stepping outside of his home to defend his neighbor’s property? I know, he didn’t have to, but it might have been perfectly legal for him to do so. As to whether or not legality makes it “right” can be disputed. However, it’s a whole ‘nother story if he just went out there and started shooting.

  116. neither will I criticize the neighbor who shoots him dead while the assault is actually being committed

    doesn’t that strongly of depend on the degree or severity of the assault?

    Mr. Sullum: I hope you are reading this. See, people really do come to have casual attitudes about shooting others. I have not been making that up!

  117. joe, the guy claims–and can be heard on the recording saying as much–that they came into his yard. If they approached me in the same way, you bet your ass I’d shoot them.

    Yes, he may be lying. But you’ve got a living 70-year-old man looking out for his neighbor’s property on one hand, and two dead thieves who can’t tell you if he was lying or not on the other hand.

    And he is being put before a grand jury to determine if he acted within the law; that’s why you were asked how you would go if you were on that jury. So what’s your answer?

  118. The guy was told that there were police on their way, they are going to be looking for armed men, and he shouldn’t go outside with a gun. So he goes outside with a gun.

    Kudos to him for not being fool enough to obey when he hears “Sit back and let Big Daddy Government take care of everything. By the way, the Supreme Court has ruled that cops are not obligated to protect people or prevent crimes from happening; all they have to do is make a half-assed attempt to catch the perps later. Hope your neighbor’s homeowners’ insurance premiums don’t go up too high after he files a claim for his property that was stolen.”

  119. PIRS,

    If they tried to escape, they would not be immediately fired upon.

    If somebody had tackled these guys – something akin to the force used on an escapee – we wouldn’t be having this conversation. If a passerby had pointed a gun at them and said “Freeze,” we wouldn’t be having this conversation. If they had been tackled, it turned into a brawl, and one of them had hit his head on the curb and died, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. If it had turned into a brawl, one of the burglars pulled a knife, and somebody shot him, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    If a corrections officer saw a prisoner clipping a fence and shot him to death, that C.O. would be charged with homicide. (Well, no, his buddies would set something up so he could claim defense, but you get my point.)

  120. “Assault can quite possibly end in death. Leaving a place you just burgled cannot. “Defense” requires that someone could actually be harmed.”

    Joe, assuming that this property was justly acquired; the owner had to spend a portion of his life in order to acquire it. He had to work at some kind of productive activity. If a burglar steels his property he steals a portion of that person’s life. This is defense.

  121. Leaving a place you just burgled cannot.

    “Defense” requires that someone could actually be harmed.

    First of all, the property owner is being harmed. Secondly, the law allows for shooting people who are commiting even simple burglary. You may not like that, but that is the law. The only reason this guy could get in trouble is that it wasn’t his property. Had it been, he could have shot them at any time, and without even being threatened, because they were stealing.

    Again, you may not like that, but that’s the law there.

  122. Now, what would happen to them if they tried to escape?

    I think it is pretty clear that the police arriving at the scene could not have shot the escaping men. That is considered a matter of constitutional law (Garner case, IIRC).

  123. Yes, he may be lying. But you’ve got a living 70-year-old man looking out for his neighbor’s property on one hand, and two dead thieves who can’t tell you if he was lying or not on the other hand.

    when people shoot the witnesses, I take that as a signal to look at their story with enhanced, rather than diminished, skepticism.

  124. And he is being put before a grand jury to determine if he acted within the law

    Epi, It’s trite, but I’d rather be tried by twelve than carried by six.

  125. Dave, would you approve of this shooting if the perps were HFCS producers?

  126. Not everyone in Texas agrees with state sponsored killing. However, one of them is troubled by the unrelated and unreasonable attacks posted here. He figures that since the attackers must think their are no idiots in their states, they must be the idiots where they live.

  127. Episiarch,

    If I was on that grand jury, I’d try to see if the government made its case that the guy was not in fear for his life or otherwise threatened when he shot the burglars. If the government could not do that, I wouldn’t vote to indict.

    If they could – if the evidence was strong that he was not being attacked or approached, but went after the burglars because he has a Jennifer-esque opinion about the relative value of human life vs. property and decided to take it on himself to make the world a better place – I’d vote to indict.

  128. Even that’s not clear, DW. You keep assuming things. Stop doing so and other issues will fall into place.

  129. Epi, It’s trite, but I’d rather be tried by twelve than carried by six.

    Of course, and I agree. I was merely explaining to joe that he will in fact have to go before a grand jury for his actions.

  130. If they could – if the evidence was strong that he was not being attacked or approached, but went after the burglars because he has a Jennifer-esque opinion about the relative value of human life vs. property and decided to take it on himself to make the world a better place – I’d vote to indict.

    Even if the law–as I explained above–allows for shooting people who are only committing burglary?

  131. the law allows for shooting people who are commiting even simple burglary.

    Do you think they should extend the law to trespassers? That is a breah of property and security, too.

  132. The fact that the case will be going to a grand jury is something that DW keeps missing here. He wants immediate arrests, guilty or not.

  133. joe,

    Kosovo. If we were going to stop the ethnic cleansing, we couldn’t wait half a year.

    It isnt our job to prevent ethnic cleansing. I still cant think of a situation we need to respond in less than 6 months.

  134. Kudos to him for not being fool enough to obey when he hears “Sit back and let Big Daddy Government take care of everything.

    Two people are dead, Ms. Tuff Guy Of The Internet. That should enter into your thinking some where. Yeah, kudos, two more evildoers for you to snicker at.

    By the way, the Supreme Court has ruled that cops are not obligated to protect people or prevent crimes from happening; all they have to do is make a half-assed attempt to catch the perps later. Which has nothing to do with this case. The police were on their way, to the point where the dispatcher was worried that Horn would either get in the way of the arrest or get shot.

    Hope your neighbor’s homeowners’ insurance premiums don’t go up too high after he files a claim for his property that was stolen. I’m not sure how to argue with someone who openly admits that she values stuff more than human life.

  135. “If they tried to escape, they would not be immediately fired upon.”

    Firing is by its very nature immediate. One cannot file paperwork through a bureaucracy between the time a bullet leaves a chamber and enters a person’s body. Police can and do fire upon people they believe to be armed – including escapees from prison. Crowbars can be deadly, pipes can be deadly. Burglars are often armed. I think he was justified. The world has two fewer burglars thanks to him.

  136. Do you think they should extend the law to trespassers? That is a breah of property and security, too.

    Maybe Coke and Pepsi employees, too, right Dave?

  137. Episiarch, PIRS,

    The law doesn’t allow to end other human beings’ lives over material goods. The “property defense” castle doctrine is about allowing people not to retreat when they are in their own home when someone breaks into it. It’s not really a “property defense” law, but a recognition that such a circumstance – the invasion of an occupied dwelling – is likely to end in the harm (actual harm, not stuff) of innocent people.

  138. “I’m not sure how to argue with someone who openly admits that she values stuff more than human life.”

    I value INOCENT human life more than stuff. But the life of tax collectors and other thieves is another matter

  139. The fact that the case will be going to a grand jury is something that DW keeps missing here. He wants immediate arrests, guilty or not.

    Well, let’s make clear how I feel:

    1. BIGGEST PROBLEM: Texas law requires not just that a burglary is being committed, but that the shooter knows beyond reasonable doubt that a burglary is being committed. If the Texas law doesn’t require that kind/level of intent, then it really should. It is clear to me that Joe Horn didn’t have that kind or level of intent. Therefore, he should be sentenced to death for murder and the penalty should be carried out within 6 months.

    2. NEXT BIGGEST PROBLEM: Texas seems to have more than its share of racist gunnuts. This means that Horn, the policeman who witnessed the shootings and the neighbors probably lie. That really sucks. It means that the true facts will never be known and justice will never be done. For my own self, I solved that problem by leaving Texas.

    3. SMALLEST PROBLEM: Texas really shouldn’t allow deadly force in defense of mere property in any circumstances for the reasons joe says.

  140. This thread really does support the point, made above, about the low value put on human life.

    Hey, if I hadn’t killed that guy, I wouldn’t have a teevee! I might miss Matlock!

    Isn’t it great when evidoers get gunned down on your street? Yee-haw!

  141. joe, I’m pretty sure you are wrong on this one. I just looked up some castle doctrine laws and they say you can shoot when somebody else is in the commission of a “forcible felony”, and then list such felonies, and include burglary and robbery.

  142. My only concern is that some yahoo C&W star in a ridiculous hat will write “The Ballad Of Joe Horn”, whose rousing melody will eventually and forever sell pickup trucks during NFL games.

  143. joe,

    The “property defense” castle doctrine is about allowing people not to retreat when they are in their own home when someone breaks into it.

    That is not (completely) true. I hate when this comes up, its like otherwise smart people forget we have 50 states with 50 different laws.

    For example, KY’s law, which I know best, does allow me to use deadly force for solely the protection of property. Yes, it does allow it in the case you mention, but it also allows me to shoot an arsonist trying to burn down my barn, for example. That has nothing to do with self defense (and, in fact, was just added to the KY law in the last few years, originally you could only use deadly force on an arsonist who was burning down your dwelling, not any building you own).

  144. Hey, if I hadn’t killed that guy, I wouldn’t have a teevee! I might miss Matlock!

    joe loses the argument, and so he resorts to “I am more morally upright than you…DON’T YOU SEE HOW MUCH I VALUE HUMAN LIFE?!?”

  145. If you value human life, I recommend you not sacrifice it by committing a burglary. Once you cross that threshold, you take your chances.

  146. That was me responding to joe, not joe. Doh.

  147. PIRS,

    Firing is by its very nature immediate.

    You would do well as one of those SWAT Team guys Radley is always on about.

    Among more civilized people, you sometimes find actions between seeing a bad guy and killing him, such as yelling “Stop!,” holding him at gunpoint, rendering him harmless, or getting the other C.O.s to help you grab the guy.

    I don’t think it’s coincidence that the people claiming “defense” keep ending up talking about how good it is that these two were killed.

    It’s not too much different from those who started out talking about “defending” our country from Saddam’s WMDs, and didn’t miss a beat when they learned there was nothing to defend us from.

    It was never about defense, it was about the universal wonderfulness of watching “good guys” kill “evildoers,” and the warm feeling some people get from that.

  148. Joe, I cannot speak for Episiarch, but for me, this is more about morality than it is the law. I would rather people act morally and violate the law than follow the law and act morally. According to the law the agencies within the Federal Government can do things that other groups of human beings cannot do. An agency within the Federal Government can set up a Ponzi scheme and force people to “invest” in it. If Bank of America were to do this it would be called illegal.

  149. PIRS,

    Um, one point you might want to make in your discussion is that there was no judge or jury there to advise the law abiding citizen with a spot decision on defending the property of his neighbor and his own life from an approaching thief could result in some out-of-State Leftists demanding he become an example for how strongly Manhattanites feel about the real crimes committed by “whitie”.

    BTW, let it be on record that I am against the death penalty in prison. Capping a threat on the lawn is a whole different issue.

  150. Jennifer,

    Like others have said, I don’t want to live next door to a guy who runs outside with a gun when he knows that the cops are on their way and they’re looking for armed men.

    Also, even if the judgement call that he made was indeed correct (we’ll leave aside the ethical and legal issues that underlie such an assessment), I don’t want to live next door to somebody who decides to take matters into his own hands when the cops are on the way and his life isn’t in immediate danger. Again, I’ll leave aside the ethical issues, and grant that the cops are not guaranteed to get it right. Still, they’ll have the advantage of numbers when they confront these guys, and they might be able to stop the burglars with nonlethal means.

    The guy who chooses to go outside and open fire when he knows that help is on the way is not the sort of guy I want to live next to.

  151. DW,

    My point is that nobody here actually knows the facts of the case. We don’t know if Horn went outside of his house with the sole intention of shooting the burglars. Which law applies or doesn’t apply is not the point. The point is that you are assigning guilt and playing the race card without knowing the full facts of the case. Again, we don’t know all the facts…get it?

  152. “This thread really does support the point, made above, about the low value put on human life.”

    I guess the question is why do you value Joe Horn’s life so much less than the thieves he shot? You’re talking about locking him up for murder, right?

  153. Episiarch,

    joe, I’m pretty sure you are wrong on this one. I just looked up some castle doctrine laws and they say you can shoot when somebody else is in the commission of a “forcible felony”, and then list such felonies, and include burglary and robbery.

    This doesn’t contradict anything I wrote. Castle doctrine laws allow you to defend yourself, without the need to retreat, if someone is committing a “forcible felony,” as you put it, against you or your property.

    I’m not sure what the disconnect is.

  154. I’m with Joe on this one.

    The truth is that the loss of human life in this case could have, and should have, been avoided.

    And please, its Colombian (native of Colombia) NOT Columbian (related to Christopher Columbus or student at Columbia U, etc). Thanks.

  155. PIRS,

    It’s about morality for me, too.

    Human life – even that of “evildoers” – outweighs mere things.

    It is only allowable to take a human life if you have no other choice. Horn had plenty of other choices.

  156. ? 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is
    justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or
    tangible, movable property:
    (1) if he would be justified in using force against the
    other under Section 9.41; and
    (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the
    deadly force is immediately necessary:
    (A) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of
    arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the
    nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
    (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing
    immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated
    robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the
    property; and
    (3) he reasonably believes that:
    (A) the land or property cannot be protected or
    recovered by any other means; or
    (B) the use of force other than deadly force to
    protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or
    another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

    Dave comments:

    1. I think they amended this recently to get rid of the “nighttime” limitations.

    2. You can shoot someone to prevent “criminal mischief” under 9.42(2)(A)?!?!?!?!

    3. If this (bad) law were applied justly, I still don’t think that section 9.42(2) should be applied, and I don’t think Horn could make a case under section 9.42(3).

  157. Joe Horn did yell “Move and your dead” before shooting the perps. Presumably they didn’t heed his instructions.He should have handed them the phone, as Dave W indicates they would have been legally bound to obey the 911 dispatcher.

  158. “Among more civilized people, you sometimes find actions between seeing a bad guy and killing him, such as yelling “Stop!,” holding him at gunpoint, rendering him harmless, or getting the other C.O.s to help you grab the guy.”

    Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If it is a choice between my life and the life of a tax collector or other burglar I will take the life of the burglar. Again, if you were actually there, please tell us. If not, you do not have all of the sensory information that this person had.

  159. Two people are dead, Ms. Tuff Guy Of The Internet. That should enter into your thinking some where.

    In an alternate universe, those two are still alive and the burglary rates in alterna-Texas are even higher than in this one. In this universe, there’s at least some Texans who were spared having a gun-toting Grinch steal their Christmas. That should enter into your thinking somewhere.

  160. The truth is that the loss of human life in this case could have, and should have, been avoided.

    Yea, by doing as Jennifer said, get a job instead of breaking into someone’s house. Those jerks did not ge shot for stealing stuff, they got shot for violating the sanctity(sp?) of someone’s home.

    Oh, and please you ‘open borders’ folk, don’t even go into speculation that they were ‘undocumented, peaceful aliens’ who had to come to USAia for a better life and George Bush got them killed for trying to get goods to trade so they can eat. Along with the ‘Texas is just northern Mexico’ crowd, just save it.

  161. I hope Joe Horn actually said “Move and you’re dead” otherwise he should be indicted for using the incorrect possessive homonym “your” in place of the correct contraction of “you are”.

  162. Lamar,

    I value Joe Horn’s life very highly, and think it was incredibly irresponsible for him to risk it unnecessarily, and over mere things.

    As for “locking him up for murder,” I think that would go a bit far. Something like manslaughter and a sentence on the lower end of the scale would probably be more just, if the facts are as I understand them.

  163. I am new to this board but I have read many HnRs articles and posts. I recall many people being against the death penalty and yet, it seems many of these same people are OK with blowing away some burglars who posed little or no immediate threat to anyone’s life.
    I dont understand. Perhaps its because one killing is done by the State and the other is done by the individual?

  164. Oh, and please you ‘open borders’ folk, don’t even go into speculation that they were ‘undocumented, peaceful aliens’ who had to come to USAia for a better life and George Bush got them killed for trying to get goods to trade so they can eat. Along with the ‘Texas is just northern Mexico’ crowd, just save it.

    Nobody was, Guy, but way to go on bringing up the scary immigrants thing here. I mean, Horn thought they were black, so I don’t see how immigration has anything (other than a mere blip) to do with this. You know, there are also black people and white people who commit crimes.

  165. How many here think that the burglars dropped the loot before they were shot? (I do.)

  166. I dont understand. Perhaps its because one killing is done by the State and the other is done by the individual?

    I can’t speak for anyone else here, but I view it as having two choices: shoot the thieves, or stand back helplessly and watch them steal your or your neighbor’s property on the theory that you mustn’t hurt the poor thieving dears unless they specifically said they plan to commit acts of physical violence.

    I go with option one.

  167. PIRS,

    If it is a choice between my life and the life of a tax collector or other burglar I will take the life of the burglar.

    Sure, but that’s not the example you gave. You brought up a prisoner in the act of escaping, and the argument is about burglars fleeing with stuff.

    If your life is in danger, of course deadly force in allowable.

    Jennifer, we don’t live in the might-makes-right, vigilante world you fantasize about, and people like you benefit the most from that. We are a civilized society, and as a rule, take human life more seriously than you do.

  168. rana,

    I am new to this board but I have read many HnRs articles and posts. I recall many people being against the death penalty and yet, it seems many of these same people are OK with blowing away some burglars who posed little or no immediate threat to anyone’s life.
    I dont understand. Perhaps its because one killing is done by the State and the other is done by the individual?

    For some of us it is the difference between what is a threat and what is not. Me: once they are locked up they had better not be a threat to anybody any more and they don’t need to be shot, well, unless they are bothering their neighbor in prison, then shoot them to stop them form doing that. On the street, if one is behaving as a threat then the people around that person have a responsibility to cap their ass and the cops have the responsibility to take notes and file a report.

  169. rana has it. We prefer to do our own killin’.

  170. jimmydageek,

    I was heading them off at the pass, nit saying anybody had already mentioned it as I did not see anybody bring it up yet.

  171. Those jerks did not ge shot for stealing stuff, they got shot for violating the sanctity(sp?) of someone’s home.

    Yeah. Show’em how its done fireman!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJC1unnuwds

  172. “”What’s the point of having this superb shotgun you’re always talking about, if we can’t use it?””

  173. WARNING: PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTION BELOW:

    “PIRS, It’s about morality for me, too. Human life – even that of “evildoers” – outweighs mere things. It is only allowable to take a human life if you have no other choice. Horn had plenty of other choices.”

    Hmm, I almost made a mistake that would have killed the thread. I almost mentioned the name an historic figure with a last name that begins with the letter “H”. I will not do that. But I have a point to make in this. How far would you go with this? Would you say that property is more valuable than the life of say – – Pol Pot? Philosophically speaking, what is it about Human life that you consider valuable?

  174. Among more civilized people, you sometimes find actions between seeing a bad guy and killing him, such as yelling “Stop!,” holding him at gunpoint, rendering him harmless, or getting the other C.O.s to help you grab the guy.

    joe, have you ever been in a life-or-death situation? Have you ever fired a gun? Because life-and-death situations are scary and insane and fast enough, but then on top of it, you want people to do what you refer to as “civilized”, even though that could put them at more risk. Aiming guns is hard enough without adrenaline rushes, moving targets, and yelling the things you want them to yell.

  175. I can’t speak for anyone else here, but I view it as having two choices: shoot the thieves, or stand back helplessly and watch them steal your or your neighbor’s property on the theory that you mustn’t hurt the poor thieving dears unless they specifically said they plan to commit acts of physical violence.

    He knew the police were on their way.

    Look at this, people – this logic justified the killing of people over property, without the shooter being in danger at all.

    Jennifer, you are a sociopath.

  176. Jennifer, you are a sociopath.

    HaHaHa…I was beginning to think that as well 😀

  177. as having two choices: shoot the thieves, or stand back helplessly and watch them steal your or your neighbor’s property

    I can’t believe that people don’t think they dropped the loot before attempting to flee. Its that gunnuttiness.

  178. Three semi-sequitors:

    1) According to the Dalai Lama, “If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun.” (Seattle Times, May 15, 2001)

    2) Madeline Albright is most likely Middle
    Class Worker
    from the Entitlements thread. The BOLD tags give it away.

    3)Lamar: Texas: You’ll get the DNA to exonerate me when you pry it from my cold, dead warm, sticky fingers.

    There, fixed it for ya’ 😉

  179. “Sure, but that’s not the example you gave. You brought up a prisoner in the act of escaping, and the argument is about burglars fleeing with stuff. If your life is in danger, of course deadly force in allowable.”

    So a burglar walks off with my property and I walk up top him and politely ask for it back. He refuses. I ask him more forcefully. He still refuses. What do I do then? Keep asking?

  180. PIRS,

    I would not kill a helpless Hitler or Pol Pot.

    Episiarch,

    joe, have you ever been in a life-or-death situation? Have you ever fired a gun? Yes, and yes. Though not at the same time.

    I can certainly understand the “terrified, lost my head” defense. We’re human, and we make mistakes, and we can panic in a bad situation. (Not to Joe Horn: stop putting yourself in deadly situations when you can avoid it).

    But that’s a world away from those people arguing that killing people when you or others are not in danger is good and right.

  181. DAVEwDaveWdaveWDavew.

    jerk jerk jerk.

    neener neener.

    YOU ARE ALL MISSING THE POINT. TAUNTING AND THE EVENTUAL VACHE-LAUNCHING ARE PERFECT DETERRENT/ DEFENSE OPTIONS.

  182. Jennifer,

    I heart you!

    Plus, I keep the Benelli pump chambered when it is “in service”. No need in making all that racket chambering a shell and losing valuable time. The Saiga, while cool looking, is more for field use.

  183. PIRS,

    If you want to hold him there at gunpoint, good for you!

    If you had already called the police and knew they would be there shortly, as Horn did, that makes it even easier.

  184. I can’t believe that people don’t think they dropped the loot before attempting to flee. Its that gunnuttiness.

    What’s the opposite of “gunnuttiness”? Is that “retardedness”? Here you think you know for a fact that they dropped the loot. Any evidence? Or is it just an assumption?

  185. There you go, Jennifer.

    You should be careful when you go hunting for monsters, lest you become a monster yourself.

    Guy Montag thinks your moral code is just terrific.

  186. *strikes karate ufc stance*

    KEEEEYYYYYYYYY-AAAAAAAHHHHH!

  187. “jimmydageek | December 26, 2007, 4:06pm | #

    Jennifer, you are a sociopath.
    HaHaHa…I was beginning to think that as well :D”

    When people start throwing around insults I take it as a sign they know they are losing the argument.

  188. Jennifer, we don’t live in the might-makes-right, vigilante world you fantasize about, and people like you benefit the most from that.

    No: I don’t steal other people’s property, nor even walk on their property unless they’re invited. And “people like me” do NOT benefit by believing the lie that if anything bad happens, the police will take care of you so all you need to do is call 911, wait and hope to God the cops get there before the bad guys do.

    Jennifer, you are a sociopath.

    Nope. A sociopath is someone with no conscience or sense of empathy. My sense of empathy is very strong, at least where Joe Horn and his neighbor are concerned. If you want to see sociopaths, dig up the bodies of the two burglars who didn’t give a shit about inflicting the trauma of theft and a home invasion upon innocent people.

  189. WELL PIRS IS A SILLY, PRUNE-FACED WIPER OF OTHER PEOPLE’S BOTTOMS.

    NEENER. NEENER.

    I WIN! I WIN!

  190. You should be careful when you go hunting for monsters, lest you become a monster yourself. Guy Montag thinks your moral code is just terrific.

    And Bin Laden loves your moral code as it pertains to teenage sexuality. So what? I know better than to think that makes you analogous to Bin Laden. But apparently you do not.

  191. Property, for most of us, is a product of time and labor from a finite lifespan. The thief is stealing a portion of your life.

  192. Up until now I couldn’t quite understand why so many people view Libertarians as anarchic-gun tottin’-whackjobs. Thanks Jennifer and Guy for clearing that up.
    Thank goodness not everyone thinks like you.

  193. Episiarch,

    After the Rodney King beating, I heard a lot of people saying things like “Don’t judge the cops. You haven’t been in that situation. Scared people lose their heads sometimes…” and the like. And they were right – when someone is in such a situation, you can’t insist on a level of decision-making that ignores human nature.

    But that is a world away from Darryl Gates seeing the tape and exclaiming, “We should use this as a training film!”

    Sympathy and understanding and mercy for Horn is one thing, but holding him out as a model for how people are supposed to behave is quite another.

  194. The Saiga, while cool looking fucking terrifying to liberals and crackhead burglars, is more for field use.

    Guy, have you been here?

    I have a s-20, I’m biased…

  195. IT IS TIME FOR ALL TO READ THE AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNT OF IKE TURNER’S CHIEF ROADIE’S FRIEND’S COUSIN’S TEACHER’S SON’S MILKMAN AND THE PHILOSOPHICAL IMPLICATIONS OF BLACK FLAG’S “TV PARTY” BEFORE YOU ALL EMBARRASS YOURSELVES ANY FURTHER.

    RANA – YOU ARE INCORRECT. EVERYBODY THINKS LIKE THEM. SINCE YOU DO NOT, CLEARLY YOU ARE NOT THINKING.

    MADELINE OBVIOUSLY HAS A FORWARD BENDING LABOR SUPPLY CURVE.

  196. Joe, I did not ask if you would personally Kill Pol Pot. You might be a vegetarian for all I know. I asked if you believed that his life was more valuable than property. My main question was: Philosophically speaking, what is it about Human life that you consider valuable?

  197. Damn! Outta popcorn. Gotta go an make some more and see how this shooting match turns out. 😉

  198. But that’s a world away from those people arguing that killing people when you or others are not in danger is good and right.

    I believe that you have a right to kill to protect your property, and I would not punish someone for doing so. The law in Texas agrees with me.

    However, I personally would probably not shoot someone who was not threatening me, especially if they were fleeing.

    Remember, we still don’t know if these guys came at Horn, or if he perceived them to do so.

  199. “what is it about Human life that you consider valuable?”

    THE GOLD FILLINGS IN THEIR TEETH.

    AND THEIR TAINTS. MUST HARVEST TAINTS.

    TAINTS CURE EVERYTHING.

    TAINTS ARE THE ENZYTE OF THE NEW DAY!

  200. Here you think you know for a fact that they dropped the loot. Any evidence? Or is it just an assumption?

    How do you know that it was the shotgun blasts that killed them and not congentital heart defects?

    In the non-gunnut world, if a crazy guy with a shotgun comes at you and fires a warning blast, it is overwhelmingly likely that the suspects will drop the bag of loot and run. That is going to be their best chance at survival — probably better chance even than surrendering to Horn.

    I mean, if Horn was so concerned about the property, only, then dropping the bag of loot would make him put his gun down. If you drop the bag and he is still fixing to fire, then you know he is concerned about more than just recovery of property. And that would mean just one thing: RRRRRUUUUUNNNNN!!!!

  201. “If you want to hold him there at gunpoint, good for you!”

    And if I see he has a crowbar or pipe? Hmm, I think I am just going to politely ask him to stop when he hits me over the head with the pipe.

  202. Osama bin Laden has never complimented my opinions on sex, Jennifer, not would he.

    You, on the other hand, actually have been applauded by Guy Montag.

    Call it a heads up, Jennifer. Guy Montag thinks you are just right about the use of deadly force. Not “somebody on the internet made a smartass remark assuming that he would.”

    Your moral code actually drew cheers from Guy Montage, Jennifer.

    Think about that.

  203. Actually, I would try to capture bin Laden and would accept his surrender if offered. However, if he makes one false move I am hitting the trigger faster than punching off an unstable slingload on a UH-1H.

  204. When people start throwing around insults I take it as a sign they know they are losing the argument.

    PIRS, I think I’m on your side and that of Jennifer’s as well. So, if I’m losing the argument, well, what does that say about you two? However, her attitude towards the life of these two individuals does lean towards the sociopath side.

  205. Gosh, Minion, I never knew Taints were so versatile. I should get one of my own!

  206. Remember, we still don’t know if these guys came at Horn, or if he perceived them to do so.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22152984/

  207. Episiarch,

    I believe that you have a right to kill to protect your property, and I would not punish someone for doing so. The law in Texas agrees with me.

    The Texas law only allows you to use to deadly force to protect property in limited circumstances, and they are all circumstances, such as burglary at night, when there is a significant chance of people getting hurt.

    PIRS,

    If you see his pipe, you hold him at gunpoint. Duh.

    Personally, I look for people deliberately playing dumb as evidence that they’re losing the argument.

  208. AND THEIR TAINTS. MUST HARVEST TAINTS.

    Minion, I have to wonder whether you have ever seen the Dickesode episode of ATHF.

  209. OK, shot in the back is not cool, whether or not they had stolen property in their hands. If they were shot in the back, Mr. Horn was wrong. Who doesn’t agree?

  210. From Dave W.’s link:

    HOUSTON – An autopsy showed two burglary suspects were shot in the back allegedly by a Pasadena neighbor who witnessed their crime, KPRC Local 2 reported Friday.

    Buy, hey…evidoers. Right, Jennifer?

  211. Dangerman,

    Yes and mine is a S-12 with a 19″ threaded barrel. Did not get the collapsable stock and 9 round magazines I wanted from Santa 🙁

    Cara Lutetia,

    Were the thieves armed?

    According to at least one report, yes, with a crowbar.

    PIRS,

    And if I see he has a crowbar or pipe? Hmm, I think I am just going to politely ask him to stop when he hits me over the head with the pipe.

    Seems some people on this thread think if he slows down it is the same thing.

  212. How do you know that it was the shotgun blasts that killed them and not congentital heart defects?

    DW, I DON’T KNOW!!! See, I don’t assume anything. You, on the other hand, THINK YOU DO KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS CASE. You have judged Mr. Horn guilty without knowing all the facts.

  213. The Texas law only allows you to use to deadly force to protect property in limited circumstances, and they are all circumstances, such as burglary at night, when there is a significant chance of people getting hurt.

    No, it allows it during “forcible felonies”, and includes burglary and robbery. Also, the night restriction was recently removed.

    If this guy had done this in defense of his own property they couldn’t touch him, according to Texas law.

  214. You know, i’m trying to think of that passage from Hogan’s Voyage from Yesteryear, the part where the Chironians justify everyone owning a gun and shooting trouble makers wild west style, i think it makes a good point, but i can’t think of it right now. damn.

  215. Right, who doesn’t agree?

    I want Guy Montag and Jennifer to answer.

    The arguments they have been making would render this detail irrelevant to the morality of Horn’s actions. Let’s see if they stand by them.

  216. Guy Montag,

    Did they wield it like a weapon?

  217. EPISIARCH: THAT IS PLEASING.

    RAZER: TAINTS ARE BEST WHEN KORN SYRUP FREE. THOSE SLATHERED IN KORN SYRUP TEND TO GO OFF WHEN BUMPED GENTLY (IN STEVO’S BUNK, OF COURSE).

    ANSWER TO KORN SYRUP BOY – SAME AS WALTER GIVES TO DONNY IN “BIG LEBOWSKI”

  218. Urkobold,
    No. Everyone does not think like them. And yes, I am thinking.
    The fact that I can tell the difference between immediate threat while others cant, proves it.
    I will go out on a limb here and say that out of everyone posting here, I live in the most dangerous city. Just these past four days have given us 97 murders. Just between 6pm Dec 24th and 12pm Dec 25th, there were 9 murders within a 4 mile radius from where I live.
    I also own a gun and know how to use it. My car/home has been broken into. family members have been kidnapped.
    And BELIEVE ME, there have been times I wish I could have gone RAMBO on their asses (and should my life be in danger I will not hesitate). But yet, if I can avoid putting myself in a situation where human life will be lost, I will do it.

  219. Episiarch,

    It’s the ‘on his own property’ bit that matters here.

    If someone invades your home while you are there, that’s an incredibly dangerous act, and someone is likely to get killed.

  220. Dangerman,

    OK, shot in the back is not cool, whether or not they had stolen property in their hands. If they were shot in the back, Mr. Horn was wrong. Who doesn’t agree?

    Should have shot them in the leg to get them to turn around first or something?

  221. HA! GOTCHA, RANA.

    EVERYBODY DOES THINK LIKE THEM

    YOU ONLY THINK THAT YOU’RE THINKING!!! THAT YOU’RE THINKING THAT YOU’RE THINKING IS THE BEAUTY OF IT ALL!!!!!

    AND THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR YOU (AND YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, AND LOVED ONES) IS TO PLEASE, PLEASE STAY SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!

  222. You have judged Mr. Horn guilty without knowing all the facts.

    No, I am merely arguing that things looked suspicious enough that he should have been arrested.

    I am also saying that I strongly suspect that Horn cannot establish a defense under Texas Penal code 9.42(3)(A) or (B). If I were on the grand jury, I would almost certainly vote to indict just based on the circumstantial evidence here (unless something really freaking unexpected was put in evidence). If I were on the jury, I would require a lot more info before voting either way. If I were a gunnut I would argue strenuously that Mr. Horn did nothing wrong.

  223. Cara Lutetia,

    Did they wield it like a weapon?

    Not sure, but if he was holding it in his hand I count that as wielding like a weapon.

  224. Jennifer | December 26, 2007, 4:14pm | #

    Jennifer, we don’t live in the might-makes-right, vigilante world you fantasize about, and people like you benefit the most from that.

    No: I don’t steal other people’s property, nor even walk on their property unless they’re invited.

    You don’t understand; if we lived in that world, it wouldn’t be just thieves and thugs getting shot. The thieves and thug would rule the earth, and it would be the weak and innocent who suffered the most. No, that is not the intent of people who support vigilantism, but that what it creates. That’s why societies outlaw freelance “justice” as they become more civilized.

  225. Got me.
    Thanks Urko.

  226. No, shouldn’t have shot them.(

  227. There was more, but it got cut off somehow….

  228. Guy Montag,

    Not sure, but if he was holding it in his hand I count that as wielding like a weapon.

    Because of the situation or for some other reason?

  229. “If you see his pipe, you hold him at gunpoint. Duh.”

    Y’know, despite what video games may teach us, fights are not always so clean, neat and complication-free. Again, you were not there, you did not see what he saw. You did not perceive all he perceived. He may not have believed he would have survived an attempt to “hold him at gunpoint.”

  230. The laws that allow lethal force exist to deter and prevent harm to property and life, not to offer summary execution at the hands of citizens to captured or fleeing criminals. Once the criminals are fleeing, the use of force has served its purpose.

  231. No, I am merely arguing that things looked suspicious enough that he should have been arrested.

    Here’s that thinking again – “looked suspicious enough” – that I don’t agree with. That’s why there’s the need for evidence and witnesses. Without the above, there’s no justification for arrests.

  232. Plant Immigration Rights Supporter,

    Well, none of us were there. We have to develop our opinions based on the facts as they are reported.

  233. Cara, on that we can agree. I am sure that more facts will come out in the case when or if Horn is forced to go to trial.

  234. Cara Lutetia,

    Because of the situation or for some other reason?

    Because in the situation as described it would be difficult for me to view it as anything other than a weapon. If he were done using it to break in and had it sticking out of his back pocket, then I might think otherwise.

    However, he was still stealing stuff while tresspassing, so having a weapon is just a moot point for me.

    Dangerman,

    The laws that allow lethal force exist to deter and prevent harm to property and life, not to offer summary execution at the hands of citizens to captured or fleeing criminals. Once the criminals are fleeing, the use of force has served its purpose.

    Not if the people fleeing are still moving in Texas. However, you would be right on the money in VA or TN.

  235. Guy, mine was a moral point, not a strictly The-Law-In-Texas point. I don’t know shit about the law in Texas, except that it stands 6’2″ and wears boots two sizes too small, just to keep a properly ornery attitude.

  236. If you want to see sociopaths, dig up the bodies of the two burglars who didn’t give a shit about inflicting the trauma of theft and a home invasion upon innocent people.

    That is such a great visual. 🙂

    Pass the shovels….

  237. Rod: “Wow Dad, you really buried him deep!”
    Ned: “Not so deep that the Lord can’t find him!”

  238. The arguments they have been making would render this detail irrelevant to the morality of Horn’s actions. Let’s see if they stand by them.

    I still do, unless even more information is forthcoming. It was at night, right? And therefore dark. So: how far away were these thieves? Close enough where Horn could be expected to make them out? Were they just beginning to turn around, or had they already turned and run several feet away before they were shot? And had they dropped their ill-gotten gains, or were they still trying to make off with the fruits of someone else’s labor?

  239. I am not Madeline Albright.

  240. Oh you saw that finally? Time Bold Tags will tell.

  241. I am not Madeline Albright.

    I’m not Madeline Albright either

  242. Two things
    you can’t hold people at gun point who won’t be held at gunpoint
    and I also heart Jennifer

    Dr T you are wrong on this one, come around to Jen and I.

  243. See, that was my second guess. What else would a former Cabinet Secretary be doing in her spare time besides misquoting herself on a libertarian blog?

  244. Here’s that thinking again – “looked suspicious enough” – that I don’t agree with.

    well, to trot out the legalese, the (Constitutionally mandated) standard for arrest is “probable cause.” Two guy shot in the back should pretty much automatically be deemed to meet that. If there is a defense that can be sorted out later — like after the suspect has been questioned to see if he could even pick his neighbors out of a line-up, to see whether he was willing to say why he shot the guys without the aid of an attorney, to see whether his description of events matched the independent recollection of the policeman who witnessed the shootings.

    I mean, it is not Horn’s fault that the police are crooked down there. At least the dispatcher was good.

  245. Oh, goodie. Now we have the perspective of a real firesarms instructor.

  246. See, that was my second guess. What else would a former Cabinet Secretary be doing in her spare time besides misquotingparaphrasing herself on a libertarian blog?

    fixed

  247. ? 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is
    justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or
    tangible, movable property:
    (1) if he would be justified in using force against the
    other under Section 9.41; and
    (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the
    deadly force is immediately necessary:
    (A) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of
    arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the
    nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
    (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing
    immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated
    robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the
    property; and
    (3) he reasonably believes that:
    (A) the land or property cannot be protected or
    recovered by any other means; or
    (B) the use of force other than deadly force to
    protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or
    another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

    Okay, so that’s what Dave dug up. (preface what I’m about to say by IANAL)

    It’s only “theft” and “criminal mischief” that appears to be modified by “during the nighttime.”

    So, that doesn’t matter.

    or
    (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing
    immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated
    robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the
    property;” (emphasis added)

    This would seem to allow Horn to shoot them, even in the back.

    Finally: “he reasonably believes that:
    (A) the land or property cannot be protected or
    recovered by any other means” (emphasis added)

    Who here has ever had anything stolen from them? How many of you have had it returned? So far, the authorities have batted .000 in their five trips to the bat on my behalf.

    That said, unless Dave W. is correct in assuming that the thieves “dropped the loot” (which, based on my days in Loss Prevention, I would have to say, no, they didn’t), it looks like a legal shoot.

    Still, doesn’t make it moral.

  248. The Horn shooting was witnessed by a police officer who had just arrived on the scene .

    He didn’t intervene as he was in plainclothes and feared he might be mistaken for the getaway driver. He didn’t arrest Horn either

  249. kwais-

    you can’t hold people at gun point who won’t be held at gunpoint

    Exactly. He pretty much put himself into a situation where he’d either have to shoot them or watch while they run away. And he did this with the full knowledge that the cops would be there any minute and they’d be looking for people with weapons.

    Do you really think it was a smart call on his part?

  250. Do you think they should extend the law to trespassers? That is a breah of property and security, too.

    In Texas you can shoot tresspassers. And IIRC, it is legal to shoot somebody in defense of somebody else’s property I read an article in the Express-News a few months ago about a guy who shot a robber at a convenience store. Anyway, Texas has a fairly broad version of the Castle Doctrine, which has pros and cons.

    Texas also has a totally shitty justice system, but that doesn’t have any pros.

  251. Who here has ever had anything stolen from them? How many of you have had it returned? So far, the authorities have batted .000 in their five trips to the bat on my behalf.

    How many times have you been on the phone with the dispatcher while the property is actually being stolen? Uh huh. That is why your batting average is so low and your experience not applicable here.

    That said, unless Dave W. is correct in assuming that the thieves “dropped the loot” (which, based on my days in Loss Prevention, I would have to say, no, they didn’t), it looks like a legal shoot.

    During your experience in Loss Prevention, how many times did you fire a warning blast from a shotgun? Uh huh. That is why your experience not applicable here.

    C’mon The Gin Slinger — I always thought you were one of the smarter ones from Deewatz’s place.

  252. Hah, missed GinSlinger’s post, as usual he’s more on top of things than I am.

  253. I was going on purely personal property, but since The crazy “lawyer” wants to bring this, “How many times have you been on the phone with the dispatcher while the property is actually being stolen?” up: Three that I can remember, including one where myself and one employee had been assaulted in a strong-arm robbery. No recovery, even with descriptions and license plate numbers.

    During your experience in Loss Prevention, how many times did you fire a warning blast from a shotgun?

    Never carried a firearm at work. Have witnessed a police officer fire on a fleeing suspect based on an armed robbery call–guy did not drop the merchandise or stop running.

    Gin Slinger — I always thought you were one of the smarter ones from Deewatz’s place.

    Why thanks Dave W.–I always thought you were crazy, and likely a liar.

  254. Do you wish the law in yr jurisdiction would have let you shoot the shoplifters, The Gin Slinger?

  255. Um, Dave, no one here is talking about Class C Misdemeanors, are they?

  256. I know I’m late to this, but Jesus Christ, Dave W. It upsets you that some dude shot some burglars? God bless Joe Horn for doing Darwin’s work.

  257. Gin Slinger — I always thought you were one of the smarter ones from Deewatz’s place.

    Why thanks Dave W.–I always thought you were crazy, and likely a liar.

    Game over. GS wins.

  258. Um, Dave, no one here is talking about Class C Misdemeanors, are they?

    Texas Penal Code section 9.42 (quoted above)would appear to extend that far, yes. Do you wish the law in your jurisdiction would have let you shoot shoplifters, The Gin Slinger?

  259. GS wins.

    I think I know where the crazy thing comes from, but I don’t know if I get the “liar” thing. What is that about, Jimmy?

  260. PASADENA – Picketing in front of a Pasadena home – like an incident held in front of Joe Horn’s home earlier this month – was banned Tuesday.

    The City Council voted 6-0 vote to give final approval to an ordinance that prohibits the picketing in front of a residential dwelling. The move comes on the heels of a contentious Dec. 2 protest in front of Horn’s home.

  261. No Dave, read it again and tell me where it says simple “theft.” It’s my state Dave, I know the statutes. Since a retail establishment is well lighted, it cannot fall under the nighttime clause. Oh, and you can drop the stuff about “recent changes” to the code. A quick scan of the last four years shows no bill affecting 9.anything.

    “appears” to extend that far? What kind of lawyer are you again?

  262. I guess the takeaway here is that the guy who decided to run out of his house with a shotgun after two guys who broke into an empty house when he knew the police were on their way is the type of guy to shoot two people in the back.

    You want to bet? I’m going to kill them. They’re getting away.

  263. What if he’d seen the burglars three days later on the street?

    With that much time past, he could probably get up real close behind them.

    Darwin’s work, huh? Good one.

  264. joe, there is a lot of truth behind you outrage, but not because what Horn did was illegal, but because he overstepped what appears to be the intent of the law. I’m not saying I agree with you 100%, but I see where you’re coming from. Dave W. might call me a “gunnut,” but I still think this is a bad (but legal) shoot. Not a lot unlike my opinion of a lot of the SWAT stories. . .

  265. No Dave, read it again and tell me where it says simple “theft.” It’s my state Dave, I know the statutes. Since a retail establishment is well lighted, it cannot fall under the nighttime clause.

    Look, I am not trying to represent that I have done detailed research here. Anyway, my question to you was whether you wish the law in your jurisdiction had allowed you to shoot shoplifters.

    First, you tried to dodge the question by saying that no one would ever want that to be the law. Faced with section 9.42, you are now trying to say that shoplifting from an open store cannot be considered as “theft during the nighttime.” Maybe you are correct, maybe you are wrong, but I think these little forays into collateral matters are just your way of avoiding answering a question you seem to find difficult, which is:

    Do you let wish the laws of your jurisdiction had let you shoot shoplifters?

    Why is the question difficult? Would it have been easier if I had asked: how valuable does a stolen item have to be before deadly force is justified? Feel free to answer that one, if the previous question is too tough.

    btw, before any of you other sleuths points it out, section 9.43 is probably more applicable to the Horn case than 9.42. Further brief review seems to indicate that 9.42 applies to use of deadly force to protect one’s own property. I haven’t analyzed teh Horn case under 9.43, but here is the statute:

    ? 9.43. PROTECTION OF THIRD PERSON’S PROPERTY. A person
    is justified in using force or deadly force against another to
    protect land or tangible, movable property of a third person if,
    under the circumstances as he reasonably believes them to be, the
    actor would be justified under Section 9.41 or 9.42 in using force
    or deadly force to protect his own land or property and:
    (1) the actor reasonably believes the unlawful
    interference constitutes attempted or consummated theft of or
    criminal mischief to the tangible, movable property; or
    (2) the actor reasonably believes that:
    (A) the third person has requested his protection
    of the land or property;
    (B) he has a legal duty to protect the third
    person’s land or property; or
    (C) the third person whose land or property he
    uses force or deadly force to protect is the actor’s spouse, parent,
    or child, resides with the actor, or is under the actor’s care.

  266. GinSlinger,

    I take back everything I said about the law. Texas could have legalize lynching again for all I know about Texas law.

    I’ve been describing how the law operates in a sane, civilized society. I have no idea what the law is in Texas. Never been there.

  267. All of y’all have a lot of confidence in the police whey you say that “he knew the cops would be there any minute”

    I disagree, just because the dispatcher said so, doesn’t mean they would be there in any kind of timely manner.

    Also, when the police were to show up what were they gonna do? Me thinks that it is the same thing as the 70 year old man.

    Some of you from NY or Massachusetts where 40 people can witness a rape and murder and do nothing about it.

    I prefer the place where the citizen recognizes that he has the same rights and duties as a police officer.

    Many of you are quick to convict. Despite abundant evidence of govt being all to eager to convict on any actions not taken by government officials.

  268. I prefer the place where the citizen recognizes that he has the same rights and duties as a police officer.

    kwais, that is a very good point. However, wouldn’t you also agree that the cops, having the advantage of numbers (and perhaps more tools at their disposal) have a better chance at apprehending the suspects alive rather than shooting them?

  269. Even after reviewing 9.43, I guess I still think 9.42(3) (as incorporated by reference in 9.43) sinks Horn. Mostly because I think the 911 call makes it clear that Horn’s belief that the property could not be recovered was not a reasonable belief. I understand The Gin Slinger’s argument that in many situations you would not be warranted in believing that the police would arrive in time. However, the 911 call shows that this situation is different, and I don’t think Horn’s 9.42(3) belief is reasonable here.

    I must admit that since we are balancing life against property here, I am using a rather rigorous intrpretation of “cannot be recovered” and “substantial risk” as those words appear in 9.42(3).

    Whatever the ultimate merits on these key phrases in 9.42(3), there is way more than enough to arrest and indict here. The police reluctance to indict makes me wonder how much cash they put in the sack when they wer moving it to be nearer the corpse.

  270. How many times have you been on the phone with the dispatcher while the property is actually being stolen? Uh huh.

    Happens all the time in this fine county I call home. I personally know four people that have been in exactly that situation. One chick I know gave a play-by-play to the dispatcher while the cops sat at the donut shop. Twenty five minutes later they showed up. This in a town that is less than 5 miles long, end-to-end, and only a half mile wide.

  271. Happens all the time in this fine county I call home. I personally know four people that have been in exactly that situation. One chick I know gave a play-by-play to the dispatcher while the cops sat at the donut shop. Twenty five minutes later they showed up. This in a town that is less than 5 miles long, end-to-end, and only a half mile wide.

    Yeah, after the Gin Slinger responded, I realized that I needed to phrase that argument that more defensively here at gunnut central. What I meant to say is that when you listen to the 911 call (and not just read the transcript), you can see that Horn was not warranted in maintaining the (understandable, default) belief that burglar’s always get away.

    If the 911 call had been different, I would think Horn is likely-innocent (legally, not morally), rather than likely-guilty. For the reasons put forth by the ‘Slinger and the ‘sewer.

  272. kwais,

    FWIW, I seriously doubt that the bystander effect has any greater concentration in NY or Mass as opposed to Texas.

  273. Actually, MA posted a link and narrative on December 26, 2007 at 6:20pm showing that a police officer was waching the break-in and “assault” while standing by and doing nothing the whole time.

    So, we have a case here when a private citizen did exactly what he shold have done and a police force that did not do jack that they should have done, but did exactly as expected.

    So, niw, all of you “call the cops” folk just shut the hell up. The cops were there watching everything happen while a regular citizen took care of busness.

  274. Actually, MA posted a link and narrative on December 26, 2007 at 6:20pm showing that a police officer was waching the break-in and “assault” while standing by and doing nothing the whole time.

    1. He was not the only policeman nearby, supposedly. From what I recall (and it has been a few weeks since this story was fresh), there was a massive police response and quick.

    2. They never did find that getaway car. Too busy trying to help citizen Horn out of a jam.

    3. I think that the NYT overplayed the race thing. On the other hand, if the burglars were white and legal I think more people on this thread would be looking at this situation more realistically (maybe not Guy though).

    4. I said upthd that this should not be a federal issue. Actually, shooting people in the back is a Constitutional issue and should be. While the Constitution, as properly interpreted, does not take all powers from the state and the people, I think it does take due process and excessive punishment issues off the table. I also think it is the proper tool for dealing with racist cops with high faluitin’ ideas about extrajudicial justice.

    2.

  275. Dave W.,

    Have you been writing crazy crap like that the whole time I have been ignoring you?

    Anybody with a lick of sense could read any of my comments on this thread and tell that I really do not care if they are illegal immigrant burglars, legal immigrant burgalars, tourist visa burgalrs, German burgalars, Christian burgalars, athiest burgalars, Islamic burgalars, minority burgalars or majority burgalars.

    Only someone like you could inflate this to a Constitutional issue because of the angle of the shot rather than for the police sitting around watching homes getting broken into without doing anything about it.

    Been banned again lately for your usual antics?

  276. . . . I really do not care if they are . . .

    Which is why I said “(maybe not Guy though).”

    Frankly, I don’t think you would have cared if they had been shoplifters or innocent bystanders. I think if you had your way the cops would behave like Blackwater. I mean, there’s gunnuts and then there’s you & Jennifer.

  277. Only someone like you could inflate this to a Constitutional issue . . .

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_v._Garner

    Majority by: White
    Joined by: Brennan, Marshall, Blackmun, Powell, Stevens
    Dissent by: O’Connor
    Joined by: Burger, Rehnquist

    I doubt Garner would go the same way today.

  278. Dave, I still don’t understand where HFCS fits into all this.

  279. Way too many comments to actually read. So…was Texas “messed with” or not?

  280. ed,

    Dave W. is attempting to mess with Texas by getting a bunch of revenuers in there over a perfectly justified shooting.

    I picked the wrong day to accidentally read him and bother to comment. That set of days would be any that our solar system is located in a spiral arm of any galaxy.

    Somehow, the race of tresspassing burgalars makes all the difference in the world to him, so if the race was different he thinks everybody would agree with him.

    Then he says it is not the race, it is the crime and tosses out a few that deserve shooting over and one, the innocent bystanders, that obviously do not but he yet again assigns that belief to someone who obviously does not believe that (me) in yet another bizarro-world argument he is having with his keyboard.

    So, now, I will go on the record as being against innocent bystanders being shot. I swear, by all that is Holy, that I am truly greatful that the shooter used a shotgun, rather than a deer rifle and people three blocks away were not harmed in any manner nor was their property molested.

    Shooting shoplifters inside the store, or out front, is probably a bad move as you might destroy too much of your stock or hit paying customers. Best to let them get into the back alley.

  281. So lemme get this straight:

    Texas has fewer attempted murders per capita than the median state.

    Texas is no more likely to impose a death sentence than the rest of the country.

    Yet Texas is to be vilified because it actually carries out the death sentences imposed by its juries.

    I would have thought that doing what the jury has decided is rather more in keeping with the rule of law than subverting the jury process with endless delay and faux appeals.

    I’m a little unclear on how a libertarian can both be in favor of jury nullification (as most are when it comes to drug offenses), and in favor of nullifying juries (as so many are when it comes to sentencing). I guess juries are only good when they do what you want. This is what is known as “results-oriented” jurisprudence, which is rightly condemned by principled jurists.

    Mostly because I think the 911 call makes it clear that Horn’s belief that the property could not be recovered was not a reasonable belief.

    Oh, I dunno. I think its perfectly reasonable to believe that property will never be recovered even though a 911 dispatcher is telling you the cops will be there any minute now, promise.

  282. Oh, I dunno. I think its perfectly reasonable to believe that property will never be recovered even though a 911 dispatcher is telling you the cops will be there any minute now, promise.

    Just from personal experience, I have never had a single item, that was stolen from me in a break-in, recovered and returned by anybody.

    The only times I have ever had anything returned or recovered was when I did it myself or others found my lost property (a check book) and sent it back to me. Police were never the way any of my property was ever recovered.

    For icing, the police of Enterprise, AL came to investigate a break-in and robbery of my apartment while I was attending Flight School at Ft. Rucker. They were asked to leave in short order when they suggested, endlessly, that some friend of mine came by and “borrowed” my stuff. Turned out a young maintenance guy was stealing stuff from various apartments in the complex, for weeks.

  283. Oh, I dunno. I think its perfectly reasonable to believe that property will never be recovered even though a 911 dispatcher is telling you the cops will be there any minute now, promise.

    And if section 9.42 said that you could use deadly force if you reasonably believed that recovery was somewhat unlikely, then that would be a good defense. That is not what the 9.42(3) says, though.

  284. So, now, I will go on the record as being against innocent bystanders being shot.

    Unless the shooter is Dick Cheney or a Blackwater d00d or someone else that you happen to like for whatever reason.

  285. korn

    k
    o
    r
    n

    syrup.

    *bump*

    BOOM!!!!

  286. Why do we as a country continue to take Texas so seriously??? I just don’t get it!! Lets give it back to the Mexicans, (we will probably have to throw in a set of dishes to make it worth it).

  287. MNG,
    “”And I thought dittoheads were bad (actually, they are, but not that bad).

    MNG, for the record I don’t think you are as bad as suicide bombers who take out elected heads of state, or who take out random women and children to get their points across.

    Despite when I may vehemently disagree with you on some of your more socialist tendencies.

    I say this as someone who from time to time when I am back home I wholly enjoy some Rush (when he is not talking about Israel, or abortion, or some other stuff).

    (But for the record, I do believe for the most part that lefties have more in common with Islamists than ditto heads, as far as thinking it is ok to use force to impose your morals on other people)

    (Sorry I haven’t read the comments since MNG’s comment, because my internet has been down.)

  288. Doh, wrong thread too. 🙁

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