Criminal Justice

Man Faces 30-Year Sentence in the Self-Defense Case Everyone Ignored Last Week

Some are using Kyle Rittenhouse's acquittal to argue for harsher laws and punishments. Andrew Coffee IV's case is a study in why that's an awful idea.

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Opposition to the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict—which saw a jury accept the teen's self-defense claim after he shot two men and wounded another during a night of civil unrest—primarily splintered along two lines. In one, the jury supposedly got it wrong. In the other, even if the jury technically got it right, we allegedly need to pass new laws to prevent such a verdict from ever coming down again.

The latter largely reflects a well-intentioned attempt to narrow the racial and class disparities in the judicial system. But another recent verdict out of Florida, handed down the same day as Rittenhouse's, is a case study in why more punitive measures would hurt the very people who already face disproportionately negative outcomes.

Andrew Coffee IV was charged with the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and the felony murder of Coffee's girlfriend, Alteria Woods. Deputies with the Indian River County Sheriff's Office shot Woods 10 times during a drug raid in 2017 targeting Coffee's father. The younger Coffee allegedly opened fire on deputies when they burst into his room that evening, having been awoken by the commotion and thinking the cops were an intruder. Deputies fired back, killing Woods.

Under the felony murder rule, the government may charge someone with killing someone he didn't actually kill if it's somehow connected to a tangential offense. Had Coffee not tried to defend himself that evening, the government argued, the officers would never have shot at them in return. Therefore, Coffee was supposedly guilty of murdering his partner.

The jury didn't buy it, acquitting Coffee on both charges. "I was trying to protect me and Alteria and I thought I was doing that," said Coffee, "but I feel I didn't protect her. I can't sleep with that….They killed her."

Coffee's case is far more egregious than Rittenhouse's: Agents of the state broke into his room, killed his girlfriend, admitted that they killed her, and still tried to lock him up for it. And while Rittenhouse gets to walk free, Coffee still faces 30 years in prison, because the jury found him guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon—a firearm he used in self-defense when officers burst into his home for a drug raid that had nothing to do with him.

"The state will be seeking that maximum 30 years upon him," Assistant State Attorney Chris Taylor said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the weapons charge in Rittenhouse's case was thrown out by the court after it became clear the prosecutors misconstrued the statute. Though falsehoods and misunderstandings about that development still abound, it is indeed legal for a 17-year-old in Wisconsin to be in possession of a firearm so long as it is not short-barreled. Choruses for harsher laws ironically came from liberals who otherwise champion criminal justice reform.

But the fact that our system is unfair in its punitiveness is not a convincing reason to make it even more punitive. A system that seeks fairness by punishing everyone more is after the wrong kind of equality. And if Coffee's case is any indication, more restrictive laws and punishments will backfire on the defendants some might deem more sympathetic.

NEXT: Conservatives Should Resist the Urge To Blame Bail Reform for the Waukesha Parade Deaths

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  1. Looks like the cops tried to burn Coffee...

    1. And he had grounds for taking pot shots back.

      1. This storm has been brewing for a long time.

        1. There are clouds in his coffee.

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        2. But did they have grounds for the raid?

    2. But did they bring doughnuts?

      1. Just a bunch of holes, and they weren't even doughnut holes.

      2. They are just dunking on him.

      3. No donuts, no peace…

    3. Boom! Roasted!

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    5. The very people who face disproportionately negative outcomes. Says who?

  2. Yeah, people shouldn't lose their 2nd amendment rights because of being a felon

    1. +++

    2. Nor should they lose their voting rights.

      1. Agreed

        1. If you cannot abide by the laws passed, you should have little say in future laws. Sorry.

          1. According to the Department of Corrections, Coffee was convicted of fleeing law enforcement in St. Lucie County in a 2010 incident, then battery on a law enforcement officer the following year.

            - Lamaur Stancil, Treasure Coast Newspapers Fri, November 26, 2021, 8:54 AM

            https://news.yahoo.com/why-andrew-coffee-iv-still-165618593.html

            No "gun crime" made him ineligible. I'd be in favor of restoration of rights once parole and probation ended. Permanent ban on owning a weapon if the felony involved a weapon? Possibly.

    3. Or 30 years of their life for using a gun to defend themselves against armed intruders who are violating their Fourth Amendment rights.

      1. He was found him "guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon", not of "using a gun to defend [himself] against armed intruders who [were] violating [his] Fourth Amendment rights." If you think the maximum is excessive feel free to make that case, but he IS guilty of that crime.

    4. No, you should 100% lose all rights to owning a gun. They proved to the world they're not responsible adults who can handle it.

      1. Presumably if they've finished whatever sentence they received, they've learned their lesson and should have their rights restored. (I do not know if Coffee was still on probation or any other facts about his former conviction).

        1. Only an idiot would presume that, given known recidivism rates.

        2. So you'd be okay with a convicted child rapist becoming a school teacher after they've served their time?

          1. It's not a right to be a school teacher lol.

        3. See my reply to damikesc abive.

      2. "They proved to the world they're not responsible adults who can handle it."

        False.

        1. Felons should be assumed to be responsible adults, eh?

          Who knew?

    5. That's not always the case in some states.

  3. Ya know something .... people like to say no one person makes much difference. But Chumby has shown them wrong. He has single-handedly raised the pun quotient in the comments, and encouraged others to chime in.

    He's our chum, be he ever so humble about it.

    1. Chumby is something special, I agree.

      OBL....priceless. 🙂

  4. Coffee was found not guilty of attempted murder and murder by reason of self defense and then convicted and sentenced to 30 years for the method by which he defended himself. Fuck technicality, that is a travesty of justice.

    1. True, this is a horrible miscarriage of justice. Seeing a half dozen men in your domicile with "POLICE" written in bold, yellow letters is an obvious sign of an illegal home invasion by criminals.

      1. Yeah, because those big bold yellow letters are easily visible when you're sound asleep with your eyes closed. They're also the first thing you calmly and rationally look for right after a flash-bang goes off.

        Oh wait, that's not what happened at all. The police waited until they knew everyone was asleep, "announced" their raid in a way that none of the residents of the apartment could have heard, intentionally set off a device that's designed to disorient people, and started shooting without confirming their target.

      2. They were outside and broke the window when he started shooting .

      3. Fascists like you will never stop rationalizing your bullshit will you?

        1. Eat shit nazi fag

    2. fuck Joe Florida.

    3. "and then convicted and sentenced to 30 years for the method by which he defended himself"

      Wrong, and wrong. He was convicted of being a felon in possession of a gun, nothing to do with what he did with it. And he's guilty of that, so of course he should be convicted. As to what he'll be sentenced to, that won't be known until Jan 3.

    4. Probably some compromise in the jury deliberations. They might not have known the potential sentence but I could be wrong about that. I'm frankly stunned to see a 30 year sentence for simple possession of a firearm.

      1. There is no such sentence for this felon yet.

  5. I'd also point to Breonna(?) Taylor's boyfriend who did the same thing and that self defense laws are why he is a free man today. You know one of the mega BLM cases everyone was screaming about just last news cycle.

    1. I recall that Rand Paul introduced some kind of Breonna Taylor Justice Act and the mob still denounced him.

      1. But they're a well-intentioned mob.

        1. Mostly peaceful too.

      2. sAY HeR nAMe!!!!!

        1. Debbie?

        2. Dearly Departed.

  6. The latter largely reflects a well-intentioned attempt to narrow the racial and class disparities in the judicial system.

    No, the latter largely reflects a group of "progressives" whose only principle is "Кто кого?"

    It's remarkable how much effort Mr. Binion regularly puts into proving himself a "useful idiot" in the exact original sense ☭.

    1. That was the line that caught my eye, too.

      "The latter largely reflects a well-intentioned attempt to narrow the racial and class disparities in the judicial system."

      Bullshit. They hate the fact that people have firearms, they hate that it's legal to use them to defend against predation by criminals, and they hate that Kyle shot three people that they consider to be on "their team".

      1. 'Self defense claim.' It was a plea, and it was pretty objectively a fact not a claim. Rittenhouse' retreating made it so. Binion is wrong, although if he were pushing for reforms in the laws surrounding ownership of firearms by convicted felons (and voting), I might give the emotional little guy a pass.

    2. Crazy talk by Binion. There's nothing "well-intentioned" about any attempt to gut legal self-defense. And what does exonerating a lower class white boy who defended himself jistifiably and legally against white criminals have to do with "racial and class disparities" anyway?

      1. A lower class white boy who was assisting immigrant business owners to boot.

  7. "The latter largely reflects a well-intentioned attempt to narrow the racial and class disparities in the judicial system."

    Yep. Nothing says racial disparity like a white guy shooting white guy in self defense.

  8. I've heard contradictory things about this: was this a no-knock raid? Or, barring that it was a no-knock raid, was it a case of tapping softly on the door twice before throwing flashbangs in the windows? Both of those are big problems.

    1. The police claim they announced themselves but we don't know how loudly. However we do know that he was sound asleep when they started the raid and that the police intentionally timed their raid so that would likely be the case.

    2. They arrested the man they came for outside then busted out this guys bedroom window and he started shooting and the cops shot his gf.

    3. The cops had a warrant; maybe a no-knock, maybe not. Depends on your search engine.
      But they had been there long enough to have arrested the guy they were after on the drug charges, and were actually executing the search warrant for the rest of the house. A couple places on the web claim that the cops were spotted by neighbors who had called the house and warned his dad (the drug suspect) that cops were all around and "were coming in".
      So somehow the cops were searching the house by going through the windows with a flash-bang on a stick, and the son finally woke up. Most stories say the cops were "uniformed" swat types with the great big "POLICE" vests on and all that jazz.
      The only thing that is clear is that we aren't getting the whole story.

      1. "But they had been there long enough to have arrested the guy they were after on the drug charges, and were actually executing the search warrant for the rest of the house."

        Because I'm usually asleep when the cops show up, for long enough and loudly enough to arrest Pops outside... Sure. That happens.

        Juries often don't want to convict, or conversely, don't want to acquit, depending on their composition and mood....and not depending on the evidence introduced at trial. This is looking, from 15,000 feet, like one of those cases. So be it.

      2. Clearly another big victory in the war on drugs. That's really all we need to know.

  9. >>Deputies fired back, killing Woods.

    get the unarmed chick first. like the dogs.
    and felony murder is a questionable practice.

    1. "...felony murder is a questionable practice."

      From the time of Blackstone. Try again. Though the original doctrine---there are certain "dangerous felonies" where the act of committing them is so likely to end up in an innocent person dying, that it's just for you to take the punishment for intentionally killing them---has been perverted by bullshit like including drug dealing in those inherently dangerous felonies. Next, it'll be pro-MAGA memes...

      I miss John, or Karen (A? I remember there being some letter after her name) in threads like these.

      1. "From the time of Blackstone. Try again."

        That the rule is old is in no way, shape, or form an argument for it's legitimacy.

        1. A common law rule developed and tried through long custom has something going for it that a statute law dreamed up by some dickhead legislator, lobbyist, or staff attorney does not.

          In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that the unjust application of the felony murder rule is born from late 20th century “tough on crime” statutes that apply it situations that would never have been covered under the common law.

          1. Plus The War on Some Drugs. Steve-O's right here. Carjacking's been added to a lot of felony murder statutes---in the tough on crime period he mentions. Plus the Feds have a law specifically about that crime, but it's a subset of robbery. I don't have a problem with including it as an inherently dangerous felony. Not that it applies here.

            Commit a burglary, rape, kidnapping, it shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that if somebody dies during the commission of the crime, that the burglar's also going to be punished for that death. Whether they "meant to" or not.

            Accordingly, from the facts here, I don't see a felony murder charge, as I've just explained felony murder. You want to hang a depraved heart murder or manslaughter charge on Pops, for lying to the cops about there being an armed felon still inside (if that's what happened), waiting to ambush anyone serving that search warrant, be my guest. But it shouldn't be for felony murder.

            1. ^^^ = "questionable".

  10. which saw a jury accept the teen's self-defense claim after he shot two men and wounded another during a night of civil unrest—primarily splintered along two lines.

    On one side, people who watched the videos and understood the evidence.

    On the other, people who thought Rittenhouse shot two unarmed black people.

    1. By some media accounts Rittenhouse went to a peaceful protest and attacked innocent unarmed BLM demonstrators. That false talking point got tiresome.

  11. Oh for God's sake!
    The (possible) 30 year sentence has NOTHING to do with the self defense.
    Can't you even PRETEND to be a journalist?

    1. It is definitely connected. It's all one incident, and there's something wrong with saying you are allowed to defend yourself, but not with the best tool for the job. What was he supposed to do, jump up and challenge them to a bare knuckles fight?

      Then there's that pesky second amendment.

      1. Being unable to have the best tools for the job of defending yourself is one of the penalties of a felony conviction. No one seriously imagines that that is a 2A violation.

      2. You're sure as fuck not supposed to just start shooting.
        It is an absolute rule of proper self defense that you reasonably believe that your attacker intends to cause great bodily harm and to identify your target.
        Neither of these things happen when you shoot police executing a lawful entry under a warrant.
        Despite all the bullshit thrown around, the police will not shoot unless they are responding to a threat.
        Do what the police say, and you will not get shot.
        It is a complete miscarriage of justice to ever allow someone to claim self defense against police conducting their lawful activities.
        As for the Second Amendment: You can lose your rights if you've been through the due process of being convicted of a felony.

        1. Yeah I remember watching a very disturbing video of an unarmed young man crawling across the floor as ordered by a cop while begging for his life. He paused for a second to pull up his pants which were sliding off because he was crawling across the floor as ordered by the cop. Cop who was sitting comfortably with a half dozen other cops calmly puts a bullet in his head. You are full of shit. Fuck you.
          And Fuck Joe Biden.

          1. Let's go Brandon!

            And yeah, the cop got off for that. San Diego, I believe. Obeying some cop orders will give them the excuse to shoot you is the real lesson there, beyond that they'll get away with it.

  12. If he was pulled over with a gun he would be facing 30 years too so I don't really see the relevance.

    1. Can we talk about whether it should be legal for him to possess a firearm, per the second amendment?

      I looked hard for his previous convictions and what I found was that he'd been guilty of fleeing police and battery against a police officer. Given my opinion of police, I'm questionable about both charges.

      Even if I'm convinced he's someone who should be deprived of his constitutional rights even going beyond his sentence (which is problematic), the fact that he's facing 30 years for possessing something people have a specific right to possess is troubling.

      1. Not really. He's a violent felon, assuming the prior acts for which he caught the felonies are true. Do you want violent felons carrying guns? Yes or no? I realize the logic is, if they're still dangerous, why are they out? I am giving you the credit to realize that's bullshit. We let all kinds of violent fucks out of prison for a variety of reasons. Few of which are that they've realized violence is not the way to achieve their goals.

        Stacking sentences consecutively, when they're normally done concurrently, in order to achieve in sentencing, what you could not in trial, is bullshit, I agree. I get why it was done here though.

        1. "We let all kinds of violent fucks out of prison for a variety of reasons."

          So because we do one stupid thing, that requires us to do another? What if we just stopped doing the first stupid thing, instead?

          1. Yes. Stop expecting your enemies to play fair just because you do.

            I want the proven unlawfully violent incapacitated. We used to be better about doing it. Now, we let the proven, repeatedly violent keep on committing their crimes---like running down a parade in Wisconsin---because it's "unfair" to hold criminals accountable to the terms of their prior sentences or bail conditions. Assuming they have any bail conditions at all.

            This magazine's writers have been beating the drums for "bail reform", which de facto means no or a pittance of bail at all, and decriminalization for the last year or two. We are seeing the results of those policies.

            The people running this society are pushing for greater crime, which leads to greater social disorder. Thence a clamor from the population for government to take more powers and do something. At that point, I expect this magazine to maybe have some buyers remorse. Probably not, though.

            1. Yes. Stop expecting your enemies to play fair just because you do.

              I prefer to attack the problem of criminal justice from a principled position. Your position is "We have to cheat because the other side cheats." Rather than this sort of cynical politicized approach, start by aiming at justice, and then work backward with pragmatic considerations.

              The verdict in this case is troubling because it points at the idea that Coffee is allowed to defend himself, but he's not allowed to possess the implements of self-defense. When you see a seemingly contradictory result like this you need to examine whether your existing system is just, fair, and consistent.

              1. Coffee forfeited the right to possess a gun. We don't know what his sentence will be, but we don't need him out of prosopn for any reason that I can see.

                1. "Coffee forfeited the right to possess a gun." ... Because he defied Government Almighty by possessing a DEADLY medical implement of destruction (a cheap plastic "lung flute") WITHOUT the permission of a Doctor of Doctorology!!!

                  To find precise details on what NOT to do, to avoid the flute police, please see http://www.churchofsqrls.com/DONT_DO_THIS/ … This has been a pubic service, courtesy of the Church of SQRLS!

                  (Else you may be sent to "prosopn" per the wishes of Dandy Fancy-Pantser the Prosopn-Loving Necromancer, should you ever be found, subsequently to you illegally blowing upon a cheap plastic flute, in possession of a gun. 'Cause Dandy Fancy-Pantser the Prosopn-Loving Necromancer doesn't NEED you to be able to practice self-defense, or the defense of others, for any reason that Dandy Fancy-Pantser the Prosopn-Loving Necromancer can see.)

                  "Beware of all those in whom the urge to punish is strong." - Friedrich Nietzsche

                  “Mistrust all those in whom the desire to punish is imperative.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

                  "Let he who is without sin, throw the first stone." - Jesus

                  “How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while there is still a beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! First take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” - Jesus

        2. I think we should limit the intrusion into constitutional rights for people who have served their sentence, so they can return to contributing in society. I don't think his previous crimes had anything to do with guns, firing guns, using guns in a commission of a felony. So I don't see a compelling reason why that right, which is set out in the constitution, should be deprived of him upon completion of his sentence.

          But we can talk about this-perhaps it comes as an agreement of parole? If parole is something defendants have powers to negotiate over and use a lawyer to obtain properly, then I'm less upset if we can view it as entering into a consensual contract with the government as a condition for early release. I don't think we should just dismiss it as, "Well we punish people in all sorts of ways so this is okay."

          1. Prefer a wait a see approach. Felons commit additional crimes 80% of the time after release. I'd say lets wait 5-10 years (depending on charges) and if you remain a good citizen you should have your rights restored.

            1. Somewhat how it's done in Texas, to my surprise. After five years from the completion of release from confinement or continued supervision, whichever is later, a felon may possess a firearm in their residence. Which is contrary to Federal law, FWIW.

              I'd have to look up if certain felonies are ineligible for that provision.

            2. That sounds reasonable (pardon the pun).

          2. Felons lose the right to own a gun period.
            That's the 1968 Gun Control Act and anyone who questioned it suffered the wrath of LBJ, the Democrat party, and all liberal commentators listed in the Readers Guide to Periodical Literature under subject heading Firearms Legislation.
            Felons deprived of RKBA include
            _ a lobster fisherman who temporarily stored caught lobsters in a bin reserved for for a different size of lobster - not sent them to market in the wrong size mind you, but temporarily stored them in the wrong bin rather than throw back, and
            _ Mark Furman who testified he had not used the n-word in ten years before the O.J. trial and it was proven in court that in a discussion of tough cop talk with a Hollywood screenwriter he used the n-word nine years six months earlier.
            There's the meme that so many obscure crimes are felonies today that the average American commits three or four felonies a day without knowing or having felonious intent.

            Oh, I am required by internet rules to include the Ayn Rand quote: "There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws."

        3. I am going to be one of those fence-sitters here.

          Yes, he definitely should not have the right to hold a gun. He was convicted of a violent felony.

          On the other hand, 30 years is an objectively absurd punishment for this crime. He could have gotten a lower sentence for the felony murder charge. At the very least, the maximum is far too high, which gives far too much discretion to the judge, jury, and prosecutor. Hopefully, however, the judge and jury will agree and give a more rational sentence.

          1. He was acquitted on self defense grounds for using the gun.
            Felon in possession of a firearms under federal law has a maximum of 10 years in prison.
            The 30 years is Florida State maximum penalty.
            Does seems excessive and retaliatory. It does "send a message" if we can't respect the law we should fear it.

    2. The only reason they're pushing the 30 year max sentence is because they don't like him getting away with self-defense It has nothing to do with justice, or his danger to society; everything to do with him beating the cops in court.

      1. Yup. They missed on their chance to lock him up forever for defending himself, so they're going to pursue the biggest possibility penalty for the one thing they nailed him on.

      2. I believe I can agree with this. If I got anything out of the Rittenhouse case it how badly the DAs office can behave and get away with it. It does not matter if it is a left leaning or right leaning office either. I suspect many offices use the same tactics. Its no longer about Justice. Its about politics and conviction rates.

    3. Correct. The two cases have nothing to do with one another. The question of whether 30 years is excessive or if it was wrong to take away his 2nd amendment rights in the first place is an interesting question having absolutely nothing to do with Rittenhouse or his case.

  13. Rittenhouse, whom Reason extensively wrote about in unfavorable coverage that suggested he should be convicted of every charge against him, got a gun charge that in no possible interpretation of the law applied to his case, therefore it's racist that a different defendant who was unequivocally guilty of a gun charge got convicted of a gun charge.

    Get Rittenhouse's name out of your faggot mouths. If you want to make the case that this was a bad law then do it without the false equivalence. Especially after you spent the last 18 months convicting the kid in the court of public opinion and were slobbering at the mouth to see him spend the rest of his short life in prison before getting beaten to death by black gangbangers on the inside. Go fuck yourselves.

    1. Hey!

      There's no reason to defame homosexuals by associating them with Reason writers.

      1. I do that to Tony. Not that I have anything against gays, I just hate Tony, and I’m sure it annoys him to be called a faggot. I actually feel bad for gays that Tony identifies as one of them. As he is such a horrible ambassador of gayness.

    2. Preach it brother.

    3. Rittenhouse, whom Reason extensively wrote about in unfavorable coverage that suggested he should be convicted of every charge against him,

      Especially after you spent the last 18 months convicting the kid in the court of public opinion and were slobbering at the mouth to see him spend the rest of his short life in prison before getting beaten to death by black gangbangers on the inside.

      When was Reason slobbering at the mouth to send Rittenhouse to prison?

      1. Agreed; didn't see that.

  14. The latter largely reflects a well-intentioned attempt to narrow the racial and class disparities in the judicial system.

    What fucking bullshit this is. The latter [trying to change laws to prevent this verdict] largely reflects left wing rage that the law didn't punish someone they think is on the other team.

    1. Sure, if left-wingers can be reduced to a simple caricature.

      1. They can. You're a prime example. Just look at the stupid shit you constantly repeat even after being beaten over the head with facts and links. You still think a fire extinguisher was used as a murder weapon for fucks sake.

        1. Holy shit, he ran full steam into that one.

          1. Pedo Jeffy has zero self awareness.

  15. Authoritarian minded people always propose authoritarian solutions to any social problem. All while thinking that in the USA it will only be the 'other' group which gets to suffer the consequences.

    1. largely reflects left wing rage that the law didn't punish someone they think.

  16. If we disallow possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, why shouldn't someone violating that law be charged aggressively?

    If being a felon means they are sufficiently dangerous to take away one of their fundamental constitutional rights, surely they should be punished severely if they possessing a firearm -- both to keep the public safe for a few decades and to deter them from possessing a firearm.

    I, however, agree with Justice Barrett that perhaps non-violent felons should not necessarily lose their Second Amendment rights as that leaves them, effectively, unable to defend themselves. Change the law rather than ignoring violations of it selectively.

    I even could, on a case by case basis, see allowing some violent felons to possess firearms - at least in their own homes or businesses. However, I'd probably only allow such exceptions for those who have a squeaky clean record for at least ten years after they have completed their sentence for the felony and if they didn't have an additional criminal background before the felony that caused them to lose their Second Amendment rights and if other aspects of their life are stable and have been for some time.

    1. Nuance is good. Probationary period based on type and degree of felony before all rights return.

      If they got let out, it's obviously a forgivable crime.

      1. "If they got let out, it's obviously a forgivable crime."

        That is not even remptely close to the truth.

    2. I'm all for ALL RIGHT (not just voting for the politicians) to be restored automatically after a defined period after re-entering society. However 80% of felons go on to commit additional crimes after release. Show me you have become a good citizen and I'll be glad to restore your rights.

  17. Perhaps the gun was hers... we can't ask her tho'... the cops killed her.

    CB

    1. Felons can not possess OR have access to firearms. Does not matter if it was hers or not.

    2. PERHAPS pigs can fly. That's not the way to bet, though/

  18. A felon who is intent on committing a crime will not have any qualms purchasing an illegal weapon. A felon whom is simply protecting their home from invaders is simply acting in self-defense. Even a person who made a bad decision and served their time should have the right to self defense. The state should not be permitted to abridge any citizen's rights after they have served their time.

    Neither Kyle Rittenhouse or Andrew Coffee should have even been charged. The fact that Andrew Coffee was sentenced to 30 years is a clear sign of prosecutorial abuse. The prosecution piles up charges in the hopes of getting a win based on some technicality. This is not justice, but rather injustice.

    1. He was not sentenced to 30 years in prison. He faces a possible sentence of 30 years, but he has not yet been sentenced.

      The Florida felon-in-possession law starts at a 3-year sentence, with a potential maximum of 15 years. The maximum is then upped by the fact that this guy has eight previous convictions, including four felonies, some violent.

      (Since I'm not willing to pay Florida $25 for the criminal record, I rely on a local paper's report that lists his having 16 arrests on 27 charges with 8 convictions, the convictions including possession of marijuana with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver; resisting an officer with violence; battery on an officer; fleeing or eluding police; resisting an officer without violence; and causing great harm or death to a police dog.)

      1. I notice that every "violent" crime in that list was an interaction with police, and I know of many times when video proved that police had provoked resistance, were lying or exaggerating about the resistance, or doing things such as screaming "stop resisting" at a guy who has been tased until all he can do is lie on the ground and twitch, or siccing a police dog on an unresisting suspect and charging him for assault on a police dog if he tries to fend it off. Show me video of those arrests, or I'll have to assume the charges were trumped up.

    2. Except of course, regardless of how you feel about it, the law is the law. Felons regardless of circumstance can not currently possess firearms. Cant even have access to them. You can still kill or harm someone without a firearm using self defense. Though I would not suggest it again LEOs.

  19. "Coffee still faces 30 years in prison, because the jury found him guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon,,,"

    So was he a convicted felon? Did he possess a firearm?

    And who decides the eventual sentence? The judge? The jury?

    1. Oh, and what were Mr. Coffee's prior felonies?

      1. Irrelevant to this false equivalency, of course.

        1. 100% NOT Irrelevant. A Felon is a Felon is a Felon. Current Law states Felons can not possess a firearm. Felons cant even have access to a firearm that is not theirs. The law is clear on this. Dont like the law ... then get it changed.

  20. Created an account just to comment on this story. A bunch of liberals discussing firearm and self defense law is quite entertaining. These two cases are miles apart even if both are Self Defense cases. First, as it always does, it comes down to the law. If you dont like it, then do something to change it. Personally I have no issue with the laws as they are with the exception that I do believe that self defense against LEOs should not be an automatic assumption of guilt. LEOs screw shit up all the time ... so someone defending themselves against them should be reasonable if they screwed up.

    Rittenhouse was an open and shut case from day one for anyone knowledgeable about firearms and self defense. The trial was a purely political one. Don't like the law? Sorry but that means NOTHING. But if it is truly an issue for you I suggest you attempt to get it changed.

    As for Andrew Coffee, the charge of a Felon with firearm does not go away simply because he was found not guilty due to self defense. As as the possession charge would not have gone away for Rittenhouse had the charge not be (correctly) thrown out. The charge still applies and it is up to his lawyers to argue it should not. Again the fact that you dont like a law does not mean shit. As of today Felon can not carry firearms. Cant even have access to firearms. Dont like the law? Feel free to change it. I personally have no issue with felon rights (all of them) being automatically returned after a certain amount of time has passed after release. Most (80%) go on to commit crime again. So Show me you have become a good citizen and I'm happy to restore your rights.

    We are a nation of laws. PERIOD. You not knowing them or how they work is no excuse. Glad he got off due to self defense though.

    1. Good comment, hope you stick around for more; factual analysis is most welcome vs the bots and trolls that abound hereabouts.

    2. Dont like the law? Feel free to change it.
      Except felons can't vote either. :^)

    3. What's your source for the 80% recidivism? I agree, the law is as written, not as interpreted, and until it's changed, it stands. But I also think that non-violent offenses should be taken into account, and a non-emotional reform process of the firearm possession laws is necessary. Which likely excludes progressives, and most of the left-leaning folks from input, which seems unjust.

      1. To my knowledge, the only people he's ever been "violent" toward were police. And his violence seemingly came in the form of resisting arrest. I wonder if police were slamming him into the pavement and shouting at him to stop resisting...

        Incomplete facts, but when they list his felony convictions and it's "fleeing arrest" and "battery of an officer," and nothing else, color me suspicious.

  21. "a well-intentioned attempt to narrow the racial and class disparities in the judicial system"

    Well-intentioned? Um, no. Evil intentions to produce equal group outcomes, despite individual variations in behavior.

  22. 'In the other, even if the jury technically got it right, we allegedly need to pass new laws to prevent such a verdict from ever coming down again.'

    'The latter largely reflects a well-intentioned attempt to narrow the racial and class disparities in the judicial system."

    What is the road to hell paved with Binion? And these particular intentions are by no means "good."

  23. OJ is black, he got off and so many other black Americans. The piece of trash who just ran over people and kids is black and he kept getting out on a low bail, so how are there 2 sets of justice? Here's an idea get a f**king job and stop robbing people.

  24. "...The latter largely reflects a well-intentioned attempt..."

    Assuming facts not in evidence

    1. Mind-reading is a habit of progressives, leftists, and the far right. The in-group biases lead to presuming context and intent. Which is not to say that the center right, center left are superior, but they are less likely to be biased in this way.

    2. Assuming facts not in evidence Asserting obvious falsehood

      FIFY

  25. No comment by the Reason staff? Too "local"?

    "Probe finds 'overwhelming evidence' of misconduct by Cuomo"
    [...]
    "ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A legislative investigation released Monday found “overwhelming evidence” that former Gov. Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed women and that he ordered state workers to help produce his book on pandemic leadership during work hours.
    The report also found that Cuomo’s staff “substantially revised” a state health department report on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes to exclude statistics that might have dimmed his reputation as a pandemic leader.
    [...]
    But it offered some new details, particularly around the $5.2 million private deal Cuomo struck to write a book, “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons on the Pandemic.”
    Cuomo had promised state ethics officials that no state resources would be used on the book, but the Assembly's investigators at the law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell said they found evidence the governor had his staff spend copious amounts of time on the project..."
    https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Probe-finds-overwhelming-evidence-of-misconduct-16641070.php

    1. There has been, and was a lot of this during the ongoing Cuomo scandals. A pointed decision to not cover news about him.

      1. You'd think at least someone would point out that his 'novel' is being sold as non-fiction:
        "...The report also found that Cuomo’s staff “substantially revised” a state health department report on COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes to exclude statistics that might have dimmed his reputation as a pandemic leader..."

  26. The real questions that need to be answered are as follows:
    1. Why was a SWAT team necessary for a drug raid?
    2. They already captured the person of interest outside the house. Why did they feel the need to smash out a window and toss a flash bang grenade inside?
    3. Why would a professional law enforcement officer spray bullets into a dark window without identifying a target to shoot at?

    It's shocks the senses that the entire SWAT team isn't on trial for manslaughter. That they would try to pin the blame for the result of their actions on the victim is disgusting.

    1. Yup. Raid sounds like the Breonna Taylor situation all over again, except getting less attention for some reason.

      1. There's the Pecan Park Raid (Houston TX) against the Tuttle couple a couple of years ago still no adequate answers, or the children maimed by flash bangs in unnecessary SWAT raids, or going back to the shooting of Ken Ballew, Silver Spring MD, June 1971? A long American history of no-knock raids often on the wrong freaking address, excessive use of SWAT raids and paramilitary tactics by police, criticized repeatedly to no avail?

  27. Hold up. Rittenhouse was ill-trained and made a stupid decision to play wannabee-cop. Coffee was a responsible gun user living out the NRA's dream of self-defense. Rittenhouse deserves some kind of sanction because his recklessness and poor decisions resulted in death. In Coffee's case it was the recklessness and poor decision-making of the police.

    If there is a lesson to be learned from this is that white people go free and black people get the book thrown at them. Why did Reason intentionally not even mention this?

    1. "...Rittenhouse was ill-trained and made a stupid decision to play wannabee-cop..."

      Actually, he seems pretty well trained and are you blaming the rape on the short skirt?
      FOaD.

    2. Rittenhouse deserves some kind of sanction because his recklessness and poor decisions resulted in death.

      What recklessness and poor decisions?

      If there is a lesson to be learned from this is that white people go free and black people get the book thrown at them.

      Coffee was also found not guilty or murder. Coffee is being put into prison not for the death of his girlfriend but for being a convicted felon in ownership of a gun. Rittenhouse's related gun charges were thrown out because his gun ownership was entirely legal.

      Mind you, I'm not saying that I agree that Coffee should be in prison for 30 years but that is the reason the situations turned out differently, not because one was white and one was black.

    3. Rittenhouse put out fires and helped people injured in his home town after police failed to do their jobs. He legally carried a gun to protect himself, and because of gun control laws, that was an open carry long rifle.

      I fail to see what was "reckless" or "stupid" about any of that.

      1. Carrying an assault-rifle into public is reckless and allowing a teenager to carry something so powerful is stupid.

        1. Under Wisconsin law, it was legal for a teenager to carry a rifle, and not legal for him to carry a pistol. So it's the legislators you should be calling reckless and stupid, not Rittenhouse.

          But what was much stupider was for the Kenosha authorities to hold the cops back while thugs and maniacs were doing things like trying to set fire to a gas station. That could blow up the neighborhood and put anyone within a block in the hospital with life-threatening burns. That's what Rittenhouse stepped up to stop, not by shooting the thugs (which the police probably would have done, justifiably, if they hadn't been kept too far away to see what was happening), but by putting out the fire. He only used the rifle to defend himself when a pack of these thugs chased and attacked him in revenge for spoiling their arson, and again when a second pack of thugs attacked him.

    4. Coffee went to prison because he was surrounded by poltroons too cowardly to vote libertarian and too dumb to understand how LP spoiler votes improve laws no matter which looter steals the election. It was another tragic case of evil companions, like Pinoccio.

    5. Oh, and:

      "If there is a lesson to be learned from this is that white people go free and black people get the book thrown at them. Why did Reason intentionally not even mention this?"

      Reason didn't mention it, since that's not the lesson. here. The lesson is that lying piles of lefty shit are too stupid to learn from facts.
      FOaD, asshole.

    6. Rittenhouse was completely innocent, and is a hero.

  28. They didn't talk about the Coffee case because it shows how ridiculous the "if Rittenhouse had been black" statements were.

    Of course that doesn't stop Reason for repeating the same race based drivel spewed by the left right in this very article.

    1. Collectivists spew drivel, granted. But most Reason writers think more clearly than Billy. Billy could write for the Daily Mail and spray moronic labels same as everyone else on the staff. Rand said something about the importance of definitions. What was it?

  29. This case is bullshit. I do not care if it is the police...you burst into a house with guns drawn and wake somebody up, you should expect violent retaliation.

    And the seeking of 30 years is clearly petty vengeance by the DA.

    1. The DA is lynching the way Kleptocracy voters told him to.

  30. The Rittenhouse case judge, Shroeder, correctly identified the persons robbing, vandalizing, burning and destroying as looters (not victims). Yet Billy Bunions, perhaps blindered by a MAGA cap, insists on calling their intellectual leaders "liberals. " In 99.5% of all nations (and 100% of all legitimate dictionaries) liberal means libertarian. Oftentimes it is used to identify cowardly, unprincipled, limp-wristed or easily-manipulable sissies among LP fellow travelers. But without exception, laissez-faire activists against aggression are--in proper Romance, Slavic, Indo-, Nordic and Germanic languages--liberals. Billy, speaking only GOP Silvershirt fascist, cannot communicate.

  31. literally everything government touches become increasingly difficult and wasteful.

  32. I think this article misstates the types of laws most liberals want to reform. It’s not that they want harsher self-defense laws, they want laws against carrying assault rifles in public. Which would have avoided the Rittenhouse controversy, and been completely irrelevant to Coffee. Those that do want self-defense reform, generally are not against castle clause type in-home self-defense laws. Instead they question the practicality of stand-your-ground type of laws. Which again is relevant in the Rittenhouse case, but not for Mr. Coffee.

    1. No, what the so-called "liberals" want is for Rittenhouse to be completely disarmed and either too afraid to go put out a fire or to be beaten like Reginald Denny, and maybe also shot by rioters illegally carrying pistols. (There was at least one of those in each of the two gangs that attacked Rittenhouse.) If Rosenbaum's gang had killed Rittenhouse or beaten him to the point of severe permanent brain damage, then succeeded in pushing a flaming dumpster into a gas station and setting fire to the fuel tanks, I'm sure the "liberals" would have been horrified at the dead and seriously burned - but would never have admitted that this was the result of letting rioters run wild.

      Not to mention all of them that called a white boy who justifiably shot 3 white men a "white supremacist". Back when I was Kyle's age and Martin Luther King was leading the civil rights movement, I thought the aim was to become colorblind, but I never imagined a selective blindness that would turn dead white thugs into black saints.

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