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Author Topic: What do you think about the Joe Horn case?  (Read 12088 times)

008

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Re: What do you think about the Joe Horn case?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2008, 08:28:11 PM »
It is a very sad state of affairs in this country when your government won't lift a finger to stop a plague of violent illegal aliens, when the police will not respond promptly to the commission of an inherently dangerous felony, and when half the country votes for a political party that has done everything possible to take away citizens' best means of defense.

In Texas, what he did is legal.  I don't know if I personally could do it, but I am glad that two dangerous illegal alien recidivist felons are not out breaking into others' homes.

You are wrong.  What he did was illegal, even in Texas.
When a candidate faces the voters he does not face men of sense [but] a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion. As democracy is perfected the White House will be adorned with a moron.

008

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Re: What do you think about the Joe Horn case?
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2008, 08:30:06 PM »
This should be a slam dunk for the prosecution, the only reason he took it to a grand jury is to he could wash his hands of it when they didnt indict him.  You'll know this is true when he doesn't bring the charges before another grand jury and wash their hands of the whole mess.

There is no colorable argument for self defense because the men were shot in the back. Unless they have eyes in the backs of their heads and were about use deadly force against him or another person, there is simply no argument for the use of the shotgun.  If you want to argue that, then fine, but it is a loser every single time on any bar exam you may happen to take.

Here's the law on the Multistate Bar Exam - The use of deadly force is NEVER allowed to protect property and may only be used if to PREVENT the commission of a VIOLENT FELONY, such as burglary.

Under the MBE, this is a classic case of murder reduced to manslaughter by reason of exciting event with insufficient time to cool off.  Horn used deadly force AFTER the crime had been committed so the prevention element is missing.  Also, it wasn't a violent felony because burglary is the unlawful entry of a dwelling with the intent to commit a felony AT NIGHT.  This happened in broad daylight.  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1571085/Texan-%27hero%27-shoots-and-kills-burglars.html  ("Mr Horn saw Miguel Antontio DeJesus and Diego Ortiz getting into a neighbour’s house at around 2pm on November 14."). There is no question that he would be guilty of manslaughter only whether he could be convicted of murder as well.

Under Texas law, one may use deadly force "when and to the degree he reasonably believes the
deadly force is immediately necessary" to prevent the commission of an act of criminal mischief (including burglary) during the nighttime AND he reasonably believes either the property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means OR using anything less than deadly force would expose him to the use of substantial bodily injury.  Texas Penal Code Ann. § 9.42 (2007).

Horn is wrong on all elements.  Here, the degree of force is unreasonable because Horn could have given a warning shot, or shot the men in the legs to prevent their escape.  Perhaps fatal to Horn's argument is that this happened in broad daylight.  Horn would not even be entitled to get a defense of property jury instruction.  Grey v. State, 2004 Tex. App. LEXIS 6678 (unpublished opinion)(defense of property specifically requires the "theft" to be at night, thus no error in refusing to instruct the jury on the use of deadly force to protect property).  Note that even if the burglary doesn't have to be at night, which I think the statute suggests, there were other means of recovering the property or preventing escape such as shooting them in the legs or at least give a warning shot.

What this amounts to is a political decision to protect a popular old man from going to prison.  I am willing to bet they don't try another grand jury even though they have more than probable cause to arrest Horn right now.

As food for thought, compare this case with Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985).  In Garner, an unarmed fleeing burglar did not halt at the command of an officer and with his back toward the officer, began to climb a fence.  Id. at 3-4.  The officer, believing the burglar will elude capture, kills him with one shot to the back of the head. Id. at 4. Eventhough a Tennessee statute authorized "all the necessary means to effect the arrest," of a fleeing felon, the Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision found this to be an unreasonable seizure and the statute to be unconstitutional as applied. Id. at 11. "The use of deadly force is a self-defeating way of apprehending a suspect and so setting the criminal justice mechanism in motion. If successful, it guarantees that that mechanism will not be set in motion....A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead."  Id. at 10-11.

This isn't the end of Horn's tribulations.  He will be sued for a bunch of torts and should lose on summary judgment because, through Horn's own admissions, there is no issue of fact for the jury.
When a candidate faces the voters he does not face men of sense [but] a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion. As democracy is perfected the White House will be adorned with a moron.

NoUsername

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Re: What do you think about the Joe Horn case?
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2008, 08:49:41 PM »

You are wrong.  What he did was illegal, even in Texas.

I'll trust the grand jury, who heard all the evidence and examined the applicable laws.

008

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Re: What do you think about the Joe Horn case?
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2008, 08:53:45 PM »

You are wrong.  What he did was illegal, even in Texas.

I'll trust the grand jury, who heard all the evidence and examined the applicable laws.

How about, since you are going to be a law student and maybe a lawyer, you look up Texas Penal Code § 9.42 (2007) and see what it says.

Also, grand juries are under no obligation to indict anyone nor are prosecutors.

Finally, if you trust their verdict, then I suppose you also trust the verdict of the OJ Simpson case.
When a candidate faces the voters he does not face men of sense [but] a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion. As democracy is perfected the White House will be adorned with a moron.

PSUDSL08

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Re: What do you think about the Joe Horn case?
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2008, 09:44:18 PM »
It is a very sad state of affairs in this country when your government won't lift a finger to stop a plague of violent illegal aliens, when the police will not respond promptly to the commission of an inherently dangerous felony, and when half the country votes for a political party that has done everything possible to take away citizens' best means of defense.

In Texas, what he did is legal.  I don't know if I personally could do it, but I am glad that two dangerous illegal alien recidivist felons are not out breaking into others' homes.

There are so many things wrong with this set of statements, I don't know where to start.

First, burglary is not an inherently dangerous felony...it can be dangerous based upon the facts and circumstances of the case. In the 911 tape, Horn specifically mentioned that he was aware that his neighbors were out of town. Apparently, the burglars were also aware of this fact too and they decided to cash in on their unavailability. This resembles a common  theft more than it does a robbery. Would you consider it to be inherently dangerous if someone were to pick a lock with a paper clip, reach his arm through the door, and grab a wallet off a table? Because that's burglary too.

If these were 17 year old white high school boys who wanted to steal a few items to sell at a local pawn shop, I highly doubt that you'd be singing the same tune. Instead, you justify what occurred on the basis that it's two less illegal aliens our country has to deal with.

Quote
I'll trust the grand jury, who heard all the evidence and examined the applicable laws.

Do you really have trust for the common jury? The average jury member either (1) forms an opinion and sticks to that opinion regardless of what direction the evidence points (2) wants the same amount of evidence to find guilt that would be found in a Law & Order episode dramatizing the same incident. I think it's pretty clear that an all white jury from his locale viewed him as a hero and not a criminal and chose not to indict him on that basis.

The recorded 911 call had the following pieces of evidence for consideration:
-Horn's Statements: Horn stated throughout (1) how he "knows his rights" and was planning on shooting them if they came onto his property (2) kept repeating "I'm going to have to shoot them, I have no other choice" several minutes before they even set foot on his property (3) he described what the men were carrying, in which the only thing that could be construed as a deadly weapon was the crowbar
-Operator Statements: the operator kept telling him that they had police on the way, and specifically instructed him to go inside his house, put his gun away, and calm down

Ultimately the grand jury was faced with this LEGAL issue: "Did Horn reasonably believe that if he didn't shoot the men, he would have been exposed to substantial bodily harm?" The one burglar had a crowbar, the other had a bag of trinkets, and neither man ran towards Horn in a threatening manner. The men were not trying to run into his home to seek shelter, but were merely running on his property so as to escape from the scene of the burglary. In fact, the mere pointing of the gun in the direction of the burglars was enough to leave them running with their backs exposed to him. No reasonable person in Horn's shoes could have concluded that firing a shotgun was necessary to prevent him from substantial bodily harm.

008

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Re: What do you think about the Joe Horn case?
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2008, 09:44:36 PM »
The irony is that if this is legal, assuming arguendo, then one can use deadly force more freely to protect his property than himself.  If an assailant stabs you with a knife, then turns his back on you and runs away, you have no right, not even in Texas to shoot him in the back.  However, if he robs you and then runs away, you would be able to shoot him in the back.  It makes no sense.
When a candidate faces the voters he does not face men of sense [but] a mob of men whose chief distinguishing mark is the fact that they are quite incapable of weighing ideas men whose whole thinking is done in terms of emotion. As democracy is perfected the White House will be adorned with a moron.

no634

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Re: What do you think about the Joe Horn case?
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2008, 02:25:09 AM »
The irony is that if this is legal, assuming arguendo, then one can use deadly force more freely to protect his property than himself.  If an assailant stabs you with a knife, then turns his back on you and runs away, you have no right, not even in Texas to shoot him in the back.  However, if he robs you and then runs away, you would be able to shoot him in the back.  It makes no sense.

Very interesting discussion 008.

Is there anyway to get this overturned or is it final? What happens when less sympathetic people are in similar situations?

ouffha

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Re: What do you think about the Joe Horn case?
« Reply #17 on: July 02, 2008, 03:11:41 AM »
Nothing really to add, just wanted to point out that it's crazy how some people seem to get real pleasure out of the burglars dying.  Seems like some people in this thread are like that.

You're the man bosco. Thanks for having my back through the rough times, buddy.

ouffha

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Re: What do you think about the Joe Horn case?
« Reply #18 on: July 02, 2008, 03:21:35 AM »

You're the man bosco. Thanks for having my back through the rough times, buddy.

Haha np.  So what happened?...I'm assuming they suspended your account for a few days or something?  Your cousin seems like a cool guy too by the way.

They ended up suspending my cousin's. Way to shoot the messenger, eh bosco.

ouffha

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Re: What do you think about the Joe Horn case?
« Reply #19 on: July 02, 2008, 06:24:54 AM »

You're the man bosco. Thanks for having my back through the rough times, buddy.

Never let The Man bring you down.

Haha np.  So what happened?...I'm assuming they suspended your account for a few days or something?  Your cousin seems like a cool guy too by the way.

They ended up suspending my cousin's. Way to shoot the messenger, eh bosco.

haha, those bastards