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Murder or self-defense?

MetroStyles

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Ok, hypothetical situation.

You are hanging out with a buddy, at your house. You two are the only ones there. He goes bonkers and tries to murder you with a kitchen knife. You evade him, and manage to wrestle the knife away. He doesn't let up and in self-defense you stab him and he dies. There isn't a scratch on you though.

In a court of law, how is this case treated? Neither party has a motive. There is little evidence in either direction (assume he was wearing gloves too and his fingerprints are not on the knife). I always wondered how this kind of stuff with no witnesses or evidence got treated in court.
 

FidelCashflow

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There's always evidence to be considered. I guess forensics would consider things like how deep the stabs were and how many there were (to see if you hesitated or it looked like you wanted to kill him) and how the guy was laying (like he was charging at you, defending himself, or trying to run away.) They'd also look for proof that the guy did actually flip out (e.g. history of mental issues, people saying he was acting funny in the days leading up to it, etc.) Even stuff like who called 911 first (e.g. you or a neighbor) would play into this in a big way. They'd also pay particular attention to the way you acted after the incident (did you provide medical assistance or did you try to cover it up) and how you responded to police interrogation (e.g. were there any inconsistencies in your story.)

At the end of the day, it's for the jury to decide, and you really can never tell what they're thinking.
 

oldhoss

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I suppose they could listen to the story but also take into account the evidence and what the crime scene investigators interpret etc... These are dicey and the justice system anywhere in the world is not perfect. Guilty people walk sometimes and innocent people go to jail sometimes.

One would hope things go the right way.

OH
 

DNW

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It's 50/50, depending on who the jury believes more. You do have a slight edge because you're in your own home and there's no history of violence on your part.
 

blackplatano

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In the perfect world the guy would be innocent. In our court system it's a coin flip.
 

JayJay

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Originally Posted by blackplatano
In the perfect world the guy would be innocent. In our court system it's a coin flip.
I'm inclined to agree with you.
 

Milhouse

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There was a case of a couple of SEALs getting into a fight in one of their homes, and the result was one dead SEAL due to a gunshot wound. The articles I read about the case suggested the shooter changed his story a few times. Eventually, he was acquitted.

Here is a link to one of the stories.

http://www.sealtwo.org/ronaldjgasper.htm
 

FidelCashflow

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I guess at this point all kinds of random conjecture would come into play if the solid evidence is lacking. Like your character versus the character of the deceased. How big you were compared to them, what race each of you were. If any of you had ever had legal troubles in the past. The optics of the situation could very well be the deciding factor
 

JLibourel

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I suppose a prosecutor could make the case that if you are physically competent to disarm a knife-wielding homicidal maniac without sustaining so much as a scratch, once you have the upper hand, i.e., the knife, stabbing him to death might be a bit gratuitous. In some states, you would have a duty to try to get out of the house if possible. In others, you can stand your ground. I don't know if the Supreme Soviet in Sacramento has changed it by now, but down until recent years California law on such matters was amazingly lenient and may still be yet.

I might add, you would have to be awfully damn good to disarm such a person without sustaining at least some injury.
 

adamsnez

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metrostyles, this really happened didn't it.
don't dispose of the body, worst thing to do in this situation. believe me.
 

odoreater

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Originally Posted by adamsnez
metrostyles, this really happened didn't it.
don't dispose of the body, worst thing to do in this situation. believe me.


and posting about it on the internet like you're the innocent one is not going to help.
 

Ambulance Chaser

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Is this thread related to the thread about your buddy sleeping with your ex?
 

onion

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Originally Posted by MetroStyles
Ok, hypothetical situation. You are hanging out with a buddy, at your house. You two are the only ones there. He goes bonkers and tries to murder you with a kitchen knife. You evade him, and manage to wrestle the knife away. He doesn't let up and in self-defense you stab him and he dies. There isn't a scratch on you though. In a court of law, how is this case treated? Neither party has a motive. There is little evidence in either direction (assume he was wearing gloves too and his fingerprints are not on the knife). I always wondered how this kind of stuff with no witnesses or evidence got treated in court.
This is EXACTLY what happened to a co-work of mine's brother-in-law (or so he says). Last I heard he was awaiting trial for murder.
 

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