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Democratic Debate? of Sorts?

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by timb99, Feb 26, 2008.

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  1. timb99

    timb99 Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry, but this is just too priceless not to post:

    Set-to over Democrats' TV debate leaves 1 man hospitalized, 1 jailed
    By Nancy Petersen

    Inquirer Staff Writer

    Maybe the Democratic debates should come with an R rating.

    Things turned violent in a Montgomery County home during a televised debate in Texas between candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    It ended with Obama supporter Sean Shurelds being taken to Hahnemann University Hospital with stab wounds that were allegedly inflicted by his brother-in-law, Clinton backer Jose Ortiz.

    "Mr. Shurelds was complaining that Clinton was trashing Obama," Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said. "Ortiz said that Barack was not a realist."

    Ferman said that on Thursday, Shurelds started choking Ortiz from behind in a Collegeville home. At some point, she said, Ortiz grabbed a kitchen knife and plunged it into Shurelds' stomach.

    When Upper Providence police arrived, they found Shurelds bleeding heavily, she said. He was admitted to Hahnemann University Hospital in critical condition, but has since been upgraded to stable, Ferman said. Hospital officials did not return calls yesterday.

    Ortiz, who celebrated his 28th birthday on Saturday, was held in Montgomery County prison on $20,000 bail.

    "I certainly understand that politics, and this race in particular, has generated a lot of passion," Ferman said, "but this is one of the most unusual expressions of political passion I have ever seen."
     
  2. Mr Newbius©

    Mr Newbius© TS Member

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    Damn ... that is much more than getting there boxers all bungled up and they should really be glad they were not on the trap range shooting trap during the debate or somebody might have been shot instead of stabbed.
     
  3. 100straight

    100straight Member

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    I think something is missing from this story. Why would the man being choked be in the "Montgomery County prison on $20,000 bail?" If he felt his life were in danger he certainly had the right to use deadly force (ie. the knife) in self defense, especially in Texas. Unless there is more to it than this, I can't even see why he would have been arrested.

    Shoot well and often,

    Mark.
     
  4. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Duh...because somebody was stabbed, and the Police think they know who did it. The choking part may be anecdotal, but the stab wounds obviously are not...so since the Police weren't there to physically see it, they want to let the court sort out all the he-said / she-said.


    Sounds like they did exactly what they should have.


    ...Besides, before you can claim self-defense, first you have to be charged with something. If it was legit, it will come out in court. They're not going to take your word for it...they're going to make you prove it.
     
  5. alfermann66

    alfermann66 Member

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    I agree with what you said Buzz-gun until you got to the part, "They're not going to take your word for it..they're going to make you prove it." I think criminal law still requires the prosecution to do the proving. I believe in the case of the stabee saying he wasn't choking the stabber and the stabber saying he was it will be up to the prosecuter to prove the stabber is lying...a difficult proposition with only two witnesses.

    Buz
     
  6. crusha

    crusha TS Member

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    Actually, not true Buz...and that was a surprise to me, too, many years ago when I first learned it. The burden of proof is only on the prosecutor if you have pleaded that you "didn't do it." Then he has to prove you did. But when you say you're "not guilty by reason of self-defense," you have admitted that you "done" it...which is all the prosecutor had to show.

    When you plead "self-defense," you have given up your presumption of innocence, and now the burden of proof is on you. You have to show you were justified. This will be a surprise to many, but it's true.

    In most states:

    1. You must show your use of force was justified.
    2. You must show you "exercised your duty of retreat,"...ie, there was no further escape reasonably possible for you, so you had no choice.
    3. You must show that the incident was not provoked by you.

    In fact, the difficulty of meeting your burden of proof of justified use of force is why attorneys in some cases feel it's better to simply take the approach of forgetting about self-defense and letting the prosecutor keep all the burden and try to prove that you did it, believe it or not. I was part of a case some unspecified number of years ago when a drunk redneck stabbed someone and killed them in a bar...he had been in a fight and left...they followed him and attacked him...that's when the stabbing occurred...the defendant was clearly trying to leave...thereby satisfying one legal component of self-defense (he "exercised his duty of retreat)...and they brought the fight to him, so it was arguable that he didn't provoke at least that incident.

    Nonetheless...his defense team advised him not to claim self-defense, because one of the stab-ees was a woman...probably didn't think it would be credible since she was unarmed and the force level may have seemed inappropriate (apparently the DA's felt the image of her naked body on the autopsy table with neck garroted open from ear to ear was just too much for the jury to believe it was reasonable)...so he sat back and let the prosecutor meet the burden...which they did and put him in the can. Bad legal strategy, it turns out...but it sorta illustrates what I'm saying above.

    If he woulda claimed self-defense, he coulda got off...instead he said he was drunk and "didn't remember" the incident (dumb).
     
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