on Mon May 30, 2011 9:36 pm#11934
A pharmacist who fatally shot a teenage robber in Oklahoma City was found guilty Thursday of first-degree murder in a jury trial that ignited debate over the limits of self-defense.
The pharmacist, 59-year-old Jerome Ersland, fired a weapon after two young men entered his pharmacy, one of them waving a gun, in May 2009. Mr. Ersland's bullet hit 16-year-old Antwun Parker in the head, Oklahoma County prosecutors alleged.
Moments later, Mr. Ersland shot Mr. Parker five more times as he lay unconscious on the ground, say prosecutors who had a security surveillance video to bolster their case.
Defense lawyers argued Mr. Ersland had the right to defend himself and others in the store. But the jury, which deliberated for less than four hours, found Mr. Ersland guilty of first-degree murder, punishable by life in prison.
Prosecutors declined to comment, citing a gag order from the judge. Defense attorneys couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Oklahoma, like more than 20 other states, has encoded the right to self defense through so-called Castle Laws. Under these laws, citizens are allowed to use deadly force when they are threatened in their home—or their "castle"—or place of work.
Cases in which someone kills an intruder rarely go to trial, said Gary Kleck, a criminology professor at Florida State University. That's because police usually believe the defender was acting out of self-protection, or assume there isn't enough evidence to prove that the defender shot the intruder with malicious intent.
"They rarely have the benefit of videotape," said Mr. Kleck.
In the video of the Oklahoma City shooting, Mr. Ersland can be seen firing the first shot and Mr. Parker dropping to the floor. After chasing the other robber out the door, Mr. Ersland returns, walking past the place where Mr. Parker fell to get a second gun out of a drawer. He then points down toward the floor and shoots several times.
The main question before the jury was whether Mr. Parker still represented a threat after the first shot. Under Oklahoma law, the right to use deadly force ends as soon as the menace has passed, said Randy Coyne, a law professor at the University of Oklahoma. Mr. Coyne said he agreed with the jury verdict, based on that law.
Mr. Ersland had said that Mr. Parker was moving after the initial shot and was therefore still dangerous. Mr. Parker was not visible on the video at that point.
The case divided many in Oklahoma City. "Hero," read a comment on a Facebook page created to support Mr. Ersland. "Should be given the key to the city, for cleaning up some of the criminal element."
Earlier this year, Ralph Shortey, a state senator who represents the area, introduced the "Jerome Ersland Act," which would increase protections for citizens who kill or wound someone in the course of protecting themselves.
"The person who came in brandishing the firearm was not the victim, but we're trying to make him the victim," Mr. Shortey said.
But others said the right to self-defense doesn't include killing anyone rendered defenseless. Some said the shooting had a racist element because Mr. Ersland is white, and the slain teenager was black.
"We don't condone robbery in any form or fashion, but we don't condone murder either," said Garland Pruitt, president of the Oklahoma City chapter of the NAACP.
Cleta Jennings, the mother of the dead man, has filed a wrongful death suit asking the court for damages and accusing Mr. Ersland of negligence. Her lawyer declined to comment on the case.
I'm just curious about your opinions on this.
on Mon May 30, 2011 10:10 pm#11936
- ShadowThis We'll Defend
- Location : VI
You have every right to shoot if someone is taking your stuff. But not to kill them.
on Mon May 30, 2011 10:13 pm#11937
on Mon May 30, 2011 10:45 pm#11938
- Location : TX
Edit: Read the whole article.
Last edited by Mick281 on Tue May 31, 2011 10:44 am; edited 1 time in total
on Mon May 30, 2011 10:55 pm#11942
on Mon May 30, 2011 11:13 pm#11946
- Location : TX
"In the video of the Oklahoma City shooting, Mr. Ersland can be seen firing the first shot and Mr. Parker dropping to the floor. After chasing the other robber out the door, Mr. Ersland returns, walking past the place where Mr. Parker fell to get a second gun out of a drawer. He then points down toward the floor and shoots several times."
That quote seems cold-blooded and plus the the robber was hit in the head. I seriously doubt he still posed a threat to the clerk. Even if the robber still posed a theat, the clerk walked back to him to finish him off putting himself in danger.
I do agree with you about these two being good for nothing kids, although he still didnt deserve to die the way he did.
Also, he shouldn't have been charged with first-degree murder.
on Mon May 30, 2011 11:45 pm#11948
In Aus, in the Criminal Code Act...
Self Defence means you can use 'such for as is reasonably (note reasonably) necessary to prevent harm as long as it's not intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm. Oh it's easier if I just paste some stuff. Plus there's self defence against 'provoked and unprovoked assault'>>>like you can be the instigator...and they can fight back. And you can have a defence of having to fight harder to defend yourself lmao
CRIMINAL CODE 1899 - SECT 271
271 Self-defence against unprovoked assault
(1) When a person is unlawfully assaulted, and has not provoked the assault, it is lawful for the person to use such force to the assailant as is reasonably necessary to make effectual defence against the assault, if the force used is not intended, and is not such as is likely, to cause death or grievous bodily harm.
(2) If the nature of the assault is such as to cause reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm, and the person using force by way of defence believes, on reasonable grounds, that the person can not otherwise preserve the person defended from death or grievous bodily harm, it is lawful for the person to use any such force to the assailant as is necessary for defence, even though such force may cause death or grievous bodily harm.
CRIMINAL CODE 1899 - SECT 272
272 Self-defence against provoked assault
(1) When a person has unlawfully assaulted another or has provoked an assault from another, and that other assaults the person with such violence as to cause reasonable apprehension of death or grievous bodily harm, and to induce the person to believe, on reasonable grounds, that it is necessary for the person's preservation from death or grievous bodily harm to use force in self-defence, the person is not criminally responsible for using any such force as is reasonably necessary for such preservation, although such force may cause death or grievous bodily harm.
(2) This protection does not extend to a case in which the person using force which causes death or grievous bodily harm first begun the assault with intent to kill or to do grievous bodily harm to some person; nor to a case in which the person using force which causes death or grievous bodily harm endeavoured to kill or to do grievous bodily harm to some person before the necessity of so preserving himself or herself arose; nor, in either case, unless, before such necessity arose, the person using such force declined further conflict, and quitted it or retreated from it as far as was practicable.
CRIMINAL CODE 1899 - SECT 273
273 Aiding in self-defence
In any case in which it is lawful for any person to use force of any degree for the purpose of defending himself or herself against an assault, it is lawful for any other person acting in good faith in the first person's aid to use a like degree of force for the purpose of defending the first person.
edit: read the article again. If he had a weapon I think you could justify the threat of death/grievous bodily harm and thus self-defence. If we see someone with a gun/weapon and there's a risk they could even point the gun at anyone (or in the direction of anyone)...we're justified to shoot.
on Tue May 31, 2011 12:34 am#11952
on Tue May 31, 2011 8:14 am#11957
on Tue May 31, 2011 9:12 am#11962
- number3181PC Server Admin
- Location : Florida
The second pistol is the key. He obviously was in a clear enough state of mind to understand what he was doing when he grabbed the second gun.
Glad I wasnt on that jury.
on Tue May 31, 2011 2:38 pm#11987
- Location : North west UK
It was a you or him situation and he came off better, all he had to do was call emergency services and it wouldn't even be in court. Like was said the fact he went and shot the guy again in a clear state of mind when he posed no threat is what throws the whole thing into doubt.
I'm not saying the robber is a victim in anyway but after he was left on the floor with a bullet in his head it becomes more than self defense from a legal stand point.
on Tue May 31, 2011 2:46 pm#11990
- Location : Maryland
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