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Does the UK want a "Tony Martin" law?

Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
Paulins link to the BBC is rather tenous.

Not really. He has been a frequent commentator, for which he no doubt gets paid by the BBC.
The BBC is quickly becoming one of the world's 'kosher' purveyors of hate by fromer BBC commentator Douglas Davis
As for the second link, whats it got to do with the BBC? Why drag the Guardian into this?

Bela Bardak's original quote, which you were replying to in order to bring this up in the first place:
Well, Tim. Living in the UK I wouldn't say the "entire UK media is run by anti-semetic terrorist sympathisers". By no means. Only the Guardian, the Beeb, and about half the editorial board of the Independent qualify....

As I said, the information is out there. Look it up if you're interested. I'm not trying to convince you of anything, which if your mind is already made up on the subject, is probably a good thing.
[ January 06, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1387
Steven Broadbent: If that poll result was just today programme audience then it is hardly representative. ... Whatever this or any other survey says us lot over here don't want to go around tooled up.

And yet, Tim Baker opposes letting people shoot burglars because then lots of ordinary people in the U.K. would want guns !!!:
In the case of the UK if we actually made a law that said you are allowed to shoot a burglar then more and more people are going to want guns, perhaps illegal ones.

(It's not surprising that few people want guns if they're not allowed to use them. Nor is it wrong to deny that many Englishmen feel oppressed by these laws.)
Tony Collins: ... what I can't understand is the disgust some Americans seem to have for our gun control laws.... I assume there has been some NRA/media glorification of Tony Martin in the states. Why are they so interested, it seems the 'your with us or against us' attitude prevails.

The American NRA has widely publicized both the post-Dunblane handgun ban in England and the Tony Martin case, not to create anti-British feeling but to warn us.
The NRA publicized the British handgun ban to warn against the acceptance of national handgun registration -- which Vice-President Al Gore had advocated during his year 2000 campaign for the Presidency. (The government cannot confiscate what it doesn't know you have.)
Also, the gun control movement has long tried to divide the gun owners by distinguishing between "good guns used for sporting purposes" versus "bad guns that are designed for shooting people." They were successful enough to pass a ban in 1994 against non-automatic replicas of assault rifles (the real ones were already banned in 1986). In response, the NRA publicizes the Tony Martin case as if to ask, "What will happen to our right of self-defense if we allow the demonization of guns designed for shooting people?"
As a result of the NRA's efforts, many working class unionized laborers in states such as Tennessee and West Virginia who had never before voted Republican were inspired to vote against Gore (i.e. for Bush). This caused Gore to lose his home state and allowed Bush to become President, thereby putting a huge damper on the gun control movement here.
It was merely a side-effect of this publicity that many Americans became dismayed at Great Britain's indefensible laws. (But Tony Blair's support for Bush has appeased quite a bit of the anger.)
Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1387
Tony Collins: .....and I thought the BBC was the model for un-biased non-corporate news, admired across the world.

The BBC was the model for unbiased news, admired across the world, but that was thirty years ago. Now it's run by people devoted to Trotskyism and other flavors of Marxism. It's still ranked above Pravda, but not by much.
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
The day people like the NRA are representative of opinion here, I'm back off to Italy...


"....bigmouth strikes again, and I've got no right to take my place with the human race...."<p>SCJP 1.4
Phil Chuang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 251
Originally posted by Steven Broadbent:
The day people like the NRA are representative of opinion here, I'm back off to Italy...

The day people like the English are representative of opinion here, there'll be a lot of people marching off to the Revolutionary War II.
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:

Bela, Jason,
Thank you for informing me that the BBC is an anti-semitic, terrorist sympathising organisation. As a law abiding British Citizen and also a payer of the license fee upon which the BBC depends, I am concerned to learn that I may be directly funding a media group that exports propoganda encouraging people to rise up against us freedom loving, tolerant people.

Always more than glad to help, Mark! Actually the Beeb doesn't encourage people to rise up against the British government. Possibly against the US government but never the British government.....
Well, almost never. There was Thatcher after all....
Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:

Now to be honest, Bela, Jason. I dont know what planet youre on, or what crack pipe youre both smoking, but I dont see anything anti-semitic or anything thats sympathetic to Terrorists. There isnt even anything anti-American at a long shot. The populace of the United Kingdom watch this pap every night. And I dont see them turning out into the streets proclaiming "Down with Israel" or "Bin Laden is really a nice man, hes just misunderstood".

Planet Earth last I looked. My brand of crack is in test marketing. Marlboro is testing the crack market for London Urbanites who fancy themselves rough-hewn cowboys. Clint Eastwood is doing the TV spots.
Go ahead. Make my day!
I'm sure you can imagine. Actually NRA had nothing to do with the Today poll results. It was Philip Morris behind it all, trying to ensure that it's potential market don't all end up in jail.
Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
And Bela, someone who claims to be in the UK and therefore probably gets more exposure to the BBC than Jason, wheres your basis for these claims?

Hyperbole.
If you want examples other than in my posts you could start by examining the assumptions underlying many of your and Tim Baker's posts about the good old US. Unrecognizable to most of us Yanks. Which rather makes me suspect the objectivity of your news sources......
There is a thread of truth to my hyperbole about the Great BBC/Guardian/Independent cabal, but only a thread. I'm actually quite fond of certain Guardian columnists, and any organization the size of the Beeb surely holds people with a range of opinions. Even so the stereotypes hold validity. Particularly in BBC World Service, where many of the stories which most inflame Yanks like Jason originate.
Originally posted by Mark Fletcher:
We've been through this pap in countless threads before. Heck we can even go dredge up some evidence on Google for how evil the BBC is; and you know Id be able to find rubbish on other media outlets as well. So why bother?Just let it rest for chrissakes. Let it lie.

Now did I say Evil?!!! I find such flamewars entertaining, supported by 'data' which is carefully culled (on both ends) to support the worst possible conclusion. Isn't that the role of a responsible news organization, to get people pissed off? If so, Fox/Beeb etc have done an admirable job of it.
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
When I said here I meant "Englands green and pleasant land".....
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
..... With the impartial use of statistics and trite nationalistic cliches we could all make a channel four documentary series together....who needs a java developers salary when TV beckons??
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
Originally posted by Frank Silbermann:

the NRA publicizes the Tony Martin case as if to ask, "What will happen to our right of self-defense if we allow the demonization of guns designed for shooting people?"
It was merely a side-effect of this publicity that many Americans became dismayed at Great Britain's indefensible laws. (But Tony Blair's support for Bush has appeased quite a bit of the anger.)

That may be what the NRA is concerned about, Frank. But not me. I personally find the British law defensible from one POV. I don't think anyone reasonable (whether Yank or Brit) thinks it desireable that a young boy ends up dead at the hands of an outraged homeowner. And to the degree that British law tries to strike a balance between the interests of the homeowner and those of the criminal, I find that reasonable.
What disturbs me is not British law so much as the way I saw it administered in the Martin case. And more so in the various shades of opinion I've seen from sources as varied as the MP Stephen Broadbent, various editorial pages, the Beeb, and even some of the British posters here at JR.
There was and is a vengefulness expressed toward that nutter Tony Martin. He got what was coming to him. Why, because he is a nutter? Presumably you might let off a normal person who happened to off a burglar under more or less similar circumstances?
The authorities failed both Martin and the victim by letting the situation get to that point, so the proper answer obviously is to cast Martin into the pit for the maximum time and refuse to look at what went wrong.
Right......
[ January 06, 2004: Message edited by: Bela Bardak ]
Tim Baker
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Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
It's the circumstances of the shooting actually not just the fact that he was a nutter. It was the fact that he shot someone in the back, and that they weren't threatening him. He just shot the burglar because he was burglarising him, it was vengeful, not defensive.


Kim Jong II (North Korea's Dear Leader) said:Nuclear weapons don't kill people, people kill people.
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
Could Tony Martin become Englands Bernard Goetz? I think we haven't heard the last of this story by a long chalk.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Phil Chuang:
The day people like the English are representative of opinion here, there'll be a lot of people marching off to the Revolutionary War II.

Let me raise the red flag here and step into moderator role for a second. This kind of thing isn't called for nor condoned here. Please read our document on fallacies, and avoid posting such statements in the future.
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
I think we've established that we don't want a "Tony Martin" law here.
No offence to the highly scientific survey by the Today programme, or those profound thinkers at the NRA.
Eleison Zeitgeist
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 17, 2002
Posts: 115
Originally posted by Bela Bardak:

The authorities failed both Martin and the victim by letting the situation get to that point, so the proper answer obviously is to cast Martin into the pit for the maximum time and refuse to look at what went wrong.
Right......
[ January 06, 2004: Message edited by: Bela Bardak ]

The autorities did not fail Martin and the victim. Society has. Society must decide the boundaries of self-defense. The best boundary is the following: "When you rob a house, you will be at the mercy of the owner - Expect death." Any other boundary puts (adds) unduly significant risk to the owner (who, mind you, has done nothing wrong). E.g., if late at night, the owner is required to see that the robber is armed, he may no longer be in a postition to defend himself. If the owner is required to passively let himself be robbed, he maybe tied up and killed in the process. In both cases, significant risk was incurred to the owner (who, mind you, has done nothing wrong).
"WHEN YOU ROB A HOUSE, YOU WILL BE AT THE MERCY OF THE OWNER - EXPECT DEATH". If everyone know this, the only criminals that would rob are the hardcore ones; they would rob no matter what. If they are willing to EXPECT confortation. They would still be willing to kill you if this was NOT the boundary. If not kill you, rape your daughter. If not that, then kill your wife or husband for.....sport???
-Eleison
Eleison Zeitgeist
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 17, 2002
Posts: 115
Originally posted by Steven Broadbent:
I think we've established that we don't want a "Tony Martin" law here.
No offence to the highly scientific survey by the Today programme, or those profound thinkers at the NRA.

Your version of the word, "we", does not match the commonly used definition of the word "we". We usually implies a cohesion. Obviously, not all people in England believes in what you believe in. Hence, what you want to say is "... I AND PEOPLE WHO THINK LIKE ME don't want a 'Tony Martin' law.." even though surveys show that a good number of people (who live in England) seem to do..
;-)
-Eleison
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
This was little more than a fantasy politics poll - and there are doubts about whether the result was hijacked or not. This was no spontaneous uprising against a bad law. Even worse than the "polls" which show support for the return of the death penalty in the UK.
Also a couple of people have been cleared of all criminal charges after killing or injuring an intruder. One dodgy poll in a slow news period does not reflect national opinion.
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
Originally posted by Steven Broadbent:
This was little more than a fantasy politics poll - and there are doubts about whether the result was hijacked or not. This was no spontaneous uprising against a bad law. Even worse than the "polls" which show support for the return of the death penalty in the UK.
Also a couple of people have been cleared of all criminal charges after killing or injuring an intruder. One dodgy poll in a slow news period does not reflect national opinion.

I have no idea whether it represents anything like 'majority opinion'. I suspect it represents a significant slice of British opinion. Something like 30% of the populace on a guess. The newspapers should have polling data.
When 30% of the populace thinks something is significant and 'enlightened' opinion denies it and charges 'hijacking' I'd say that the latter are the ones in denial.....
Phil Chuang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 251
Originally posted by Jason Menard:

Let me raise the red flag here and step into moderator role for a second. This kind of thing isn't called for nor condoned here. Please read our document on fallacies, and avoid posting such statements in the future.

Sorry, just trying to put a parodic spin on Steven's previous post.
My point was that many of the Revolutionary War's root causes had been a loss of freedoms or liberties - such as the right to be represented in the government, the right to bear arms, the right to refuse to quarter soldiers in your house, etc. - y'know, the whole taxation without representation bit that caused us to get in such a tizzy last time. The day the American government forcibly takes away that which we now hold dear to our ideals of liberty (that is, the right to bear arms), then that is the day Americans will revolt against their government. Ergo the whole parallelism in the previously quoted statement. Nothing against Brits in general, except for this whole gun-control debate
Steven Broadbent
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
Ah yes, "the right to bear arms" - would that mean the right to buy enough firepower to take over a small country?
BTW - this poll was from a radio programme that has a minority audience.
Like I have said several times already, this kind of stuff won't wash over here.
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Steven Broadbent:
Ah yes, "the right to bear arms" - would that mean the right to buy enough firepower to take over a small country?

If that small country's populace wasn't armed, one wouldn't really have to buy all that much, would they?
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Wow, this threads gone all over the place!
In the UK my uncle owns a gun. He lives on a farm in Somerset and shoots rabbits and birds and he grumbled alot when he had to have one of the barrels stopped due to new gun laws. One of my mum's ex-boyfriend's used to own a whole rack of various guns, including handguns (a long time ago). One of my old Boy Scout leaders used to bring along his rifle to camps and let us shoot it at mounds of dirt. Around that time I used to help sometimes at local clay pigeon shoots and part of my pay was a box of cartridges to shoot off when everyone had finished. I know a few other people with guns and none of them are violent or paranoid, or people I'd worry about owning a gun.
I've been to a few shooting ranges in Korea and used shotguns and a .45 revolver (its quite hard to accurately shoot one of those without cocking it first), and I watched some guy (who had more money than me) let off a full magazine from one of those small machine guns used by special forces (it was quite expensive to do that and I think the old guy was trying to impress his much younger looking girlfriend).
Its all good fun, however, I don't own a gun and I don't have any plans to either, unless I'm lucky enough to retire soon and buy a nice house in the country. Nor have I felt any need to own a gun for reasons of personal protection. I've always felt pretty safe living in the UK. The people I know with guns certainly don't seem to view them as a means of self-defence. I guess that's one difference to gun ownership between the USA and the UK and it is probably an important distinction. I think there is an irrational fear of guns in the UK, and the image of the paranoid American holed up waiting for the gov't to come and take his weapon is unfair, though not helped by events in the past, like that whole David Koresh/Waco thing. Like I said before, no one has convinced me either way that gun ownership makes the world safer or more dangerous, so I wish people would lighten up about those that want to own them (or don't). By the way I do support strict gun control in the sense that all weapons (and ammo) should be registered. In fact I haven't really heard any convincing argument as to why anyone would object to that (liberty? hmm), nor to stopping people with dodgy backgrounds acquiring them, but measures along those lines are already in existence.
Richard Hawkes
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Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
Back on thread ... the "Tony Martin" law - I don't think support for it in the UK can be brushed off so lightly although I accept that it is similar in tone to the "bring back hanging" arguments that get dragged into the news every few years or so. I know quite a few people who would support the Martin law or at least support the sentiment behind it (and plenty that don't). People might want to lay all support for that on the "uneducated masses" etc, but so what it it is? The truth is these things happen so infrequently in England that the whole issue will just go away until the next unfortunate incident. If I was on that jury I wouldn't have sent him to prison, although generally I'm pretty happy with the way things are running at the moment.
I like sitting on the fence, the view's better up here
Richard Hawkes
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 28, 2003
Posts: 1340
As for the BBC I love it! Jason hasn't brought me round to his way of thinking on other issues, but his links to articles about BBC bias against Israel (here and elsewhere that I've read in the past) have certainly been eye-openers. I think there are alot of convincing arguments against some BBC reporting. Even the BBC has admitted to such, I just hope they can do something credible about it. Generally though I like their reporting. Its rarely sensationalist. The same with the Guardian/Observer/Independent, and at least you can find more than one argument or take on an event in those publications (even if you do find yourself coughing out the words "token gesture!")
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
Originally posted by Tim Baker:
It's the circumstances of the shooting actually not just the fact that he was a nutter. It was the fact that he shot someone in the back, and that they weren't threatening him. He just shot the burglar because he was burglarising him, it was vengeful, not defensive.

Possibly. ON the other hand you sound as if you were there, and I doubt that was the case. The PC's weren't there (they weren't very effective at all), the editorialists weren't there, and the MP's weren't there. So how you all can make final judgement upon Tony Martin (who was there) is beyond me.
It seems to me that a meed of mercy was called for in this case. You don't have to be like a US jury and let him off, you could have established the principal with a 6 month sentence or something. Because there were mitigating circumstances had you chosen to consider them.
As it was you gave him the maximum jail term possible under the law and let the career criminal off with a light sentence. Something wrong about that.
Richard's point that this kind of thing doesn't happen very often is well-taken, and true. Thank God. But that doesn't excuse what you did to that poor man, nor does it excuse the self-righteousness I see about what you did.
Tim Baker
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Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
Originally posted by Bela Bardak:

Possibly. ON the other hand you sound as if you were there, and I doubt that was the case. The PC's weren't there (they weren't very effective at all), the editorialists weren't there, and the MP's weren't there. So how you all can make final judgement upon Tony Martin (who was there) is beyond me.

Neither were the jury or the judge but they all passed judgement on him. You'r doing it to him too, you're saying he's some sort of innocent little puppy. The facts about the case have all been well covered and everyone knows them.
Originally posted by Bela Bardak:

It seems to me that a meed of mercy was called for in this case. You don't have to be like a US jury and let him off, you could have established the principal with a 6 month sentence or something. Because there were mitigating circumstances had you chosen to consider them.

There are no mitigating circumstances, he killed someone without real reason just because they broke into his house, thats aggrevated murder, he should be given the maximum sentances. I see no reason to let this dangerous man walk free.
Originally posted by Bela Bardak:

As it was you gave him the maximum jail term possible under the law and let the career criminal off with a light sentence. Something wrong about that.

They are tried as seperate cases, as it should be. I'd rather let someone who theives be free than let someone who shoots people free. The sentancing probably took into account the fact that he got shot.
Originally posted by Bela Bardak:

Richard's point that this kind of thing doesn't happen very often is well-taken, and true. Thank God. But that doesn't excuse what you did to that poor man, nor does it excuse the self-righteousness I see about what you did.

Poor man? come on! He's a killer, we don't want dangerous killers to go unpunished thank you very much!
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
You are absolutely right about everything, Tim. I abject myself to your superior wisdom.
I rest my case......
[ January 07, 2004: Message edited by: Bela Bardak ]
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Yep, not much you can really respond to on that.
[ January 07, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Britain's more liberal justice is probably due to a history of miscarriages of justice. Cases are continuosly being re-examined and there are far too many people who have been wrongly convicted in the past.
Giving the guilty verdict but treated as insane would seem fairer than letting the guilty go free.The weight of the case would have been on the fact that a murder was committed. Comparing a murder with petty crime can hardly be described as being objective.
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
Originally posted by HS Thomas:
Britain's more liberal justice is probably due to a history of miscarriages of justice. Cases are continuosly being re-examined and there are far too many people who have been wrongly convicted in the past.
Giving the guilty verdict but treated as insane would seem fairer than letting the guilty go free.The weight of the case would have been on the fact that a murder was committed. Comparing a murder with petty crime can hardly be described as being objective.

What was 'liberal' about the treatment of Martin, HS. And that crime was usrely as much suicide as it was murder, wasn;t it? Why was that young criminal where he was?
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
I don't think the young criminal was expecting an armed house-holder so he wasn't taking his life in his own hands by burgling.
Some facts to calm pub justice.
"The current law already provides substantial protection to people who inflict harm or kill while defending themselves, their property, or other people. Only if the prosecution is able to show the force used is unreasonable, will victims be liable. This is in line with the central principles of the criminal justice system, which is there to replace lynch law and blood feuds.
The jury who heard the Martin case, were advised by the judge they could return a manslaughter verdict, rather than murder, if they found the farmer "did not intend to kill or cause serious bodily harm". They decided his actions went beyond appropriate self-defence: he waited with a loaded unlicensed shotgun in his remote darkened farmhouse; fired into the back of Fred Barras, the 16-year-old, which suggests he was running away.
He was convicted of murder and would have had to have served a life sentence, but for the intervention of the appeal court that reduced the charge to manslaughter, after evidence suggesting he was suffering from a paranoid personality disorder.
This is just another reason why life sentences should be the maximum, rather than the mandatory sentence for murder. It would allow judges to be more lenient where there were special reasons, like an excessive response to a personal threat, but until now the reform, which has been backed by five advisory groups, has not won tabloid support.
Public protests over compensation claims brought against Mr Martin by Brendon Fearon, one of the burglars who was shot in the leg, is understandable. The civil law under which this claim is being made is currently being reviewed by the Law Commission. In an age when the government emphasises both "rights and responsibilities", stand by for some change to both the civil law and the legal aid system which is financing the claim.
There will also be calls for stiffer sentences for burglars. But these are already in force. Under the "three strikes and you're out" law steered through parliament by Michael Howard and implemented by Jack Straw in 1999, persistent burglars (three or more offences) must serve three years before parole.
The reason why Mr Martin served two-thirds, rather than one third of his sentence, was his refusal to recognise his guilt. Burglary is a serious offence, but not even Norfolk farm watch suggests it deserves a death sentence. But Mr Martin has a right to feel rueful, when he looks at Jeffrey Archer's release and the Archer family's campaign to reverse the writer's conviction.
The farmer also needs protection, not just from revenge attacks, but from the many different groups which want to exploit him. It is difficult enough leaving prison, without being seen by some vigilante groups, as a perfect icon for their cause."
This seems liberal justice.
[ January 07, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Jason Menard
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Hopefully someone will choose to answer these:
Should it be up to the home owner to determine the intent of an intruder in his home?
Should it be up to the home owner to determine what actions an intruder will likely take upon realizing that the home owner(s) are present while he is commiting his crime and that because of this the intruder can likely be identified?
Should it be up to the home owner to determine what level of force an intruder in his home is willing and capable of using before the intruder actually exercises force?
If the home owner somehow makes a determination that an intruder is willing and capable of a certain level of force, should the home owner bear the burden of ensuring that he only applies what he determines to be proportionate force to defend himself, thus possibly placing himself at greater risk than necessary?
If the home owner believes the intruder is willing and capable of lethal force without a firearm, would the home owner be applying an unproportionate level of force by defending himself with a firearm?
Should a home owner only be allowed to defend himself only upon being physically attacked by an intruder in his home?
If a home owner pre-plans to defend his home from intruders, and an intruder does break in to the home, is any defense the home owner might offer a pre-meditated assault on the intruder?
[ January 07, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
HS Thomas
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Joined: May 15, 2002
Posts: 3404
Tony Martin answers in his own words:
Should it be up to the home owner to determine the intent of an intruder in his home?
"Look, I don't agree with shooting people. It's not something I take lightly. On the night of the burglary I was a terrified man alone in the house..."
Should it be up to the home owner to determine what actions an intruder will likely take upon realizing that the home owner(s) are present while he is commiting his crime and that because of this the intruder can likely be identified?
"I heard this murmuring and had this light shone in my eyes. All these things happened in a flash. I couldn't stand it any longer and then I just let the gun off."
Should it be up to the home owner to determine what level of force an intruder in his home is willing and capable of using before the intruder actually exercises force?
"When you resort to using a gun you are desperate. I've never used that shotgun before. I'm not really interested in shooting rabbits round the house. I didn't even know if it worked. I discharged the gun and then ran upstairs. Nobody followed me."
�My Right to Kill�in defence of my life and property.� - Tony Martin would answer the rest in his book out in Feb.
I think his was a unique case in that he was old, frightened and alone in a crumbling old property, and he doesn't sound capable of looking after himself even.There's hardly enough evidence to lift gun controls to allow the right to kill. In Britain there isn't that much of community in lonely farming areas. And to allow guns in rented apartments beggars belief!
And he isn't the first "criminal" to win huge public sympathy for the mitigating circumstances.
[ January 07, 2004: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
Frank Silbermann
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Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1387
Richard Hawkes: By the way I do support strict gun control in the sense that all weapons (and ammo) should be registered. In fact I haven't really heard any convincing argument as to why anyone would object to that

Well, I suppose there was nothing inherently wrong in 1933 with the Nazi government requiring all Jews to register with the police. Registration is only a minor inconvenience.
The American objection to registration is that it makes confiscation more feasible.

nor to stopping people with dodgy backgrounds acquiring them

The problem is that once the apparatus has been set up, invariably the government takes it upon itself to decide whether a person of perfectly fine background has a "need" for a gun. Then, when the government decides that self-defense is not a legitimate use, it turns out that no one _really_ has a need, do they?

Tim Baker: (Tony Martin) killed someone without real reason just because they broke into his house

Sure, sure. And a woman who kills a man who is ripping her clothes off in a dark parking lot over-reacted to a petty vandal (the market value of used clothing being so petty). We're talking about a man's HOME, for gosh sakes!
HS Thomas: "The current law already provides substantial protection to people who inflict harm or kill while defending themselves, their property, or other people. Only if the prosecution is able to show the force used is unreasonable, will victims be liable.

But the prosecution didn't _show_ that the force was unreasonable. They merely _said_ it was. They did not give any example of a lower level of force by which Tony Martin could have captured the burglars.

HS Thomas: This is in line with the central principles of the criminal justice system, which is there to replace lynch law and blood feuds.

Blood feuds refer to vengeance after the perpetrator has gotten away with the crime. I don't disagree that this is a job for government.
The lynch law has to do with the killing of criminals after they have surrendered, and the emergency has passed. The lynch law is analogous to the illegal shooting of war prisoners. It has nothing to do with shooting at fleeing felons, which is more analogous to the shooting of enemy soldiers in retreat.
HS Thomas: The jury who heard the Martin case, were advised by the judge they could return a manslaughter verdict, rather than murder, if they found the farmer "did not intend to kill or cause serious bodily harm"

Thereby demonstrating that their interpretation of the law does NOT provide "substantial protection to people who inflict harm or kill while defending themselves, their property, or other people."
HS Thomas: he waited with a loaded unlicensed shotgun in his remote darkened farmhouse; fired into the back of Fred Barras, the 16-year-old, which suggests he was running away.

If the farmhouse was darkened, then Martin might not have known that the 16-year-old was running away, or even that he was 16-years-old. The jury sentenced him for not knowing what he could not have known.

HS Thomas: This is just another reason why life sentences should be the maximum, rather than the mandatory sentence for murder. It would allow judges to be more lenient where there were special reasons, like an excessive response to a personal threat

On the contrary, it is a reason why killing in self-defense should not be viewed as murder.

The reason why Mr Martin served two-thirds, rather than one third of his sentence, was his refusal to recognise his guilt. Burglary is a serious offence, but not even Norfolk farm watch suggests it deserves a death sentence.

That begs the question. Martin was not guilty of murder; he had no guilt to recognize. The fact that no one advocates killing burglars once they are safely in custody (a death sentence) is irrelevant.
Bela Bardak
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Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
HS Thomas:
They decided his actions went beyond appropriate self-defence: he waited with a loaded unlicensed shotgun in his remote darkened farmhouse; fired into the back of Fred Barras, the 16-year-old, which suggests he was running away.

Sounds like premeditated violence (if not murder), doesn't it?
Tony Martin:
"Look, I don't agree with shooting people. It's not something I take lightly. On the night of the burglary I was a terrified man alone in the house..."

and:
"I heard this murmuring and had this light shone in my eyes. All these things happened in a flash. I couldn't stand it any longer and then I just let the gun off."

and:
"When you resort to using a gun you are desperate. I've never used that shotgun before. I'm not really interested in shooting rabbits round the house. I didn't even know if it worked. I discharged the gun and then ran upstairs. Nobody followed me."

Not really the words of the cold-eyed killer depicted in the posts abovewho waited until the teenager started to flee and then let him have it in the back, are they?
These words sound like those of a confused man who had been robbed outrageously often with little or no effective response from the authorities. His house was under attack, a light shined in his eyes, and he shot in a panic. Perhaps he should not have had that gun. Perhaps he should have waited ... or something. Perhaps he should merely have allowed himself to be burgled - again. After 20+ incursions he hardly could have had anything left worth stealing, after all!
The social contract behind criminal law is that the individual gives up the right to personally retaliate in exchange for protection by the police and by the law. Tony Martin does not seem to have been protected to any effective degree, either in his property or in the efficient arrest, prosecution, or punishment of the criminals who repeatedly victimized him.
HS Thomas:
I think his was a unique case in that he was old and alone in a crumbling old property, and he doesn't sound capable of looking after himself even. There's hardly enough evidence to lift gun controls to allow the right to kill.

I can actually see that myself. Extreme cases make bad law. I think there was a compelling case for mercy to Tony Martin given that many of the factors putting him in that position at that time were due to the guilt or negligence of others.
Brendon Fearon failed as a criminal 'mentor' to the young victim and the police and courts failed to protect Tony Martin. I submit that perhaps Fearon and certain head policemen, prosecutors, and judges should have served a portion of Mr. Martin's sentence for perfect justice to been done.
Eleison Zeitgeist
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Joined: Dec 17, 2002
Posts: 115
Originally posted by Jason Menard:
Hopefully someone will choose to answer these:
Should it be up to the home owner to determine the intent of an intruder in his home?
Should it be up to the home owner to determine what actions an intruder will likely take upon realizing that the home owner(s) are present while he is commiting his crime and that because of this the intruder can likely be identified?
Should it be up to the home owner to determine what level of force an intruder in his home is willing and capable of using before the intruder actually exercises force?
If the home owner somehow makes a determination that an intruder is willing and capable of a certain level of force, should the home owner bear the burden of ensuring that he only applies what he determines to be proportionate force to defend himself, thus possibly placing himself at greater risk than necessary?
If the home owner believes the intruder is willing and capable of lethal force without a firearm, would the home owner be applying an unproportionate level of force by defending himself with a firearm?

[ January 07, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]


Man, that was a long read :-) By the time an average person goes through this laundry list of stuff, him and his family maybe already be killed.
Best way to prevent this:
"WHEN YOU ROB A HOUSE, YOU WILL BE AT THE MERCY OF THE OWNER - EXPECT DEATH".
Obviously, if you rob an easily panicked gun owner, you will get very little mercy. But then, you can't expect everyone to be calm and intelligent -- all people are unique. All you can hope is for people to use their best judgement -- which may not be in line with yours. Just because someone shoot a 16 year old in the dark, didn't mean he didn't use his best judgment (hey, he could just be stupid). You cannot judge if a person "used his best judgment". The only thing you can do is have boundaries; E.g.,
"WHEN YOU ROB A HOUSE, YOU WILL BE AT THE MERCY OF THE OWNER - EXPECT DEATH".
-Eleison
Tim Baker
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Joined: Oct 04, 2003
Posts: 541
Sure, sure. And a woman who kills a man who is ripping her clothes off in a dark parking lot over-reacted to a petty vandal (the market value of used clothing being so petty). We're talking about a man's HOME, for gosh sakes!

People are in my home all the time for gosh sakes! Being in someones home, with or without their permission is not a threat to someones life. And the minute you touch someone it's assualt, you don't have to wait for them to harm you. I don't know how a woman would kill a man attacking her in a parking lot, but if hes threatening her it's a crime which requires self defense. Burglary isn't a crime which requires self defense in and of itself. Only when it is accompanied by threatening behaviour.
Steven Broadbent
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Joined: Dec 10, 2002
Posts: 400
A very great American (Frasier Crane) had this to say
about guns to his English housekeeper:-

"You don't need guns you've got kidney pie!"
Phil Chuang
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 15, 2003
Posts: 251
Originally posted by Tim Baker:

Burglary isn't a crime which requires self defense in and of itself. Only when it is accompanied by threatening behaviour.

I suppose it is because burglary is so common in England that people's first reaction is to calmly discern whether or not the criminal is a threat, rather than, say, outrage at the act of being burgled.
Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1387
Bela Bardak: The social contract behind criminal law is that the individual gives up the right to personally retaliate in exchange for protection by the police and by the law.

Personal retaliation as per the social contract pertains only to the victim's behavior after the crime has been committed. In no way does the social contract prevent one from using violence to _stop_ a crime; English Common Law provides a thousand years of precidents about this.
The tendency to criminalize self-defense is quite new, was never voted upon, and in my opinion is oppressive. The state has gone far beyond failing to uphold its part of the social contract. By demanding that people submit to crime peacefully or suffer punishment, the state has become a partner in crime.
Bela Bardak
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 02, 2004
Posts: 179
People are in my home all the time for gosh sakes! Being in someones home, with or without their permission is not a threat to someones life.

After midnight? When they didn't ring the doorbell but entered through a forced door or a window? Criminals don't read you your rights nor do they commonly inform you of what their precise intentions are. You have to infer that.
Such conclusions are far more easily and accurately reached in the calm of a courtroom after the facts are all in than in the middle of the night half awake, with a light shining in your eyes. With an undetermined number of criminals in your house.
The facts which appeared so damning in the courtroom weren't there for Martin to know. He probably didn't know how many criminals he was dealing with. He didn't certainly know that they were fleeing. Perhaps he could have inferred that in a reasonable situation. But may I point out that being robbed in the middle of the night is not a reasonable situation!
[ January 07, 2004: Message edited by: Bela Bardak ]
 
wood burning stoves
 
subject: Does the UK want a "Tony Martin" law?