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NAACP defends black burglar, and wants white homeowner jailed!

Old 11-15-07, 11:37 AM
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NAACP defends black burglar, and wants white homeowner jailed!

I disagree with the NAACP on this.


http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...n170556S48.DTL

Murder, race and unusual legal tactic combine in small town trial

By JULIANA BARBASSA, Associated Press Writer

Thursday, November 15, 2007

(11-15) 08:53 PST San Francisco (AP) --

Three young black men break into a white man's home in rural Northern California.

The homeowner admits to fatally shooting two of them but it's the surviving black man who's facing murder charges
in a trial that begins Thursday in Lake County Superior Court.

With an explosive mixture of race, death and a rarely used legal doctrine, the case of Renato Hughes Jr. has brought unprecedented attention to remote Lake County, where wine country aspirations overlay a long farming tradition. The case has taken on racial overtones in part because of the sparsely populated county's racial makeup, which defies state trends by remaining 91 percent white and 2 percent black.

The prosecutor has argued race played no part in the charges stemming from the Dec. 7 shootings, in which Clearlake homeowner Shannon Edmonds shot San Franciscans Rashad Williams and Christian Foster in the back.

Hughes Jr., also of San Francisco, escaped, only to face first degree murder charges in connection with the deaths of his childhood friends.


Lake County's District Attorney Jon Hopkins is not charging the white homeowner but is instead invoking the Provocative Act doctrine, which allows him to charge Hughes with murder for taking actions that spurred Edmonds to kill. Hopkins said the young men stormed through the house and terrified Edmonds' family and brutally beat his stepson.

Hopkins is not pursuing the death penalty.

Whether the shooting stemmed from a botched drug deal at the home of a known dealer or a home invasion by out-of-town youth looking for marijuana depends on whether the prosecution or the defense is telling the story.

The case has energized the San Francisco civil rights community, and the California NAACP has thrown its weight behind Hughes. Charging the churchgoing young man with murder with special circumstances, robbery, burglary, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon defies common sense and smacks of the disparity young black men face within the legal system, the civil rights advocates say.

"The charges they're giving this young man do not fit the crime," said the Reverend Amos Brown, head of the San Francisco chapter of the NAACP, and pastor at Hughes' church.

Brown and other NAACP officials point instead to the homeowner, Edmonds, the man who acknowledged pulling the trigger, and ask why he is walking free.
Tests showed Edmonds had marijuana and prescription medication in his system the night of the shooting. Edmonds had a prescription for the drugs to treat depression.

"This man had no business killing these boys," Brown said. "They were shot in the back. They had fled."

Prosecutors said Edmonds wasn't charged because they couldn't prove before a jury that he didn't act reasonably in defense of himself, his property and his family members, who were asleep during the 4 a.m. incident.

Edmond's family was terrified by the events, in which the young men rampaged through the house, yelling, cursing, and asking for marijuana, Hopkins said.

Edmond's stepson, then-high school junior Dale Lafferty, became brain damaged as a result of the baseball bat beating he took during the melee, and now lives in a rehabilitation center, the prosecutor said.

"It was pandemonium in there," said Hopkins. "He (Hughes) had a responsibility for setting the whole thing in motion by his actions and the actions of his accomplices."

Hopkins said he'd outline those actions during opening statements on Thursday.

The Provocative Act doctrine is exceptional because it doesn't require prosecutors to prove the accused showed intent to kill, said Tony Serra, a criminal defense attorney who gained prominence in the 1960s defending Black Panthers.

"It's one of the harsher aberrations in murder law," Serra said.
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Old 11-15-07, 11:47 AM
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I dont think the home owner should be charged but it sounds like the robber shouldnt either since he didn't kill the other guys.



on the other hand, it looks like marijuana is prescribed for depression so I guess it might be prescribed for anxiety as claimed in Other
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Old 11-15-07, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Venusian
I dont think the home owner should be charged.
I do. He shot them in the back!
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Old 11-15-07, 11:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
I do. He shot them in the back!
but he was high, he couldn't help it!


after they beat his son with a baseball bat to the point of brain damage, i dont think he wanted to take any chances. of course this article doesn't give us any details but I'd assume that if someoen just beat my kid, i'd want to make sure they aren't running to another room or running out to get more weapons or something
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Old 11-15-07, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Venusian
after they beat his son with a baseball bat to the point of brain damage, i dont think he wanted to take any chances. of course this article doesn't give us any details but I'd assume that if someoen just beat my kid, i'd want to make sure they aren't running to another room or running out to get more weapons or something
They wouldn't have gotten the chance to turn and run if it were me; and there would be three dead.
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Old 11-15-07, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Venusian
I dont think the home owner should be charged but it sounds like the robber shouldnt either since he didn't kill the other guys.
It was his actions that DIRECTLY led to the deaths of his co-conspirators. By knowingly engaging in a dangerous and deadly activity, he is assumed to have risked the consequences.
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Old 11-15-07, 12:10 PM
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"The charges they're giving this young man do not fit the crime," said the Reverend Amos Brown
I do not know enough about the Provocative Act item to comment but how can the reverend decry the robbery, burglary, attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon (or assault with a deadly weapon) charges? Per the events that have been described during the home invasion they sound about right. There is probably a bit more to this story but breaking and entering is an inchoate crime, either to commit a felony or a statutory offense.
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Old 11-15-07, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
I do. He shot them in the back!
and he was white!
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Old 11-15-07, 12:14 PM
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The murder charge is dumb. It is also unnecessary, since the other charges will put him in jail for a long time.
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Old 11-15-07, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
I do. He shot them in the back!
If some breaks into my house, at 4 a.m. yelling, cursing, and asking for marijuana I'll shoot them any where I please.

Edmond's stepson, then-high school junior Dale Lafferty, became brain damaged as a result of the baseball bat beating he took during the melee, and now lives in a rehabilitation center, the prosecutor said.
I take that back. I'd shoot them in the back twice. Then when they are laying on the ground I'd shoot them again just to be sure.
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Old 11-15-07, 12:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeremy517
The murder charge is dumb. It is also unnecessary, since the other charges will put him in jail for a long time.
Yea, why try him for murder if you are not pursuing the death penalty? Dumb.
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Old 11-15-07, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemdog
I take that back. I'd shoot them in the back twice. Then when they are laying on the ground I'd shoot them again just to be sure.
If someone breaks into your house and beats your step-son with a baseball bat you should:

a) Ask them to turn around and face you so that you don't shoot them in the back
or
b) Ask them to please stop beating your stepson and leave
or
c) Just stand there and let them kill you

Anything other than those 3 things and you are obviously a racist murderer.
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Old 11-15-07, 12:19 PM
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I love how the NAACP describes the perp as a "churchgoing young man". Good thing he wasn't an "immoral" atheist! Maybe they should round up Jesus as an accomplice.
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Old 11-15-07, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
I love how the NAACP describes the perp as a "churchgoing young man". Good thing he wasn't an "immoral" atheist! Maybe they should round up Jesus as an accomplice.
Perhaps he robbed a church earlier that day? Maybe that's what they meant.
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Old 11-15-07, 12:21 PM
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Originally Posted by General Zod
Anything other than those 3 things and you are obviously a racist murderer.
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Old 11-15-07, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
I love how the NAACP describes the perp as a "churchgoing young man". Good thing he wasn't an "immoral" atheist! Maybe they should round up Jesus as an accomplice.
WWJD?
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Old 11-15-07, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
I love how the NAACP describes the perp as a "churchgoing young man". Good thing he wasn't an "immoral" atheist! Maybe they should round up Jesus as an accomplice.

I laughed at that too. My guess is that the perp hasn't been to church in a long long time.
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Old 11-15-07, 12:54 PM
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I don't get the murder charge.
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Old 11-15-07, 01:01 PM
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I don't get it either. Charge him with the burglary and assault, the homeowner doesn't get charged due to self-defense. Easy.

Why complicate it?
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Old 11-15-07, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Draven
I don't get it either. Charge him with the burglary and assault, the homeowner doesn't get charged due to self-defense. Easy.

Why complicate it?
It's just the legal doctrine. It's meant as a deterrence. If a security guard gets killed during a bank robbery, it's murder, because the act of armed robbery carries with it an inherent risk of grave bodily harm. You should be responsible for related acts that happen within the same transaction or occurrence as the primary offense.

Another practical reason may be that the 2-5 years he'll get for the home invasion is pathetic given that two people are dead and one young man is permanently brain damaged.
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Old 11-15-07, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by grundle

Edmond's family was terrified by the events, in which the young men rampaged through the house, yelling, cursing, and asking for marijuana, Hopkins said.

Edmond's stepson, then-high school junior Dale Lafferty, became brain damaged as a result of the baseball bat beating he took during the melee, and now lives in a rehabilitation center, the prosecutor said.
That's all I have to know. If you are attacking someone inflicting life threatening harm, you deserve whatever you get. I hope he gets tried for attempted murder, convicted, and killed......piece of scum.

I'm glad the home owner was armed and was able to defend his property and his family. If he didn't shoot them, what says they wouldn't have killed the boy, the father, etc?

-p
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Old 11-15-07, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DVD Josh
It's just the legal doctrine. It's meant as a deterrence. If a security guard gets killed during a bank robbery, it's murder, because the act of armed robbery carries with it an inherent risk of grave bodily harm. You should be responsible for related acts that happen within the same transaction or occurrence as the primary offense.

Another practical reason may be that the 2-5 years he'll get for the home invasion is pathetic given that two people are dead and one young man is permanently brain damaged.
That still doesn't quite jive for me. In your example, it would relate to this case better if one of the criminals was killed during a bank robbery, not a security guard. In this case, the homeowner or a family member is the equivalent of the security guard and I'd have no issues charging one of the burglars with their murder, even if they didn't pull the trigger themselves.

It seems to me that three people broke into this guy's house and beat up his son. Two of them are dead (as a result of self-defense) and the other should be up for all of the charges related to breaking into someone's house and beating up his son. Seems very straightforward.

Once the three people decided to break into the house, they became responsibile for their own actions. It just doesn't make sense to charge the one surviving robber with the deaths of the other criminals.
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Old 11-15-07, 02:17 PM
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I don't like the murder charge, but I also wouldn't charge the homeowner with anything.

If it were me, I shoot them in the back and then place a gun in their hands so it looked like suicide.
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Old 11-15-07, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
I don't like the murder charge, but I also wouldn't charge the homeowner with anything.

If it were me, I shoot them in the back and then place a gun in their hands so it looked like suicide.
And there would be a drowned skunk on their person, heartless bastards...
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Old 11-15-07, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Draven
That still doesn't quite jive for me. In your example, it would relate to this case better if one of the criminals was killed during a bank robbery, not a security guard. In this case, the homeowner or a family member is the equivalent of the security guard and I'd have no issues charging one of the burglars with their murder, even if they didn't pull the trigger themselves.

It seems to me that three people broke into this guy's house and beat up his son. Two of them are dead (as a result of self-defense) and the other should be up for all of the charges related to breaking into someone's house and beating up his son. Seems very straightforward.

Once the three people decided to break into the house, they became responsibile for their own actions. It just doesn't make sense to charge the one surviving robber with the deaths of the other criminals.
I'm mostly just explaining how the legal doctrine works. The person in my scenario can be anyone, the guard, a teller, a customer, etc.

This is actually not unprecedented. I remember reading a case either in law school or for the bar where two men robbed a bank and one died in the process. They charged the other co-conspirator with the death and it passed scrutiny under the same doctrine.

The main motivation behind it is deterrence, so I can see why it came to be.
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