Patterico's Pontifications

5/30/2009

Pharmacist Shoots Armed Robber, Is Charged with Murder

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 2:38 pm

It sounds like a bad case for the prosecution when you read about it:

Confronted by two holdup men, pharmacist Jerome Ersland pulled a gun, shot one of them in the head and chased the other away. Then, in a scene recorded by the drugstore’s security camera, he went behind the counter, got another gun, and pumped five more bullets into the wounded teenager as he lay on the floor.

Now Ersland has been charged with first-degree murder in a case that has stirred a furious debate over vigilante justice and self-defense and turned the pharmacist into something of a folk hero.

Ersland, 57, is free on $100,000 bail, courtesy of an anonymous donor. He has won praise from the pharmacy’s owner, received an outpouring of cards, letters and checks from supporters, and become the darling of conservative talk radio.

When I read about someone like that, I really want to be on his side. How do we know he wasn’t worried about the guy pulling a gun on him and killing him?

But then you see the video, and you realize that the guy didn’t seem very concerned at all:

Now, granted: we can’t see what the guy on the floor is doing. And even if he’s not moving, I feel some sympathy for the pharmacist. He didn’t ask to be robbed at gunpoint. If he had killed one of these guys with the first shot, the other robber could have been prosecuted for murder.

But the pharmacist just doesn’t look concerned to me. And he apparently lied to the police about what he did. It looks to me like he just decided to execute this kid. Based on this tape, he looks guilty — if not of first-degree murder (and it may well be that), then at least of voluntary manslaughter. (He could likely raise a defense of heat of passion under California law and have a decent shot at selling that to a jury.)

What do you think?

UPDATE: Corrected “store owner” to “pharmacist” in one sentence.

220 Responses to “Pharmacist Shoots Armed Robber, Is Charged with Murder”

  1. Well, if the robber was shot in the head and his brains were oozing out, he might have just put him out of his misery.

    jcurtis (5eb474)

  2. While I can readily understand both sides of this argument, regardless of what the video may portray, how can we assume that the manager’s still not under the extreme duress of a fight – or – flight syndrome? Can anyone honestly tell when someone is suddenly rational and in complete control of their behavior after having a gun pointed in their face? There but for the Grace of God go I.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  3. It was an execution, pure and simple and without remorse. It’s not even clear that the guy he killed was armed (the other one was).

    It’s also interesting that he had to go reload — apparently the only reason he stopped chasing the other guy was that he ran out of bullets.

    If he wants to claim “heat of the moment”, fine, but he’d better be able to show that this was the last robbery of a series and he was fed up or something. As it is, knowing nothing else, I’d be inclined to call it premeditated.

    Kevin Murphy (0b2493)

  4. how can we assume that the manager’s still not under the extreme duress of a fight – or – flight syndrome?

    That could constitute heat of passion, as I discussed, reducing the charge to manslaughter.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  5. Forgot to ask what your reference to the CA law of the “heat of passion” defense had to do with this case, since it happened in OK, if I have that right? Is the CA defense strategy some kind of outlier for similar cases in the rest of the country?

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  6. The pharmacist turned his back on the robber on the floor twice, doesn’t look to me like he considered him an imminent threat.

    Socratease (488635)

  7. Sorry, missed the context there.

    It’s not even clear that the guy he killed was armed…

    Kevin, it appears that both of the robbers were armed and the news anchor made a note of it as well.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  8. If I were on the jury, I’d argue for nullification. I’d hang the jury, at the very least. If he’s a danger to future armed robbers: so what?

    RB (9ea311)

  9. I would say that the first shot is free, even necessary. Once you’re no longer in danger it’s a job for the police.

    Here’s a question: let’s say he doesn’t shoot the kid again, but just lets him bleed out in the time it takes the cops to show up. The guy is still dead. Is the shop owner liable in any way?

    Fritz (05ef42)

  10. Three times in my seventy years, I have faced someone who had a loaded gun pointing at me. so, I suspect that I know what the pharmacist was feeling when the robbers entered. The initial shooting was self-defense and justified. However, when the pharmacist came back into the store, walked past the unconscious robber (in fact, turning his back to the robber) to get another gun, he demonstrated that he was in control of himself. Therefore, when he took the second gun and fired at the unconscious robber, he was committing a premeditated act not an act of self-defense. No if, ands or buts, he committed first degree murder.

    Longwalker (996c34)

  11. I feel some sympathy for the store owner.

    Minor point, but I think you meant the pharmacist who was an employee, not the store owner.

    It would seem to me that it would have to be first determined if the young man was indeed alive at the point of the second volley. There appears that there is no one in that video who would be able to verify that other than the shooter, so it falls on the coroner for that determination? And self-incrimination works into that, wouldn’t it?

    Secondly, if it could be determined that the first wound would have caused death in a reasonable amount of time before medical help would have been available, then the following fusillade would have been theoretically inconsequential. Just thinking out loud…

    allan (7b32b2)

  12. In my time, I have had three loaded weapons pointed at me. Once by a couple of armed robbers, another time by an escapee and the third time by a distraught soldier in my unit. So, I know something of what the pharmacist felt when the robbers entered the store. As the district attorney said, the initial shooting of the robber was a justified act of self-defense. However, when the pharmacist re-entered the store, walked past the unconscious robber (even turning his back to the robber)to get another loaded gun, he demonstrated a degree of self-possession and control that negates the “extreme duress” or “flight or fight” syndrome tht some are suggesting. This was a premeditated act by someone in full possession of his facultiesand thus first degree murder. Under the circumstance, he deserves the maximum punishment under the law.

    Longwalker (4e0dda)

  13. I long ago decided that if I were ever in a situation like this, I would be sure to kill the perp, if I had the means to do so. You come at me with deadly force, or even implied deadly force, you are dead to me (literally).

    The main reason for this is that there is zero chance he would benefit from any future lawsuit against me AND s/he could never testify against me in any potential prosecution. Basically, if you put me in a legitimate mindset that I am compelled to draw a weapon in anger against you, the decision has been made. As so many trainings insist, do not, do not, do not, draw a weapon unless you mean to shoot. Once you are made to draw, do not hesitate to shoot.

    If this makes me an executioner, so be it. I am fine with the moral choice I am making. You come at me with deadly intent, you have abrogated your right to life.

    This scenario is a precise example as to why I support the right of jury nullification.

    Ed from SFV (adfac7)

  14. The pharmacist’s story:

    “All of a sudden, they started shooting,” he said. “They were attempting to kill me, but they didn’t know I had a gun. They said, ‘You’re gonna die.’ That’s when one of them shot at me, and that’s when he got my hand.”

    Ersland said he was thrown against a wall, but managed to go for the semiautomatic in his pocket.

    “And that’s when I started defending myself,” he said. “The first shot got him in the head, and that slowed him down so I could get my other gun.”

    But as one robber hit the floor, Ersland said, a bullet from the other robber whizzed past his ear.

    The pharmacist said he then got his second gun from a nearby drawer, a Taurus “Judge.”

    After he had the big gun, Ersland said, the second robber ran.

    But as he started to chase after the second robber, Ersland said, he looked back to see the 16-year-old he had shot in the head getting up again. Ersland said he then emptied the Kel-Tec .380 into the boy’s chest as he kept going after the second robber.

    “I went after the other guy, but he was real fast and I’m crippled,” Ersland said.

    Outside the pharmacy, he said he saw what he thought was a third black male in a car with the engine running and reaching for what appeared to be a shotgun.

    “I pulled out my ‘Judge’ and pointed it right between his eyes and he floored it,”

    If both of the robbers shot at the pharmacist, as he claims, I don’t know how you convict him of anything. I think it will be easily determined by ballistics if he’s telling the truth or not.

    jcurtis (417f5f)

  15. “What do you think?”

    I think if someone is shooting at me, I’m going to fill them so full of lead, that they’ll never do it again.

    If you’re in the middle of a gunfight, you shoot someone and they’re still moving, then you keep shooting them until they’re not.

    The murder charges are a total joke.

    Dave Surls (ef5416)

  16. No way a jury convicts. Charge as Vol Man at best, but without sound a jury is going to give the pharmacist the benefit of the doubt. And probably acquit. The robber got justice. And so will the pharmacist, and that is an acquittal.

    I don’t care what the law says because the evidence can’t prove if the man is dead or alive when the shots happen the jury is going to assume dead (Remember CalCrim 224 – Reasonable Inferences must accept ones that point to innocence.)

    Gov98 (c335f5)

  17. jc and Dave: that’s what I’m thinking, as far as what this guy was up against.

    Vermont Neighbor (efb5a9)

  18. I didn’t find the video at the link. Did they remove it?

    kaf (525681)

  19. “I don’t care what the law says because the evidence can’t prove if the man is dead or alive when the shots happen the jury is going to assume dead (Remember CalCrim 224 – Reasonable Inferences must accept ones that point to innocence.)”

    – Gov98

    Why would the jury assume that a pharmacist would shoot a dead body five times?

    The inference would have to be whether or not the guy on the floor was moving in a threatening way; if such an inference would have to be made in the direction of innocence (i.e. giving the pharmacist the benefit of the doubt), then he might get off – but that sort of thing might depend on the urgency (or lack thereof) the pharmacist displays in the process of shooting the guy on the ground.

    Leviticus (bf0e3c)

  20. Wow, this may end up being a text book case of how to turn a good shoot into a bad one with one bad judgement.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  21. Not guilty. Of either murder or any other degree of homicide. Sorry, robbers, you started a chain of events, armed robbery, likely to lead to death or great bodily harm, and the fact that you are the ones who suffered from it is evidence of the existence of a benevolent Providence.

    nk (e71733)

  22. Perhaps Ersland realized he would never be executed by the State of California (regardless of sentence,) and figured the prison sentence would be worth the satisfaction of murdering the little prick.

    The first shot was very impressive, hitting the kid from across the store with a 2.75″ length barrel P-3AT.

    gp (e3032f)

  23. 19

    Can you explain this “urgency in the process” thing in a bit more detail?

    We know the robber’s gun is nearby, and if the robber is getting back up, how long is the pharmacist supposed to wait until he unloads the gun? Should he wait until the robber has the gun in his hand and is turning the gun toward the pharmacist? If that is the case, does the pharmacist have to wait until the gun is actually pointed at him ( for the second time that day ) or can the pharmacist shoot while the robber is rotating his arm with the gun in his hand toward the pharmacist? If he can shoot before the gun is pointed at him, does he have to wait until the robber’s arm is within 25 degrees of dead aim or can he shoot the robber before it gets that close?

    jcurtis (d4be54)

  24. I’m glad the stupid robber is dead. I wish more stupid robbers would get killed more often. I don’t like robbers.

    happyfeet (2d133f)

  25. Wow, this may end up being a text book case of how to turn a good shoot into a bad one with one bad judgement.

    Comment by SPQR — 5/30/2009 @ 3:48 pm

    If you point a gun at me and tell me ” … I’ll kill you”, my lapse of judgment should not rightfully be attributed to me.

    nk (e71733)

  26. If this makes me an executioner, so be it. I am fine with the moral choice I am making. You come at me with deadly intent, you have abrogated your right to life.

    The whole point is that it’s not your decision to make. By entering into civil society we have given up our right to execute the law.

    Fritz (05ef42)

  27. If the prosecution can’t produce evidence from the autopsy that shows the perp was alive when the pharmacist came back and started shooting him some more, I’d expect the defense to make a motion for a directed verdict, and the judge should grant it. The prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the pharmacist wasn’t shooting a corpse, and that might be tricky.

    The moral of the story for storekeepers: keep your gun fully loaded, and keep shooting the first time until the dirtbag stops moving.

    M. Scott Eiland (5ccff0)

  28. “The whole point is that it’s not your decision to make.”

    Oh, yes it is.

    You try to rob me, you point a gun at me, you shoot me…I’m going to fucking kill you.

    End of story.

    And, if the law doesn’t like it, then the law can kiss my ass.

    Dave Surls (ef5416)

  29. No way a jury convicts.

    Way. I’m not saying it will happen (I’m betting he takes a plea deal to some kind of manslaughter) but it certainly could happen.

    It all depends who is on the jury.

    An all-white jury is much more likely to result in nullification than if there are any blacks. Most white people are a lot less likely to nullify in a crime like this if there are blacks on the jury.

    Daryl Herbert (a32d30)

  30. We seem to have 2 separate camps commenting … and I suspect that those who are not immediately condemning what the pharmacist did are those who, either from first-hand or second-hand experience, have experienced a significant threat during their lifetime and have learned that ‘civilised’ doesn’t always work when the other person *isn’t* civilised …

    I’ve been jumped one night (attempted robbery, I suspect) by kids/youths once in my life, and, during that, my reaction was strictly defensive (fortunately, some people came out of a business and the kids ran off) … that experience (sorta like 9/11) changed my thought process – if it happens again, I will defend myself agressively, not defensively …

    It brought home to me the reality of the meaning of “Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6″ …

    Those who are still innocent of such an experience can easily pretend that what the pharmacist did wasn’t “civilised” (which is true, but not relevant) because they have not been in such a situation …

    Longwalker *may* be an honourable exception to that – but – if Longwalker has the experiences he claims, I am surprised that he (she?) is *SO* quick to condemn, rather than consider the possibility of a lesser charge …

    The video seems to show that the suspect who didn’t get away looks like he was holding a gun when he first came into the store … and I do not believe we know, yet, whether or not this was the first time the pharmacist had been the victim of armed robbers …

    So – while the second use of the gun looks like it might have been excessive, I for one will wait for the full details before I judge the pharmacist anywhere nearly as harshly as Longwalker …

    Alasdair (6b086e)

  31. In the overall context of so many innocent people throughout the country, shopkeepers and store clerks included, often being the victim of a robber’s gun, I find it difficult to get into a big tizzy over what the store owner did.

    When it comes to all the random acts of street crime, going back decades, the good guy often is, or has been, on the losing side. However, the storeowner did appear to be pumped full of adrenaline (unsurprisingly) and didn’t hold back when observing the thug on the floor. The condition of that robber, and whether he was attempting to move rather aggressively or not, can’t be determined in the video.

    I’d like to know more about the background of all the people involved to determine who deserves real tears or merely crocodile tears.

    Mark (411533)

  32. This is (for me) real close to a bad shoot. In leaving the store he’s changing from self-defense to something else, at first thought (of course, if there were more bad guys outside, attack can be the best defense.) The second gun … “mutilating a corpse”, if the goblin was dead, if not … I’d probably vote not guilty on a murder or manslaughter charge though, out of “you start the gunfight, you get the results you get” thinking.

    If it had been a cop, would this even be news? Two weeks off with pay, see the department shrink.

    htom (412a17)

  33. “This is (for me) real close to a bad shoot.”

    Bad shoot?

    Christ, the pharmacist was getting shot at, was shot himself, and still kept it together enough to hit the bad guy six times.

    That’s better than I could on the range.

    Dave Surls (ef5416)

  34. “The pharmacist turned his back on the robber on the floor twice, doesn’t look to me like he considered him an imminent threat.”
    – Maybe he did that because he knew the guy was already dead or;
    – Maybe he turned his back on a threat because he was not thinking right due to the trama of the situation he just went through.

    In the video the dead robber is referred to as a 16 year old kid. Sorry, but he stopped being a ‘kid’ the moment he pointed that gun. Kids kill too…

    Fred Fry (1bfaa3)

  35. I think the Oklahoma jury will look at the facts and make a good decision, although I’m not sure what the right decision is. However, I object to the DA’s use of the terms “young child” or “child” to describe the 16-year-old robber who was killed. The DA should refer to him by name or call him a teenager, but instead he used the term “child” to try to influence the jury pool with inflammatory terms that engender sympathy and suggest the robber was no threat. By comparison, I have no doubt the DA wouldn’t describe the robber this way if he were alive and on trial for aggravated robbery.

    DRJ (2901e6)

  36. Here is what I think … Desecration of a corpse and a suspended sentence, or time served.

    JD (2d2bfc)

  37. Why would the jury assume that a pharmacist would shoot a dead body five times?

    For the fun of it?

    Perp puts events into motion, perp takes the consequences. Reload and shoot the SOB again.

    RB (6cbc23)

  38. It was the Pharmacist’s property and these fools decided to rob him at gunpoint. The moment they threatened his life he had the right in my book to do whatever he wanted. If you choose to be a scumbag prepare to pay the consequences. Besides, it isn’t like the lackluster legal system would do anything to these violent felons. It’s about time justice was served.

    ChicagoJedi (884039)

  39. Probably better than I could do, too. It started good, and if the goblin was alive when the second gun was emptied at him, ya, I can see that. Lying to the cops … it depends on the lies, I suppose, and if the jury believes they are lies or confusions. Memory isn’t video tape.

    htom (412a17)

  40. “…and if the goblin was alive when the second gun was emptied at him, ya, I can see that.”

    That’s already been verified by the autopsy.

    First shot was not the cause of death.

    Personally, I don’t think it’s relevant, but…

    Dave Surls (ef5416)

  41. I watched the video last night and it was a real questionable shooting at the end. There may be a good explanation but, if not, the pharmacist may be in some trouble; not murder but maybe manslaughter. If the DA goes for murder, then I think the guy walks.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  42. Crime of passion. Jury will acquit.

    Techie (9c008e)

  43. “If he had killed one of these guys with the first shot, the other robber could have been prosecuted for murder.”–Pat

    Prophetic words.

    Just to add some info, the other ALLEGED robber, the ALLEGED getaway car driver, and another man ALLEGED to have helped plan the robbery have all been charged with first degree murder, according to this news story.

    http://www.ajc.com/services/content/shared-gen/ap/National/US_Pharmacy_Shooting.html?cxntlid=inform_artr

    Dave Surls (ef5416)

  44. When is the last time the County Attorney or District Attorney was shot at or robbed at gun point?

    The video is not helpful, because it doesn’t show the suspect’s actions on the ground. It raised more questions than answers. With the available information, how can anyone opine the pharmacist acted within the law or not? What exactly was the statement the pharmacist made in reference to this live threatening incident? How do any of us know precisely why he is charged?

    I am under the impression you could only shoot someone to protect human life or to prevent from the likelihood of great bodily harm. Does anyone know anything about this more?

    Irwin Copper (aa3f50)

  45. Guy needs to be sentenced to shooting school. If he had shot the bad guys in the head in the first broadside there would be no harm, no foul.
    I kind of go along with executing those caught in the act and avoiding that whole lawyer, judge, trial, sentencing, endless years in jail appealing this that and the other thing. I mean, what’s the point?
    The way I see it, any guy that waves a gun at me while I’m peaceably going about my business and threatens to kill me needs to be dead and doesn’t need a second chance. I’d vote to acquit.

    Curtis (e21caf)

  46. Irwin, your impression is an oversimplification. Certainly you are roughly correct for California but there are states whose law permits deadly force in broader circumstances. An example being Texas.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  47. As a conservative who strives for consistency, I cannot argue against Sotomayor on the grounds that she opposes the rule of law in favor of the rule of a wise Latina, while at the same time advocate for a vigilante who’s actions deserve both our empathy (I had to get that one in!) and approbation, because he apparently rebelled against the rule of law in favor of a Charlie Bronson (white male) type justice.

    If we believe in the rule of law, then the pharmacist must defend his actions, and hopefully we shall discover exculpatory evidence not seen on the videotape.

    Chunk (64a37d)

  48. Lying to the police is a bad idea, but then again these days so is even talking to them about anything beyond a fender bender without a lawyer in the first place.
    If there is even a smidgeon of self doubt about what was done, the police are all over it.
    The police and the DA will take an inconsistency and spin it as a lie.
    The individuals from the departments that draw the case and show up don’t necessarily care about adrenaline, fog of battle or any of that. They do not care about you much either and it might just be the biggest mistake of your life to think they do.
    I shouldn’t say they do not care… the danger is that they will care like Nifong… care as defined by what can this do for political or career ambition.

    I noticed the DA has no problem going on TV and asserting that the robber was already unconscious when the pharmacist shot him in the chest… how the DA can stand on TV, lie by misrepresenting that as a fact, I don’t know…. unless he’s been elected god as well as DA of course.

    The pharmacist should have called 911 first, and then immediately called a lawyer… even if he’d stopped at the first shot.

    These are the lessons I take away here.
    In a firm, clear, polite voice tell the police that the situation is scary and that means everything will go through a lawyer from now forward.
    Say nothing.
    Get a lawyer.
    Stay off the news.
    Have the lawyer draft and read a statement calling the situation “regretable”.
    Move to a different state (pharmacists are supposed to be in demand… pack up stuff and move to a quieter place ASAP)

    Let the lawyer roll the tape, show the big backpack that no one could have known held no weapon, then show the pharmacist glancing quickly left toward the kid and then walking rapidly over to shoot again… let the lawyer say it isn’t reasonable to require the pharmacist to accept even a 99.999% chance that the robber is still able to be lethal.
    Let the lawyer talk about movement out of line sight, and sounds, and how some people respond in the moment to fear in a way that looks deliberate and how that is just one of many and varied ways human adrenaline is converted into action, and post traumatic stress syndrome.

    Oh yeah… say nothing

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  49. We went over shoot/don’t shoot scenarios and what constitutes the legal use of lethal force, and the escalation and deescalation in great detail during my NC concealed carry class, which probably is why the NC CCH permit is among the most widely recognized in the nation (30 states).

    Under NC law (and apparently OK law as well), shooting people, determining they are no longer a threat, leaving, coming back determining they are not a threat, turning your back on them to retrieve a second firearm and then executing them while they lay unconscious is a Very Bad Thing.

    I’d consider this first degree murder if this guy has CCH training, perhaps second degree murder if he didn’t, but he knows he did wrong, which is evidenced by his lying to the cops.

    Fry him.

    Bob Owens (8ba41f)

  50. Hi Irwin,

    From the print link:

    ‘Under Oklahoma’s “Make My Day Law” – passed in the late 1980s and named for one of Clint Eastwood’s most famous movie lines – people can use deadly force when they feel threatened by an intruder inside their homes. In 2006, Oklahoma’s “Stand Your Ground Law” extended that to anywhere a citizen has the right to be, such as a car or office.’

    I’m not sure if that right extends into the parking lot of the workplace.

    I’m sure it will be argued well though that the pharmacist had the right to go back over to the robber who was inside the workplace and that he then felt threatened by whatever was going on down there out of sight.

    This reminds me a little bit of the Oakland transit cop incident

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  51. Looks bad for the pharmicist. And he did it right in front of the camera, too. Some people have more education than sense.

    Either this guy cops to it, or gets a complicated psychobabble plea about diminished capacity.

    trentk269 (0481e9)

  52. The thing people always forget is that Reasonable Doubt is an undefined quantity. And that is what makes prosecuting this case as a murder a practical impossibility. In this case, (and look at the comments here as your jury pool) 6 members of that 12 person jury are going to draw every possible inference to the defendant’s benefit. It’s guaranteed. They’re going to assume deadly fear, their going to assume dead, they’re going to assume that the kid on the ground made a menacing movement.

    Because law or not…the legal system we have is not inherently a justice system, and the moment that body pointed a gun at a person doing lawful business he ended his human existence. He did…That’s it game over, at least for 6 people on the jury.

    If you overcharge by murder you’re begging the jury to nullify…you just are…if you charge it up as vol man, and explain that the robber is EVIL and Very Evil, but in our system of law no one individual gets to be Judge, Jury, and Executioner, that you have to do things right and that’s the meaning of the rule of law, then you’ll probably get 12 around to convict for Vol Man. But even that is an open question and is totally up to how much that “skeptical 6″ trust the judge and prosecutor.

    Gov98 (c335f5)

  53. The whole point is that it’s not your decision to make. By entering into civil society we have given up our right to execute the law.

    Fritz – I grant you the likelihood that the pharmacist violated man law – the law of the State. Please note, however, that I bolded the word “moral.” I don’t give a fig about man’s law if there is a higher law at work.

    Were King and Ghandi wrong to break THE LAW? Or were they operating under a higher law?

    Back in the day, as a hotel clerk, I was the victim of an armed robbery. For those moments, as the muzzle was held literally inches from my face, I was completely stripped of all humanity. Utterly. Anyone engaging in an activity that does such a thing to another necessarily gives up all protection of humanity.

    Even Dukakis came to recognize this in that fatal debate.

    Ed from SFV (adfac7)

  54. About a month ago, we had some clown try to break in, via our skylight. If I owned a gun, I’d have shot him and he’d be dead. My husband and I discussed getting a gun (he thought a shotgun, and I wanted a Glock), and he asked me if I was worried about the possibility of killing someone. I guess the look on my face convinced him.

    I’m with the pharmacist–someone comes at me with a gun, he’d dead. I don’t have to fire some warning shot. That’s the risk of armed robbery.

    KateC (3f5714)

  55. I’m with the pharmacist–someone comes at me with a gun, he’d dead. I don’t have to fire some warning shot.

    Nobody’s saying you do. But . . . did you watch the video?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  56. By the way…it’s ancient to feel that the robber has gotten nothing but his just desserts.

    Proverbs 1:10-19:
    My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. 11 If they say, “Come with us, Let us lie in wait for blood, Let us ambush the innocent without cause; 12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, Even whole, as those who go down to the pit; 13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth, We will fill our houses with spoil; 14 Throw in your lot with us, We shall all have one purse,” 15 My son, do not walk in the way with them. Keep your feet from their path, 16 For their feet run to evil And they hasten to shed blood. 17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net In the sight of any bird; 18 But they lie in wait for their own blood; They ambush their own lives. 19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence; It takes away the life of its possessors.

    Gov98 (c335f5)

  57. Ersland wasn’t alone there–two women also were working behind the counter. Was he supposed to let one of them catch a bullet?

    I did watch it, and so? People act weird in stressful situations. I’ve covered enough breaking news to see how people react in ways that seem very odd to onlookers.

    If the two holdup guys were teens, can the older man who planned this be charged with reckless endangerment? He picked kids, knowing that they’d get less serious charges.

    KateC (3f5714)

  58. “I watched the video last night and it was a real questionable shooting at the end. There may be a good explanation but, if not, the pharmacist may be in some trouble; not murder but maybe manslaughter.”

    Nah, the guy will walk under Oklahoma’s “Stand Your Ground” law (see Oklahoma statute 21-1289.25)

    They have basically no chance of a successful prosecution, and the filing of charges against Ersland is frivolous and absurd.

    The only way they could get a conviction is if they arrange to have a jury that will ignore the law:

    “D. A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

    The fact that the guy used deadly force might not sit well with the Oklahoma City, D.A., but he had a right to do so under the law, and their prosecution ain’t going nowhere.

    Dave Surls (ef5416)

  59. Boy, that news anchor would do well at CNN–she’s not narrating, she’d editorializing. Nice work, not.

    KateC (3f5714)

  60. Dave Surls,

    When the robber was lying on the ground, the pharmacist felt he needed to shoot him several times in the chest to prevent . . . what?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  61. “When the robber was lying on the ground, the pharmacist felt he needed to shoot him several times in the chest to prevent . . . what?”

    Getting shot a second time.

    Dave Surls (ef5416)

  62. Dave,

    Putting aside the fact that the pharmacist was not shot a first time, the point I made in the post is that, after you watch the video, that defense seems very unlikely. Did you watch the video? Does he look worried about getting shot?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  63. I find it repulsive that the anchorwoman refers to the robber as a “suspect”. If she is going to insist that the video does not lie, the dwoned robber is NOT a “suspect” — he is a ROBBER.

    JB (8a32c3)

  64. Sorry, people. Even the Charles Bronson character would not have shot under these circumstances. It is true that as long as the “perp” constitutes a threat, you may continue to fire at him. However, when the “perp” is no longer a threat, to shoot him becomes a crime in itself. Basic old English common law. The pharmacist shot an unconscious man who, under no circumstances, posed a threat to either himself or others. It is such actions that give power to those who wish to take away our right to keep and bear arms on the grounds that “we” are not responsible and would misuse that right.

    Longwalker (4e0dda)

  65. I don’t know what video other people watched, but the one I saw shows Mr. Ersland first chase one of the suspects out of the store, then return, go to the back of the store, and then come back out to put a few rounds in the other suspect. He says it happened otherwise, he’s lying. Flat out lying.

    Lying to the police. Murder in the first degree with aggravating circumstances. I’d go for the death penalty in this case. If you’re going to defend yourself, defend yourself; but don’t lie about it.

    Alan Kellogg (93aa26)

  66. “Putting aside the fact that the pharmacist was not shot a first time”

    All I know is what I read in the papers, Pat.

    “Jerome Ersland was back at work Thursday filling prescriptions and hoping that by taking the life of a 16-year-old boy two days earlier, he had saved others.”

    “Rubbing an oversized bandage on his left forearm, where he said he was grazed by a robber’s bullet…”

    http://newsok.com/pharmacist-is-glad-he-defended-store/article/3371710

    “that defense seems very unlikely.”

    If you think you can demonstrate that a man who has just been shot, has no reason to fear great bodily harm from the people who just shot him…good luck. Because I don’t think you or the D.A. in Oklahoma, or anyone else is going to be able to manage that one, especially since all four members of the gang who shot the guy were still breathing, and on the loose when he put the punk down for keeps.

    This is what’s reasonable in a gunfight: If people are trying to shoot you, you shoot them first and you keep shooting them until they ain’t breathing any more. Until every last person that’s on the team that’s trying to kill you is dead, you’re in deadly peril yourself. You don’t follow that rule…and you’re going to get yourself reasonably killed.

    Dave Surls (ef5416)

  67. Dave Surls : An unconscious person lying on the floor is not “trying to shoot you.”

    This reminds me of that officer who, in the invasion of Sicily, walked of the landing craft on the second day and went up to a group of Italian POW’s under guard. This “officer” then proceeded to shoot the prisoners until he was restrained.

    He claimed that he was just doing what General Patton had said he should do. Patton had him court-martialed but the “officer” had family connections with heavy political influence so, once the “officer” was stateside, the original trial was found to have “erors” nd the verdict was set aside.

    As it was not possible to hold a second trial, the “officer” was allowed to resign.

    Do not confuse the actions of a person acting in self defense with the act of a cold blooded murderer. There is no mistake, that pharmacist committed an act of murder.

    Longwalker (4e0dda)

  68. Longwalker,

    However, when the “perp” is no longer a threat, to shoot him becomes a crime in itself. Basic old English common law.

    How do you know the armed robber was no longer a threat? Do you have access to some different video that shows the robber when he is shot the subsequent times?

    The pharmacist shot an unconscious man

    How do you know your beloved armed robber was unconscious? Is it because you so desperately want to believe it?

    Patterico,

    Putting aside the fact that the pharmacist was not shot a first time

    Are you saying the robbers didn’t shoot at the pharmacist and that his hand wasn’t grazed by a bullet? Well, if the pharmacist made that up, that will be bad for him. It seems very odd that he would lie about something that would so easily be shown to be a lie after the investigation.

    I guess the pharmacist could have picked up the dead guy’s weapon and squeezed a round off the skin of his hand and into the wall, so you’d even have pharmacist dna on the bullet, but the other guy apparently got away and didn’t leave his gun at the scene so I don’t know how you will explain that bullet, if there is one and they find it that is.

    jcurtis (f62686)

  69. The autopsy should tell us more. It could be Parker was shot in the head and the damage was significant, to the point it would likely render him unconscious and immobile. On the other hand, the bullet could have grazed his head and even knocked him out, but not do so much damage that it would keep Parker from quickly regaining consciousness. Parker wouldn’t be a threat in the former case but he could be in the latter. Or it could be somewhere in between.

    DRJ (2901e6)

  70. Now, granted: we can’t see what the guy on the floor is doing.

    Moreover, that security video isn’t exactly of widescreen-HDTV quality. So this conclusion of yours…

    But the pharmacist just doesn’t look concerned to me.

    …seems no less a matter of jumping to a conclusion as much as what admittedly most of us are doing, regarding a case that is colored with various shades of vagueness or gray.

    This other bit of context, however, presumably is not vague or ambiguous (ie, crime statistics for the store’s neighborhood must be rather definitive) and should be acknowledged, certainly when judging just how concerned Jerome Ersland is or isn’t:

    AP: The pharmacy is in a crime-ridden section of south Oklahoma City and had been robbed before.

    Mark (411533)

  71. Sorry, guys, but Patterico is right. You need the government’s permisssion to kill. Always. No matter what you may think is necessary under the circumstances, or what some m____-f_____ has turned your fifty-five-year old, law-abiding self into something else by pointing a gun at you and threatening to kill you.

    nk (e71733)

  72. ‘Dave Surls : An unconscious person lying on the floor is not “trying to shoot you.’

    And, exactly how did you determine that the guy was unconscious?

    Look into your crystal ball?

    Dave Surls (ef5416)

  73. Wednesday a pharmacist right across the street from my work was held up and he shot the guy dead. No charges.

    Got to love Texas.

    otcconan (ca6672)

  74. Here’s another tidbit to consider when judging just how concerned Ersland may or may not have been, or should or shouldn’t have been:

    KOCO.com:

    Police records showed that the pharmacy was robbed two years ago by two men who forced the employees into a back room.

    Mark (411533)

  75. Longwalker, I don’t know which Charles Bronson you are talking about. Death Wish III, The Evil That Men Do, From Noon Til Midnight, etc?

    More seriously, why (other than for tactical reasons) can’t the accomplices still be charged with murder? Even if the pharmacist is found guilty, aren’t his actions still a foreseeable result of the initial criminal action?
    And if the pharmacist is found not guilty, there seems no reason not to charge the accomplices.

    fat tony (a2cd1c)

  76. “This reminds me of that officer who, in the invasion of Sicily, walked of the landing craft on the second day and went up to a group of Italian POW’s under guard”

    Well, if the police had the armed robbers in custody, and Jerome Ersland had then shot them, then matters would be different, but since that isn’t even close to being the case…your analogy is totally absurd.

    Dave Surls (ef5416)

  77. Also, even if the head shot wasn’t the cause of death, that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t have been fatal absent the othe five slugs. I think at least one jury member would find it difficult to convict of murder for shortening the robber’s life by five minutes or so.

    Of course, I can’t access the link at the moment, and don’t have any eral world experience with juries, so this is pure speculation.

    fat tony (a2cd1c)

  78. “Got to love Texas.”

    I do, except for the weather.

    Dave Surls (ef5416)

  79. This is me going out for tacos and not stopping on the way to rob a pharmacist at gunpoint to where there is really every likelihood that I will both enjoy tasty tacos and return safely home. I’m savvy like that. Remarkably street smart for a kid from South Texas I think.

    happyfeet (2d133f)

  80. The pharmacist should look to current events for his defense. SCOTUS nominee Sotomayor and her supporters are attempting to explain away her “wise latina” comment as “poor word choice”. Mr Ersland should be classifying his second volley as “poor target choice”. If the neo-progs can make it work for the racist lady judge, a good defense attorney can make it work for a guy who up until that point was a sympathetic client.

    Marty Farty (73baad)

  81. The real criminals here are the adults who sent the teenagers.
    What kind of cowards send a 14 year old and a 16 year old out to rob a store with a gun?
    There’s the guys that should fry

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  82. How do you know the armed robber was no longer a threat?

    And, to turn it around, how do you know he was?

    Certainly, the only person who can tell us has every reason to lie to us as to that fact.

    I’m torn. If the guy on the ground was even twitching in the direction of a weapon, I absolutely would have emptied the weapon into him. Giving the crook a benefit of the doubt can give him time to grab a weapon and try and kill you again.

    However, if all he was doing was laying there bleeding out (like I probably would have been doing – I suspect “going into shock” ranks high on the “Things to do when shot in the head” checklist), then without a doubt what the pharmacist did was commit murder. The first round is self defense, the second round establishes intent. Five rounds leaves little doubt that the guy wanted the crook to be exceedingly not-alive-anymore.

    I’m not calling it one way or the other. I would have to see photos, and look at some of the crime scene data. Was there “meaty bits” between the guy and the floor from the follow-on shots? If so, then it’s “spray” from an exit wound, which could only have happened if he was in the act of getting up, and to me that would make the claim of “I thought he was going to try and shoot me again” perfectly reasonable in my mind. If not, then it’s likely he was laying on the ground flat, and posed less of a risk (though that doesn’t mean his hand couldn’t have been going for something).

    All in all, I think the five shots put him in a horrible spot. One extra round could be easily explained away, but five? I dunno.

    I would really need to see the evidence before calling this one.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  83. One man got up in the morning intending to do an honest days’s work, feed his family, serve his community.

    The other man got up in the morning intending to commit a violent felony to take what was not his, and to put lives at risk in the process.

    Please let me serve on this jury.

    Scott Kaufer (857688)

  84. “But the pharmacist just doesn’t look concerned to me.”

    Well, that’s totally irrelevant under Oklahoma law. A person who uses deadly force in self-defense is automatically presumed to be in a state of mind where they have a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm under certain circumstances.

    “B. A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:”

    “1. The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against the will of that person from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and

    “2. The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.”

    Presumably an armed robber entering a dwelling (or in this case, a place where Mr. Ersland had a right to be, namely the pharmacy he worked at) is doing so forcefully and unlawfully (at least I hope that’s the case), and I assume that Mr. Ersland was aware that an unlawful and forcible act was taking place when he got shot, if not before. It therefore follows that Mr. Ersland’s state of mind is automatically determined by law.

    Once again the above is from Oklahoma 21-1289.25.

    The entire text of the law can be read here.

    http://www.oscn.net/applications/OCISWeb/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=69782

    Dave Surls (ef5416)

  85. Surls,

    Actually watching the video would do you a world of good.

    Alan Kellogg (93aa26)

  86. I would really need to see the evidence before calling this one.

    Except that it would have to be evidence that the guy was actually out and of no possible threat. And even then voluntary manslaughter would likely be as fa as anyone would go.

    Soronel Haetir (a3f11b)

  87. “Actually watching the video would do you a world of good.”

    I’ve seen it.

    Dave Surls (ef5416)

  88. Memo to self: Erase then overwrite recording.

    Chuck Roast (0a108e)

  89. The only evidence I have is what’s in the video. From that, I don’t believe that the pharmacist was concerned about the state of the downed attempted murderer. He passed by with his back to the downed AM, and in the course of doing so didn’t attempt to disarm him, which tells me that there wasn’t a weapon nearby. You don’t turn your back on someone within reach of a weapon, regardless of whether they’re moving or not.

    I’m not going to try and spin the idea of the pharmacist’s mental state as an excuse for his actions. There are arguments for and against what the pharmacist did, and those arguments should stand on their own. I’ve never been comfortable relying on unquantifiable psychological explanations for single actions. If a pattern emerges, then its arguable.

    By the way, if it was a cop who did this, then as a representative of the state, with the requisite training, I would have a big problem with these actions.

    However, families of criminals filing lawsuits, gang intimidation and retaliation, adolescent sentencing restrictions and the revolving door for many offenders weigh heavily in the favor of the criminal element. Those making the argument for ‘civilized’ behavior should take these externals into account, as the law-abiding populace who, by nature of their comprehension of the need for a set of standards, are at a disadvantage strictly because of adherence to accepted behavior.

    Come on, no bullshit. This pharmacist killed someone attempting murder against him and his fellow shopkeepers. Is that ok or not?

    For me, a criminal element more frightened of the populace than the authorities is a good thing. The fact that a holdup can result in your death should weigh heavier on criminals minds than it seems to now. It’s about responsibility – and the system now is weighed in the wrong direction.

    The Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood films were popular because they tapped into a widespread frustration with the justice system and its failure to recognize the uneven playing field between criminals and citizens. There have been slight corrections since he ’70’s, and I think that is one major reason that overall violent crime is down. That and the increased abilities and sophistication of law enforcement have made evading conviction much harder for the guilty. However, with increased conviction capabilities means increased prison populations, with the requisite early release.

    I’m not in favor of prosecuting this guy, and I have that opinion even though I know what happened in that store. I’ll readily admit that what’s most important to me is whether this pharmacist is a danger to society or not. I don’t believe he is, and, absent evidence that he would shoot someone who hasn’t just attempted his murder, again I would not be in favor of his prosecution.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  90. And even then voluntary manslaughter would likely be as fa as anyone would go.

    Not quite…

    If there is not evidence that the guy was moving (blood smear, etc), then it is out and out murder.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  91. Patterico,
    You’re clearly missing the point some of us are trying to make. If the San Diego cops can shoot a lunatic armed with a stick 29 times because he represents a direct and life threatening menace to all 11 officers surrounding him, I think we can cut a pharmacist some slack shooting an actual criminal who participated in an armed robbery captured on video tape. It’s not like when the SDPD and CHP blasted a loonie on the I-5 for doing nothing more than waving a trowel at passing motorists or like those cops in NYC that shot some poor african 29 times for having the bare faced gall to cower in a door way after dark.
    The video showed an attempted robbery by armed criminals (a gang if you will) and one man’s attempt to deal with a “GANG” who was trying to rob and kill him and perhaps other people. I’ll grant him the luxury I do a soldier on the battlefield surrounded by enemies.

    Curtis (e21caf)

  92. “he didn’t look concerned” is code often used by people who think they are experts on the demeanor of the “other”.
    Police include observations, projections and fantasies about demeanor in their reports
    People who don’t run to typecast behavior can be presumed likely to be guilty, but at the same time are the people least likely to understand what the hell the cop is talking about…. all the while being smart enough to know that whatever it is… is bad.

    The pharmacist doesn’t seem to freak out or be “concerned”. In a very short space of time in the initial phase of the attack he calmly got out a gun and shot accurately even though he is faced with two spread out attackers.
    OK.
    So I’ll allow that he looks mildly concerned while getting his gun and opening fire, but on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being high, the guy looks to be about a level 3.
    Then he sort of ambles (looking like he is at concern level 5) out the door with a glance to his left.
    He comes back in and walks past the shot robber and “doesn’t look all that concerned”. Looks like he is back to level 3. The guy hasn’t looked real “concerned” to me yet. He looks serious though, no doubt about that one.
    Then it looks like he gets his other gun (which shows concern of some sort) looks over at the shot guy (concern) and goes over to the robber (more concern) and then obviously is so concerned with something about the robber that he shoots again.

    To borrow from my cop friends, “I was struck by his demeanor throughout the episode”… I was struck by the way this guy internalized stress way more than he exhibited or expressed stress.
    This guy moves in slow motion, but underneath it all is quick and decisive.

    Why did he bust out with the last 5 shots?
    Maybe he was concerned that the robber with the disguise malfunction was still dangerous…
    that is the crappy thing about being a lousy armed robber who tries to rob the wrong guy, you can be laying there bleeding out the skull from a head wound that hurts like a son of a bitch and if you have a spasm or two then reach out to Allah… bingo, shot 5 more times.

    The transaction should work like this:
    You promise not to come into my store with your friends waving guns and acting crazy and I promise not to shoot you

    SteveG (c99c5c)

  93. #64 –The pharmacist shot an unconscious man

    #68 — How do you know your beloved armed robber was unconscious? Is it because you so desperately want to believe it?

    Even, if he was unconscious, so what? Once a lethal threat is down, keep shooting. If out of ammo, reload and keep shooting. If the sequence is interrupted because of an additional threat, defend as needed, return and resume the sequence.

    Never assume the threat is dead or unconscious. That is stupid. Keep shooting until there is no possibility of life (or lack of ammo, whichever comes first). At the very least, the pharmacist had every right to ensure his survival. He did so using all available ammo.

    I mean we are not talking points for second place here — it is life or death. The calm manner in which the pharmacist shot his threat is meaningless (from a survival point of view), as he still has a right to ensure the threat is dead.

    If he needs a hundred rounds to make that judgment, he ought to have the legal right to do so (in my humble opinion).

    Pons Asinorum (03ef30)

  94. Fat Tony : Under the old common law felony murder rule, the other perps can be charged with murder if any participant : fellow criminal, victim or passerby dies as a result of the crime. This includes a victim of a heart attack. The question here is should the pharmacist’s actions lead to a murder charge. I regret that too many posting here miss the point. According to the best evidence available, the wounded criminal presented no threat. Shooting him again, under the circumstances, was a criminal act not an act of “self-defense.”

    Longwalker (996c34)

  95. I wonder how long it will be before the store owner is sued in civil court and loses his business due to the actions of his employee.

    voiceofreason2 (11db5e)

  96. “You need the government’s permisssion to kill. Always. ”

    Exactly why a “not guilty” verdict is necessary. I’d hate to think the government’s decision was the sole ownership of judges and lawyers.

    tehag (3b8a44)

  97. 92“he didn’t look concerned” is code often used by people who think they are experts on the demeanor of the “other”.

    And it’s a good thing that the video camera was positioned so as to record the armed robbery or these same people would be claiming the pharmacist was shooting at customers. He just didn’t look to have the demeanor of someone who was facing down armed robbers. No one would ever pull a gun on two armed robbers with their guns pointed at him.

    jcurtis (a85cc4)

  98. It’s a good thing we have “conservatives” like Patterico as prosecutors. Maybe Patterico will be “lucky” enough to be robbed or have his family robbed and be forced to defend himself. Then he’ll be even more lucky if he gets an a-hole like himself or the OK prosecutor to Monday morning quarterback a situation which I’m sure he never wanted to be placed in. nk is right. He should have called into his local prosecutor’s office first before shooting, so he could get permission as to whether defending himself was appropriate.

    CaveUrsine (44cef5)

  99. What if the first shot actuall killed the perp. Wasn’t the shooter, at that point, merely defacing the body?

    pitchforksntorches (4dd8c4)

  100. It’s also nice to see Patterico know that the pharmacist “lied” to police. Prosecutors, like Patterico, who have often never had a gun held to them, apparently don’t have the slightest understanding how human memory works. Apparently, when one has just been involved in a literal life or death situation, one’s memory needs to be flawless and perfectly match reality, otherwise you are “lying.”

    Please show me the studies that support the claim that people who are put in such situations have perfect memories of what transpired.

    And don’t get me even started on the idiots in here who apparently can divine whether the robber was conscious or not (based on….what?) and the pseudo-scientific talk of splatter.

    CaveUrsine (44cef5)

  101. So 15 PoPo can kill a nut job b/c he was threatening with an ax and all is good but 1 Pharmacist can not the other way around?

    Patterico is holding Police Officers to a lower standard than a Pharmacist. Cocktail talk kiddos.

    Just b/c PoPo are given special powers in order to keep the peace it does so because PoPo are asked to voluntarily enter into these situations and need to be able to defend themselves.

    If the Pharmacist had VOLUNTARILY gone into the altercation then I get it …. he was not given that right …. but he did not and his response was proportional to the armed thug.

    Big diff but it takes a lawyer to confuse things.

    HeavenSent (1e97ff)

  102. For those who took BarBri and remember Charles Whitebread’s lectures on criminal law, the answer to whether this is murder is simple: yes.

    To quote Whitebread, “Why? Because it’s the bar exam.”

    Dave N (aa89e7)

  103. The pharmacist says he’s a veteran who was wounded in Desert Storm. He should claim he’s just one of those deranged vets the MSM is always talking about- then even Keith Olbermann will defend him. Sadly, if he beats the murder rap, Obama’s Justice Department will probably go after him for violating the kid’s civil right to rob a store without being executed.

    jimboster (fe0b27)

  104. I’m glad the kid is dead. Maybe the DA could have a stroke. Is the pock marked DA running for re-election? He refers to the perp as a child. My my how he twists reality. There is a DA who should have his jaw broken.

    Boils (29ac89)

  105. He just didn’t look to have the demeanor of someone who was facing down armed robbers. No one would ever pull a gun on two armed robbers with their guns pointed at him.”

    It must be nice to have the powers of Carnac when discussing actions such as this – so are we to believe that even though it’s clear on the vid that two armed robbers are pointing their guns inches from the manager’s face, it was really just a big prank and all in good fun? Tell me, are you doing a parody, or were you actually being serious with that statement?

    Most idiotic comment of the thread. Congrats, you’ve earned it.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  106. CaveUrsine, you are treading on thin ice bringing Patterico’s job into the discussion.

    Longwalker, I think you are describing a more recent version of felony-murder, not the traditional common law. I asked the question because of this line of Pat’s:

    “If he had killed one of these guys with the first shot, the other robber could have been prosecuted for murder.”

    I see now from the link that the other robber, the driver and a third man are also being charged with murder, which seems proper. But I think it is an interesting question as to whether an intervening criminal act (assuming the pharmacist is convicted) negates their liability. I would say “no” in this case since the actions of the pharmacist, justified or not, clearly flow from the initial robbery.

    I wonder how the various states treat this situation. Presumably California views it differently than does Oklahoma.

    Finally, I see the pharmacist is a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and a Gulf War veteran. That may play a role in his reactions and whether his apparent lack of concern accurately reflected his internal state of mind.

    fat tony (870a39)

  107. Once a lethal threat is down, keep shooting.

    No. You can’t actually do that. It isn’t legal.

    You especially can’t do that if there are cameras recording you.

    It’s a good thing we have “conservatives” like Patterico as prosecutors. Maybe Patterico will be “lucky” enough to be robbed or have his family robbed and be forced to defend himself. Then he’ll be even more lucky if he gets an a-hole like himself or the OK prosecutor to Monday morning quarterback a situation which I’m sure he never wanted to be placed in. nk is right. He should have called into his local prosecutor’s office first before shooting, so he could get permission as to whether defending himself was appropriate.

    Yeah, how the fuck dare he give a fair interpretation of the law. The unmitigated gall of the man.

    So 15 PoPo can kill a nut job b/c he was threatening with an ax and all is good but 1 Pharmacist can not the other way around?

    Was the guy with the axe laying face down after a round to the head? Or was he maybe up and swinging that there weapon?

    You can not shoot someone who isn’t a threat. If the crook was on the ground and not moving, he wasn’t a threat any more and even ONE shot moves you from “protecting yourself” to “murder”.

    You Can. Not. Shoot if the guy is just lying there. Plain and simple.

    And if the Pharmacist did that, then he should be prosecuted for it. Just because we don’t like the guy that died doesn’t mean it’s open season. No matter who you murder, you should be prosecuted.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  108. I agree with Boils kind of I think cause the prosecutor is sort of douchey with his too cutesy “young child” nonsense and he needs to find something better to do with Oklahoma’s resources than to try and establish a reasonable expectation of safety for armed robbers. I strongly suspect this man is a gonad.

    happyfeet (2d133f)

  109. If that prosecutor actually wants a conviction, he’ll do well to avoid referring to a person shown attempting to commit an armed robbery as “a young child.” He should simply put forth his case (including the necessary evidence that the downed robber was still alive when the extra shots were fired) and conclude by arguing that the perp was helpless and that the law of self-defense doesn’t include the right to perform a coup de grace on a now-helpless former attacker. If the jury was ever going to convict, that would be the argument to convince them to do so. Try to snow them by calling the little dead scumbag a “child,” and they’ll vote to acquit and savage him in any post-trial interviews.

    M. Scott Eiland (5ccff0)

  110. Here’s the complaint filed against Ersland. According to the D.A., this isn’t a case of a man defending himself against a gang of armed robbers, one of whom had already shot Mr. Ersland, and all of whom were still on the loose when the death took place, this is a case of premeditated murder!

    The D.A. ought to be fired, the charges are a total joke, and the armed robber that got killed richly deserved what happened to him.

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/content.newsok.com/documents/pharmdoc0001.pdf

    Dave Surls (16b4a7)

  111. Two of us seem to agree that the DA had better be careful not to overcharge this case. There is no way that was murder under the circumstance.

    Are you saying the robbers didn’t shoot at the pharmacist and that his hand wasn’t grazed by a bullet? Well, if the pharmacist made that up, that will be bad for him. It seems very odd that he would lie about something that would so easily be shown to be a lie after the investigation.

    Only John Kerry can shoot himself and get a purple heart and silver star for it. Of course, the pharmacist doesn’t get to write the crime report.

    If he is charged with voluntary manslaughter, given the video tape, he is in trouble. If they try to grandstand, he will get off with an OK jury.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  112. I think that Jerome Ersland was over-charged — first degree murder is way, way over the line — but unless Antwun Parker was conscious, at least partially, and moving in a manner which could be considered threatening, Mr Ersland committed a crime. It might be understandable, but it’s still a crime. This happened in Oklahoma, not Oakland, so my guess is that Mr Ersland will eventually walk away without a conviction. A lot depends on the “Stand your ground” law and the jury he would draw.

    What got me, however, was this:

    Parker’s parents also expressed relief that Ersland faces a criminal charge.

    “He didn’t have to shoot my baby like that,” Parker’s mother, Cleta Jennings, told TV station KOCO.

    Dear Miss Jennings: if you had been a decent parent, your poor “baby” wouldn’t have been trying to knock over a drug store. If your whelp had been reared not to be a thug, had been brought up to be a decent human being instead of a crook, he’d be alive today. Miss Jennings, you are far more responsible for your “baby’s” untimely end than was the man who shot him.

    The Dana who sees the real world (474dfc)

  113. Hmmm, this is interesting. On the main page, it shows that my previous comment exists, but in the posting, it doesn’t, obviously being stuck in moderation. Patterico, call your techie!

    The Dana in moderation (474dfc)

  114. If the prosecution can’t produce evidence from the autopsy that shows the perp was alive when the pharmacist came back and started shooting him some more, I’d expect the defense to make a motion for a directed verdict, and the judge should grant it. The prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the pharmacist wasn’t shooting a corpse, and that might be tricky.

    This is true.

    Of course, given how many times people were shot dead after submitting to an armed robbery, I wonder if the jury would be willing to convict even if the robber was alive during those final shots.

    Michael Ejercito (365b6d)

  115. This happened in Oklahoma, not Oakland

    Criminals definitely must feel more at home — more at ease — in the latter than the former.

    And jurors in the former would be more likely to convict the bad guys, jurors in the latter would be more likely to absolve the bad guys (“if the glove don’t fit, you must acquit”).

    Another good example that the role of politics, politicians and the government ultimately plays a secondary role to the importance of voting with (and, ultimately, the need to vote with) one’s feet and the power of demographics.

    Mark (411533)

  116. If the San Diego cops can shoot a lunatic armed with a stick 29 times because he represents a direct and life threatening menace to all 11 officers surrounding him, I think we can cut a pharmacist some slack shooting an actual criminal who participated in an armed robbery captured on video tape. It’s not like when the SDPD and CHP blasted a loonie on the I-5 for doing nothing more than waving a trowel at passing motorists or like those cops in NYC that shot some poor african 29 times for having the bare faced gall to cower in a door way after dark.
    The video showed an attempted robbery by armed criminals (a gang if you will) and on

    In Houston, Texas, police can break into a man’s home without a warrant to look for drugs, kill him in the process, and not even face prosecution.

    Knowing how often police get away with killing innocents like Diallo and Bell, I would not have a problem with what this pharmacist did.

    Michael Ejercito (365b6d)

  117. I found it very interesting that when the pharmacist came out from the back to go outside after the ones who left, he came by one route, through aisles, away from where our remaining perp was, yet when he came back inside to go to the back (for more ammo, yes?), he chose the route next to where the remaining perp was. People have talked about his “demeanor” at that point, turning his back, etc. I find it much more telling that he chose a route past the perp, rather than the route he’d come out through. I don’t know, to me, it just seems, well, weird.

    Now, I’m inclined to grant a whole mountain of slack to someone who’s just been robbed, shot at, etc. But it ought not be an infinite amount of slack.

    Linus (b9ea89)

  118. Let’s hear it for the pharmacist!

    This will make everyone who is about to hold up an innocent American think twice!!!

    LONG LIVE AMERICA!!!!!!!

    Obie Taylor (7421ce)

  119. The prosecutor feels for his own life. That’s the only reason he’s even prosecuting this!

    Any person who is right-thinking wouldn’t even press charges against the pharmacist.

    It’s sad when thugs and gangs run America!

    Obie Taylor (7421ce)

  120. Watching this video confirmed everything I thought happened before I even viewed it. The thug who died deserved exactly what the pharmacist gave him.

    In no way can you tell how rattled the pharmacist was by looking at this video. The video was filmed from long range. You can’t tell how shaken the people on here from this far away: it doesn’t show their facial expressions, any trembling, shaking, etc.

    The film was herky jerky and didn’t even show things at the same rate that they were happening.

    This pharmacist is truly an American hero!!!

    Obie Taylor (7421ce)

  121. Some thoughts:

    1) the prosecutor calling the dead robber a “child” was idiotic. I agree with the comment that prosecutor certainly would not be referring to him as a “child” if he had been captured and was about to be prosecuted for armed robbery.

    2) If the robber was dead when the pharmacist shot him, then arguably it could be attempted murder. However, I suspect that even if the first wound was fatal, if the robber was still alive (though dying), shooting additional bullets at him arguably hastened his demise.

    3) I find it troubling that the pharmacist came back and shot the robber again. As a society, I think we should tell people they have a right to defend themselves–and even use deadly force if necessary. However, the right to self-defense does not include the right to vigilantism.

    Dave N (aa89e7)

  122. “If the San Diego cops can shoot a lunatic armed with a stick 29 times because he represents a direct and life threatening menace to all 11 officers surrounding him…”

    Actually in that case, it was three police officers, and they only shot the guy seven times…but, he was armed with a deadly tree branch which he was waving in a threatening manner, so the cops really had no choice. Obviously, a case of self-defense. If they hadn’t filled the guy full of lead, he surely would’ve chased down and beaten all three armed police officer to death with his tree branch.

    It’s different when it’s a single crippled old man fighting a band of armed robbers, and one of the armed robbers has already shot the old man. In that case if the old man shoots the robbers, it’s cold-blooded murder, not self-defense.

    Dave Surls (16b4a7)

  123. 3) I find it troubling that the pharmacist came back and shot the robber again. As a society, I think we should tell people they have a right to defend themselves–and even use deadly force if necessary. However, the right to self-defense does not include the right to vigilantism.

    Why not hold this pharmacist to the same standard that the police officers who killed Vicki Weaver, Pedro Navarro-Oregon, Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, and Sean Bell were held to?

    Michael Ejercito (365b6d)

  124. #93 — Once a lethal threat is down, keep shooting.

    #107 — No. You can’t actually do that. It isn’t legal.

    Scott, you may be correct (isn’t that what this case will decide?), but that does not make sense.

    Despite the lethal threat being shot and collapsing, how was the pharmacist supposed to know that the threat is now benign?

    There is no guarantee, especially with bleed-outs which can take several minutes for death to occur.

    If the threat was still alive, then the threat can still potentially kill and the pharmacist had the right to neutralize that threat. If the threat is dead, then at most, the pharmacist is simply discharged rounds into a corpse.

    Why should it be on the pharmacist to take the gamble with his life?

    Pons Asinorum (03ef30)

  125. I think that Jerome Ersland was over-charged — first degree murder is way, way over the line

    It might not be what he ends up getting convicted of, but it’s not a ridiculous filing at all. Let’s assume the evidence shows that the robber was unconscious but alive. It looks to me like the pharmacist is going back to reload, showing premeditation. It’s an unlawful killing, he meant to kill him, and he reloaded to dd it. That’s first-degree murder.

    Again, a jury might well find mitigation to reduce it to voluntary manslaughter. That wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest. But legally it’s chargeable as a first-degree; no question about that in my mind.

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  126. “Knowing how often police get away with killing innocents like Diallo…”

    “Four New York City police officers were acquitted today of all charges in the death of Amadou Diallo, the immigrant from Guinea who was fired on 41 times as he stood, unarmed, in the vestibule of his apartment building in the Bronx…”

    “The shooting occurred about 12:40 a.m. on Feb. 4, 1999, when the four officers, all in street clothes, approached Mr. Diallo on the stoop of his building and fired 41 shots, striking him 19 times, as he retreated inside. The officers, who are white, said they had thought he had a gun. It turned out to be a wallet.”–NYT

    That’s a clear cut case of self-defense, because even though Diallo hadn’t done anything wrong HE MIGHT HAVE…according to the cops, therefore they needed to put 19 bullets in the guy…just in case.

    However, when Jerome Ersland shoots and kills an armed robber, part of a gang that had just shot Ersland…that’s murder one, because Ersland should have KNOWN (in the middle of a gun battle) that one of several people who had just tried to kill him was (according to a bunch of second-guessers who don’t have the slightest idea what they’re talking about) no longer a threat.

    What a total joke.

    Dave Surls (16b4a7)

  127. However, when Jerome Ersland shoots and kills an armed robber, part of a gang that had just shot Ersland…that’s murder one, because Ersland should have KNOWN (in the middle of a gun battle) that one of several people who had just tried to kill him was (according to a bunch of second-guessers who don’t have the slightest idea what they’re talking about) no longer a threat.

    He was “in the middle of a gun battle”?

    Did we watch the same video?

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  128. Despite the lethal threat being shot and collapsing, how was the pharmacist supposed to know that the threat is now benign?

    Well, if he’s not really moving, that pretty much settles it.

    I’m not saying the guy should have ignored the head-wounded POS, but the shots themselves were crossing a line. He could just as easily pointed the weapon at the POS, and waited to see if he made a threatening move. THAT would have been logical.

    But unless the crook was in the process on actively going for a gun, or getting up, then the shots (if the crook was not already dead) were at least manslaughter.

    They might even be if the guy was dead.

    Think about it. Person A downs a massive amount of pills, gets into bed, and dies in his sleep. Person B breaks in to rob the place, after Person A had downed the pills and died, and shoots Person A in bed several times.

    I believe Person B could (and should) still be charged with a crime. He had no idea that Person A was already dead, and his actions proved he wanted Person A dead, so the lucky twist of fate that had Person A dead by his own hand doesn’t make a difference.

    What a total joke.

    No. It isn’t. If the POS was out – even already dead – the shots crossed an important legal line. You don’t shoot someone already down. Maybe the crooks would, but you, I, and most everyone else aren’t those crooks. You don’t shoot a man laying unconscious on the ground multiple times.

    If you do what it looks like this pharmacist did, you would have committed murder, and I would vote to convict every single time, regardless of how I felt about the guy that died.

    It does not matter that the person that died was a crook. We do not assign greater significance or importance to one person over another. If I come into Aphrael’s home and shoot him dead, I have murdered a law student (and a darned nice guy, frankly). I would be equally guilty if I had come back to the body of a guy I shot in self defense and pumped a few more rounds into him. The act of the extra shots, if the guy was not doing something immediately life-threatening, shows premeditation. He meant to kill him, and took active steps to kill him.

    A lot of people are focusing on WHO died, and that’s a mistake, legally. Pretend it was the pharmacist who got shot in the head, and a few moments later the crook pumped more rounds into him. What crime would have been committed THEN?

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  129. Also, I would like to remind people that I’m hardly some goody-goody who thinks we should all live by the exact letter of the law. I am the guy, after all, who said that to save a single person’s life he’d not only torture and water-board, but break out the bolt cutters and start playing “this little piggy” until I got the needed info.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  130. It does not matter that the person that died was a crook. We do not assign greater significance or importance to one person over another. If I come into Aphrael’s home and shoot him dead, I have murdered a law student (and a darned nice guy, frankly). I would be equally guilty if I had come back to the body of a guy I shot in self defense and pumped a few more rounds into him. The act of the extra shots, if the guy was not doing something immediately life-threatening, shows premeditation. He meant to kill him, and took active steps to kill him.

    How does that work in the real world?

    Is it illegal to break into someone’s home without a warrant to look for drugs?

    Is it illegal to kill someone while doing the above?

    Michael Ejercito (365b6d)

  131. Assume that the pharmacist had missed the crooks with his first shot and killed an innocent bystander. Who would have been guilty of what? I am a goody-goody but I am not reflexively taking a pro-defendant position this time. If you place an innocent person into a violent situation, the violence that transpires is not his fault, it is yours until the status quo — his peaceful life — has been restored.

    nk (cba3e7)

  132. Hey Patterico-

    HE HAD JUST HAD A GUN POINTED AT HIM 45 SECONDS HAVING HIS LIFE THREATENED AGO YOU SECOND GUESSING DOLT! So, yeah, I would consider that in the midst of a gun battle.

    The defendant has already stated he thought the guy was going for a gun on the ground. I’m going to grant him a whole hell of a lot of leeway EVEN IF HE WAS MISTAKEN, given that he could have been killed less than one minute earlier.

    By the way, how the hell does the coroner know whether the guy was conscious or not? Did he have a frigging functional MRI scan available in the pharmacy at the time to prove it? This smells of CSI pseudo-scientific b-s.

    CaveUrsine (44cef5)

  133. CaveUrsine,

    I speculated that the autopsy might be able to tell us something, but I haven’t seen anything about a coroner’s report or a statement by authorities regarding whether Parker was conscious.

    DRJ (2901e6)

  134. “HE HAD JUST HAD A GUN POINTED AT HIM 45 SECONDS HAVING HIS LIFE THREATENED AGO YOU SECOND GUESSING DOLT! So, yeah, I would consider that in the midst of a gun battle.”

    You’re correct, of course. But, Pat isn’t a dolt. He’s just wrong, that’s all.

    “It looks to me like the pharmacist is going back to reload, showing premeditation. It’s an unlawful killing, he meant to kill him, and he reloaded to dd it. That’s first-degree murder.”

    Also, wrong about that.

    1. According to the accounts I’ve read, the guy never reloaded a gun, so Pat has another fact wrong (admittedly these facts aren’t courtroom evidence, just newspaper accounts…but it’s the only evidence we have at this point).

    2. And, anyway the concept of premeditation doesn’t exist in Oklahoma’s first degree murder statute, so it wouldn’t be relevant, even if he had reloaded his weapon. That would not constitute an element in a first degree murder charge. In this case, the elements to consider would be: whether there was a killing, whether or not it was intentional, and whether or not it was unlawful. Premeditation has no bearing.

    “You don’t shoot someone already down.”

    Sorry, Scott, but you’re wrong about that. If you’re in the situation that Mr. Ersland is in, that’s exactly what you do, if you’re planning on living to a ripe old age.

    And it’s not illegal to do so under Oklahoma law, despite what this halfwit D.A. who filed charges seems to think.

    Dave Surls (16b4a7)

  135. #124 — Despite the lethal threat being shot and collapsing, how was the pharmacist supposed to know that the threat is now benign?

    #128 — Well, if he’s not really moving, that pretty much settles it.

    Well, no actually, that just means maybe the threat is neutralized (don’t worry Scott, I think the Corp will examine this topic in detail 😉

    #128 — He could just as easily pointed the weapon at the POS, and waited to see if he made a threatening move. THAT would have been logical.

    Yes, he could have done many things. He could have just given the money in the beginning, or he could have run like hell to the nearest shop after shooting threat #1. He could have curled up into a little ball after the first shot. Or he could have chosen to employ lethal force in a 3-on-1 engagement, assigning fluid priorities on each known threat and then systematically eliminate them accordingly and in whatever sequence necessary.

    In a life-or-death situation, the pharmacists had the right to defend himself (I think we all agree). It is the manner of his tactics (cold, ruthless, calculated, systematic and tactically logical), that seems to have upset many and introduced the possibility of murder.

    Pons Asinorum (03ef30)

  136. “It does not matter that the person that died was a crook.”

    Of course, it matters. The fact that he went into the pharmacy with intent to rob the place is what makes it o.k. for Ersland to kill him.

    Dave Surls (16b4a7)

  137. No, Dave, it does not make it OK.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  138. “No, Dave, it does not make it OK.”

    Yes, it does make it o.k. That’s what Oklahoma law says.

    Dave Surls (16b4a7)

  139. So to all you cocktail conservative bozos who have never had a gun pointed at your face, what’s the magic time after you are fired upon that you stop being able to defend yourself? 5 seconds? 10 seconds? 30 seconds? Can’t be more than 45 seconds, since that’s what the time stamp on the video shows, and since obviously the pharmacist is a cold blooded murderer, by that point the pharmacist should have known that everything was fine and there was no danger (this despite the fact that the wine and cheese crowd here can’t even SEE THE ROBBER ON THE VIDEO and have NO F’ING CLUE WHAT MOVEMENTS HE WAS MAKING).

    Also, how fast should the guy (who apparently has severe arthritis or some other painful condition (he states he is borderline crippled)) have been walking for you second guessing clowns to believe that he may still have reasonably been in fear of his life.

    It’s so easy for you all to judge when the majority of you have never had the rush of adrenaline one gets when a gun is at your head.

    CaveUrsine (44cef5)

  140. I am several kinds of bozo, maybe even a cocktail conservative one, and I agree with your position, but our host is definitely not a dolt and this had been a pretty civil discussion until you showed up, so ____ off, CaveBear.

    nk (cba3e7)

  141. Did we watch the same video?

    Comment by Patterico — 5/31/2009 @ 12:12 pm

    That’s what I was asking. Some people here have apparently seen a video that shows the robber unconscious while the pharmacist fires the five shots.

    I think you were duped by a false or partial narrative and you feel that you need to stick with your initial reaction or you will be seen as someone who jumps to bad conclusions with minimal evidence. That wouldn’t look good on your resume.

    jcurtis (23cfca)

  142. CaveUrsine, there is no magic time when you stop being able to “defend yourself”. But when there is no self-defense purpose to a shot, its a bad shoot and a criminal act.

    And your attitude that anyone who disagrees with you must not have any practical experience in self-defense really shows that it is you who have no clue.

    Grow up.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  143. Is it illegal to break into someone’s home without a warrant to look for drugs?

    So we’re going to use the “these people over here do it, so it’s ok for those other people to do it” argument?

    Don’t the Conservatives and the Libs toss that at each other, and look retarded while they do it?

    It doesn’t look any smarter in this situation. Just because Cops often get away with utter bullshit actions, that doesn’t mean THIS is ok. what the COPS do isn’t ok, so neither is this.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  144. I’d like to add a piece of evidence to the discussion that I didn’t see mentioned. The pharmacist wears a body brace (pictured here:http://tiny.cc/1nNBm) that limits his upper body movements. I think this is important to note because Ersland’s level of concern re:Parker is being inferred here and in the Reporting Officer’s affadavit due to the fact that Ersland has his back to Parker when he returned to his desk to retrieve a second weapon.

    Instead of Ersland being able to walk with his torso turned partly toward the desk and partly toward Parker, I think this brace forced him to walk facing one way or the other. Sure he could have walked backward with his chest completely toward Parker, but perhaps in the heat of the moment Ersland didn’t consider that maneuver.

    bonhomme (8b73ba)

  145. 2. And, anyway the concept of premeditation doesn’t exist in Oklahoma’s first degree murder statute, so it wouldn’t be relevant, even if he had reloaded his weapon.

    Incorrect.

    Title 21 Penal Code, R.L.1910, § 2312, §21-701.7
    Murder in the first degree

    A. A person commits murder in the first degree when that person unlawfully and with malice aforethought causes the death of another human being. Malice is that deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a human being, which is manifested by external circumstances capable of proof.

    That’s the legal definition of “pre-meditated”.

    “I meant to kill him, and took steps to make it happen”.

    And I’ll say it again – if the crook wasn’t moving, it was murder.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  146. Also, in the video Prater (the D.A.) says that Ersland bent down, putting his pistol one foot from Parker’s chest before firing the five shots. After reviewing the video I don’t think that statement is correct. I don’t know how important that may be, but I think Prater should carefully state facts.

    bonhomme (8b73ba)

  147. Comment by CaveUrsine — 5/31/2009 @ 3:04 pm

    I move this asshat enter moderation.

    IF the crook was moving, the guy has a defense. If he was not, then it was murder, and those 5 rounds would make it First Degree murder.

    I will say it again (since some are apparently unable to read everything that some type):

    If the crook was moving, the guy has a defense. If he was not, then it was murder, and those 5 rounds would make it First Degree murder.

    And the answer to that “if” will only come from crime scene evidence, and from the autopsy. This is not automatically a good shoot, nor a bad one.

    It is very much in the middle, and frankly while we lack other evidence, I think it is premature to assume it was good. Generally, as a rule of thumb, people don’t move much after taking a bullet to the head.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  148. Does the pharmicist, or anyone, who has shot a perp in the commission of a crime have an affirmative duty to call for police assistance and/or medical aid immediately? Is there a crime if the armed robbery victim simply sits there and watches the perp bleed out before making any attempt to report the goings on?

    As a juror in Oklahoma v. Ersland, would I be allowed to come to a factual conclusion that this perp in the video was already dead when the second bullet hit his body? Seems to me his “demaenor” aka no movement/reaction to any of the subsequent rounds indicates he was lifeless. Surely, the “demeanor” of the perp upon being shot multiple times was that of a deceased body. Right?

    Ed from SFV (adfac7)

  149. That’s what I was asking. Some people here have have apparently seen a video that shows the robber unconscious while the pharmacist fires the five shots.

    I think you were duped by a false or partial narrative and you feel that you need to stick with your initial reaction or you will be seen as someone who jumps to bad conclusions with minimal evidence.

    No, that’s not what you were “asking.” You made the following definitive statement:

    He just didn’t look to have the demeanor of someone who was facing down armed robbers. No one would ever pull a gun on two armed robbers with their guns pointed at him.”

    You made a statement of opinion and another containing a falsehood. So admit that you have no idea what the suspect in question was feeling or what his demeanor was, and that the vid shows the two robbers clearly pointing their guns at him, only inches from his face.

    You made one claim that’s completely unknowable, and another one that was provably false. And yet you have the stones to claim that other posters here were “duped by a false or partial narrative.”

    Quite an inane posting.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  150. Scott Jacobs – that deliberate intention unlawfully to take away the life of a human being

    The operative word being ‘unlawfully’. This would seem to depend at least partially on Ersland’s testimony regarding his belief regarding Parker’s condition at the time of the close range shooting, and would seem to involve part D of the Oklahoma statute 1289.25:

    D. A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

    If so, then F:
    F. A person who uses force, as permitted pursuant to the provisions of subsections B and D of this section, is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes charging or prosecuting the defendant.

    ‘unlawfully’ seems dependent on ‘reasonably believes’. IANAL, but this doesn’t seem cut and dried from a technically legal standpoint.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  151. I agree it doesn’t.

    I’m not going to bother saying WHY again, however.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  152. Scott – Your comment about Why didn’t update until after my comment was made.

    My point was that it is more than the autopsy results. The law specifically refers to Ersland’s belief regarding Parker being a threat or not. Ersland’s testimony has the capability of outweighing the autopsy evidence.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  153. 148 Dmac

    You missed the context. Try reading it again…from the beginning paragraph.

    jcurtis (88f338)

  154. Sometimes it’s reasonable to be unreasonable. One or two commenters here have even suggested that the pharmacist seemed too reasonable as evidence of his guilt.

    nk (033e52)

  155. #146 — Comment by Scott Jacobs — 5/31/2009 @ 3:55 pm

    I will say it again (since some are apparently unable to read everything that some type):

    If the crook was moving, the guy has a defense. If he was not, then it was murder, and those 5 rounds would make it First Degree murder.

    Scott, what is the difference between a threat that is dead or unconscious and one that is just faking either such condition?

    In a tactical sense the answer is: none — they are both exactly the same.

    Logically, how is the pharmacist suppose to know (remember, he is outnumbered by at least 3-to-1, and he has no idea if there are more threats forthcoming)? He is fighting for his life, doing the best he can against multiple threats (at least two of which might return).

    Tactically, he has to eliminate the first threat that may be feigning unconsciousness or death — there is no choice if he wants to increase his odds of survival, especially if another attack could occur.

    Pons Asinorum (03ef30)

  156. In a tactical sense the answer is: none — they are both exactly the same.

    There isn’t a difference legally, either.

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  157. ‘That’s the legal definition of “pre-meditated”.’

    Maybe you see the word “premeditation” and a definition of it in there, but I sure don’t.

    I see the legal term “malice” and a definition for that, but I don’t see premeditation.

    Since it’s not there, the concept doesn’t exist in the Oklahoma murder statute.

    But, like I said, since the guy never reloaded his gun (according to what I’ve read), it’s a moot point, anyway.

    Dave Surls (49742a)

  158. Most modern criminal statutes, following the Model Penal Code, in the United States, do not include premeditation as an element of murder. The state of mind is intent to cause death, or great bodily harm likely to lead to death (e.g. shooting someone) or knowledge that your actions will cause death, or great bodily harm likely to lead to death (throwing a hand grenade into a crowd).

    nk (033e52)

  159. Were King and Ghandi wrong to break THE LAW? Or were they operating under a higher law?

    How many people did they gun down?

    What’s the moral standard, anyway? Anything about mercy, forgiveness, or waiting for the police in there? If not, I doubt it’s much of a moral standard. It’s the law of the jungle, which means that the store owner acted against the law of civil society too.

    Fritz (05ef42)

  160. “Scott, what is the difference between a threat that is dead or unconscious and one that is just faking either such condition?

    In a tactical sense the answer is: none — they are both exactly the same.”

    I’ll finish answering that for you, since you stopped before you were done answering it completely.

    Since acting dead of unconscious or playing dead means by definition you are not engaged in behavior that can reasonably be interpreted as aggressive in any way, shape or form, then shooting said prostrate and unmoving person is a felony, and in this instance, murder.

    There is no legal defense to shoot another human being based upon coulda/shoulda/woulda. “What if” is not a legal defense, and that seems to be your entire argument.

    Let’s face facts instead.

    After reentering the location that he left voluntarily, apparently feeling his two female companions were in no immediate danger from the downed robber, he took the time to rearm, walked purposefully over to a downed man, showing no fear or hesitation that the man might a threat, and executed him by emptying a gun into him at point blank range.

    I don’t have any sympathy for the dead robber, but the pharmacist is clearly murderer.

    Bob Owens (8ba41f)

  161. It’s the law of the jungle, which means that the store owner acted against the law of civil society too.

    The jungle was forced on him and he had every right to cut it down.

    nk (033e52)

  162. From a utilitarian perspective, a man who spent 57 years of his life, law-abidingly and productively, serving and supporting society is worth a lot more than someone likely to have spent the rest of his life preying on society when free or leeching off society while in prison.

    nk (033e52)

  163. “If the crook was moving, the guy has a defense.”

    Just like the term “premeditation”, that appears nowhere in the law.

    It’s just something you made up.

    This is what the law says:

    D. A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

    And…

    B. A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:

    1. The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against the will of that person from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and

    2. The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

    Those conditions apply (except a pharmacy isn’t a dwelling, but that’s why they added section “D” to the law, to include any place you have a right to be). It is AUTOMATICALLY presumed that Ersland has a reasonable fear for his life, and it doesn’t matter whether the intruders are armed, unarmed, moving, not moving, black, white, whatever. None of that matters. All that matters is is that an “unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.”

    Once that happens…he gets to kill them, period. And, there’s nothing illegal about it.

    You don’t get to decide whether the guy moving constitutes a threat. The law has already decided that that doesn’t matter.

    Hell, that’s the whole purpose of the law, to keep guys like this idiot D.A. from second-guessing people who had just engaged in self-defense.

    Dave Surls (49742a)

  164. Bob Owens – the pharmacist is clearly murderer.

    Not clearly. Possibly.

    Technically, Parker is not visible in the video, which would mean that Ersland’s testimony and the forensic evidence will necessarily come into play to decide that matter. There are enough existing scenarios of head wounded humans regaining consciousness and returning fire to question any absolute capability of forensics to determine Parker’s state.

    As for Ersland’s demeanor – I too was initially skeptical of his story that he felt threatened. His military training, however, changes that quite a bit, and now I’m not so sure that anyone can exactly discern what he believed he saw from viewing the video tape.

    Oh, and were society as worried about criminals gaming the system as they seem to be about prosecuting someone who does not seem outwardly dangerous to ‘civil society’, these types of outcomes might occur far less often.

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  165. So many of you “conservative” lawyers on this thread apparently were done a big disservice at whatever liberal elite top tier law school you went to.

    I hear the NAACP is looking for some in-house attorneys. With your assuming the pharmacist is guilty until proven innocent after having just been ASSAULTED AND SHOT AT BY A THUG and declaring him a murdered without EVEN BEING ABLE TO SEE WHAT THE THUG WAS DOING, most of you belong with the NAACP. But your sure shouldn’t call yourself “conservative.”

    I’m sure you all got “As” by the liberals who were teaching you at law school. Congrats. You’re now spitting out the vomitus that was bestowed upon you.

    CaveUrsine (44cef5)

  166. declaring him a murdered

    Lawrence Welk?

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  167. Whomever is moderating this thread, methinks the commenter called UrsusIdiotus needs to be put into hibernation – permanently.

    Dmac (1ddf7e)

  168. Anyway…interesting debate. Thanks to all for listening to my ranting and raving.

    I appreciate the responses.

    Dave Surls (49742a)

  169. A question for any commenter who has written the pharmacist is being overcharged:

    Suppose Mr. Pharmacist had, after he exited the store in pursuit of Robber #1, shot fleeing Robber #1.

    In your opinion, would Mr. Pharmacist be justified in shooting fleeing Robber #1 absent a new threat of death or great bodily harm?

    Gale_H (710dbc)

  170. I’m quite interested in an expansion and critique of post 163 by Dave Surls. As a layman I’m ignorent of some of the finer points of the law.

    Amused Observer (816a34)

  171. Gale_H – 6:59pm

    The pursuit of the fleeing “Robber” into public brings up various problems. Any firefight out in public has a much higher chance of killing another innocent citizen, and based on that alone, the pharmacist should not pursue a fleeing attacker into public, as that is actually endangering other law abiding citizens, while simultaneously increasing his own level of threat.

    Since you like hypothetical situations, here’s one for you:

    What if the fleeing robber were caught, do time, and then get out only to rob another pharmacy – but this time kill everyone inside, including some small children. Given that scenario, shouldn’t someone have stopped him when they had the chance? Also, what are the chances of recidivism of the attacker versus the chances of the pharmacist shooting someone who was non-threatening?

    Apogee (e2dc9b)

  172. nk,

    I doubt a rule utilitarian would agree that allowing, encouraging, or otherwise sanctioning shopkeepers to summarily execute otherwise incapacitated robbers would be a boon to society.

    In any case, as far as the state of nature is concerned, it’s clear that the shopkeeper had a duty to protect his own life and use the force necessary to meet that end. However, executing the otherwise incapacitated robber exceeds what the shopkeeper needs to protect his own life. Furthermore, only the police have a duty to place themselves in danger. Shopkeepers, not having police powers, are limited to the imediate protection of their own person. Even under the loose standard of “standing your ground” the shopkeeper was in violation of the principle because he took actions that placed himself in further danger, granting the supposition that the robber he shot was still a danger to others. The shopkeeper reentered the shop, he turned his back on the robber, he then advanced towards the robber, he took the time to secure another gun. All of these actions are above and beyond the principle of “stand your ground”.

    Fritz (05ef42)

  173. So we’re going to use the “these people over here do it, so it’s ok for those other people to do it” argument?

    Don’t the Conservatives and the Libs toss that at each other, and look retarded while they do it?

    It doesn’t look any smarter in this situation. Just because Cops often get away with utter bullshit actions, that doesn’t mean THIS is ok. what the COPS do isn’t ok, so neither is this.

    The cops who shot and killed Pedro Navarro-Oregon in the manner that I described are still at large, and they could still be prosecuted for murder, as there is no statute of limitations.

    When they get prosecuted for first degree murder, I will consider support for similar criminal charges against the pharmacist.

    Michael Ejercito (365b6d)

  174. The idea that reloading shows premeditation for murder is absurd. It could show that someone was unconvinced the battle was over, it could show good training, or both. (It could, I suppose, be considered premeditation if you could show some other premeditated intent to commit murder, but by itself it shows the shooter thought the firearm was low on ammo, or empty.)

    htom (412a17)

  175. The police have a duty to place themselves in danger? That appears to have gone away a long time ago, leading to these deaths in the name of “officer safety”!

    htom (412a17)

  176. Apogee @171:

    Re your para #1. I agree.

    Re your para #3:

    A. Given my hypo, the only “someone” who could done what you suggest would be, as near as I can see, is Mr. Pharmacist, if he had been able to do so in the store, during the robbery. In the hypo I pose, Mr. Pharmacist goes in pursuit and shoots fleeing R#1 absent a new threat to cause death or great bodily harm. It seems to me he would (if successful) be doing your future victims a service beyond measure, but doing it at great risk for prosecution for murder of R#1 and grievous injury to bystanders for the reasons you list in your 1st paragraph.

    B. Recidivism is a given for the armed robber (thug), I think. With respect to Mr. Pharmacist, I do not know. There are a number of commenters on this thread, who based on the tape, and their interpretation of it, think Mr. Pharmacist has already demonstrated his willingness to repeatedly shoot a person who is no longer a threat; and who, when they compare the video to his reported statement, seems capable of lying about his actions.

    Gale_H (710dbc)

  177. It’s curious reading these comments from all the heroes who seem ready to reenact the gunfight at the OK Corral and then to execute the wounded, if not actually eat them. Their arguments rely on a lot of speculative argument as to what it’s like to be confronted with murderous intent, to be put under stress, and to have to react.

    In 1997, a young man of 19 entered the Silent Movie Theater here in Los Angeles and after sitting in the audience for a few minutes, went back to the front part of the building and murdered the owner, following which he shot a young woman employee in the chest. He then reentered the theater auditorium and came down the aisle, first firing a shot down one row of seats (barely missing killing another two people), and then, stopping near the screen, fired another shot slightly over our heads. We discovered the murdered body of the owner (friend to several of us) in the front, moments after the killer fled.

    I raise this bloody history to point out that I’ve also “been there, done that,” and I don’t agree with the bloodthirsty rants of several of those posting here. I am glad that the killer and his partner were caught, prosecuted, convicted, and are doing life without the possibility of parole. They were both arrested about six weeks after the shootings, and they have been behind bars ever since. They will live their sorry lives in prison and that is where they will die.

    I’m proud of the way the law handled this case, and I should point out that during that bloody week, Bill Cosby’s son was also murdered in Los Angeles, as was a high school girl who was caught in gang crossfire. The LAPD caught all four murderers for these crimes, and they all are doing serious time. Enos Cosby’s murderer eventually confessed his guilt, long after his conviction and life sentence. He (can anybody remember his name?) will also die in prison.

    There is one point on which I agree with some of the other posters here. When the shooter killed the theater owner, he ceased to be a live human being with rights, at least to my mind. At that point, he gave up his right to freedom and even to breath, if that were to be the verdict of the jury. As it is, I felt then and continue to feel that I wanted the killer to do a life term, but I point out to people that I’m not all that concerned that others would demand the death penalty for someone who murdered their loved one. My disagreement with so many of you, and one I take seriously, is that we the innocent don’t have the right to execute people on our own say-so, even when confronted with major provocation. The pharmacist is being viewed as somebody who had the right to kill the wounded robber, even though there is a pretty good case made by the blog owner that he was not in fear of his life, that the crime scene had been secured, and that he could have easily waited for the police to arrive and to deal with the wounded (or dead) criminal. The fact that this man is a retired military officer with experience in a war zone suggests that he understood his responsibilities, and that those responsibilities continue even while under fire.

    Finally, I find it remarkable that some of the same people who suggest that no jury will convict this man are also posting snarky comments about the owner of the store being sued by the relatives of the dead man. I guess Oklahoma juries must come in two completely different species, and that criminal court juries take the side of the crime victim, even in the face of evidence of criminal intent, whereas civil court juries find for criminals against honest shop owners.

    Bob G (6832ff)

  178. They will live their sorry lives in prison and that is where they will die.

    Not if the type of nitwits running, for example, Mexico’s Supreme Court — which ruled several years ago that life in prison without parole was unconstitutional — become more pervasive throughout the judicial system of America (which will be happening thanks in part to the type of jurists appointed by politicians along the lines of the current president).

    And speaking of Mexico, or a society where crime has gone beserk, the killing of a thug could easily trigger a revenge murder. So if a storeowner receiving the type of attenting-grabbing news reports like the ones directed at the guy in Oklahoma were operating out of the gang-infested neighborhoods of LA, not only would he be facing criminal prosecution by the DA but he’d also have to look over his shoulder in fear of being a possible target of a hit ordered by the killed thug’s “homies.”

    So in screwed-up nations like a Mexico, crime does pay. And in screwed-up parts of America, crime ain’t exactly the most frowned upon thing imaginable—eg, the mother of the killed robber in Oklahoma wailing something like “my baby, oh, how could you do that to him!,” or those folks in Oakland who several weeks ago expressed more sympathy for the slain cop killer than the cops he killed).

    Mark (411533)

  179. #160 — Comment by Bob Owens — 5/31/2009 @ 5:26 pm

    Since acting dead of unconscious or playing dead means by definition you are not engaged in behavior that can reasonably be interpreted as aggressive in any way, shape or form, then shooting said prostrate and unmoving person is a felony, and in this instance, murder.

    False; for example, threat #1 feigns death to either escape or kill the defender (at which point he must obviously move). Tactically speaking, why wait for that to happen; why wait and take that chance? What the pharmacist could not know was when the fight was to end. He had multiple threats to contend with– killing threat #1 was a correct decision from a tactical perspective.

    There is no legal defense to shoot another human being based upon coulda/shoulda/woulda. “What if” is not a legal defense, and that seems to be your entire argument.

    False; if the pharmacist believes he could be killed by threat #1, he can defend himself (otherwise even the first shot would be under dispute).

    I present no legal defense (I leave that to lawyers far more knowledgeable in such matters) and merely state that the pharmacist did an adequate job of assessing the tactical situation, making proper threat evaluations and implementing a plan where not a single innocent person was harmed.

    I do make the point that in addition to the use firearms as important instruments for self-defense, so are tactics (especially in a multiple threat environment). Perhaps the law should take that into consideration.

    The rest of your rhetoric assumes murder, which is in debate.

    Pons Asinorum (03ef30)

  180. “It’s curious reading these comments from all the heroes who seem ready to reenact the gunfight at the OK Corral and then to execute the wounded, if not actually eat them.”

    I must say that’s an impressive strawman.

    I don’t often have to defend myself against charges of cannibalism.

    Dave Surls (49742a)

  181. I’m surprised no one has mentioned this; if the pharmacist re-entered the store, went to the back, and did not reload, what caused him to do that and then come back out and shoot the wounded robber? I suspect one of the other store employees yelled “He’s moving!” or some such, and the pharmacist, frightened it was not all over, came back out to protect himself and the other two women. We’ll have to wait for more facts to come out. Such as the testimony of the other two women.

    franko (2f086c)

  182. […] Patterico has the security camera footage. He seems to have little worry about the guy on the floor, because he turns his back on him to go get the other gun. […]

    There’s Self Defense, and Then There’s Murder…This Looks Like Murder | All American Blogger (cbeb3c)

  183. Comment by Fritz — 5/31/2009 @ 7:30 pm

    You make some very good points but there is a societal and moral duty, and legal justification, self-defense aside, to protect other innocents from a violent criminal. So even if the pharmacist himself were no longer in danger but others were, he was justified in shooting the robber.

    And I concede that you have the better of the “utilitarian” argument because that is a decision to be made by society and large and not by the individual.

    nk (157acd)

  184. society *at* large

    nk (157acd)

  185. I say that a person who threatens the life of another person is then at the victim’s mercy (in the original situation). If the victim believes the only way to ensure his/her safety is to kill the attacker, even an injured attacker, that is his/her prerogative. The attacker assumes that risk and yields that right, in my opinion.

    Buzz Killington (3da0e1)

  186. I’m going to blame the ACLU for this. If they didn’t defend and try to get off so many obviously guilty, violent criminals, this pharmacist may not have felt threatened by LAWSUIT if this cretin lived.

    PCD (02f8c1)

  187. Not if the type of nitwits running, for example, Mexico’s Supreme Court — which ruled several years ago that life in prison without parole was unconstitutional — become more pervasive throughout the judicial system of America (which will be happening thanks in part to the type of jurists appointed by politicians along the lines of the current president).

    This is exactly why I oppose the anti-death penalty movement.

    I know that their true motivation is to abolish any punishment for crime.

    And speaking of Mexico, or a society where crime has gone beserk, the killing of a thug could easily trigger a revenge murder. So if a storeowner receiving the type of attenting-grabbing news reports like the ones directed at the guy in Oklahoma were operating out of the gang-infested neighborhoods of LA, not only would he be facing criminal prosecution by the DA but he’d also have to look over his shoulder in fear of being a possible target of a hit ordered by the killed thug’s “homies.”

    So then girls should not resist rape because the rapist’s friends might want to kill her later if she does so?

    The pharmacist is being viewed as somebody who had the right to kill the wounded robber, even though there is a pretty good case made by the blog owner that he was not in fear of his life, that the crime scene had been secured, and that he could have easily waited for the police to arrive and to deal with the wounded (or dead) criminal. The fact that this man is a retired military officer with experience in a war zone suggests that he understood his responsibilities, and that those responsibilities continue even while under fire.

    I will consider supporting prosecution in this case when the thugs who killed Pedro Navarro-Oregon are prosecuted.

    Michael Ejercito (365b6d)

  188. The pharmacist was just filling out a prescription for lead pills.

    FLJ (6b324f)

  189. Pons, it is not justified to kill people who are no longer a threat. That’s the bottom line.

    SPQR (72771e)

  190. Funny how people defending the kids are calling it a racist event on the pharmacist end. Why not a racist event on the kids end? Whenever it is black on white crime no race is involved, however it is a hate crime the other way around. My son is bi-racial and I am teaching him all crime is hate crime.

    Rob (7dee2d)

  191. #188 — Comment by SPQR — 6/1/2009 @ 9:45 am

    Pons, it is not justified to kill people who are no longer a threat. That’s the bottom line.

    Completely agree SPQR. In this case, I guess our disagreement is when the threat ended.

    But could we not both agree that the pharmacist who was in the line of fire, made a judgment call that was reasonable (i.e. the threat was still active)?

    Perhaps not, in which case we will both just see this differently, but I absolutely agree with your comment #188.

    Pons Asinorum (03ef30)

  192. At this point, Pons, with the incomplete evidence before us, I don’t yet see the justification for the final shots.

    SPQR (72771e)

  193. SPQR you are so full of SHIIT it is unbelievable. THE CORRECT ATTITUDE IS NOT I HAVE INCOMPLETE EVIDENCE THEREFORE HE IS A MURDERER. THE CORRECT ATTITUTDE IS THAT YOU HAVE INCOMPLETE EVIDENCE, THE GUY IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY, HE HAS STATED THAT HE STILL FELT THERE WAS A THREAT, END OF FUUCKING STORY. YOU DONT SEE YOURSELF AS A LIBERAL SHIIT, BUT TRUST ME SON, YOU ARE ONE.

    CaveUrsine (44cef5)

  194. Cause of death???
    If the first shot would have ultimately resulted in death (bleeds out) …. Hmmm ???

    MOG (3dd3fe)

  195. As anyone who is licensed will tell ya, you can only stop a threat, not empty your gun into an unconscious person. Having said that, I’m for the guy. Can’t be Murder First since he WAS attacked…heat of passion, and all that. PLUS, if the first shot was fatal….you’ve got something a lot less than murder. Is the DA running for office as a liberal [e.g. the Duke lacross incident]? Maybe the word could get passed through public service ads: “WARNING: armed robbery can result in injury or death, and is not covered by OSHA regulations.” It’s the cost of doing business.

    Dan, St. Lou (1eb0e1)

  196. CaveUrsine, your foul mouth matches your logic.

    SPQR (72771e)

  197. Just step around it, SPQR.

    nk (157acd)

  198. Too late, nk, I got some on the bottom of my shoe.

    SPQR (72771e)

  199. CaveUrsine:

    Could you say that a little louder?

    Or better yet, could you just go away?

    Here, let me give you a little nudge out the door . . . [SLAMS DOOR, LOCKS IT, DUSTS OFF HANDS]

    Patterico (cc3b34)

  200. #193 — Comment by CaveUrsine — 6/1/2009 @ 2:28 pm

    Uncalled for — a young man is dead and there is doubt as to the reason (murder or self-defense). Decent people will almost always have a default position that the justification for killing should meet a high standard. There is disagreement as to whether or not that standard has been met.

    Using all-caps, dishing out personal insults, and pounding your chest serves no purpose in an honest discussion — other than to cause you a loss of respect.

    SPQR is one of the sharpest minds here — he completely has my respect — and if he says he does not see self-defense, well guess what, I take another look at my position.

    Pons Asinorum (03ef30)

  201. ALL CAPS is cruise control to cool.

    JD (6675bb)

  202. ALL CAPS is cruise control to cool.
    …yeah, while speeding to doofus-ville.

    Pons Asinorum (03ef30)

  203. #192 — Comment by SPQR — 6/1/2009 @ 2:05 pm

    At this point, Pons, with the incomplete evidence before us, I don’t yet see the justification for the final shots.

    Maybe, SPQR, because it is not there. I still think it is, but as you suggest, more evidence should help clarify one way or the other.

    Pons Asinorum (03ef30)

  204. “One of the worst times came one morning when I was leading a forward patrol along a gentle slope toward an ancient and apparently empty farmhouse. We were barely 30 yards away when a machine gun spat fire from a darkened window and my lead scout was all but cut in half. The rest of us hit the ground, and I hollered for the bazooka. With a whoosh our rocket tore into the weathered building; it sagged crazily, and the machine gun was still.”

    “Coming forward, we found two Germans dead, torn to shapeless hulks by the bazooka. A third, an ammo bearer, had been thrown across the room and lay sprawled against a wall, one leg shredded and twisted around. “Chambered,” he whispered. “Chambered.””

    “He reached into his tunic, and I thought he was going for a gun. It was war; you had only one chance to make the right decision. I pumped the last three shots in my rifle clip into his chest. As he toppled over, his hand sprang spasmodically from the tunic, and he held up a snapshot, clutching it in death. It was a picture of a pretty woman and two little children, and there was a handwritten inscription: “seine Dichliebende Frau, Hedi.” So I had made a widow and two orphans.”–Senator Dan Inouye, Winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor (and one of very few Democrats I have any respect for)

    Good thing that didn’t happen during a gunfight in Oklahoma.

    You can read about more Senator Dan’s war and other experiences, at his website…

    http://inouye.senate.gov/

    Dave Surls (af5780)

  205. You make some very good points but there is a societal and moral duty, and legal justification, self-defense aside, to protect other innocents from a violent criminal.

    This duty is held by the police and law enforcement apparatus, not normal citizens. By entering into the social contract, i.e., leaving the state of war, we’ve given up our right to execute the law.

    Fritz (05ef42)

  206. “Why would the jury assume that a pharmacist would shoot a dead body five times?”

    They saw the Concentration Camp/Oven scene in “The Big Red One!”

    AD - RtR/OS! (465dbd)

  207. Comment by Fritz — 6/1/2009 @ 9:30 pm

    Except, part of our Right to Life, is the defense of that life.
    And, you have the right to make a Citizens’ Arrest for offenses committed in your presence. The police have no Constitutional Duty to protect you, and cannot be held responsible for failure to protect you – ask Reginald Denny!

    AD - RtR/OS! (465dbd)

  208. Except, part of our Right to Life, is the defense of that life.

    Which is why, as I’ve already stated, he gets to shoot him the first time. He does not, having done this, have a right or duty to place himself in further danger by reentering the shop or approaching the robber to shoot him again.

    Fritz (05ef42)

  209. Comment by Fritz — 6/1/2009 @ 9:54 pm

    If he considered that the assailant was still a threat to his safety, or the safety of others, he had the moral – and legal – justification to continue the attack in the defense of his life, or that of others.
    It is a subjective determination that will ultimately be determined by the arguments of the Prosecutor and Defense Atty before the jury.

    AD - RtR/OS! (465dbd)

  210. Pons, it is not justified to kill people who are no longer a threat. That’s the bottom line.

    Fine.

    When the thugs who killed Pedro Navarro-Oregon are prosecuted, then we can decide whether or not the pharmacist was justified.

    Decent people will almost always have a default position that the justification for killing should meet a high standard.

    What justification exists for breaking into a home while looking for drugs?

    What justification exists for killing someone in the process.

    Michael Ejercito (365b6d)

  211. How can this pharmacist be given 1st degree? Is this pharmacist the moral equivalent of some miscreant that kills a person sleeping in their bed as he robs them? No way!

    Once someone demonstrates their utter lack of civility by committing a depraved act such as armed robbery, they have given up their right to life. They are a drain on our civilized society.

    This pharmacist is an educated individual who pays taxes and provides a valuable service to people. You advocate locking him up for the life of a scum-bag parasite? If you feel that way then I have no sympathy for you if you are executed some maniac robber.

    Happy feet said it right:

    “I’m glad the stupid robber is dead. I wish more stupid robbers would get killed more often. I don’t like robbers.”

    Mohamad (4c7415)

  212. Is this pharmacist the moral equivalent of some miscreant that kills a person sleeping in their bed as he robs them? No way!

    Of course not.

    He is certainly less of a danger to society than the police officers who broke into a house without a warrant to look for drugs and killed Pedro Navarro-Oregon.

    Michael Ejercito (365b6d)

  213. Thanks for the nice comment, Pons. Made my day.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  214. Dave Surls, #87

    I didn’t ask if you’ve seen it, I asked, “Have you watched it?”

    Alan Kellogg (93aa26)

  215. […] Pharmacist Shoots Armed Robber, Is Charged with Murder. […]

    Two Stories, Same Problem. (a97fd3)

  216. Comment by Michael Ejercito — 6/2/2009 @ 10:46 am

    Would you stop flailing that fucking dead horse?

    Yes, some cops have gotten away (so far) with murder.

    Because of that, you refuse to enforce laws? Fuck, is there a line to where you WILL enforce it? I mean, if we aren’t going to hold cops to the standard, why hold CROOKS to that standard. No murder indictments!!

    Scott Jacobs (90ff96)

  217. What strikes me about today. In the land of the Obama CULT. Is how out of touch people are.
    Opie our boy wonder neophyte President has brought out the IDIOT in almost every BORDERLINE stupid American.
    Here is what I mean.

    If someone came into my house without permission.
    I’d blow their fucking brains out.
    There are probably circumstances that some weak kneed tit sucking libtard could imagine that might preclude me…blowing this (theoretical) fuckers brains out..but…..
    If someone came into my house, uninvited, in a myraid of possible circumstances. I would still be the bright…educated….Husband…Daddy and Businessman that I am without a home invader or trespasser. In other words. Someone coming into my house and putting me in a defensive posture, DOES NOT STOP ME FROM BEING AN INTELLIGENT AMERICAN.
    Libs will never cede that point.
    Anyway. If my lovely wife of 18 years and the love of my life my 8 year old son…are even POTENTIALLY IN HARMS WAY…because of someone else’s choice or mistake…… I will ERR to the side of those I love. I will not make the mistake of assuming that the person who entered my home is BENIGN. To do so could be fatal to the 2 people I depend upon for my very existance and happiness and vice versa.
    If you put my DARLINGS in harms way.
    You die.

    gus (b1a191)

  218. Mike Ejercite. You’re not real bright are you??
    If the cops who broke into a house without cause or warrant were shot for doing so.. they would have had to pay for their HONEST MISTAKE.
    You seem to want those who were NOT HONEST and did not make a MISTAKE to be indemnified>>>

    Are you a Special Ed. student??

    gus (b1a191)

  219. Yes, some cops have gotten away (so far) with murder.

    Because of that, you refuse to enforce laws? Fuck, is there a line to where you WILL enforce it? I mean, if we aren’t going to hold cops to the standard, why hold CROOKS to that standard. No murder indictments!!

    The cops who shot Pedro Navarro-Oregon are still at large, and have not been prosecuted. As they had admitted to the acts, there is a much better case for murder than the case against Phil Spector. And yet, the D.A. refuses to prosecute.

    If the cops who broke into a house without cause or warrant were shot for doing so..

    The cops were not the ones who were shot.

    By the way, if either of us were to kill someone while breaking into a home to look for drugs, how would we be treated?

    Michael Ejercito (365b6d)

  220. I think anyone who sides with a robber armed a gun into your work or home, and shot at you or a co-worker you would be the 1st ones to start bitching about how the robbers are at fault and should have been shot. lets say it was at work and you were shot at and the security gaurd shot him, you would be very greatful.You think the robber has rights you are all crazy.

    Bruce Dougherty (2b868a)


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