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Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby Dorvan » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:06 pm

The bottom line is that none of the information presented in this thread is enough to make a reasoned judgment. There are many possible ways this might have played out, but to latch on to any particular conclusion requires that you assume a lot of facts not in evidence here.
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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:42 pm

Dorvan wrote:The bottom line is that not of the information presented in this thread is enough to make a reasoned judgment. There are many possible ways this might have played out, but to latch on to any particular conclusion requires that you assume a lot of facts not in evidence here.

Pretty much exactly this. We can speculate and talk in hypotheticals, but we don't have the details required to do much else.

I will say that having read a bit more about it, it's just a terribly sad tragedy all the way around.
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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby Kelaan » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:46 pm

Sabindeus wrote:Unless you have significant training in fighting with your weapon of choice, you cannot shoot to do anything but kill.

As Kenshin said, "A sword is a killing weapon", and any other pretense is fooling yourself. You don't protect people with weapons, you kill people with them. It was a surprisingly thought-provoking (and memorable) thing when I saw that, and I still keep it with me today in the ways I think about violence (or avoiding it).

Arnock wrote:What matters, is whether or not the stabber was justified in fearing for his life or great bodily injury. To me, if the attacker was punching the stabber in the back of the head, then the stabber was perfectly justified in bringing out a knife.


I think many of us agree that knifing an assailant is reasonable in some circumstances. What is more questionable is at what point you stop. Twelve seems like a lot of stabs -- that's like a full ten to fifteen seconds of fighting right there. I find it really hard to believe that someone would (a) not notice the knife, (b) not back off, and (c) not run the fuck away after getting stabbed the first time. Maybe the bully was high, or the situation was otherwise abnormal, but more than four or five stabs starts to look excessive to me in most circumstances.

Good points about us not having the full picture. I think the fact that the DA declined to appeal shows that they don't think it will fly much farther up, but I'm still very curious about the circumstances of the situation.
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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby econ21 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:44 pm

What a ludicrous judgement: how often does a public fight between unarmed two school kids lead to a death or even serious injury? The judge's opinion that it was reasonable for the killer to believe his life was in danger is absurd[1]. To imply that a school kid can use lethal force with an illegal concealed weapon whenever another school kid thumps them just seems insane.

In the UK (where I live), youth knife crime has been a serious problem and penalties for carrying knives are severe to try to curtail it. I don't know how densely populated the part of America is, but I'd be worried about the demonstration effect this ruling could have. Fourteen and sixteen year old males can get into enough trouble even without 3 inch blades.

[1]Of course, as soon as one party draws a blade, such a belief becomes eminently reasonable: hence the reason to take a tough line on knife crime.
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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:55 pm

Keelan wrote:I think many of us agree that knifing an assailant is reasonable in some circumstances. What is more questionable is at what point you stop. Twelve seems like a lot of stabs -- that's like a full ten to fifteen seconds of fighting right there. I find it really hard to believe that someone would (a) not notice the knife, (b) not back off, and (c) not run the fuck away after getting stabbed the first time. Maybe the bully was high, or the situation was otherwise abnormal, but more than four or five stabs starts to look excessive to me in most circumstances.

See, to me it's justified or it isn't. If it is, he could stab him until there's nothing left but a bloody pulp and I think it's totally fine.

Now, I can certainly see scenarios where this kid got away with murder. There is really no way to truly know, but legally I want people to have the ability to defend themselves with lethal force if they have a legitimate fear for their life in a situation like this.

The absolute last thing I want is someone trying to parse out an appropriate number of stabs before it's no longer defense. You get out the knife to kill the person so that the assault stops, and there's no reason for you to stop until he's dead, and once he's dead there is no reason for you to stop.

It's a pretty simple thing to go through life without ever assaulting anyone unprovoked, and if you choose to do so, then you are putting your life in their hands by choice. That's a choice that you didn't give them when you initiated the assault.
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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:58 pm

econ21 wrote:What a ludicrous judgement: how often does a public fight between unarmed two school kids lead to a death or even serious injury? The judge's opinion that it was reasonable for the killer to believe his life was in danger is absurd[1]. To imply that a school kid can use lethal force with an illegal concealed weapon whenever another school kid thumps them just seems insane.

In the UK (where I live), youth knife crime has been a serious problem and penalties for carrying knives are severe to try to curtail it. I don't know how densely populated the part of America is, but I'd be worried about the demonstration effect this ruling could have. Fourteen and sixteen year old males can get into enough trouble even without 3 inch blades.

[1]Of course, as soon as one party draws a blade, such a belief becomes eminently reasonable: hence the reason to take a tough line on knife crime.

Apparently 1 in 9 fights requires someone to get medical attention, granted that's a pretty vague claim, but fighting is a lot more dangerous than people think. I think we are desensitized to it by TV where guys take huge hits and fight right back. In reality most of those hits would render someone unconscious.

http://www.keepschoolssafe.org/students/fighting.htm
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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby Fridmarr » Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:08 pm

Also, the word "fight" keeps getting used a lot. Based purely on the judge's comments this was not a fight. It was one kid who chased down and attempted to beat up another kid who tried repeatedly to get away. It was an attempted assault.

A fight requires some mutual intent, and had that intent been established this probably would not have gotten thrown out. If you are in a fight with someone and pull a knife, that's pretty textbook second degree murder/manslaughter. The implication there is that you had a choice to not fight, based on the judge's comments that's not a choice this kid had.
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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby RedAces » Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:44 am

If the person lying in front of you is dead, it's definitely time to stop. Thats what I think, otherwise I'm agreeing wholeheartly with Fridmarr.
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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby Fivelives » Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:09 am

Things I'd like to know before I'd make a judgment here:
- How bad was the bullying? Was it just verbal harrassment, or was the kid getting beaten up regularly? And if he was getting beaten up on a regular basis, how bad were the beatings - i.e. trips to the hospital or just getting smacked around a bit?
- Had he reported the bullying to authorities?
- Did the bully have a criminal record?
- Was the kid that killed him on medication of any sort?

See, a lot of people have been bullied, but there's a certain distance that comes with age. Sometimes bullying is pretty easy to just shrug off, but then there's the converse - kids can live in absolute dread of their bullies and feel like they have a legitimate fear for their life. Adults often don't remember that feeling, so we tend to underestimate the effect that being bullied has on kids.
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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:59 am

Almost none of that is known with much level of detail (at least from the articles linked here). The judge commented that the kid would skip school or find other ways to get home to avoid the bus and the bully, but that's it as far as info on the bullying, and there's not much that you can conclude from that.

We don't even know many details of the actual altercation. The judge said the kid got off at an early stop to get away, he tried to run away, he tried to get away during the melee, and that he had reason to fear for his life from the first punch in the back of the head until he stabbed the kid.

I'm assuming that since this is a juvenile case, we probably won't get any details. So as has been pointed out, it's really hard to pass judgement specifically about this case, because things are vague enough that you could probably imagine scenarios that fit either way.
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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby Fivelives » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:37 pm

It should still be public until the kid turns 18 and is old enough to request that his records be expunged/sealed. Since the case was thrown out (I don't know if it was with or without prejudice - with prejudice means the DA can't refile, without prejudice means they can. With prejudice means the record will be expunged as opposed to just sealed), it's a no-brainer that any request for sealing/expungement of the juvenile record will be rubberstamped "APPROVED".

But until then, it should be a matter of public record.
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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby Koatanga » Fri Jan 06, 2012 8:30 pm

I am not going to defend the actions of the stabber - the reason kids are not usually tried as adults is because they sinply don't have the judgment that adults do. Whether he stabbed him or went temprarily nuts and kept stabbing in a blind rage until the guy stopped moving is also irrelevant in my opinion. Dead is dead.

What I would like to mention is that the article said the kstabber was under attack from the moment the bully hit him in the back of the head until the fatal stabbing.

So this isn't like some kid claims someone bullied him so he killed the bully. This is the bully hitting him in the back of the head, which generally doesn't happen if they are facing eachother. Seems a bit like the stabber was trying to get away or at least was not on the offensive at the start of the altercation. That is to say, he wasn't looking for a fight so he could use his knife - the fight found him.

In my opinion that brings it into self-defense, and while it would have been better for the kid to run away and not to have killed the bully, the stabber was acting within Florida law to stand his gound.

As far as bringing a knife to a fist-fight and the proportionality of the response, the court and prosecution were satisfied that there was reason to believe serious bodily harm was a real possibility, at which point I don't care how the serious bodily harm is inflicted. People can be beaten to death just as easily as stabbed to death.

For instance, if you have a gun and your assailant has a knife, how many times must he first stab you before you are justified in retaliating with a gun? If I am the person being stabbed, that number is one.
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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby Passionario » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:04 am

Maybe I've been playing too much KODP lately, but my first reaction was "They should have made the stabber's kin pay weregild to the deceased's family. Ten cows should suffice".
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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby laterna » Sat Jan 07, 2012 3:57 am

To be honest, I don't view this as remotely related to bullying. One person was beating up another person, person B pulled a knife to defend himself, killed the other guy in self defence.

I can't help that think that the fact this is a kid complicates matters inappropriately. Some of comments have said that if it was bullying to a smaller degree then he shouldn't have killed him etc. I disagree, one person was under assault, and used a knife to defend himself. Past records of bullying etc would have been relevant if he was convicted of murder and was looking to ease the sentence.

Bullying is under no terms ok, nor acceptable even in the smallest degree. Personally, I would have wanted the other kid to live, but to end up spending a significant amount of time in hospital and seeing the case being lost if he pressed for assault.

Kid or no kid, attacking someone with the intent of bodily harm (punch to the head?) is something extremely serious.

If the kid attacking had held a gun, this case would be played out completely different. However the fact that this played out with punches does not make it non-deadly at any terms. It was still an attack that could cause serious damage, even lethal.
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Re: Florida: Bullying Victim Allowed to Kill

Postby Lightbeard » Tue Jan 10, 2012 2:35 pm

I was with the kid that got bullied until I read he stabbed him 12 times

By the 3rd time I'm sure the attacker would've at least been injured enough to not continue the assault
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