I have a question about law.

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I have a question about law.

Postby Mathias » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:19 pm

I'm writing a story. Here's the premise: a boy is held up by another boy at a convenience mart. The boy with the gun is nervous and trembling and he accidentally sets it off and kills the other. The victim's father sees this on the security footage and decides to defend the convicted in court. How might a case like this pan out? Is there any chance of the boy getting off? I should probably mention that the convicted boy is black and the victim was white.

The idea was originally just going to be the victim's father bringing the convicted to his son's funeral, but I've decided to expand on the idea.
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby EagleMan » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:36 pm

The case would probably be in the state's hands by then, so the victim's family wouldn't be able to drop charges.

I assume by boy you mean a teenager since a little kid wouldn't really have a reason to hold up a person with a gun. In this case he's probably not going to be left off. He still committed murder, it doesn't matter whether or not the father is forgiving. It also wouldn't be viewed as an accident I believe since he also tried to commit armed robbery, and I assume the dead boy was a clerk at the desk.

Most people are nervous when committing a crime, and to some degree planning it as well. I don't understand why the father would be so forgiving but that's your story. The boy seems very likely to be convicted. Even if it wasn't murder he'd still be charged with second degree murder or reckless manslaughter, as well as armed robbery. One of those charges are definitely going to stick.
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Sentios » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:37 pm

Sympathy/mercy from the victim's father would most likely only result in a reduction in sentence length if anything...
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Mathias » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:39 pm

You would be correct in presuming that they were teenagers, I should have clarified.

Do any of those charges carry life sentences? Is there any way for him to get a lighter sentence? Would that be dependent upon the judge?

Sentios wrote:Sympathy/mercy from the victim's father would most likely only result in a reduction in sentence length if anything...

That's one question answered. Would he get the death penalty for any of these charges?
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Dorian » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:41 pm

The father of the dead kid wants to defend the shooter...?

Is he a lawyer? If so, I'm not sure they'd allow him as he's personally affected by the case. If you just mean to testify in his favor, then I'm sure he could.

Although the security footage would likely be shown to the court anyway. If there's sufficient evidence to suggest he did it by accident (such as providing reasonable doubt through suggesting that it's possible the gun could go off by accident or that his fright caused a reflex to pull the trigger), he might get a manslaughter charge. However seeing that he had a gun and was clearly aiming it at another person, it's possible it could be considered intentional enough for second degree murder. Not to mention armed robbery charges.

If there's not enough evidence that the gun went off on its own and that he was not severely emotionally affected, it would be considered premeditated and therefore would qualify for first degree.

Race could play a possibility if either of the boys have a history of racist remarks or acts. If it's just simply "one is black and one is white" I'm not sure how much of a role it would play. A prosecutor may try to play the card anyway.

If the shooter is under 18 then it would depend on whether or not he gets tried as an adult. If he does, the above applies. If he doesn't, then he'd probably go to juvenile for a few years at most. It's most likely that he would be charged as an adult.
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Mathias » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:45 pm

Hmm...those are very apt considerations and they would probably serve my purposes well. I hadn't considered Juvy. I actually have an outline thought up now based on this info.
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Dorian » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:49 pm

Death penalty? No, I wouldn't think so. Most states require the defendant to be at least 18 for that to even be considered. Some 17 and 16, but nothing lower than that. That's usually reserved for murders of more than one person or other incredibly serious crimes.

As an adult with a charge of first degree murder a life sentence is a possibility.
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Mathias » Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:51 pm

And that's practically a death sentence in itself as he's liable to be murdered my inmates.
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby EagleMan » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:26 pm

Not really. Don't let tropes become your idea of what it actually is like. And then perpetuate them yourself.

Here's something I found now: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/newsroom/press ... S07010.htm

He'd probably be more likely to die of AIDS or the Hepatitis he might contract through needles or sex, rather than actually being killed.
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Mathias » Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:27 pm

Thanks for that, although I wasn't actually going to have it happen.
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby zepherin » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:41 pm

Boy people are all over on this one. A lot of this depends on the state they are in, but in most states.

The family cannot drop the charges, nor can they bring up charges. The state brings up the charges it is a misconception that the victim can choose not to prosecute. The court would have the father removed if he tried to defend the kid as an attorney for conflict of interest and perhaps might get rule 11 sanctions against him, although if he testifies during the sentencing hearing he might be able to get the sentence reduced.

When committing certain felonies in most states, if somebody dies during the act it is murder in the first degree and maybe a capital offense. In most cases that would have been manslaughter, but here it is murder.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Felony_murder_rule

So most likely scenario is that he gets charged with aggravated robbery, illegal weapon and first degree murder. He may get charged as an adult, if not he gets charged as a juvenile. Stays in Juvi till he's 18 does 3 years in prison till he's 21 and gets kicked loose. If he gets charged as an adult if he goes in for first degree murder he'll do 30-life. If he cuts a plea bargain for second degree he does 15-30. With good behavior he may be out in 8.

My mom testified against my brothers father (ex step dad) during his sentencing hearing and got his sentence increased from 6 months of parole to 5 years in prison.
Last edited by zepherin on Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby PunkyChipsAhoy » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:43 pm

A Pimp Named Jeezy Creezy: Lasting all the way up to Valentine's.

And the Pimpeth lord sat amidst his real ballin' players, the Apostles, and raisingeth his cup of Cristal as they devoured the grapes and cheese from the finest bitches in town he said

"Sleepery Dee, Sleepery Doo.
Whoever betrays me tonight, I'll mo'fuckin' cap you!"
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Mathias » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:04 pm

Not quite the same, I'm afraid.
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby PunkyChipsAhoy » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:12 pm

I can already tell your book will lack humor.
A Pimp Named Jeezy Creezy: Lasting all the way up to Valentine's.

And the Pimpeth lord sat amidst his real ballin' players, the Apostles, and raisingeth his cup of Cristal as they devoured the grapes and cheese from the finest bitches in town he said

"Sleepery Dee, Sleepery Doo.
Whoever betrays me tonight, I'll mo'fuckin' cap you!"
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Mathias » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:23 pm

Well, this one is supposed to be a serious piece. The assignment calls for a "risky" story, outside of your comfort zone. Since I typically write humorous narratives, this one will be a more serious drama. That's not to say that there won't be some humor thrown in, as I can't help that. Some of the narrator's analyses will be humorous.
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby PunkyChipsAhoy » Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:44 pm

Can the narrator do puns?

like when the black kid shoots him by accident, and the police come to get him, he can say


"The kid was already under probation from the law and was begging for the cops to give him another shot, but more bodies wouldn't help his case"
A Pimp Named Jeezy Creezy: Lasting all the way up to Valentine's.

And the Pimpeth lord sat amidst his real ballin' players, the Apostles, and raisingeth his cup of Cristal as they devoured the grapes and cheese from the finest bitches in town he said

"Sleepery Dee, Sleepery Doo.
Whoever betrays me tonight, I'll mo'fuckin' cap you!"
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Mathias » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:49 pm

Here's an excerpt:

It was a Friday night. Justin was scheduled for the graveyard shift. No pun intended.


Originally, it had said "pun intended," but my instructor felt that it was "too glib." And the narrator is writing this as a memoir.
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby zepherin » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:55 pm

what class are you writing for?
Zeph do you ever tire of being perfect? ~Dave
Zeph is still awesome though. ~Rival
I love you so much right now Zeph. ~Yoshi
I love you Zeph. You and your simple yet humorous topic-breakers. ~Coos
Zeph has left me inspired. ~Mathias
Zeph is so awesome even soulless bits of binary worship him. ~Wizard
Curse YOU ZEPH! CURSE YOU! ~JesusChrist
WE ARE SORRY THAT WE ARE NOT AS PERFECT AS YOU, ZEPH! ~Stufflikehearts
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Mathias » Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:58 pm

It's a creative writing workshop course. I had always intended to write this story, and the class was incentive for me to start.
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Dorian » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:03 am

Thanks for repeating most of the things I said, Zeph
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Valhallen » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:23 am

This might help if you have a location in mind.
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Mathias » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:24 am

Hmm. Which state would be more prudent to my needs?
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby PunkyChipsAhoy » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:25 am

I always make puns in my papers for classes and I always have the teacher telling me how much the appreciated my paper for being different.
A Pimp Named Jeezy Creezy: Lasting all the way up to Valentine's.

And the Pimpeth lord sat amidst his real ballin' players, the Apostles, and raisingeth his cup of Cristal as they devoured the grapes and cheese from the finest bitches in town he said

"Sleepery Dee, Sleepery Doo.
Whoever betrays me tonight, I'll mo'fuckin' cap you!"
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby Mathias » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:27 am

You haven't had one who was all "don't do that, F"?
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Re: I have a question about law.

Postby PunkyChipsAhoy » Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:29 am

Nope. When I write essays that don't have a specific target or format intended to them, I tend to freestyle it. A lot. I remember this paper I did on weed where I had things like

' "But Mr. Jorge, the Above the Influence commercials tell me otherwise and my daddy and mommy told me the government never lies!" '
Last edited by PunkyChipsAhoy on Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
A Pimp Named Jeezy Creezy: Lasting all the way up to Valentine's.

And the Pimpeth lord sat amidst his real ballin' players, the Apostles, and raisingeth his cup of Cristal as they devoured the grapes and cheese from the finest bitches in town he said

"Sleepery Dee, Sleepery Doo.
Whoever betrays me tonight, I'll mo'fuckin' cap you!"
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Posts: 13061
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:22 pm
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