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  1. goodlun is online now
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    Posted On:
    5/11/2013 3:01am

    Join us... or die
     Style: BJJ

    3
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    After serving on a Jury I have come to the conclusion I NEVER and mean EVER want to be judged by a group of my peers. Spend the extra money to get the Lawyer that will keep you out of the court room all together.
  2. wiccaman is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/11/2013 1:14pm


     Style: Krav Maga, Running Away

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by TheMightyMcClaw View Post
    What's curious is, even though I was operating largely on instinct, a lot of those classic factors did not come to play.
    My heartrate did not increase, and I only felt the adrenaline dump *after* the altercation. Like I said, I didn't realize I was in a knife fight until after I had already won it. My brain registered it as a social situation rather than a combative one, with a just a little bit of jiujitsu thrown in. Kind of like playfully putting your roommate in a rear naked choke while telling him to do the dishes.
    It's interesting what you say about people reacting better when someone else is threatened, because that was totally the case. It was another friend who answered the door, and who was the target of the homeless fellow's intimidations. I was just standing nearby, and when he pulled out the knife, there was this sort of "well, he shouldn't have that" and suddenly I had taken the fellow's back.

    That's interesting. Of course different people experience things in different ways, hence my use of the word 'may'.

    I wonder if it's down to your training. You'll be familiar with the concept of 'stress inoculation' i.e. replicating/simulating a traumatic situation as closely as possible so that your body/mind becomes used to the idea.

    That's been around since at least Roman times. The legions were famous for "performing every drill as if it were a battle and fighting every battle as if it were a drill".

    You can of course use exercise to the point of exhaustion to get your body into the 'code red' state (i.e. raised heartbeat, loss of fine motor control etc.) and then make the simulated attack as real as possible (shouting, swearing, horrible insults etc.) especially if you train hard with a bit of pain thrown in so your body/mind learns to cope.

    Is your experience down to the realism of your training perhaps?

    I find it significant that you describe the incident as feeling like a social situation. Maybe because you weren't applying any heavy 'higher brain function' analysis to the situation your mid-brain just kicked in and effectively went "Ah, bit of an opportunity for a roll, we're used to that."

    In other words, despite being 'real' the scenario wasn't new to you. You just carried on as if you were in class (a relatively safe environment) and it wasn't until your higher brain kicked back in that your cerebellum had the time to go "F**k! That s**t was real!!!"
  3. wiccaman is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/11/2013 1:19pm


     Style: Krav Maga, Running Away

    5
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by goodlun View Post
    Spend the extra money to get the Lawyer
    I'm a big believer in realism in training so you cope better when the s**t hits the fan.

    So, if you start giving money to a lawyer now it won't be as big a shock for you if you ever need to do so in real life.

    I'm willing to assist you in that. A cheque will do fine.
  4. TheMightyMcClaw is offline
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    Posted On:
    5/11/2013 2:01pm

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     Style: MMA

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I think the stress inocculation was a part of it; this incident happened only a week or two after a mixed martial arts fight, so I was in peaking martial condition at the time.
    Also, I feel as the high-pressure training doesn't just develop martial skill, it develops martial instinct. For example, taking the back in jiujitsu often happens without me thinking about it; my opponent leaves an opening and I just sort of end up there, without really making a conscious decision to do so.
    Such as it was with this fight; I didn't plan out "I'm going to grab his wrist, circle to his back, apply a one armed rear naked choke"; it just happened. I think years and years of jiujitsu had made taking someone's back as natural as catching oneself when falling.
    The fool thinks himself immortal,
    If he hold back from battle;
    But old age will grant him no truce,
    Even if spears spare him.
  5. goodlun is online now
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    Posted On:
    5/12/2013 10:39pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: BJJ

    2
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Warning Generalization Alert

    Keep in mind DAs don't care if you are guilty or not, they care if they can convict you or not.
    Its a small but important distinction. Keep in mind they will play as dirty as they can get away with to get said conviction.
  6. wiccaman is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/13/2013 4:17pm


     Style: Krav Maga, Running Away

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by goodlun View Post
    Warning Generalization Alert

    Keep in mind DAs don't care if you are guilty or not, they care if they can convict you or not.
    Its a small but important distinction. Keep in mind they will play as dirty as they can get away with to get said conviction.

    That leads me nicely into a point I was going to cover; thanks.

    The thing to remember about common law jurisdictions (so Louisiana residents may want to make a cup of tea at this point) is that they use the 'adversarial' system (as opposed to the Roman/Napoleonic 'inquisitorial' system).

    It is often pointed out that a common law trial is NOT a search for the truth.

    To quote one famous (possible apocryphal) exchange:

    Judge: "Am I not entitled to hear the truth"

    Advocate: "No My Lord, you are entitled to hear the evidence."

    Now as it happens that works both ways. For example the rules on confessions (in the UK) state that an admission gained in an improperly conducted interview must be excluded *"notwithstanding the fact that it may be true"*.

    The scales aren't quite equal. A defending lawyer can do anything (lawful) to get his client acquitted. The rules for prosecutors usually state that, as the prosecutor is in effect a minister for justice, there is no requirement for a prosecutor to seek a conviction in every instance.

    In practice however advocates brought up in the common law tradition will tend to leave the final outcome to the court; whatever their own thoughts on the case.

    Giving a prosecutor too broad a discretion to decide on which cases go to trial is generally frowned upon as it essentially delegates 'justice' to the whims of an arm of the executive and leads to uncertainty as to what the law actually permits/forbids.

    There is however a two part test that prosecutors consider:

    1. Is there a realistic prospect of conviction?

    2. Is a prosecution in the public interest?

    Both limbs must be satisfied before a prosecution can go ahead.

    Theoretically a prosecutor's decision under the test is susceptible to judicial review. That's a risky and expensive way of trying to head off a trial though, so the key thing is to make sure the test is decided in your favour in the first place.

    Under the first limb of the test a prosecutor must consider whether a properly directed jury could reasonably convict on the evidence at hand BEARING IN MIND ANY POSSIBLE ISSUES THE DEFENCE MAY RAISE.

    That last bit is important. It's a higher hurdle than establishing a prima facie case (which is the test the *court* will apply when a defendant seeks a dismissal of the charges).

    So it's important at an early stage to clearly set out the factual and legal challenges to the prosecution case.

    The practicalities of doing this vary a little bit depending on the jurisdiction. The rules on inferences from silence for instance are different in the UK and the US.

    However in a case where you will be running self defence/defence of another it is generally better to adopt a 'cards on the table' approach rather than sitting back and reacting to what the prosecution raise at trial.

    There are certain keywords/phrases that prosecutors consider when deciding on how to proceed. Ideally you should raise those phrases and show how you will be able to establish the defence during the investigation stage.

    Remember, prosecutors have a limited time to review cases. They do however have to justify their decisions. it's easy for them to say "Seems like a prima facie case, let's leave it to the jury" (or as we used to say when prosecuting "Let's throw them against the wall and see who sticks").

    If however you can put forward what is in effect a fully reasoned argument against a prosecution then a busy prosecutor may well adopt your points and use them as a justification not to prosecute.

    In other words, do the prosecutor's job for them but make sure you produce a result in your favour.

    As goodlun rightly points out above, the last thing you want to do is leave your fate in then hands of "12 people too stupid to get out of jury service" (to quote a famous piece of graffiti in the cells at the Old Bailey.)
  7. Ignoscant is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/14/2013 11:47pm


     Style: Kickboxing/MuaiThai (new)

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Mr wiccaman. Firstly thank you for the information; I find it invaluable. Though I have no intention of putting a lethal neck crank on a rowdy drunk before throwing him down a set of stairs; I do live in a somewhat highly volatile area (very close to what could be considered a party street for friday and saturday nights) and have had the occasional run in on the way home from a drink at the local. So far none have been considered anything more than a drunk picking a fight which was easily avoided by putting my head down and pretending I didn't hear them; once resulting in being hit by a beer bottle being thrown at me - but the alternative could have been far worse.

    After reading through your information I was simply wondering how much of it is relevant to UK and how much of it is truly relevant to other Commonwealth countries where someone like myself lives. Is this information subject to laws or changes depending on the country these intricacies are being applied to; or are they a blanket concept in most cases. I noticed you made clause stating that the US may be different and I thought I'd query it.

    Also; if I'd like to further my knowledge on such laws can you perhaps recommend any place where I could acquire such information that would be common place? As much as I imagine there is a library of law somewhere local to my vicinity I can't imagine myself shuffling through large volumes of jargon.
  8. goodlun is online now
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    Posted On:
    5/15/2013 12:02am

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     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ignoscant View Post

    Also; if I'd like to further my knowledge on such laws can you perhaps recommend any place where I could acquire such information that would be common place? As much as I imagine there is a library of law somewhere local to my vicinity I can't imagine myself shuffling through large volumes of jargon.
    Law school? No but seriously your best bet is most likely said Law Library.
  9. wiccaman is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/15/2013 4:13am


     Style: Krav Maga, Running Away

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ignoscant View Post
    Mr wiccaman. Firstly thank you for the information; I find it invaluable. Though I have no intention of putting a lethal neck crank on a rowdy drunk before throwing him down a set of stairs; I do live in a somewhat highly volatile area (very close to what could be considered a party street for friday and saturday nights) and have had the occasional run in on the way home from a drink at the local. So far none have been considered anything more than a drunk picking a fight which was easily avoided by putting my head down and pretending I didn't hear them; once resulting in being hit by a beer bottle being thrown at me - but the alternative could have been far worse.

    After reading through your information I was simply wondering how much of it is relevant to UK and how much of it is truly relevant to other Commonwealth countries where someone like myself lives. Is this information subject to laws or changes depending on the country these intricacies are being applied to; or are they a blanket concept in most cases. I noticed you made clause stating that the US may be different and I thought I'd query it.

    Also; if I'd like to further my knowledge on such laws can you perhaps recommend any place where I could acquire such information that would be common place? As much as I imagine there is a library of law somewhere local to my vicinity I can't imagine myself shuffling through large volumes of jargon.
    Why, thank you for that; glad people are finding my rambles useful. [Call me Al btw, we're all friends here]

    As to the law, the general principles are applicable across all common law jurisdictions (which of course includes most of the Commonwealth, but not Mozambique if I recall correctly). There are a few minor variations; especially in the US with 'castle doctrine' and 'stand your ground' although to be honest these don't so much alter the law as clarify it. For example, there's no general duty to retreat under common law but having that option may be a factor in deciding whether your response was reasonable. Laws like 'stand your ground' are just meant to make that concept clearer. Although even with such a law there's no blanket immunity (cf the Zimmerman case).

    The main differences are in the procedural side. Exercising your right to silence has different evidential effects in different places for example. In some places there are, theoretically*, no consequences from doing so whereas in others adverse inferences can be drawn.

    A law library is a good place to start. The best book to use would be the standard practitioner text in your jurisdiction. These tend to be more practical than the academic text books and use more straightforward language (or at least have a commentary in regular English). Most common law jurisdictions have an equivalent of 'Archbold' (that's the English standard work) and some even use Archbold.

    Some courts have law libraries as well. They're often open to the public (by appointment) although they don't advertise the fact.

    You could do worse than popping along to your local court and asking a criminal lawyer what the standard practitioner text is and then ringing round libraries and courts to see if they have a copy they'll let you look at. You may even be able to access a law school library if you ask nicely.

    If you let me know where you're located I can probably find out what you should be looking for if you get stuck.


    * I say 'theoretically' as juries often like to hear a defendant's side of things even where there's no obligation under the law to give an account.
    Last edited by wiccaman; 5/15/2013 4:16am at .
  10. wiccaman is offline

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    Posted On:
    5/15/2013 4:18am


     Style: Krav Maga, Running Away

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by goodlun View Post
    Law school? No but seriously your best bet is most likely said Law Library.
    What goodlun said (and see above).
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