Mid-December to end of January is when the Evil Princess and I usually take a sabbatical from teaching to get caught up on accounting, scheduling, and just take a bit of a breather. Unfortunately, we can’t control the court schedules, which on the expert witness side of what I do is something I always have to allow for.

That part of my year started early with good news: January saw prosecutors drop a case against a law enforcement officer who was looking at a criminal homicide charge, because the facts showed that any reasonable officer in the same unusual situation of deadly threat would have fired a shot just as our defendant did.

When we see high-profile cases of shootings turned into murder or manslaughter charges by prosecutors who are unscrupulous, politically motivated, or simply clueless, we have to remember that the vast majority of prosecutors understand that their duty is to be ministers of justice, equally concerned with exonerating the innocent as they are in prosecuting the guilty. In this case we had an honest prosecutor, dealing with a defense attorney who had earned his respect, and willing to look at the totality of the circumstances as the defense presented early on. 

And justice was done. 

Let’s remember that while injustice inflames the public – and us, when it happens to “ours” – that most of the time, the criminal justice system in our country works as it should.

Me not having to testify in that case is the least of the reasons why the prosecutor’s decision is a welcome relief.  Let me publicly congratulate that prosecutor (whose name I don’t have permission to mention); defense attorney Jeff Weiner, the former president of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; and the brilliant expert witness and neuropsychologist Dr. Anthony Semone. I am proud to call them both my friends. And I should add that I’m happy that the potential defendant, whom I have come to know and respect, has had this particular millstone lifted from around his neck, and the collective neck of the family who has gone through this ordeal with him.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Good to see the system actually dispense justice. Hope the ordeal wasn’t too long, but if you and Dr Semone were already in the loop, it would seem there was some hair splitting going on.

    When the long serving local Commonwealth Prosecutor finally lost an election-to someone who claimed he wasn’t aggressive enough-one of the local top defensive lawyers commented that he dispensed justice and hoped the successor would follow that path. IIRC, the winner boasted of his conviction record. So far, (into second term) it looks like he’s trying.

  2. Law enforcement is not a career that offers a lot of upside. Especially, in Today’s World.

    Let’s face it: Law enforcement has always had some negatives:

    1) It is a hard job. It’s potentially dangerous and requires someone with good people skills and good judgment.
    2) The pay has never been great.
    3) A Peace Officer has to deal with the worst of humanity. Liars, thieves, con-men, drug addicts, violent thugs, prostitutes, etc. Basically, the dregs of humanity.
    4) A Peace Office has to deal with constant human tragedy. A tide of death, folly, and despair that cannot help but take a toll on the officer’s soul and on his/her relationships with family and friends.

    To off-set all of the above, the profession was once highly respected. A Peace Office carried and earned a certain level of respect and authority from the public.

    Unfortunately, this one benefit has been eroded by the American Left. In order to gain control, the American Left has worked to undermine all competing pillars of authority. This includes both the church and the police. Both have been targeted, their character assassinated, and their authority undermined.

    The plan of the American Left is to burn America to the ground so that they may rule over the ashes. Burning down both the police and the church is “part and parcel” of this plan. It was not just cities that burned during the 2020 riots.

    Of course, there have always been those that hated the police. Criminals and lowlifes have always had a low opinion of the police since the police have been their natural enemies.

    However, criminals and lowlifes only make up (at most) about 10%-15% of the population. An additional 15% with strong left-wing leaning may have also had negative views since leftists are hardwired to find fault with whatever society has to offer.

    In the past (before America declined into its current state of decay), I would estimate that the rest of the public had a very positive view of the police. In those days, the police could count on somewhere around 75%-80% public support.

    This is what has changed. The American Left, using its organs of indoctrination and propaganda, has brainwashed about 50% of the (non-criminal) population into being anti-police. Many people with an in-built tendency to think “left-wing” have been so indoctrinated.

    The result? When you take the about 20% of the population (criminals, lowlifes, hardcore leftists – but I repeat myself 🙂 ) that have always hated the police and combine them with the roughly 40% of the population that has been brainwashed into being anti-police, then (Today) the public support for the police looks something like 40% Positive – 60% Negative.

    In other words, my personal estimate is that the American Left has eroded public support for the police from the 80% range down to the 40% range. Thus, the one benefit that being a Peace Office had (the general respect and support of the public-at-large) is being taken away. It is this growing lack of support that, increasingly, makes police officers potential targets for prosecution for just trying to do their jobs.

    Given this erosion of support (carefully engineered by the American Left) combined with the other negatives (listed above) that have always existed, why on earth would anyone want to choose law enforcement as his or her profession today?

    Quote of the Day:

    “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is
    To have a thankless child!”

    William Shakespeare – King Lear Act 1 Scene 4

      • @ Roger Willco – Thanks for the kind words.

        Unfortunately, word-processors and spell-checkers have their limits. I noted several places in my comment (above) where I typed “Police Office” when I meant to type “Police Officer”. A spell-checker won’t catch this type of typo. Sadly, I am prone to this kind of error when writing. I’ll drop off an “r” or an “s” or and “ed” when it should have been included. Then, when I proof-read it, I can’t spot the typo because (in my mind) I am reading what I meant to write not what I did write.

        I don’t have an editor to proof-read my comments on this blog. So, I hope that my tendency to generate typo’s, like these, may be excused. 🙂

      • TN_MAN,

        What happens to you happens to all of us. Often, my problem is the opposite of yours. I type a word, or a name, correctly, but the software thinks I meant something else. It puts the wrong word there, and I have to go back and correct the software, to leave the word the way I wanted it.

        Oh well. When something is gained, something is lost. Progress never erases frustration. We can’t have perfection in an imperfect world. At least Disney World and classical music can give us the illusion of perfection.

  3. Kudos to those who “did it right”. While my accomplishments and experience are heavily overshadowed by those of Mr. Ayoob, I have been training folks since 1968 regarding the laws and reality of carrying a firearm for self-defense. I also applaud prosecutors who understand the realities of life and law over politics and professional advancement.

  4. After the January “insurrection”, Kyle, and Chauvin debacles, news ike this is not only welcome it is comforting.
    Thanks.. and glad you did not have to slog through this to a bitter end. Go and enjoy your down time.

  5. Sad that police officers have to watch what they say and do. They are heavily scrutinized, while the criminals are treated better than they deserve, and given many chances to reform, and worse. Sometimes they are let go. Orenthal James Simpson got away with two murders, although, he is not a danger to society.

    Being a police officer was bad even in the 1970s. I would only want to be a LEO if I could be Dirty Harry. I believe in doing what is right, not what Is legal.

    Notice how, as civilians during a self-defense encounter, we have to overcome stress, and hope that our training will kick in, and hope we survive, and hope that we do every little thing right in the eyes of judges, and we have to think how what we do will look in court, and we have to know that we are being videoed. After defending ourselves we will be handcuffed and arrested, because we shot someone with a gun, giving a good impression of a thug, while the thug is giving a good impression of a victim, by bleeding. Almost makes me want to leave my guns at home in the safe.

    • @ Roger Willco – “Almost makes me want to leave my guns at home in the safe.”

      The choice to carry or not to carry is very personal. My view is that the Right to bear arms belongs to all free people. Self-defense is, perhaps, the most basic of Natural Rights.

      From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

      Article 3 – Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

      Unfortunately, Leftists (who dominate the UN and who have a “Big Government” Worldview) read Article 3 to say:

      “Everyone’s right to life, liberty and security of person ought to be guaranteed by National and International Governments. The individual has no responsibility over his or her own life, liberty, and security of person. The individual has no Right to oversee these matters personally. These are Collective Rights, not Individual Rights, and can only be guaranteed by collective Government Action. We all must have faith in “Big Government” to take correct action in this area and provide these elements to the civilian population collectively.”

      Most Leftists do have this kind of faith in Big Government. Leftists are psychologically hardwired to believe in Big Government and denigrate individual responsibility. Hence, the leftist nature of the view expressed above.

      I am not a leftist. I have studied World History and have studied too many examples of democide (Genocide by Government Policy) to have any such faith.

      Therefore, I read Article 3 (and the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution) literally and as “Individual” Rights. Article 3 is no more a “collective” Right than the 2nd Amendment. The SCOTUS rejected the “Collective Right” theory of the 2nd Amendment in the Heller Decision. It would be great if International Courts would also reject any “Collective Right” interpretation of Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

      So, with self-defense a universal natural right (from my point-of-view), I won’t argue with anyone who chooses to carry for self-defense. The potential legal traps and pitfalls, associated with exercise of this Right, can be mitigated with proper practice, training and basic knowledge of the laws of your State and the United States in general. Training and knowledge should provide the confidence to carry, should one choose to do so, without undue fear of arrest and prosecution.

      It is an old proverb but it still points to the basic truth underlying the natural right of self-defense:

      Quote of the Day:

      “It is better to be tried by twelve than carried by six!”

      In other words, I have made the personal choice to carry. My American Express Card and my defensive firearm. I don’t leave home without them! 🙂

      • Yes, but it is easier to make the decision to carry in Tennessee, than it is to make the decision to carry in New Jersey. Of course, I have freedom of movement, and I could move. I fired machine guns in Kentucky. Slingshots are illegal in NJ. Both Florida and Virginia granted me CCWs some years ago, when NJ would not, even though I am a veteran who has lived in NJ since 1963. In Pennsylvania, I can get a CCW more easily, quicker, less expensive and longer lasting than in NJ. My license in NJ lasts two years. If I got a non-resident license in PA it would last five years.

        Concerning rights, I do not believe animals have rights. And yet, I believe animals have the right to defend themselves, so I guess I do believe in Animal Rights. The point being, if animals have the right to defend themselves, then so do humans.

      • @ Roger Willco – “The point being, if animals have the right to defend themselves, then so do humans.”

        Exactly! Even a “snapping” turtle or a bull elk, living in the wild, will defend itself if attacked. This means, if one believes in “intelligent design”, that self-defense is God given. Even if one is an atheist who believe in “evolution by natural selection”, then one must concede that self-defense is a “natural right” created by evolutionary processes.

        Either way, self-defense is a Natural Right. It is not man-made. It is not created (and cannot be destroyed) by legislatures sitting in session and crafting self-defense statutes or gun-control laws. It was not created by the Founding Fathers when they drafted the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. It was not created by English Common law which predated the U.S. Constitution.

        Rather, it is a “Natural Right” that predates even the rise of humans and the human species. It is not a “human” right since (as you point out) even the lowest life forms have it too.

        Thus, those who try to disarm the People, and/or who craft laws that seek to restrict the right of self-defense, are at variance with Nature itself. In religious terms, they are opposing God’s Will. Yet so many are brainwashed, by left-wing ideology, into believing that disarmament of the People will create a “Golden Age of Peace”. In reality, it would create a dystopian age where the strong enslave and prey upon the weak at will.

        As I have noted before, Left-wing ideology always promises to generate utopia but what it always delivers, in the Real World, is dystopia. Yet, the gun-grabbers rush on with religious zeal in their eyes convinced that they are creating a “better World” by their foolish actions.

        Quote of the Day:

        Proverbs 12:15 – The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

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