At least there are a few people in Florida who can tell the difference between murder and self-defense. It’s a start, but the legislature needs to step up, and repeal “stand your ground.”
Good move Florida. Keep it up and you may drop below Arizona on the nope-won’t-go-there-crazy-o-meter.
I’m assuming that they bussed the jurists in from out of state because of local publicity tainting the jury pool… :trollface:
I’m a little confused by the taxonomy of murder. Isn’t 1st degree premeditated? Wouldn’t this actually be second degree, unless they proved that we planned it out in advance?
Maybe because he had already been convicted on less serious gun crimes in this incident (attempted murder of other car occupants) the kids death became " murder one" automatically?
Intent In terms of willfulness, first degree murderers must have the specific intent to end a human life. This intent does not necessarily have to have been focused on the actual victim. A murder in which the killer intends to kill but kills the wrong person or a random person would still constitute first degree murder. Furthermore, under many state laws, killing through action showing a depraved indifference to human life can qualify as murder in the first degree.
Deliberation and Premeditation
Whether a killer acted with the deliberation and premeditation required for first degree murder can only be determined on a case by case basis. The need for deliberation and premeditation does not mean that the perpetrator must contemplate at length or plan far ahead of the murder. Time enough to form the conscious intent to kill and then act on it after enough time for a reasonable person to second guess the decision typically suffices. While this can happen very quickly, deliberation and premeditation must occur before, and not at the same time as, the act of killing.
The devil is in the details (and pulling the trigger), but I’m guessing that he falls under the depraved indifference category.
Perhaps, but I though depraved indifference was Florida’s Official State Emotion.
No, depraved indifference is something else.
This would be straight up premeditation, with the relevant language being “time enough to form the conscious intent to kill and then act on it after enough time for a reasonable person to second guess the decision typically suffices.”
In this case, it would be the time it took Dunn to get back into his car, grab the gun out of the glove compartment, get back out again, and shoot the victim.
That might strike you as too little time, but this isn’t an outlier, or even a particularly unusual application of the law. (In other words, if there’s a problem, it’s in how the law is generally interpreted.)
So if he’d had the gun on his person, it could have been second degree for no other reason than he didn’t have to go to his car?
Law is weird.
I think there’s also the fact that he fired 10 times. If not self defense, what else can firing ten shots be but a sign of intent?
What kind of reckless message does this send to black teens who want to play loud music around middle aged white men?
Also, what pizza toppings pair best with gunpowder residue?
Hey, that unarmed man wasn’t going to just kill himself.
Anyone else think he looks like Stacy Keach?
All things being equal, yeah, if he’d had the gun on his person, then he wouldn’t have needed to get into the car, grab the gun, and get out again. And without that step – which I know sounds weird, since we’re talking seconds here – it would be harder to show premeditation, and therefore harder to get him on first degree murder. (This is generally speaking, on the assumption there’s not a relevant Florida law I don’t know about.)
Don’t see how stand your ground is involved here. I haven’t seen a major news story where it was involved lately.
I don’t know; the fact that Dunn was convicted shows that there is no need to repeal “stand your ground”.
Neither the prosecution nor the defense cited SYG in the trial.
To my knowledge, Dunn never claimed he “stood his ground”, the only time this aspect of the law comes up in reference to Dunn is from Huffington Post and other similar media coverage, and the judge (in the reading of the standard jury instructions, and his comments to the press).
Stand your ground laws affect the way those seeking handgun licenses are trained and influence the way they think. The fact that he didn’t make an absurd and ineffective legal argument doesn’t mean he also didn’t play through a scenario in his head a million times where he was justified in acting tough and using his gun by virtue of claiming to feel threatened.
In a non-SYG state, returning to the scene of a verbal confrontation after picking up his gun would have been something he’d have been told NEVER to do, because in such a state you are responsible for trying to de-escalate any conflict by simple virtue of having a gun in your possession. While its possible that his behavior would have been the same under such laws, its also likely that their specific absence and recent discussion of that absence influenced his thinking along the lines that encourage him to instead ESCALATE a conflict.
In short, laws can help shape attitudes and behaviors even in situations where they do not specifically apply.
I suspect that this guy’s major legal failing was not being an officer of the law.
Middle aged white guy… Check.
Gunned down unarmed black teen… Check.
Claims to have to had to shoot to protect his life because of an imagined weapon… Check.
Paid administrative leave until the case is eventually dropped… NOPE! Not an officer!
Since no one else has mentioned it…
I really appreciate the fact that the victim’s public identification is his school photo and the perpetrator’s public identification is a photo from the courtroom where he was being tried.