Thursday, March 31, 2011

Something went very wrong with this self-defense case in Detroit

The Detroit Free Press Jeff Gerritt: Victim or vigilante? An attempt to protect puts a Detroiter in prison

In a strange turn of events, while not convicted of any separate felonies, the home defender was found guilty of felony firearms possession. His makes no sense and is properly being appealed.

His only crime, he said, was trying to protect his wife and himself when he shot a belligerent neighbor in the arm after he appeared to reach for a weapon. In a vexing verdict, a Wayne County jury in November found Goree guilty of felony firearm possession -- despite his CCW permit -- while acquitting him of aggravated assault and attempted murder. Goree is appealing the conviction handed down by Wayne County Judge Thomas Jackson, arguing that it is inconsistent. He should win that appeal. Why would carrying or possessing a legal gun constitute a felony if a jury determined it wasn't used in a crime?
When you read the article and get a sense of events it certainly seems that Mr. Goree did act in self-defense.

Either the judge and jury got this case very wrong, not to mention it being prosecuted in the first place, or there's some other detail that's not being reported or is being reported inaccurately.

Ignore the silliness in Mr. Gerritt's op-ed when among other silly statements, he says that
Still, whether victim or vigilante, Goree has shown why a gun is not always the best defense.
That's rather debatable, especially given Goree's version of the facts that Gerritt states he believes.

Taking Goree's statement as true, a gun was most likely the best possible defense he had with someone that quite likely was armed and threatening harm.

Generally, when someone reaches into their pocket and starts bringing their hand up while saying:
"I got something for you, too, (m----- f-----)."
He's not about to pull out a Hallmark card.

In other words, Goree without his gun would likely have been severally hurt or killed, as would have his wife.

Hopefully Mr. Goree's case will be reversed on appeal and he'll be released as the verdict is not just inconsistent but wrong on the law in Michigan.

1 comment:

Scott said...

I've heard of judges throwing out jury decisions (rarely). Is this something that can happen in Michigan? Or once the jury returns its decision, is it locked in and can only be overturned on appeal?