Friday, April 28, 2017

20th Annual Firearms Law Seminar - Massad Ayoob

Always an excellent presenter, Massad Ayoob talked about self-defense cases that went wrong and how to avoid unjust verdicts in Self-Defense Shootings.

Ayoob went on to talk about how a perfectly appropriate act of self defense can lead to very bad results. Such as refusing to speak to police after a shooting to identify witnesses and evidence can lead from an exoneration from a good shoot to bad results - this can result in evidence and witnesses disappearing. How you do the talking matters of course.

Ayoob noted many Prosecutors lack a lot of training in self-defense law.

He gave several tips for attorneys including giving theory of the case at the beginning of trial to get the defendant's story out so the jury can consider your evidence while the prosecution is presenting their case. He noted the action/reaction time can lead to issues and can be explained to a jury. A quarter turn takes a quarter second and a half turn takes a half second which can show a how an attacker can hit hit in the back which is not within common knowledge. He noted a semi-auto in hands of an average person will fire 5 shots in a second and best normal unanticipated reaction time is at best .75 seconds.

He noted the self defense person should identify the attacker, identify evidence, witnesses, and only after that invoke the right to counsel.

Noted that if a person fled the scene it creates a definite problem and suggested to have an expert show it was traumatic and caused them to have to flee to safety.

He noted self defense is very much an affirmative defense and lawyers need to be aware of that and be prepared to have the person testify in their own defense.

He noted self-defense lawyers will need to engage with the media, especially in the aftermath of the George Zimmerman and Ferguson cases, and will need to get ahead of the narrative.

He stated many criminals on heroin and other drugs will not feel being shot and multiple shots will be needed - for example one criminal was hit with multiple 9mm hits as well as two 12 gauge shots and was still trying to shoot police at the time.

Much of the presentation is abbreviated and adapted from his excellent use of force classes - if you haven't taken a Massad Ayoob class and carry you owe it to yourself to do so.

An excellent and engaging presentation.


MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Aaron;

I remember reading somewhere that it is best to not talk to the police until your lawyer gets there because in the heat of the moment you might say something wrong and get hemmed up for it. The Lawyer can control what you say and prevent a self defence situation from becoming a murder rap.

Aaron said...

Yes, it takes a bit of very controlled limited statements - stating to the police who the attacker was and which way s/he went if s/he left after the encounter, where the evidence is, and who the witnesses are, and then stating you want to talk to your lawyer before you make any further statements.

It's a more advanced approach than standing mute and demanding your lawyer, and if you can't keep the statements controlled to these few points then shutting up and demanding a lawyer would be the way to go.