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The Left’s Gotchas on Marissa Alexander

I keep seeing this kind of article pop up in my Google Alerts, wondering where NRA is on Marissa Alexander. First off, NRA did not comment on the Martin/Zimmerman case. You do not see NRA standing up for George Zimmerman personally, and nor should they be expected to stick up for Marissa Alexander, if she justifiably qualifies for immunity or for a defense of self-defense under Florida law. But as I pointed out in a previous post, when you cut through all the media and the left’s bullshit on this case, Marissa Alexander is not the innocent they are portraying her as. She stands convicted largely because she engaged in behavior that destroyed her credibility to a jury.

A big problem with these cases is that no one paid attention to self-defense law before this case. Now a lot of journalist, pundits and non-pundits are bringing a vast ignorance to the table when speaking about them, and understanding how the justice system works. Many people imagine things to be fairly black and white, but they are not. A self-defense defense is, with or without a “Stand Your Ground” law, quite subjective, and will generally be aimed at each side manipulating the jury into rendering the verdict that each side wants. In a lot of ways, the law is a game, much like politics. If you give a prosecutor a path to destroying your credibility, it doesn’t honestly matter how true or how wonderful your self-defense claim is, if the jury doesn’t buy it, because it doesn’t trust you — if the jury does not believe you are a reasonable person — you stand a much better chance of being convicted. Our legal system is not an arbiter of absolute truth, nor does it weed the good from the evil in all instances.

In the cases I’ve seen where media and pundits have tried to interview actual defense attorneys, most of them have really tried to explain these realities as best they could, but it just seems something the media and pundits are having difficulty wrapping their heads around. Perhaps because in TV law dramas, the bad guys have tended to get convicted and the good guys acquitted. The police are always competent, honest and do a thorough and professional investigation. But the real world isn’t TV. You’d think you wouldn’t have to explain that to folks.

6 Responses to “The Left’s Gotchas on Marissa Alexander”

  1. An example of how important credibility is comes to mind. When my wife and I were taking concealed carry class in California (and yes, we ended up with permits, amazingly enough), the deputy sheriff teaching the class showed us a video that showed what happened in a case out of Detroit. The shopkeeper shot and killed an armed robber in his store. The police show up to investigate–and ask, “How come there’s gravel under his body?”

    The shopkeeper actually shot the robber outside the store, but was the under the impression that this was illegal, while shooting him in the store under the same conditions would be legal–so he dragged the body back inside the store.

    It is very likely that the police would NOT have charged the shopkeeper if the body had been left where it was. The shopkeeper had just been robbed, the robber still had his gun out, and the shopkeeper had reason to fear for his life. But dragging the dead goblin back into the store, and lying about it, destroyed his credibility. What else might the shopkeeper have lied to the police about?

    Remember the Latin expression, falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus: “false in one thing, false in everything.” Once you deceive about a little thing, there is an understandable concern that you might be deceiving someone in the big things.

  2. Jeff Dege says:

    After I got my carry permit, I spend some time reading the appeals cases involving self-defense in my state. It’s typical to think of a self-defense case as having a good guy and a bad guy. Reading the appellate decisions, that seems to be rare.

    Most typically, everyone one involved could be considered ethically challenged.

  3. Paul Lathrop says:

    I approached people connected with Ms. Alexander requesting to interview someone with knowledge of the situation on my podcast. I told them that I would need some proof of the claim that they are making that this was a self defense shoot and that it was only a warning shot. What I received only proved to show that the situation was not at all what is being claimed. I declined to interview them after reviewing the documents provided, and as it stands now am very glad that I did.

  4. Philbert says:

    In fact, in the days following Trayvon’s death, the NRA’s lobbyists worked on Capitol Hill to promote the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act (S. 1288) to allow states to honor out-of-state concealed-weapons permits. In late March it began selling hoodies with pockets for concealed handguns on its online store.

    The NRA sponsored pro gun-rights legislation after the Martin / Zimmerman incident? Just like it did before the Martin / Zimmerman incident? Amazing. It’s not like carry reciprocity even has any bearing on the Zimmerman case. This is truly pathetic.

    Then there’s the hoodie meme. This idea that the NRA never sold concealed carry hoodies except as a way to say fuck you to the anti-Zimmerman movement. The basis for this claim seems to be that someone at ThinkProgress went to the NRA store and saw some hoodies under “new items”. Where it might have been for months, for all we know. And I’m not even sure it’s the first NRA hoodie I’ve seen, it might just be a new version of a longstanding product. But who needs to investigate facts like a real journalist when making stuff up is so much easier?

  5. Ed says:

    As noted in the post, in the courtroom it’s not about what’s true, it’s about what you can prove. I don’t do criminal law, but any lawyer in any courtroom, will see the same thing. I’ve had clients I believed, but had no way in heck of possibly convincing anyone else. I’ve had clients I felt were full of it, but played well. Mostly, it’s just people and comes down to who some other people think are lying less.

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