About an hour ago, the jury started deliberations in the Gerald Ung case.
The jury of six men and six women began their review shortly before noon after receiving instructions in the law from Judge Glynnis Hill on the charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault and a gun charge.
I don’t even know what to think of this case anymore. When the prosecutor started advocating for warning shots in downtown Philly as a reasonable solution in the courtroom, it went beyond weird. It proves that there is no way for a lawful gun owner to win in that city while career violent criminals are allowed to roam the streets.
11 thoughts on “In the Jury’s Hands”
Yeah, if you have time to fire warning shots they’ll argue you weren’t really in immediate danger.
fingers crossed and prayers sent for Mr. Ung.
Prayers Indeed. I have followed this case avidly on the blog, and I do not know what to think either.
In such a case, I pray the Jury remembers their duty towards a presumption of innocence.
That prosecutor has entered la-la land …
Finding six women to bring themselves to aquit in a self defense case involving firearms is a statistical impossibility, especially so in Philadelphia.
I think the best Ung can hope for is a hung jury. Hopefully the DA won’t pursue charges again if that happens. If not, I hope to get jury duty in that case ;).
Looks like we’ll have to have state-by-state rules on warning shots. I believe it was this blog that documented the case of Long Island resident George Grier last September who, when confronted with as many as 20 gang members in his front yard, fired a couple warning shots into the ground and was charged with felony reckless endangerment. I never saw how Mr. Grier’s case turned out, but I have to suspect that if Gerald Ung had fired into the ground (or sidewalk) even as a man was charging him that the prosecutor would have charged him with something else. The lack of respect for gun rights and the lack of any stable policy in who is charged with what offense are probably the most disturbing aspects of this case.
Warning shots? Assuming Ung had done so I’m sure that same prosecutor would use that fact as proof that Ung really didn’t fear for his life. I’m sure he’d also call it reckless and dangerous…..
Forget warning shots; there was the story of the guy who cocked his revolver before shooting an attacker. They said cocking it meant he wasn’t in immediate danger.
I’ve only read about one case where a warning shot was justified, and that was a case where the shooter was acting to save another person who was being beaten by a group – actually trying to shoot the attackers would have risked hitting the person he was trying to save, but a warning shot into the ground got their attention and got them to run away.
Realistically, cases where a warning shot would be justified are rare.
In this case, looking at the video, I wonder at what point in the sequence of events the prosecutor would claim a warning shot would have been appropriate?
It was a trick hypothetical by the prosecutor. If Ung had been able to get off a warning shot that would have stopped the attack (unlikely since the attacker lunged at him even after the gun was shown), they would have prosecuted him for discharging the firearm. The suggestion was likely part of a “throw everything we can against the wall & see if anything sticks” strategy. It’s the same philosophy the DA took with initial charges when they tried to get him for carrying without a license even though they knew he had a license.
Discouraging a mob would be a legitimate function of “warning shots” as well.
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