Good talk on blocks

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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:27 pm

If your side fails to provide this mountain of evidence, you're going down. I don't care how obvious you think it is and your belief the jury will see it your way.

For example, I worked on an appeal case where the guy was ambushed and stabbed eight times by his drunk girlfriend. He collapsed and got up. She went to the kitchen, got another knife, returned, and attacked him again. Pulling the first blade out of his chest, he fought back. Simple, right?


Except he's in prison for second-degree murder. The prosecution claimed it was 'imperfect self-defense,' and he had 'over defended' himself. Worse, his attorney felt the self-defense aspect would be obvious to the jury.

So obvious, he did not bother to learn what is involved in violence, self-defense or what a 'professional drunk' (like the girlfriend) is capable of.

In fact, the defense attorney was so certain the claim of self-defense would be so obvious, he didn't even bother to call witnesses or experts.

That's not a mistake the prosecution made, they had their experts. The defense attorney was shocked when his client was convicted.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:30 pm

4) There are prosecutors who think if someone died, there must be a crime.

This lie is going to be the one that has prosecutors screaming for my hide to be nailed to the cabin door. In fact, I'll bet it will even be brought up in court that I dared put these words in writing. Well, the truth is even I have to admit there are all kinds of things wrong with this particular 'lie to children.'

Having said that, it's an important perspective to understand. It will save you all kinds of emotional distress about the aftermath of a self-defense situation. But more than that, it can help keep you from going to prison.


This is a critical factor. You may think you're a 'good guy.' You may think the prosecutor is a 'good guy,' too. You may have nothing but respect for the police. But that does *not* automatically mean you're all on the same side -- especially after you've taken another citizen's life.


That's a very important point I just slipped in. I'm going to give a hat tip to the Armed Citizen's Legal Defense Network here (http://www.armedcitizensnetwork.org/) and bring up an issue they like to remind folks:

The law doesn't see a self-defense situation as you vs. some douche bag. Legally, it is considered two citizens in dispute.

That means you and the person you consider to be a douche bag-criminal-lowlife have the *same* rights to life, liberty, and not being gunned down in the street.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:31 pm

It is the DA's job to take umbrage at citizens killing citizens. That you've come to his attention for doing so ... well ... let's just say he might be suspicious. Until it is proved you did not wrongfully take a person's life (as in that person was going to wrongfully cause your death if you didn't act) the prosecutor is NOT your friend.

Here's the problem with that. There is a big difference between it being proved that you acted in self-defense (e.g., found not guilty in a trial) and the prosecutor not having enough evidence to win a case saying otherwise.

That's an ugly limbo. A limbo you'll need to learn about in a seminar about legal use of force instead of from me. But know to ask about it -- because it will last for the rest of your life.


Remember I said earlier there's also a difference between the law and our legal system? Well the latter is strongly influenced by a lot of factors that have nothing to do with the 'law.' This is the elephant in the room people pretend has no bearing on what is happening -- especially with whether or not a prosecutor decides to act.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:34 pm

Ours is one of the few countries where district attorney is an elected position (or is the appointee of an elected official). As in if the DA's office doesn't have an impressive conviction rate, there's a good chance that the boss man is out of a job.

The more convictions, more plea bargains the DA's office has, the better they look for being 'tough on crime.' Incidents that make it on the news really need to be actively pursued to show the public the system 'works.' Political pressure, public outcry, and -- of course -- internal pressures from the 'boss' are very real factors on how the prosecutor's office will act.


I often tell people who buy a gun for self-defense they need to plan to spend about $3,000. Most of that is in training. I'm not just talking about the fun run-around-and-go-'bang!-bang!' kind of training.

I'm talking about training in legal use of force, use of force decisions, violence dynamics, articulation, and what to expect during the aftermath of a self-defense situation.

I'm talking about spending a weekend in a classroom learning how to protect yourself from threats you never thought of.

This kind of training can keep you out of prison *and* keep you from being sued for everything you own.

This is very distinct and different training than just shooting. (For example: Armed Citizen's Rules of Engagement - http://massadayoobgroup.com/?page_id=7 .)

I also recommend this same 'insurance' training for knife or any other effective 'combative' systems someone is learning.

If you can kill or cripple someone with your self-defense measures, then you need this training to learn how *not* to put yourself into prison or the poor house.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:37 pm

This is critical because your actions before, during, and after a self-defense incident will be gone over with a microscope to find *any* hint of wrong doing you can be prosecuted for.

Remember by claiming self-defense, you have confessed to what is ordinarily a crime. The prosecutor is going to try and make that stick, not the self-defense part.


Another point of consideration is that the information the prosecutor has is only as good as the reports. In the book "Campfire Tales From Hell," I wrote an essay on 'Talking To The Cops.' (http://www.amazon.com/Campfire-Tales-Fr ... 0083XYSWMl) In that essay, I stated the primary job of an officer is to investigate, to find out what happened.

If in the process, however, the officer suspects a crime has been committed, there is a subtle -- but important -- shift in emphasis.

The officer then starts collecting information to help build a case for the prosecution.

This shift has a lot to do with what goes into his or her report. Unfortunately after the shift, a lot of information that could help your self-defense case can get left out of these reports. And what is -- or is not -- in the report is seriously going to influence the DA's decision to prosecute.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:39 pm

Now in all fairness to both the police and the prosecutor, an overwhelming amount of violence is indeed illegal. Using made up numbers (still another lie to children) I often say 95 percent of all physical violence is illegal.

This includes situations that started as self-defense, but crossed the line. This is a BIG problem. (http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/se ... lained.htm ) It's also why, these days, I'm really emphasizing 'knowing when to stop' before what you are doing becomes illegal.


Stop and think of the significance of this.


Even if it isn't 95 percent, let's agree it's an overwhelming majority. That's nearly everything. How do you think it affects how cops and prosecutors view claims of self-defense? This includes how often they hear 'self-defense' by someone for whom SODDI wasn't working.

It's *real* easy for them to slip into an attitude of 'just another murder, just another scumbag trying to get away it by claiming self-defense.'

The technical term for this is 'they're jaded.'
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:41 pm

What is the most traumatic and horrible event for you is just another day at work for them. It is very easy for jaded people to get not only sloppy, but cynical in pursuit of their goals.

As in "my job is to convict criminals -- if you come across my desk, you must be a criminal." Once the prosecutor has made that decision, he's going to do everything in his power to convict you.

Oh yeah, something else you should know. They're real good at tripping up people who are lying about it being 'self-defense.' Unfortunately, the same techniques that work to discredit a false self-defense claim can also undermine a legitimate one.


No matter how convinced you are that you acted in self-defense, it's smarter for you to act according to the idea that the police and prosecution are going to assume a crime has been committed.

A crime they don't think there is a good reason for. Regardless on how justified you think you were, remember they will do everything in their power to build a case against you and prosecute.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:43 pm

Lie #4 will save you all kinds of emotional distress when that happens to you. After all, you're one of the good guys ...

This not only will help you emotionally, but it will help you consciously deal with the aftermath -- like knowing what to say to the police. It will also help you to remember the higher level of force, the more you *need* to have an attorney present when you are being questioned.


A special hat tip to Rory Miller for the following statement: I will cooperate and give a full statement, but we both know what kind of civil problems come from these kinds of situations. So I'd like to have my attorney present before I answer any questions about what happened.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:45 pm

From that moment on, do *not* say anything else about the incident without an attorney present.

After you invoke your right to have an attorney present during questioning, do not be baited into responding to questions about the incident (like, "What? Do you have something to hide?").

Do not talk to anyone in the jail cells. (And oh yes, do not be surprised or offended if and when you are taken into custody -- much less handcuffed.)

You can give them your name and address. You can ask for water. You can do all kinds of things, but -- I repeat -- do not talk about what happened except with your attorney.

Then, in the presence of your attorney, you make your statement to the police about what happened.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:49 pm

This last 'lie to children' is a basic introduction to a much more complicated and nuanced process than you can imagine or I can go into here. A process filled with pitfalls, dangerous miscommunications, bad information, and outright traps.

This is where saying the wrong thing will get you into deep trouble. It also is where simplistic, Internet clichés about what to do and say after a self-defense situation are a disaster waiting to happen.

It is because of Lie #4 I say *spend* money on 'insurance' training. It is that kind of training that will keep you out of prison and prevent the family of the guy you had to defend yourself against from owning your home.


But more than that, Lie #4 is easy enough -- even in the adrenalized aftermath of a self-defense situation -- you can still remember it. So although it is technically the most inaccurate lie to children, it is the most important.

Under adrenaline you will want to babble, you'll want to tell your side of the story, you'll want to make sense of what happened, and Officer Friendly is there to listen to -- and take down -- you saying the absolutely wrong things.

A huge part of this is your unwittingly saying something the officer is going to interpret as indicating this was a crime and not self-defense.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:52 pm

Let me end this article by pointing out this is not legal advice. It is to make you an informed consumer. It is to acquaint you with what you will be facing when dealing with our legal system after a self-defense situation.

It's informed consumerism because it can help you better pick a qualified attorney for your affirmative defense. He's going to be the one giving you legal advice -- as it should be.


Do yourself a favor and don't limit your training on this subject to just the physical. Unfortunately in most training, there is entirely too much emphasis on 'winning' in a violent situation.

A popular fad is how to overcome the freeze response and explode into blindingly fast response time. People are afraid of failing in a self-defense situation, and that's what they want to know. I will say: This new training is good, it is important.


But so too is what I call 'planning for success.' If you successfully use your training, there WILL be an aftermath.

An aftermath that can be more complicated and dangerous (in other ways) than the original situation. This article is to introduce you to just one aspect of the aftermath.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:53 pm

Unfortunately -- in most so-called 'self-defense' training -- subjects like avoidance, violence dynamics (de-escalation and deterrence), 'do you have to engage' decision making, and legal consequences are all given a hand wave.

By this I mean: "Oh sure we teach that too, now let's spend the next six hours learning how to bust someone up" or "Well, obviously you should try and escape, but here's all the things you can do with your weapon when you can't escape."


There is no denying that this kind of training is fun and exciting. It is a confidence builder. It can be good exercise. It also can be very powerful fear management, but it is not danger management. (http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/FEARvsDANGER.html)
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:54 pm

Add to this, there is the assumption that the student will always be in the right. The raw truth is we all have bad days. We all have times when our tempers flare, and we act impulsively (think about the last time you made a rude gesture while driving or swore at someone).

These are the acts that put us into conflict -- and possibly danger. It is our active participation in a conflict that is most likely come back to haunt us if the situation escalates to physical violence. It is that participation the prosecutor will use against you.


Lately I've shifted my focus to violence dynamics and conflict communication (http://www.conflictcommunications.com ). In doing this, I've gained a deeper understanding of the different types of violence and the ways people unwittingly get themselves into conflict.

Behavior that seems so right and natural at the moment is exactly what is going to allow the prosecutor to slam dunk your case.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:56 pm

I tell you this because often there is a resistance to looking beyond the physical aspect of self-defense. In fact, I have often heard variations of the following: Knowing the law will make you hesitate in a self-defense situation.

This is (or some variant) is the excuse for what I consider willful ignorance.

More than that, it's usually the justification to spend all your time and money on the fun, run around and play bang, bang training.

Which let me tell you if the prosecutor finds out you refused to take this training, he's going to have a field day with it.

But more than that, the idea that knowing the law will make you incapable of acting is just flat out wrong.
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Re: Good talk on blocks

Postby Van Canna » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:58 pm

In my work, I've found a strong symbiotic relationship between understanding violence dynamics and staying within the parameters of 'self-defense.' Recognizing what you are dealing with is a critical component in a shoot/no shoot decision.

But more than that: Actions which are likely to de-escalate a 'social violence' situation serve many purposes. (http://www.conflictcommunications.com/S ... olence.htm)

First, there's a good chance it will solve the problem. For example, a good faith effort to withdraw does wonders to prevent violence. Often just apologizing and leaving means you don't have to shoot or stab someone.


Second, they give you articulatable facts about what you did to avoid the situation and why it didn't work. This is the kind of evidence you need to support your plea of self-defense.

For example, you tried to avoid it, but his actions countered and limited your viable options (preclusion).
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