By law, the jury returned the correct finding. (Note i did not say i agree with the finding). However, based on the information provided in the article the jury was correct. If the only knives found were in the victims (and i use the term loosely) pockets and ankle holsters, then the finding that the use of lethal force was unneeded is correct.
You cannot use lethal force against someone who merely has the potential to present a lethal threat (if you could then mowing down random people in the street would be legal, and that would just get messy fast), they must actually be a threat (at least in the case of a place of business. had this been a home invasion merely having them in the house presents a reasonable threat).
If they had a knife in their hands, in such a manner that it could be justifiably deemed a threat, then lethal force would have been appropriate. I would also point out that this finding is in civil court, not criminal court (see the differences in the OJ Simpson trials). In fact, no criminal charges were filed against the men.
I am a little hot under the collar about the awarding of "lost wages". I'm curious as to what the median wage is for a thief these days. Anybody know?
Let the hate mail commence
I doubt there will be any hate mail.
As a society we are used to criminals being favored over law abiding citizens.
As for trespass I would not consider shooting at a kid who climbed my fence to get a ball I would not even bother yelling at him.
However change that to crack head trying to break into my shed and it's a different matter I would confront him.
I probably would not shoot him if he ran but if pulled a knife, OMG it would be ON Like Donkey Kong!
As for mowing people down in the street, I don't see where that applies here.
They climbed his fence with the intend to steal, and were armed.
Mowing down people? Come on. Did I say that? No. But if you read the whole report, that dealership has had more than this one incident. As most report, you don't have all the info. Did insurance drop them because of multiple incidents? Did they have another more dangerous encounter? Don't know. Did the Jury did the right thing? As you mentioned legally, in that state, yes.
Now was it an ethical decision? Personally, no. Does Colorado need a castle law... heck yea.
It seems that everyone wants to focus on the mowing people down comment. Which is not the point of the message. The point is the difference between potential threat and an actual threat. Everyone has the potential to be a threat to you, just by existing. How many people are actually a threat to your life and safety? If the "victims" were not brandishing a weapon or attacking then they did not present a threat that justified a lethal response. Simple robbery at a place of business, while not a good thing, does not present justification for the use of lethal force.
If someone is breaking laws by trespassing onto properties that they do not own and you are on it, how is this not a threat to you? This could be anything from disparity of force (he is bigger than you) to there are 2 of them and one of you. A weapon can be anything from a gun to him picking up a toaster in your kitchen to bash you in the head with.
Good question, but unfortunately it is not one that begets a simple answer, as much as we would like one. The short answer is that it varies from case to case, and some large part of it depends on who is doing the investigation into the aftermath. In the largest part (and this is a simplified explanation, so no arguing it out of relevancy please) it is based upon when a third party decides that the aggressor presents a threat to your (the defenders) life and safety, or to the life and safety of those the defender is acting for.
In this story the DA chose not to prosecute, but a different one could have chosen to throw the book at the shooter, and, based on the information in the news report, won. Premeditated murder is one possible charge
Milanovic and his father told police a week before the shooting they would shoot any intruders who returned
At the same time a ?jury of their peers? chose to find that lethal force was, in this instance, uncalled for. With the dead ?victim? shot through a shed door, and the second one in flight, neither one could be found to have been presenting a threat under Colorado law. So, by law, the jury finding was correct, even if it is a morally ambiguous one