Compare and Contrast

I just heard on Paul Harvey’s afternoon news this report:

Intruder dies after scuffle with 79-year-old man during break-in

SARASOTA – A man died this morning after breaking into the home of an elderly woman and fighting with her 79-year-old brother, who had a gun.

The intruder, George T. Jackson, wasn’t shot, but was knocked in the head with butt of the weapon, police said.

Police said Jackson, 24, broke in through the bedroom window at the 24th Street home of Henrietta McCormick, 82, at about 2 a.m. today.

She called 911 and her brother, Julian Scott, 79, grabbed a gun to confront the burglar. That’s when a struggle for the gun broke out. A shot was fired into the ceiling.

Soon after, Scott hit the man in the head with the butt of the gun and held him down until police arrived.

Police described Jackson as conscious, but incoherent. He was brought to Sarasota Memorial Hospital, where he died about four hours later. While he was still alive, sheriff’s deputies accused him of residential burglary and possession of cocaine and marijuana.

The Sheriff’s Office and the state medical examiner’s office are conducting investigations to confirm the cause of death.

In searching for a link to the story I also found this one:

Homeowner, 80, Kills Suspected Burglar
Charges Not Expected

POSTED: 10:34 am CST December 21, 2004
UPDATED: 12:42 pm CST December 21, 2004

HOUSTON — An 80-year-old homeowner shot and killed a suspected burglar in his north Houston house early Tuesday, officials told Local 2.

Investigators said a 19-year-old man broke into the home in the 500 block of Turney Drive at the North Freeway at about 1:30 a.m. and went into the homeowner’s bedroom, where he was sleeping.

The resident asked the intruder to back away, but he did not, according to officials, so the homeowner shot him once in the stomach.

“When I shot him, he screamed and knocked the screen door completely out,” said the victim, who did not want to be identified.

The World War II veteran said he felt like it was “kill or be killed.”

“I don’t feel good about it, but I had no choice. He should have got out. He would have been alive today,” the victim told Local 2.

The suspected burglar, Robert Hinojosa, died a short time later at Ben Taub Hospital.

The homeowner, who has lived in the subdivision for 57 years, encourages others to protect their property.

“Stand up for their rights. That’s the most important thing. Don’t let nobody get on you just because of your age. Show them you’re just as good as a younger man,” he said.

The case will be referred to a Harris County grand jury, but charges are not expected.

And I found this one:

Tulsa Homeowner Shoots And Kills Intruder

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A 51-year-old Tulsa homeowner shot and killed a 16-year-old burglar who entered his home.

Sergeant Tim Bracken says Tulsa Police received a call about 11:20 Saturday evening from a home in the 6700 block of East 26th Place.

The homeowner — Robert Spencer — was asleep in bed when he was awakened by the sound of glass breaking. Bracken says Spencer then saw a shadow come into his bedroom, so he fired one shot which struck the juvenile in the cheek.

The boy then ran outside the home and collapsed in the back yard where he was later pronounced dead.

The juvenile was identified as 16-year-old Billy Joe Hardridge of Tulsa.

The homeowner wasn’t arrested.

Bracken says the case will be presented to the district attorney for review.

However, he says it is unlikely any charges would be filed against Spencer.

And this one:

Store owner in nightgown shoots, kills burglary suspect

COSBY, Tenn. Sevier County authorities say a store owner, dressed in her nightgown, confronted an intruder at her market and fatally shot him.

The sheriff didn’t release the market owner’s name, but says she was alerted to a break-in by the alarm company yesterday. Her home is next door to the store.

The police report says the woman took a 12-guage(sic) shotgun into the store and confronted the alleged burglar, whom she found crouching behind the cash register. She ordered him to leave the store and wait outside for police.

The store owner told police the man acted in a threatening manner and appeared to have something in his hand when he came out.

The suspect, identified as Arthur Lee Fleming of Dandridge, died several hours later at University of Tennessee Medical Center.

“Stand up for (your) rights. That’s the most important thing. Don’t let nobody get on you just because of your age. Show them you’re just as good as a younger man.”

True, if you’re armed. Questionable, if the State disarms you.

Compare and contrast with England where doing what these people did would be considered “excessive force” because:

“The law,” explains Harry Potter, the barrister who, with Charles Bott, would defend Osborn, “does not require the intention to kill for a prosecution for murder to succeed. All that is required is an intention to cause serious bodily harm. That intention can be fleeting and momentary. But if it is there in any form at all for just a second – that is, if the blow you struck was deliberate rather than accidental – you can be guilty of murder and spend the rest of your life in prison.

“Moreover,” Mr Potter continues, “while self-defence is a complete defence to a charge of murder, the Court of Appeal has ruled that if the force you use is not judged to have been reasonable – if a jury, that is, decides it was disproportionate – then you are guilty of murder. A conviction for murder automatically triggers the mandatory life sentence. There are no exceptions.”

I’d say that in each and every case listed above there was “an intention to cause serious bodily harm.” Pointing a gun at someone and deliberately pulling the trigger would seem to meet that definition.

The difference is, here in the States that’s considered (at least in most jurisdictions) “Standing up for your rights.” It used to be considered that in England, too.

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