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Overturned Murder Conviction Will Stand for Arizona Man Who Used a Firearm in Self-Defense
www.nra.com ^

Posted on 12/04/2009 9:41:26 AM PST by Mind Freed

Fairfax, Va. -- An Arizona man who spent nearly three years in prison for justifiably shooting a man in self-defense is now free and clear of all guilt in his case. This week the Arizona Supreme Court let stand the state appellate court’s decision to overturn Harold Fish’s second-degree murder conviction. The National Rifle Association provided assistance in this case. NRA’s Office of General Counsel advised Fish’s defense counsel, and the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund provided financial aid for Fish’s defense.

Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action said, “We are pleased that justice has finally prevailed for Mr. Fish in this case that was clearly justifiable self-defense. We wish the best for Mr. Fish and his family in the future.”

(Excerpt) Read more at nra.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News
KEYWORDS: gunlaws; murderconviction; nra
received this in an email from the NRA

Chris W. Cox, executive director of NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action said, “We are pleased that justice has finally prevailed for Mr. Fish in this case that was clearly justifiable self-defense. We wish the best for Mr. Fish and his family in the future.”

In 2006, Harold Fish was convicted of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Grant Kuenzli. Fish encountered Kuenzli and his vicious dogs while hiking on a trailside in Coconino County in May of 2004. After Fish fired warning shots at the aggressive dogs, Kuenzli tried to attack him, and Fish was forced to shoot him in self-defense. At the time of the shooting, current self-defense laws in Arizona -- which put the burden of proof on the prosecutor instead of the defendant -- did not exist. During Fish’s trial, the jury was not allowed to hear evidence that Kuenzli had acted violently in similar situations in the past. In June, an Arizona appellate court overturned Fish’s conviction, acknowledging the jury should have heard this evidence and also saying the jury was not instructed properly on the meaning of “unlawful physical force.” Attorney General Terry Goddard had asked the Arizona Supreme Court to review the appellate court’s decision, and this week they declined.

Fish’s case spawned two laws in Arizona strengthening the rights of gun owners to use a firearm to defend themselves and their loved ones. SB 1145, passed in 2006, put the burden of proof back on the state, saying that those who use firearms in self-defense are to be considered innocent until proven guilty. This year, Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1449 into law, making retroactive SB 1145, which effectively allowed Fish and others in similar positions the right to a new trial, as well as to be considered innocent in the justifiable use of force unless the state proves otherwise.

1 posted on 12/04/2009 9:41:28 AM PST by Mind Freed
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To: Mind Freed

—I guess “justice” delayed is better than no justice at all—


2 posted on 12/04/2009 9:43:41 AM PST by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the MSM tells you about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
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To: Mind Freed
I remember seeing this case on Dateline. There were multiple people interviewed who said the guy could explode and scare the hell out of you. The jury heard from none of them.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15199221

3 posted on 12/04/2009 9:47:22 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (Islam is a religion of peace, and Muslims reserve the right to kill anyone who says otherwise.)
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

The problem is that someone might “hesitate” with the thought of going to jail and wind up dead!!


4 posted on 12/04/2009 9:48:48 AM PST by Sacajaweau
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To: Mind Freed
Did the GOA put any money up to support Harold Fish ???

5 posted on 12/04/2009 9:53:17 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: Mind Freed

One must completely comprehend the risks of discharging a firearm — and this is one of them. At best, you’re looking at 10-grand in attorney’s fees and a criminal investigation — and that’s if the shooting was justified. Prison is possible. It is the reality of the decision to take a life — even in self-defense — that your decision will be scrutinized to high-heaven.

If asked to determine whether I would risk life in prison to protect my family, the answer is simple.

SnakeDoc


6 posted on 12/04/2009 9:53:57 AM PST by SnakeDoctor ("Talk low, talk slow, and don't say too much." -- John Wayne)
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To: UriÂ’el-2012
--excellent question--

--(I'm a former Leadvillain)

7 posted on 12/04/2009 9:58:35 AM PST by rellimpank (--don't believe anything the MSM tells you about firearms or explosives--NRA Benefactor)
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To: SnakeDoctor

I used nearly lethal force to defend myself once but luckily the authorities in Texas had no doubt about it being self-defense. I have absolutely no doubt that when my assailant placed that gun against my head, he was going to pull the trigger. Even though my life was in the balance, I do have doubts and second guess having messed his life up so completely. I guess that has more to do with the method I used than anything.


8 posted on 12/04/2009 10:07:37 AM PST by Bad Jack Bauer (Fat and Bald? I was BORN fat and bald, thank you very much!)
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To: Mind Freed

About time. The prosecutors should finish out his prison term.


9 posted on 12/04/2009 10:08:57 AM PST by stinkerpot65 (Global warming is a Marxist lie.)
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To: stinkerpot65

Too many liberals begin their political careers as prosecutors to appear more conservative. Their liberal stripes always appear in self defense cases.


10 posted on 12/04/2009 10:10:42 AM PST by aimhigh
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To: rellimpank
GOA is "all hat and no cattle"

11 posted on 12/04/2009 10:14:56 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: Bad Jack Bauer
I have absolutely no doubt that when my assailant placed that gun against my head, he was going to pull the trigger.

Don't feel guilty whatsoever. I personally thank you for your service to humanity in taking this guy off the streets, no matter what means you used. If he'd kill you, he'd kill me or one of my loved ones. F&ck him, and God bless you. Sorry if that's callous, but it's how I feel.

12 posted on 12/04/2009 10:20:10 AM PST by Hardastarboard (Maureen Dowd is right. I DON'T like our President's color. He's a Red.)
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To: SnakeDoctor
People know the difference between shooting someone in cold blood and justifiable self-defense. The latter is when one is faced with a situation of imminent danger to one's own life and there is no way to retreat or to defuse the situation by peaceful means. The use of force is not to be taken lightly and to be resorted to when all other means of averting danger have been exhausted.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find only things evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelogus

13 posted on 12/04/2009 10:29:02 AM PST by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Mind Freed
Torn on this one. Because I can see myself in both their shoes.

If I'm walking my friendly pooches somewhere out in the wilderness and some litigious f'n yuppie begans screeching at me to "control your dogs," then shoots at them, I'd be furious and he'd definitely have a problem with me.

OTOH, if I'm out hiking a wilderness trail and three truly vicious, snarling, aggressive dogs came charging at me, pulling a gun would be my first thought.

However, I'm inclined to question the shooter's actions; a pack of truly aggressive dogs would not back down if you simply fired a shot into the ground.

Just sayin'.

But I wasn't there and know nothing of the case other than what little I've just read about it. The court, which I'm sure knows everything about it that can be known, has made it's ruling and I'm satisfied. Because in cases like this, you err in favor of the principle of self-defense and pray people won't abuse it.

14 posted on 12/04/2009 10:29:25 AM PST by LibWhacker (America awake!)
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To: UriÂ’el-2012

GOA is “all hat and no cattle”

But they talk a good ball game!


15 posted on 12/04/2009 10:30:05 AM PST by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Are my guns loaded? Break in and find out.)
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To: goldstategop

In some states (at least Texas), the law does not require you to retreat if you are in your home.

SnakeDoc


16 posted on 12/04/2009 10:39:29 AM PST by SnakeDoctor ("Talk low, talk slow, and don't say too much." -- John Wayne)
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To: LibWhacker
If some one is on public land and do not have their animals under direct physical control then to me the burden of what follows falls on them. You read every day about a tragic dog attack and the first thing the owner says is: “I don't know what happen, the dog has never bothered anyone as long as I've had it. Why my own children play around the dog.” Your dog no matter how well behaved still has a random element to their behavior and you can never predict with 100% accuracy what it will do in any given situation. So I side with the human everytime unless there is good evidence to the contrary.
17 posted on 12/04/2009 10:48:02 AM PST by Kartographer (".. we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.")
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To: E. Pluribus Unum
This year, Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1449 into law, making retroactive SB 1145, which effectively allowed Fish and others in similar positions the right to a new trial, as well as to be considered innocent in the justifiable use of force unless the state proves otherwise.

Generally, I hate the concept of retroactive laws...

Good thing Obami took the Commurat Gov to Washington.

18 posted on 12/04/2009 10:59:54 AM PST by D Rider
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
all hat and no cattle

(US, idiomatic) Full of big talk but lacking action, power, or substance;
pretentious.


19 posted on 12/04/2009 11:00:44 AM PST by Uri’el-2012 (Psalm 119:174 I long for Your salvation, YHvH, Your law is my delight.)
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To: SnakeDoctor

You need to qualify your stmts to indicate this only applies to non-govt agents. They seem to have ready access to a ‘get out of jail free’ cards.


20 posted on 12/04/2009 11:36:22 AM PST by 556x45
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To: LibWhacker

“However, I’m inclined to question the shooter’s actions; a pack of truly aggressive dogs would not back down if you simply fired a shot into the ground.”
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

I’m not certain of that, many years ago there was a bitch in heat wandering my area with a whole pack of dogs following her. I was concerned that they might attack my wife if she went outside and when they came back close to my house I went out with a .22 revolver in hand, it was loaded with CCI stingers. I approached the pack and yelled at them to get away but two of them started toward me at a fast clip, growling menacingly, one looked like a pit bull. I fired into the ground just in front of them and they turned away and left. I think the sharp bark of that caliber and type of cartridge hurts a dog’s ears. I have used it several times since to chase off strays and they always leave in a hurry and usually leave with shrill barking as if they are in pain.

But I assure you if I ever have such a pack roaming near me again I will step outside with a Mossberg pump loaded with six rounds of buckshot, I am getting too old to play around.


21 posted on 12/04/2009 12:26:08 PM PST by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a leftist is like trying to catch sunshine in a fish net at midnight.)
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To: SnakeDoctor

South Carolina does not require you to retreat anywhere as long as you have a legal right to be there. If, for instance, you are at a store and someone threatens violence and proceeds to back up the threat with action you can use deadly force. I think this is how it should be, why should someone be required to run from another who attacks him physically.


22 posted on 12/04/2009 12:39:19 PM PST by RipSawyer (Trying to reason with a leftist is like trying to catch sunshine in a fish net at midnight.)
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