Skip to comments.The Terrifying and True Harold Fish Story
Posted on 10/09/2011 5:06:50 AM PDT by marktwain
The prosecution of Harold Fish reignited the debate over self-defense laws in America. For those not familiar with the story, Mr. Fish was convicted in Coconino County, Arizona of 2nd degree murder despite staying on site and rendering aid after being forced to shoot a violent attacker.
Had Mr. Fish fled, the remote area where the shooting took place meant he was unlikely to be identified.
Despite the opinion of the deputy that processed the crime scene and a mountain of evidence that proved Mr. Fish acted in self-defense, Coconino County authorities bowed to political pressure and pursued a baseless murder charge. When the judge excluded relevant evidence during the subsequent trial, it left the defense at a disadvantage and led to a guilty verdict.
Thankfully, Mr. Fish won his appeal and is currently a free man. His story, however, shows how laws in America put law-abiding citizens at a disadvantage when forced to use self defense.
Buckeye Firearms Association attorney Ken Hanson constantly reminds citizens to wait for legal representation before talking to police after a self-defense shooting. Yet most honest citizens think that since they are innocent, it can't do any harm.
Adding to the confusion, in most states self-defense is an affirmative defense, which means if the case goes to trial, the law-abiding citizen has to prove the act of self-preservation was legally justified. That means if the case makes it to court, the honest citizen sits at the defendant's table and the criminal that tried to commit a violent crime is considered the victim.
The establishment media coverage of gun owners also works against law-abiding citizens who use deadly force.
By painting gun owners as a semi-literate knuckle-dragging fringe group, the establishment media has furthered the myth that anyone carrying a gun for self-defense is a crazed vigilante. Since millions of Americans are now legally carrying guns, nothing can be further from the truth. But, because gun owners are portrayed that way in popular culture, it becomes an accepted stereotype.
Oddly enough, the violent past of Mr. Fish's attacker was ruled by the judge to be inadmissible. But Mr. Fish's history as a gun owner was allowed into evidence during the trial, and the prosecutor used it to portray him as a blood-thirsty killer.
So, according to the prosecutor and judge in this case, the mere act of exercising the right to bear arms is justification for questioning a citizen's mental state, motives and character.
As an honest citizen, Mr. Fish did what he considered to be the right thing by calling the authorities and then putting his trust in the criminal justice system. Instead of finding salvation and legal protection, however, his decision cost him three years in prison, and likely will bankrupt his family.
Everyone wants the victim of a violent attack to notify the authorities after a self-defense shooting, but the persecution of Harold Fish will surely make the next armed citizen think twice.
Such an outcome is unacceptable, and every American needs to be outraged. Yet, because Mr. Fish used a gun in self-defense, his nightmare barely caused a ripple outside of Arizona; A sad commentary on how self-defense cases are viewed in America today.
The truth is if someone like Harold Fish can end up in jail, anyone can. He was simply going about his normal day when a violent attacker forced him into a no-win situation. Then, an unjust prosecutor used Mr. Fish's choice to exercise the God-given right to bear arms against him.
That should never happen in America.
Gerard Valentino, a former military intelligence analyst, is a member of the Buckeye Firearms Foundation Board of Directors and the author of "The Valentino Chronicles Observations of a Middle Class Conservative," available through the Buckeye Firearms Association store.
This reenforces the doctrine of “shoot and shovel’.
I forgot the MOST IMPORTANT PART—”SHUT UP!”
Ya know, after reading this case it is hard to believe that this DA and JUDGE are still walking the streets, they belong in PRISON FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. Sad part is I believe that for the vast Majority of Judges and Law enforcement officials. Nothing in this case was done by “error” it was DELIBERATE and they should pay with their FREEDOM.
LIFE IN PRISON for both these assholes, General Population of course, which should make it a very short term in Prison.
Anyone have pictures of the handmaids of injustice in this case?
There is an excellent series on youtube entitled "Don't Talk to Cops", by a law professor. It's very well done. Everybody here on FR should see it.
First part is here:
There’s a warped notion that citizens have an obligation to be cooperative victims and if you die in the process, don’t worry the cops will investigate....
The Left thinks it is an obligation!
If any of you want to see a look at the potential future of using guns in self-defense, read William Johnstone’s “Home Invasion”. It gives a pretty good idea of the insane view our “justice” system has towards self-defence by gun owners and where it could lead.
The Robert Wallace case has all the trademarks of a justice-gone-awry tale. When Wallace, an 81-year-old Wheat Ridge resident, saw two men trying to steal his trailer this past February, he opened fire, hitting one of the men in the head. But the person busted in the shooting’s immediate aftermath was Wallace, for attempted murder....
#1 son and his wife are both Attorneys. Their rule is "don't say NUTHIN"!
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