South Florida Hand Wringers are not happy. The expansion of the Castle Doctrine that allows citizens of this state to defend themselves outside their home appears to be an affront to their sensitivities and, in the case of lawyers I am sure it is hurting them in the pocket. Earlier this week, Patrick Lavoie got enraged when he felt that one Cleveland Murdock was tailgating him and his lady friend. At a stop, Mr. Lavoie got out of his vehicle and charged Mr. Murdock reaching inside his vehicle. Mr. Murdock used his legally carried firearm and defended himself causing the early demise of Mr. Lavoie. Broward Sheriff’s Office arrived at the scene to investigate, detained Mr. Murdock for several hours, interrogated him, interviewed plenty witnesses that gave the same account and eventually said it was a case of self defense when the investigation and witnesses’ accounts matched Mr. Murdock’s statement. They passed the info to the district attorney’s office who in turn might take it to a grand jury which tells me they are pretty sure they do not have a case if they are not willing to do the dirty deed themselves.
Of course, the Sun Sentinel (Broward County’s bird poop catcher) is not happy one bit.
Prosecutors everywhere have rallied against the “Stand Your Ground” law, saying it might be misinterpreted by citizens who think they have the right to use deadly force, and that it could be manipulated by those with itchy trigger fingers.
That such thing has not happened yet in the years since the expansion of the Castle Doctrine does not seem to face them. But it gets better:
William Cervone, president of Florida’s Prosecuting Attorneys Association, said the law often leaves people settling cases on the streets instead of in a courtroom. Also, he said, it provides a shooter the opportunity to make up a story without the victim’s side of what happened.
This is a gorgeous double whammy. Not only Mr. Cervone is saying that Homicide investigators are too stupid to figure out if the statement of a suspect does not match the events, but somehow the law does not allow him to contact the dead victim and have him tell his version of the events. I did not know that the phone company have such service available. Maybe Mr. Cervone uses some sort of medium to speak with those in the after life. Then again, if we use translators in court cases for those who do not speak English, I imagine Mr. Cervone may find acceptable to use a gypsy tarot reader to speak for the victim. There is money to be made with this concept, gimme me a bandanna and a big golden ring and I am there.