The Alabama Supreme Court last week rejected an appeal by the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office of a judge’s order tossing out the murder indictment against a former Marine in the shooting death of a mentally unstable woman. The case was a test of Alabama’s stand your ground law. In a decision with no opinion, the Alabama Supreme Court on Friday refused to review the case of Demetrius R. Watson, of Calera
As usual, you won’t be getting any details in the local press other than the usual less-than-illustrative articles with a slant against SYG. I found the transcript of Alabama Court of Appeals ruling which shed much-needed light on what happened that day. Just the toxicology report of the victim is eye-opening:
Do read the ruling, it is not very long and it gives you all sorts of details missing in the news such as the woman was literally acting like she was possessed (foaming at the mouth included), went through a wooden fence, ignored a warning shot, said she was not afraid of guns and finally attacked the plaintiff.
What I found disturbingly stupid was the attempt by the State to make the legal possession and carry of a firearm part and parcel of being automatically guilty of murder.
It is the old premeditation scheme (“You only carry if you want to kill somebody. Normal people don’t do that”) which the Appeals Court ignored. It is still used in States which are still creating the jurisprudence around SYG, but so far the Prosecutors are batting a big fat zero. Maybe in states farther north or with Lefty tendencies, we may see a State Supreme Court give it a hearing and even supporting the prosecutor’s side, and that would trigger a SCOTUS case. Then again, first those states would have to pass SYG laws.
So, it is good news for the People of Alabama which now can breathe a bit easier in case they have to face a self-defense situation. Hopefully Prosecutors will learn from this case, but I figure at least one more will try to buck the courts before he gets slapped down by Appeals.