I think I can pretty much give up trying to separate Immunity from Prosecution & Stand Your Ground, so I will just mash the names together and apply the differences as needed. Let’s get with this case:
The fight that ended Rankin’s life happened August 17, 2013, when he a group of friends were out in Ybor City.
A run-in with another group of guys led to Amore getting punched and knocked out cold.
Less than 10 minutes later, Amore was attacked again. His attorney says while he was being badly beaten, he grabbed a pocket knife to defend himself.
One of the attackers, Joshua Rankin, would die after being stabbed three times.
via Tampa man cleared in Ybor stabbing by ‘Stand Your Ground’ law – FOX 13 News.
This case slipped from under my radar when it first came out. I did a search for it and got a couple of news items and the obligatory interview with the parents of the deceased. In fact, from this interview we get the “original” version of what happened:
So early Saturday morning, when Rankin, 21, saw a buddy get attacked in an Ybor City parking lot, it was natural for him to come to his friend’s defense….
…Later, at about 2:45 a.m., they confronted Medeiros and Rankin near E Fifth Avenue and N 15th Street, according to police. One of the men, Joseph Amore, pulled a knife. Rankin stepped between his friend and the blade.
A noble, self-sacrificing young man who died helping his friend from an unnecessary attack. Or at least that was the initial idea put forth by the media as the evidence presented in court turned out to portray a completely different event.
In fact, there were two confrontations between two groups of young people out for the night. The first time they intersect, somebody said something to somebody else and ego made its presence. Joseph Amore ends up knocked out on the ground. This is not a literary usage of the word, Amore went unconscious. The groups split.
For whatever reason, Rankin decided to go back after Amore’s group. This time Amore is attacked by more than one person, thrown against a car, beat up and here is when he pulls out a knife to defend himself. Rankin gets stabbed twice in the neck and another one on his group gets non-threatening injuries.
So, why did this case even had to go court and the defendant request an Immunity from Prosecution?
Prosecutors argued that Amore started the whole situation by making an aggressive remark toward one of Rankin’s friends.
Now, I am not a genius legal expert (or even a bad one), but once the initial confrontation ended with the knocking down of Amore. the clock died for that particular event. Amore was no longer a threat, nor was looking for more trouble, both groups separated, in fact you could say that Amore was the victim as no amount of verbiage is excusable as to inflict bodily harm.
Rankin’s group going back to Amore’s group started a new event, one in which their actions triggered Self-Defense, specially since a disparity of force was well-defined against Amore: He was not physically well and more than one attacker went after him.
So Justice was made even when some appeared to be on a witch hunt or just simply flexing legal muscle. It is certain that Mr. Amore had to spend money for the lawyer and other costs, but the bill is probably way smaller than if the case had gone straight to full trial. It also saved the taxpayers money wasted on a trial that did not need to happen, although I am not sure if the defendant can claim the State to refund him for legal costs. Still, cheaper than a full trial.
I think it was either Massad Ayoob or Marty Hayes that I heard the idea of maybe why some obvious cases of self-defense go to court and why many defense attorneys do bad work on those cases: They are used to deal with career criminals and so, they are good at defending the guilty person, but they suck at defending the innocent because they lack the experience. In this case, we had a lawyer who apparently knew what he was doing and a law that helped an innocent man remain free.
There are more details pertinent to the case and I urge you to read the judge’s motion to grant immunity. If you feel like it, Google the case and see what was published initially (specially by “We Hate Stand Your Ground” Tampa Bay Times) and compare it with the facts of the case.
And again, if your state does not have Immunity From Prosecution, get moving, join whatever group needs to be joined (Or create it if it does not exist) and get it in the books.
9 thoughts on “Immunity from prosecution/SYG: If your state does not have it, get it!”
“This time Amore is attacked by more than one person, thrown against a car, beat up and here is when he pulls out a knife to defend himself.”
This looks to me like a straight up case of self defense. They had him pinned and there were two of them. He really didn’t have any ground to stand, no where to retreat to. But I am by no means a expert.
It was a straight case of SD which makes the prosecutor charges just dumb. But, Ybor City is in Tampa and its Intelligentsia hates SYG/Immunity with Jesuitical fervor. Hell, even Miami-Dade’s prosecutor, Katherine Fernadez-Rundle (raised, trained and placed by our beloved Janet Reno) is starting to accept (badly) SYG/Immunity.
Would you believe they are appealing this case? How can the state waste the tax payers money on an appeal? This younge man was defending his own life!!
And he has the evidence prove it !!
What’s wronge with this picture??
I am not surprised. It has happened here in Miami and the prosecutors needed to be slapped by another job for wasting the time of the court. If they are lucky, the judge will be pissed enough to write a strong opinion telling the DA he is a jackass and to get with the program. That seems to calm other idiots and avoid further baseless appeals.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for wrighting what you did on this case 🙂 I wish there were more people in this world like you! This is our son that got jumped in ybor city! It’s very sad to think if we didn’t have the means to cash in our live savings to defend our sons innocence he would of been railroaded!! All they cared about was a conviction! That’s very sad;( Our son has always had stability in his life. My husband and I have raised our son Joseph to be respectful and to do the right thing. They have put our family through pure hell and back !! But we will never back down for what is right !! They have violated Joseph’s civil rights!! There is so much more to this case 🙁 we would love to chat with you ! We now have to hire an appellate lawyer. This is so unfair to our family. Joseph is our only child and we will do what ever it takes!! I don’t know how the state prosecutors can even sleep at night !! There is no one out there in the courts who will to stand up for what is right in this case. I’m told to just but happy your son is alive … And we are !! THANK GOD !! I’m very happy that we got judge Holder that seen right throw the lies that these drugged up thugs told. Please keep my family in your prayers. Thank you !
Ma’am: I am sure that I speak for all the people in this blog when I wish you the best of luck and to remain strong. We’ll try to keep an eye on what happens.
try getting the story straight. you have someone with a knife in their pocket who wants to start something with a couple of boys who were waiting on their friends (also documented is that the girl that was standing with these young men is a friend of the one who approached the group, also documented is that she said that she did not know him) by insulting someones mom, granted that is cheap, also called bullying, but when this coward with the weapon is asked to stop and he makes an aggressive move towards someone and he gets knocked out, he got what he deserved. when the party that knocked the coward out leaves and then they find out that they are being followed by this coward and his friend, who is at fault? the coward and his friend should have went the OTHER way to their car that was parked in the OPPOSITE direction and everything would have been done and over. instead someone felt like they were embarrased and had to prove something. also, this coward was one on one initially, it was two on one after he chose to use his knife. as for being drugged up, again, check the testimony, both sides had drugs in their systems, the difference being, a dead person cannot speak for himself. the true victim, mr. rankin, if he had killed the coward by hitting him, would have been protected by the screwed up law because he would have been defending himself. the truth will come out and a different judge will allow it to go to a jury and let them make the decision.
one more thing to think about, this coward was not arrested initially. It was not until after everyone was interviewed, including BOTH sides, that an arrest took place due to testiomony from both sides collaborating (matching).
The truth always prevails … Just read the judges ruling! The drugged up street thugs told the truth.. About what really happen … They tried to stop josh from attacking again. He said he was going to finish what he stared! It’s all in the ruling. Did you know he had methoylone in his system? Also know as BATH SALTS! Xanax pills were found on him in his sock?? There no more for me to say. God will be the last judge!!
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