Power Line Blog is pushing a plan by Daniel Horowitz to reduce homicides. The problem is that many of these solutions already exist. However, judges and politicians lack the intelligence and will to use existing laws. Here is the Power Line article.
A much deported illegal alien and convicted felon, in San Francisco, was handling a pistol. He was unfamiliar with the weapon. According to his attorneys it accidentally discharged. The errant round struck and killed an innocent bystander. The jury ignored, murder and manslaughter charges and went with state charges of felony possession of a firearm.
On appeal, the appellate court jumped through its asshole to find that while the crook fired the shot that killed the woman, he didn’t know he was holding it. It’s too bad he didn’t mistake it for a chocolate bar and try to eat it.
At the link, the story. Below that the convoluted thinking of the court.
The 1st District Court of Appeals acknowledged in its decision Friday that Garcia-Zarate was holding the gun that fired and hit Steinle, but the court said Garcia-Zarate holding the gun did not necessarily constitute possession of a firearm, and that the judge presiding over the trial had failed to provide a jury with instructions regarding the principle of “momentary possession.”California 1st District Court of Appeals
“It is undisputed that defendant was holding the gun when it fired. But that fact alone does not establish he possessed the gun for more than a moment. To possess the gun, defendant had to know he was holding it,” the appellate court stated.
In thirty years of law enforcement, I have never seen a state charge of Felon in Possession of a firearm filed in Texas. That’s nada, zilch, none. I had better success in the Federal system.
Two of my favorites are felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a firearm during a drug related felony. Each is an automatic five year sentence. That’s five calendar years, no time for good behavior, no probation and no concurrent sentencing. This is called stacking time. Once a crook finishes one sentence, he starts the next.
It is said judges don’t like the federal statute because they have no discretion in sentencing. So they do what liberals do. Don’t like the law? Ignore it? Make shit up.
Then the appellate judges get involved. The statute specifies that the felony conviction must be a crime of violence. So the debate begins; is beating one’s wife a crime of violence? Maybe it was a love tap?
To establish possession of a firearm during a drug related felony the defendant must use it. Define use. It is the Bill Clinton defense … define blow job. Is it really sex?
Is display use? Beating somebody about the head and shoulders with a pistol …. that’s not really using a gun like a gun. But what about all those movies where people get “pistol whipped.” If there is a term for beating a person with a gun, as opposed to a hammer, doesn’t that qualify as using a gun? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?
Nobody is really interested in addressing gun violence. Just as long as the shots don’t come their way.