LETTERS FROM MEMBERS

Questions from Jury Selection Article

I noticed right away the Jury Selection article urges us to remain silent post shooting until a lawyer arrives. In writing this, Dr. Saxon directly contradicts strong advice by both Marty and Massad that such behavior can give investigating officers the sense that we feel guilty about something and thus contradicts any subsequent statement that we sincerely believed (and any reasonable person would therefore agree) that we were justified in using lethal force. The impression I got from Massad at the Seattle seminar of a couple years ago was that convincing investigating officers and the prosecutor of our innocence, trumps planning for a trial that we hope never happens.

Is there a conflict between behavior that reduces the probability of arrest and prosecution and concern about a jury’s view should the case be prosecuted?

—David in WA

We respond—
Whether or not to speak to the police immediately after a self-defense incident is a topic that divides the self-defense/legal community, and is a topic far too complex to discuss in a simple answer to your question, David. The good news, is that I spend a whole article discussing this very issue, please see http://armedcitizensnetwork.org/unintended-consequences-of-silence.

One characteristic distinguishing the members of the Network from other gun owners is the keen interest we all have about this subject. There is no perfect answer to this question, because each incident will be different. The more we know and understand the issues, the easier it will be to make a logical choice as to what to do when faced with that question. We welcome Dr. Saxon’s keen insight and all of us can learn from her experiences.

—Marty Hayes

What kinds of guns and attachments are least/most likely to upset a jury?

—Richard in WA

We respond—
In answer, we direct your attention to several articles in past editions of this online journal. The October 2012 interview with researcher Glenn Meyer, PhD is a wealth of information about test-group “jurors” responses to various types of firearms. See http://armedcitizensnetwork.org/our-journal/276-october-2012.

In addition, Network President Marty Hayes wrote a detailed article about this topic at http://armedcitizensnetwork.org/guns-appearances-matter and we direct our members’ attention to both of these articles as they mull over concerns about jurors being diverted from the issue of justifiable use of force in self defense by spurious accusations about defense gun choices.

—Gila Hayes

Importance of Ammunition Selection

I’m going back and reviewing recent (Fall 2013) issues, as well as older preserved articles from the Journal main page. Yesterday I read Marty’s long article on the Zimmerman trial in the August 2013 issue. This morning I am reading the 2008 article on gun selection (http://www.armedcitizensnetwork.org/choosing-self-defense-guns). Deep in the 2008 article, I came across this paragraph on ammunition selection:

“Exemplar ammunition for testing could be critical in two main areas. First, an independent expert needs to test the dispersion of the unburned gun power and other residue that creates the stippling seen on individuals shot at close range.