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November 3, 2018

Some links to some materials concerning Ohio self-defense referenced in class

With apologies for not posting some of these materials sooner, here are links to a couple of sources I have referenced at some point in the last week as we have been reviewing self-defense doctrines:

From the Buckeye Firearms Association, "The Problems of Ohio’s Current Laws on Burden Shifting in Self-Defense Cases," which starts this way:

Under Ohio Revised Code Section 2901.05, a defendant is required to prove all elements of self-defense by a preponderance of the evidence. Recent case law and the development of the status of self-defense strongly suggest that shifting the burden to a defendant in this manner is unconstitutional.  Ohio’s burden shifting rule effectively changes the standard of proof necessary for the government to secure a conviction in self-defense cases.  Furthermore, Ohio’s current rule severely curtails, if not eliminates, the protections provided by the Fifth Amendment.  Ohio Senate Bill No. 180 and House Bill No. 228 provide the necessary changes to ensure those accused of a crime in Ohio receive a fair and just trial.  Where there is evidence presented that tends to show a defendant acted in self-defense, these Bills would place the burden back on the prosecution, where it rightly belongs, by requiring the prosecution to disprove at least one element of Ohio’s version of self-defense, beyond a reasonable doubt.

From the folks at Serial, Episode 5 of Season 3, "Pleas, Baby, Pleas." I highly recommend all episodes of Season 3 of series, but here is part of the transcript from the middle of this particular episode that concerns matters we have been discussing:

Sarah Koenig: The meeting with detectives this morning is to figure out how they're going to handle it — what charges [the local Ohio prosecutor Brian Ratigan] should present to the grand jury. This is a tricky one, though. Because Brian can see how the whole thing unspooled, now he's not sure a crime even occurred.

The stories in the newspaper had quoted police as saying that the older guy, the shooter, had been harassing passengers on the bus. But the bus videos show the opposite — the older guy, the shooter, he was the one being provoked.  It's possible this was self-defense.

Brian Radigan: This is one of those rare cases where you see the whole story.  Ninety percent of our cases, we're not watching them unfold.  And if something is caught on camera or whatever, usually it's from a distance.  And you don't hear the dialogue.  And you don't get to see everybody's reaction. You don't have seven different angles, or nine different angles of it.  You know, this is like the outlier, crazy, I can't believe I have to watch this whole thing and see all the decisions that were made that led to this guy dying.

This cleveland.com article about this Serial episode includes some of the video footage of the shooting that may, or may not, be a good example of self defense.

As always, I welcome and encourage commentary on these materials as well as links or reference to other interesting matters relating to the doctrines we are discussing.

November 3, 2018 in Class reflections, Course materials and schedule, Notable real cases | Permalink


This is the footage from the bus, not sure it's all that they had, but it's at least some.

Posted by: Christopher Wald | Nov 5, 2018 9:12:32 AM

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