Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login

Page Hometown » Iowa
Site Notices
12/6/2019 7:27:02 PM
Posted: 11/22/2019 10:53:40 PM EST
All - Seems reasonable as presented, but sharing for awareness.

Iowa Supreme Court says stand-your-ground law has limits

An Iowa law allowing people to use lethal force to defend themselves doesn’t apply to defendants who engaged in criminal activity prior to the perceived threat, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The ruling reverses an Iowa Court of Appeals’ order in May issuing a new trial to Miguel Angel Lorenzo Baltazar, 21, of Des Moines. He is serving life in prison for the July 2017 shooting death of 23-year-old Jeffrey Mercado. Baltazar maintains he feared Mercado had a weapon and was acting in self-defense under the state’s stand-your-ground law.

The Court of Appeals faulted Baltazar’s trial court for giving a faulty jury instruction in his case that did not abide by the state’s new stand-your-ground law, which was enacted 27 days before the killing.

But the state Supreme Court cited the law’s language that “a person who is not engaged in illegal activity has no duty to retreat from any place where the person is lawfully present before using force.” That implies, the high court wrote, that those engaged in illegal activity have a duty to retreat before using deadly force.

In Baltazar’s case, he was illegally carrying a gun without a license to carry, the court said. Baltazar had argued he did not get a fair trial because of the faulty jury instruction, in which jurors were told he could not be found to have acted in self-defense if they found that “an alternative course of action was available to the defendant.” Baltazar also argued his public defender was ineffective for failing to object to the faulty instruction.

The Supreme Court rejected both arguments, noting that Baltazar must be able to show that the outcome of his trial likely would have been different if the jury had been given the proper instruction.

The court noted that prosecutors proved Baltazar took a handgun and went looking for Mercado to confront him and shot Mercado twice from behind as Mercado was running away. Baltazar then ran from police and hid in a drainpipe before he was found and arrested.

https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/nov/22/iowa-supreme-court-says-stand-your-ground-law-has-/
Link Posted: 11/24/2019 11:31:07 AM EST
If he went looking for the victim and shot him while he was running away it was a bad shoot to begin with and SYG wouldn't even apply to begin with. Sounds more like premeditated murder/1st degree murder to me.
Link Posted: 11/24/2019 10:00:10 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By river_rat:
If he went looking for the victim and shot him while he was running away it was a bad shoot to begin with and SYG wouldn't even apply to begin with. Sounds more like premeditated murder/1st degree murder to me.
View Quote
This. It's no more complicated than that. Looks like the IA Supreme Court got one right for a change.
Link Posted: 11/24/2019 10:21:33 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Strongarm66:

This. It's no more complicated than that. Looks like the IA Supreme Court got one right for a change.
View Quote
Agreed.
Link Posted: 11/25/2019 2:22:28 AM EST
Originally Posted By Walk-Softly:
But the state Supreme Court cited the law’s language that “a person who is not engaged in illegal activity has no duty to retreat from any place where the person is lawfully present before using force.” That implies, the high court wrote, that those engaged in illegal activity have a duty to retreat before using deadly force.

In Baltazar’s case, he was illegally carrying a gun without a license to carry, the court said.
View Quote
So if IA had constitutional carry he would be off the hook? There has to be something else.
Link Posted: 11/25/2019 7:30:02 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By rubywat:

So if IA had constitutional carry he would be off the hook? There has to be something else.
View Quote
It was his intent that mattered. The convicted in this case went looking for the victim, and as the initial bad actor, could not claim the stand your ground provisions of the law.

Best to read the statue, then the findings of fact, and lastly the Iowa SC decision.
Link Posted: 12/2/2019 7:32:11 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By F224:

Best to read the statue, then the findings of fact, and lastly the Iowa SC decision.
View Quote
yuppers
Page Hometown » Iowa
Top Top