Anonymous asked this question on 3/10/2000:
In dock law, were doing mach trials, and I'm a lawyer on the defense of Bernhard H. Goetz. Do any of you Know how I could play the self defense card (using the fact that he had two prior muggings and was a scawny little man) and the laws involved? email me @ email@example.com. Thanks!!!
cruzmsl gave this response on 3/14/2000:
Well Mr. Goetz is indeed a scrawny man, however size does not indeed constitute an excuse for self defense. Studys have shown women to be stronger than men at a hi rage of anger and fury, one test that was conducted was how a woman can hold a new born child in her arms almost three times longer than a man. Well back to your question. My suggestion would be to gather his original police reports involving his muggings, from there check the witness statements, (if applicable)check the area of his muggings, were they obvious areas of crime? how far apart are the areas? what time did the muggings happen? were the muggees black or other than white? was he carrying any weapons at the time of the muggings? what did they take from him when mugged?where was he going when he was mugged?was there another route he could have taken? were the same techniques used when he was mugged? (i.e. gun/knife) what were trying to prove here is that Mr. Goetz did not intentionally provoke the mugging by dressing, walking,flashing expensive articles of clothing or enticing an attack by muggers. Once you are able to show by using most of the above techniques, you will be able to create a formidable solid base just in case they attempt to use the past as part of his present in which you will be able to point out he was the victim back then. Now as for present, pleading self defense almost the same rules of above apply, you want to prove he was not intentionally looking for a mugging or an attempt to gain revenge upon a certain race or person. Retrieve vital witness statements to your advantage, ask the witnesses to describe his actions from the very beginning of his encounter with his attacker(s) to the very end of the incident. Was he challenging? was he brave? was he avoidant to the attack? did he attemt to calm the situation? did he flee the scene of the crime? What you are trying to do here is show that Mr. Goetz had no intention of killing or injuring the attacker, trying to prove he had no choice but to defend his life for he feared for it. Please do not bring up any ideas or situations involving him being molested or abused because thats a whole different story and only a feeble attempt to use self defense as an excuse. Now the only thing that will or could probably happen in the end will be his charges will be reduced to possesion of a weapon or firearm, which is the obvious and fact. Had he not had that weapon he could probably be either dead or just a little poorer. As another cop told me...better to be tried by 12 than be carried by 6. Hope this helped, if I can assist with anything else, please ask, and dont forget to vote. Thanks.
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