:cool:GOOD NEWS FROM ARIZONA
Yesterday, the appellate court overturned the murder conviction of Harold Fish in Arizona, and remanded it for a new trial. This is indeed welcome news.
Fish is the retired schoolteacher who was hiking when attacked by an emotionally disturbed person and his two dogs. He wound up having to shoot the assailant, who died of three gunshot wounds. The lead investigator originally determined the shooting to be justifiable, but friends of the deceased apparently prevailed on the prosecutor to press charges. You can download a ProArms podcast in which a man close to the case discusses some of what went on, while guest-lecturing at one of my classes in Phoenix last year.
The jury was not allowed to know just how violent the dead man had been. Nor were the jurors given proper instructions on what constitutes self-defense. Both of these errors are cited in the higher court’s decision to reverse.
The case is well known to gun people because the death weapon was Fish’s Kimber 10mm semiautomatic pistol, loaded with Federal hollow point ammunition, and the prosecution made a huge deal about the powerful weapon and its deadly dum-dum bullets. These arguments were not effectively countered by defense counsel at trial, and jurors later stated that these factors did indeed influence their decision to convict. Significantly, none of that is addressed in the appellate court’s opinion, which tells us that it’s wise to be able to explain to lay people on a jury why we use the firearms and ammo we do to protect ourselves.
I personally thought the conviction of Harold Fish was a travesty of justice. Here’s hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel of the long ordeal this good man has needlessly suffered.