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#422517 - 09/24/09 05:03 AM Katana owner kills intruder
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2572
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/bal-md.samurai16sep16,0,114199.story?page=1

Young man kills a burglar in Baltimore area with a replica katana. Pretty tragic for all involved. Someone on another forum mentioned that there could be issues regarding using a weapon (that isn't a gun), such as the degree of control that the weapon wielder has (inflicting non-fatal damage). Tough call.
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#422519 - 09/24/09 09:50 AM Re: Katana owner kills intruder [Re: Prizewriter]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
From what I have read, there will not likely be any charges pending on the guy that used the sword.
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#422539 - 09/26/09 12:04 PM Re: Katana owner kills intruder [Re: MattJ]
Kathryn Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Washington, DC
I've been following this story closely, and the account changed several times. First we were told that the student found the intruder in the garage. Then, that changed to the student tracking down the intruder outdoors and surprising him. The police did not want to release full details about the extent of the injuries but eventually released more info on that as well.

The last I had heard, the DA was still considering whether to press charges. The police have stated that they do not support pressing charges, they think that the student 'panicked' when he was surprised by the intruder. Given that the guy was supposedly trained to an intermediate level, the question is how much control he had at the time.
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#422541 - 09/26/09 01:11 PM Re: Katana owner kills intruder [Re: Kathryn]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
I dont think that the decision on prosecution will come down to percieved level of skill in the student. It will come down to if he used necessary force, and the context of the situation.

To draw a parallel with this situation had it involved a gun,
the DA will not care if the guy was a crack shot, or hadnt fired the gun since he bought it, it would be a question of if the situation warranted its use full stop, not how accurate the shooter was.

This is for good reason, as a human can be shot in the chest and survive, and just as easily be shot in the leg and die. There is no such thing as a guaranteed 'wounding only' shot.

Same with a sword/knife. If you stick a large, sharp piece of metal in someone, you cannot do so in the confidence they will survive. This means that your reason for taking such action have to be justifiable.

Time, and the facts, will tell if this guy can convince that he had no other option.
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#422543 - 09/26/09 02:32 PM Re: Katana owner kills intruder [Re: Cord]
Kathryn Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Washington, DC
Cord: I should probably not have used the word 'control' but rather 'self control'. As in, how [censored] off and vengeful was he at the time. The DA has stated that this is a central question to them. It's also a central question to me. If he really did study up to the intermediate level in a serious Japanese samurai art, with a competent sensei, he would have been put through training that developed zanshin and self-control. A Japanese sensei will push and push you to get angry or distracted, and then find a way to bring the lesson home.
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#422544 - 09/26/09 04:00 PM Re: Katana owner kills intruder [Re: Kathryn]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
No disrespect intended, but all that stuff counts for little if its the middle of the night and someone has broken in to your home.

Keeping control is easy in a controlled environment.

If he over reacted then he will be subject to prosecution. If he was truly in mortal danger and acting to protect himself, then he will be protected by the law.

Zanshin, budo and all that stuff is not recognised in law, though lawyers with an agenda on either side will no doubt introduce these concepts to sway a jury should it come to trial, much the same way as the NRA and the anti-gun lobby come out to play in any home shooting case.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.
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#422562 - 09/28/09 09:14 AM Re: Katana owner kills intruder [Re: Cord]
Kathryn Offline
Member

Registered: 09/24/09
Posts: 262
Loc: Washington, DC
Cord -- I don't know how much of the story is out there, but the burglar never broke into the main house. He was heard rattling around in the detached garage. No imminent life threat was apparent until the student went and hunted him down on the grounds.
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#422584 - 09/29/09 11:21 AM Re: Katana owner kills intruder [Re: Kathryn]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Originally Posted By: Kathryn
Cord -- I don't know how much of the story is out there, but the burglar never broke into the main house. He was heard rattling around in the detached garage. No imminent life threat was apparent until the student went and hunted him down on the grounds.


Hmm, that makes it a tricky one. On one hand, you have every right to defend and intervene in the invasion, damage, or theft of your property, but on the other hand, going out of your way to approach whilst armed with a sword shows a level of intent.

He will argue that he only wanted to scare the burglar into running away empty handed, but that the bluff failed, and he had to use deadly force as the intruder attacked.

The prosecution will argue that he went into the situation with deadly intent, regardless of the burglars intention being fight or flight.

The home owner will have a stronger case if he called the police before proceeding to engage in the situation, and would also have had an easier time if the weapon was one of opportunity, ie, he picked up a tire iron or wood axe from within the garage having come into contact with the intruder.

In the UK, I would say he would serve time for manslaughter, but we are a different literally 'gun shy' society, who's police are not even allowed to use deadly force in normal day to day situations.

In the US, I would say he stands a better chance of being delt with sympatheticaly.
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Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
http://cord.mybrute.com

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#422590 - 09/29/09 01:35 PM Re: Katana owner kills intruder [Re: Cord]
iaibear Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/24/05
Posts: 1304
Loc: upstate New York
A few years back a friend was house sitting for his sister. She raised chicken, geese, rabbits, etc.

One night there was a sudden ruckus out back. He did call 911 first and then went out and shot the two strayed dogs that were having a killing party in the barn. The only person charged was the owner of the loose dogs.

You have to be prepared. If all you have is a sword . . .

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#422592 - 09/29/09 02:08 PM Re: Katana owner kills intruder [Re: iaibear]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
I take your point, bud sadly the two instances are not comparable. Western Law does not hold the sanctity of a dogs life in the same regard as that of a humans.

If you kick a dog in the street, you may get people shout at you, maybe the police will take your details, maybe you will be prosecuted for animal cruelty.

Kick a 5 year old human child and see how many 'maybe's' are involved in the legal sh1t-storm that descends upon you wink
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