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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:05 pm 
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Good points Mike
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I don't see what happened next as being particularly related to what Eugenio did to get to that point. I'd never have done what Eugenio did to get himself to that moment in time right after receiving that punch and right before being attacked by Gambo, but that doesn't mean that I couldn't end up in the same moment by a different route, and I'd want the law to protect me.


I think, possibly, the girl whose cigarette was 'bogarted' [I like that word] must have been in the Gambo's group of friends out for the night in the beautiful city of Brockton after hours. [more often than not, after a workout at Bethoney's dojo, I would be approached by young prostitutes, on the way to my car, " Do you want a date tonight?"

Yeah, right.

As you and Roy point out…any of us can end up in a similar snakes' pit by an inadvertent number of ways …if not intentional faux pas.

I see the law as the 'enemy' today…in my work I have had to attend criminal and civil trials as well as having taken the stand on many occasions to testify as to my investigations.

A most revolting experience to say the least.

The reason why I think that Roy's symposium should be extremely educational for us all.

There has to be a way to keep that 'particular enemy' at bay…while doing the right thing.

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:32 pm 
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Lopes also signed a police confession from what I read.

I can imagine how difficult it can be for anyone, locked into a confused state of mind in the aftermath _and even more daunting_ in the grip of cognitive dissonance while under skilled police interrogations utilizing that emotional chasm.
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The most disturbing impact of mind-bending cognitive dissonance is on law enforcement.

Although police and prosecutors regularly are challenged in their arguments by defense attorneys in court, they are not immune from the need to avoid cognitive dissonance.

Since police generally seem to believe most people they interrogate are guilty, they may overlook the possibility that the suspect is telling the truth. The authority they carry as part of their jobs can actually cause additional problems, such as creating cognitive dissonance in an innocent suspect who trusts the police and can't understand why their memories disagree with what the police are telling them.

If that suspect is fatigued, medicated, stressed, or mentally ill, they may begin to alter their own memories to resolve the cognitive dissonance.

It sounds ridiculous to say that an innocent person might confess to a crime, but the reality is that it happens all the time.

A significant percentage of those convicts later exhonerated by DNA evidence had actually confessed to the rape, murder, or other crime for which they were convicted. Many of those false confessions can be explained by the mind-bending logic required to resolve cognitive dissonance.



http://www.examiner.com/skepticism-in-n ... ity-review

~~

Who's the real enemy...or how many enemies do you see in a fight?

And how do you fight a 300 lbs thug ensconced in shock absorbers?

Oh...I know... :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:59 am 
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It is so refreshing to have people who have actually had an authentic punch in the nose once or twice weigh in on this.

I wrote the Lopes story factually, but used narrative style to try and create conversation about the salient points that challenge nearly every self-defense, defense. Often when we try to apply our morality to an event such as this and we find ourselves questioning our commitment to a guilty or not guilty verdict. Some argue, well you know Lopes did deserve something for taking the girls cigarette -- but you know, maybe the first punch-but not the second, I mean, maybe the second but definitely the jacket thing was out of line....I mean maybe he shoulda...well maybe...

Morality cannot be the basis of a legal conclusion regarding self-defense. A model must be developed and established within this area of law to determine the reasonableness of one's actions. This model theory has been used by law enforcement officers for decades. It is well established, well reasoned, and we can borrow from it to develop a civilian version.

I am afraid that this is the biggest problem with self-defense laws --that there is no model in place to determine with any level of certainty whether a use of force is appropriate. We leave it up to untrained people to interpret the event from their own limited paradigm (most people have never received an authentic punch in the nose). For sure the ivory tower law school prosecutor hasn't. Nor has the Ivy league judge. Then the court battles to keep out "experts" who can explain combat and describe the cognitive and physiological features that can help educate the jury and help them make valid conclusions from the evidence presented. Most cops have been in plenty of fights, but as Van noted, they often use a singular heuristic analysis when investigating crime. It goes something like this 1. A crime has been committed 2. I must find out who committed the crime 3. When I find out who, it is my job to arrest him.
Police most often see exactly what they expect to .

This simplistic law enforcement formula works for 98% of crime, where there is no alternative explanation for certain depraved acts. You simply can't get support in statute for the commission of rape, burglary, robbery, etc.

But for nearly all "combat crimes"" -- assault, battery, murder-- there may be an alternative justification. It might be that the person was using these behaviors as a measure of self- defense. It is interesting to note that the behaviors that represent the aforementioned crimes are identical to the behaviors one would expect to find in a justifiable use of self-defense (intentional striking, use of deadly weaponry, intentional attacks to vital areas, etc.) Self Defense is mirror image of certain combat crimes.

For this reason, cops need to "ask the right questions" and many of them don't. As part of our criticism of the criminal justice system we must be aware that police are not trained to get exculpatory information, only inculpatory information. It isn't the cops; it is built into the investigatory system starting at the academy level. So--once an officer arrests someone, with few exceptions a prosecutor WILL prosecute that someone; often rabidly and viciously. In most criminal cases you want your prosecutors to be like that--but in self-defense cases the rabid prosecution can keep a defendant in jail for years. Lopes was arrested June 6, 2009. Lopes won his case June 21, 2011 due only to the excellent work of his Atty. John Connors who was able to present factual evidentary items to the jury and show them how and why his client was defending himself. This he did in the face of an aggressive prosecutor AND judge who pigeonholed him every step of the way. I am certain that without the exceptional representation of Mr. Connors, Lopes would have gone to Prison for Murder.

One of my chapters in the Winner Goes to Jail discusses another civilian self-defense case I worked on as an expert in use of force, defensive tactics and combat stress for Augustine Wylie from Ft Myers, Florida. After killing his assailant "Gus" sat in jail for three years while his attorney and I battled with the Prosecutor(s) in a variety of motions spread out across that three year span. We presented a model of force, and discussed critical incident stress, we invalidated the police interview (due to the timeframe in which it was taken) and showed artifacts of physiological response to life/death situations exhibited by Gus during his initial statement. As one of the oldest sciences in the world, combat stress and the fight/flight response is all too often still viewed by the court as a "junk science," a testament to how out of touch most folks in the criminal justice system are with respect to understanding self-defense and the physiological effects one experiences when fighting for his life. Gus won his case but lost three years of his life.

Try to imagine how packed the prisons are by less fortunate souls.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:17 am 
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Thanks Roy, quite chilling indeed.

I take it the Ft Myers case occurred prior to the new laws in Florida regarding 'criminal and civil immunity' in bonafide self defense actions?

Or would it have made any difference?

1.
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Then the court battles to keep out "experts" who can explain combat and describe the cognitive and physiological features that can help educate the jury and help them make valid conclusions from the evidence presented.


We have seen this problem even here on the forums in the past when I would bring out the value of certain experts…

What is the threat feared by the use of experts?

2.
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For this reason, cops need to "ask the right questions" and many of them don't. As part of our criticism of the criminal justice system we must be aware that police are not trained to get exculpatory information, only inculpatory information. It isn't the cops; it is built into the investigatory system starting at the academy level. So--once an officer arrests someone, with few exceptions a prosecutor WILL prosecute that someone; often rabidly and viciously.


Most of us will fall prey to this legal aberration to be sure in the emotional chaos of the aftermath while in the clutches of police interrogators, and will be persuaded to blabber about just about anything.
How can we train our emotions not to help imprison us forever?

3.
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This he did in the face of an aggressive prosecutor AND judge who pigeonholed him every step of the way. I am certain that without the exceptional representation of Mr. Connors, Lopes would have gone to Prison for Murder.


You confirm that the courts/legal system are the real enemy. It seems that fighting judges' ineptitude is a losing battle to say the least.

And most defense lawyers don't have the skills of an attorney such as John Connors. And even if finding one…the cost of defense alone can impoverish one _of his life savings.

What can a person really do to protect himself in the face of such foreseeable oddities?

4.
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We presented a model of force, and discussed critical incident stress, we invalidated the police interview (due to the timeframe in which it was taken) and showed artifacts of physiological response to life/death situations exhibited by Gus during his initial statement.


This is interesting that you were able to invalidate the police interview/confession…if you will…because of the timeframe of it following the event. But it must have taken lots of work to undo this serious problem all of us will face in the aftermath.
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As one of the oldest sciences in the world, combat stress and the fight/flight response is all too often still viewed by the court as a "junk science," a testament to how out of touch most folks in the criminal justice system are with respect to understanding self-defense and the physiological effects one experiences when fighting for his life.


So true. You might recall we saw the same incredulity here on my forum years ago when I first introduced the fight or flight phenomena…in fact some Uechi people rebutted that such things did not apply to Uechi masters and so on.

I would also agree that many criminal defense lawyers don't have a clue to this essential knowledge and need to be schooled to remain effective in the court room against aggressive ignorant judges and prosecutors hell bent at making a name for themselves, at the expense of an innocent defendant.

Is there a way to hold such legal servants responsible for their capriciousness?

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:26 am 
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And this is what should make us all stand up and take notice because it is so true.
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Often when we try to apply our morality to an event such as this and we find ourselves questioning our commitment to a guilty or not guilty verdict.

Some argue, well you know Lopes did deserve something for taking the girls cigarette -- but you know, maybe the first punch-but not the second, I mean, maybe the second but definitely the jacket thing was out of line....I mean maybe he shoulda...well maybe...

Morality cannot be the basis of a legal conclusion regarding self-defense. A model must be developed and established within this area of law to determine the reasonableness of one's actions.

This model theory has been used by law enforcement officers for decades. It is well established, well reasoned, and we can borrow from it to develop a civilian version.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:36 am 
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The Verdict...1982 movie with Paul Newman.....

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Newman is a wonder with his loser posture and hyperventilation and his desperateness. It's in his voice, it's on his face, it's in his smile, it's in his shaking hands. He's up against James Mason and his huge law firm, a smug, well-dressed bunch who will stop at nothing to win.

One might think this type of firm is a cliché; it isn't. One of the characters says it best - "You have no loyalty to anyone, you don't care who you hurt. You're all whores."

Unfortunately in real life, all attorneys are pretty much the same, but at least in film we occasionally are shown a decent one.

When this film was made, the public had not yet been subjected to the Dream Team, the Robert Blake Case, the Menendez Brothers. But even today, knowing better, you can't help but buy into Newman's frantic sincerity.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:39 am 
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But take it from someone who knows an unfortunate truth - that justice is for the rich who pull in favors and have the money to fight, everyone lies their teeth off, and the jury system is sad.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:42 am 
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You do need to be a magician....

http://www.flixxy.com/worlds-fastest-magician.htm

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 3:42 pm 
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I just want to drop a note and say thank you to Van, Roy, and everyone else who's had some experience in these matters and is willing to share. Even if I don't have anything constructive to post, it's still appreciated.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 4:49 pm 
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Most welcome, my friend...I learn everyday...and Roy is a great teacher.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:05 am 
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Perception IS reality in many ways. If a witness believes you to be aggressive, then as far as he's concerned you ARE aggressive.

That's his perception and HIS reality is all based on his perception.

It is very important to be aware of this and act accordingly. Just because you are the good guy does not guarantee a good outcome in court.

You don't have to be guilty to be convicted.

A witness with a bad perception of you could be catastrophic in court, so hedge your bet by creating a good perception for those around you.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:13 am 
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How do you present yourself after the incident? How do the responding police and investigator(s) perceive you? Are you evasive or combative with them, telling them you won’t answer anything until you talk with a lawyer.

Or, are you helpful to the extent your lawyer has advised you to be? You have consulted a lawyer before the incident, haven’t you? The lawyer I consulted gave me the same advice given by Suarez International,

“I’m the victim, he tried to do X to me, his weapon is there and those people over there saw/heard what happened.”

Is that always the perfect answer, probably not, but in my opinion it’s a better answer than “I’m not talking and you can’t make me” while the thug’s friends and family paint a picture of him being the model citizen who was soliciting money to donate to the orphanage in between working at his home based pharmaceutical business.
_Robison...Suarez Intl

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:16 am 
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Perception starts long before the shots are fired. Perception starts when you decide to carry a weapon and continues every day when you wake up, get dressed and walk out of the house.

It takes a little work to make people’s perception a reality.

Prior to the incident how have you presented yourself? Are you known as the kooky guy at the end of the block who is always threatening people?

Are you the helpful, thoughtful neighbor, or maybe just the person that no one really notices? I’m not going to say that one is better than the other, but being the kooky guy obviously puts you in a different light once the newspaper starts interviewing neighbors.

If you have refused to give a statement of any type to the investigators and are sitting in jail, it just adds fuel to the fire of blaming you, instead of the real aggressor.

Being known as the thoughtful neighbor can garner support and character witnesses should you need them. Being the unknown person can go either way which is why in my opinion that it’s important for the unknown person to have their ducks in a row prior to any type of incident.

Myself, I border on the thoughtful neighbor and the unknown guy. I have enough contact with my neighbors that they know I exist, but not enough that they know much more than I helped them clear a fallen tree off their fence or helped them round up loose livestock.


Robison...Suarez Intnl

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 4:19 am 
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The next part of how you present yourself is often a touchy subject because it’s subjective. Do you look like a militia member or some other form of outcast from society?

There is a time and place for everything and in this day and age it’s seldom you see a man in a suit and fedora, but I suggest that while the “Kill a Commie for Mommy” type t-shirts are humorous and appropriate around the yard or on the range (I own several), you’ll present a more different image and draw less attention to yourself with plain t-shirts or company logo t-shirts.

What I mean is blend in with your environment.

If it’s “normal” in your area to be decked out in multicam while having breakfast at the main street diner then wear it, but if it makes you stand out, looks odd, or out of place you may want to reconsider.

Now before anyone gets bent out of shape with the idea that I think you need to be some form of Mr. Rogers, that’s not what this article is about. It’s about creating a reality based on the perception of others.

When you look at some of the most prolific serial criminals the world has known they often created a perception of the model citizen when in reality they were demons praying on the weary.

Sometimes to beat a criminal you have to think like a criminal.



Posted by Don Robison on 06/24/2011 at 10:44 in GUNFIGHTING , TRADECRAFT |

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:06 am 
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I've also passed this on to a number of attorneys...

But the thing that keeps going trough my head is that I wish I knew where a few peace officers were (or even their names) from years ago that literally saved me from having to go through this in the aftermath... I can't call the attorney that gave me the advice all those years ago... he's passed on... but the advice has served me well. As Van-Sensei knows, similar advice comes from folks like Mas Ayoob. I'm certain there are a lot of things that would be different for me without the "right" responding officer or the "right" legal advice that changed a number of situations... mainly for the better.

Regardless, it's what led me here to this and I can't complain. (too much... I'm a natural "complainer" sometimes... :wink: )


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