Sunday, May 01, 2016

SC: A Felon Has Rights to Self Defense

Quintonio Porter

Felons do not give up their right to self defense simply because they have committed crimes in the past.  They often live a very dangerous lifestyle, and as the most common victims of homicide, they may need effective self defense more than other people. 

A recent case in South Carolina shows that the justice system is realizing this truth.  It investigated the shooting where Quintonio Porter, a convicted felon, shot and killed his friend, Jarrius Harding, in the middle of a gunfight. From
Jarrius Harding, 18, was killed in the midday shootout near the intersection of Black Street and Keels Avenue east of downtown Rock Hill. The shoot-out culminated a wild, 24-hour spree of gunfire in four incidents in the city.

Quintonio Porter, 23, who was in the car with Harding, also was shot and later was charged with attempted murder in the shootout with men in another car. But after an investigation, police and prosecutors determined that Porter was firing in self-defense when he shot Harding, said Willy Thompson, 16th Circuit deputy solicitor. They dropped the attempted murder charge against Porter.
Porter and Harding were being fired upon without immediate provocation by them.  Porter was attempting to fire back, but his pistol became entangled in the seat belt.  His shot struck Jarrius Harding as Harding sought to avoid the gunfire coming his way from the assailants.

Criminals almost never use holsters (FBI study) because they are hard to get rid of, so the seat belt entanglement is more understandable.

The study published by the FBI is "Violent Encounters: A Study of Felonious Assaults on Our Nation's Law Enforcement Officers."  In a summation from
The offenders said they most often hid guns on their person in the front waistband, with the groin area and the small of the back nearly tied for second place. Some occasionally gave their weapons to another person to carry, "most often a female companion." None regularly used a holster, and about 40% at least sometimes carried a backup weapon.

In motor vehicles, they most often kept their firearm readily available on their person, or, less often, under the seat. In residences, most stashed their weapon under a pillow, on a nightstand, under the mattress--somewhere within immediate reach while in bed.
It is a good thing that self defense is legitimate for criminals.  The major reason for the proliferation of violent crime, particularly homicides, is a belief that the criminal justice system is unreliable.  Reinforcing the reliability of the police and the rest of the justice system is the key to reducing homicides.

David Kennedy from Harvard has repeatedly shown that this is so.  Only a small number of violent criminals commit most homicides in most cities.  When the community is willing to cooperate with police to remove, intimidate, and/or rehabilitate this tiny minority, the homicide rate falls precipitously.

Perhaps there is some way to tie the ability for effective defense to rehabilitation.  If such a system could be worked out, it would be a powerful incentive for criminals to avoid future problems.

 ©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
Link to Gun Watch


Anonymous said...

I look at it like this. what do we call anyone that has served their time for a conviction? we call them an ex con. Ok they served their sentence. If they are safe to be released and put back on the streets, they have the same need to self defense as anyone else walking the streets. if they are not safe to be out on the streets why have they been released? If you cant do the time don't do the crime and once you have paid for your crimes it should be the end of the specified sentence. I have always felt that a good public flogging is far better than a public tax burden for several years. 10,20 or 30 licks with a bull whip and the thief will not be doing anymore crimes for a long time. at least until he heals up and stops bleeding. Check it out a good bull whip costs 50 dollars. One year in jail costs the public 46,000 dollars on average. the bull whip can be used over and over. the 46,000 tax dollars is just gone for no return.

91B4S said...

To Anonymous Bull Whipper,