Welcome to this episode of our ONLY open-access content, our weekly News/Q&A Show. A transcript of the show is available below my signature, for those who prefer to read rather than view. Also, Law of Self Defense Members can access the show in audio form in the members-only Law of Self Defense Podcast.
Be sure to mark your calendar to never miss a News/Q&A Show–they air LIVE every Thursday, at 4pM ET of the Law of Self Defense Members Dashboard, our Facebook page, and our Youtube channel, and playback recordings are available on each of those platforms.
A transcript of the show is available below my signature, for those who prefer to read rather than view. Also, Law of Self Defense Members can access the show in audio form in the members-only Law of Self Defense Podcast.
CCW Safe: Our Sponsor
Now before we jump into the substance of today’s show, I do, of course, need to mention today’s sponsor, CCW Safe, a provider of legal service memberships, what many people mistakenly call self-defense insurance. They in effect promise to pay their member’s legal expenses if their member is involved in a use of force event.
And those expenses start big and get bigger, fast, folks. For example, aggravated assault, where you were threatened, you displayed your gun, you didn’t fire a shot didn’t hurt anybody. You’re looking at a retainer to your lead counsel in the order of $30,000 to $50,000. And that’s for pre-trial work, folks, that’s not for going to trial. If it’s a murder, case, manslaughter or murder, you’re easily looking at $100,000 or $200,000 pre-trial expense, and just multiply that for the trial.
So, if you don’t have that kind of money stuffed in your mattress, it can be useful to have a financial partner standing behind you to make sure you have the resources you need to fight the legal battle, the way you want it fought—as if your life depended on it. Because, really, it does. And that’s what CCW Safe offers to do.
There are several companies out there that offer similar services. I’ve looked at all of them, as you might imagine, and I found that CCW Safe is the best fit for me personally. I’m personally a member of CCW Safe, my wife Emily is personally a member of CCW Safe.
Whether they’re the best fit for you is something only you can decide. But I do encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer by clicking the image or link below:
In today’s News/Q&A Show for October 1, 2020 we touched on a broad range of questions submitted for the show, as well as questions submitted live, including:
- If my state won’t allow “self-defense insurance,” should that change my tactical decision-making in self-defense?
- Should I leave my gun at home if I can’t get “self-defense insurance”?
- Can LOSD make some of its posts publicly accessible beyond the LOSD membership?
- Comment on the “mini v. monster” model of disparity of force? Useful for a trial?
- Comment on Kyle Rittenhouse decision to fight extradition to Wisconsin?
- Legal ramifications of using pepper (OC) spray in self-defense?
- Is OC ever considered deadly force?
- Is MAG-20 worth taking? Is it duplicative of what LOSD teaches? (Spoiler: YES, and NO.)
- Comment on the grand jury refusal to indict in the Breonna Taylor shooting case?
- Comment on the Rittenhouse defamation claim against Joe Biden, others?
- Are cops taught use-of-force law at academy to protect the cops, or to protect their departments?
- What were your most important factors in choosing CCW Safe for yourself and your family?
- Comments on the newly elected St. Louis DA re-opening the Michael Brown “hands up, don’t shoot” case?
- Are there drawbacks, tactically speaking, to OC spray as a defensive tool?
Enjoy the show!
Two-Week Law of Self Defense Trial Membership: Just 99 cents!
If you enjoy this kind of content and would like to get more, I’ve got great news—you can try out Law of Self Defense Membership for two weeks for a mere 99 cents—even better, in the unlikely event you decide it’s not for you during those two weeks, let us know and we’ll refund not just 100% of your money, but 200% of your money. That’s a negative risk offer, folks.
Really, it’s hard to imagine why you anyone wouldn’t try out Law of Self Defense Membership for 99 cents for two weeks.
Now, after the two-week trial, membership does go to the normal cost, which is still a very low, ~33 cents a day, less than $10 a month. Obviously, if you don’t feel the content we provide is worth 33 cents a day you shouldn’t become a member but I would hope that most of you would agree that it is, especially the content you won’t be able to get moving forward unless you’re a Member.
Plus, as a Law of Self Defense Member not only do you get access to our great Law of Self Defense content, you also get commenting member’s only chat and commenting privileges at the Law of Self Defense web site, so you can continue to participate and learn past the end of any LIVE show.
You can learn more about our 99-cent, 200% money back guarantee, two-week membership trial by clicking the image or link below:
Law of Self Defense ADVANCED Live Online Class: Sat., Oct. 3
This is the LAST webinar-based ADVANCED Live Online Course for at least the next six months, folks, so if you miss this one it’s really going to be quite a wait until you can attend the next one.
Are you SURE you won’t need to defend yourself or your family or your property before the next class comes around? Are you SURE you can wait another six months before learning the actual legal boundaries for the use of defensive force? Especially given our increasingly violent and dangerous world?
Perhaps best of all, as a Law of Self Defense Member you also get the benefit of saving $50 using our early-bird registration discount. That discount has expired for the general public, so they’re paying $199 for this October 3 ADVANCED Live Online Course, but as a Law of Self Defense Member you still get the discounted registration of $149.
Don’t let this opportunity pass you up, folks—this is must-have knowledge if you want to be as hard to convict as you are hard to kill.
Act NOW by clicking the image or link below:
In the meantime, stay safe, and enjoy today’s News/Q&A Show for October 1, 2020!
Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
The Law of Self Defense content you’re about to enjoy is presented for general educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. If you are in need of legal advice, consult competent legal counsel in the relevant jurisdiction.
Hey folks, welcome, welcome to the Law of Self Defense News/Q&A Show. For those who may not know I am attorney Andrew Branca. Thank you very much. I really appreciate that. This is our weekly Neww/Q&A Show for October 1, 2020. This is the only weekly content we produce that does not require membership at the Law of Self Defense. And of course, we make it open access in an effort to expand and grow the laws of defense community.
In the show, we cover self-defense events in the news, as well as take your questions. Now a bunch of questions have been sent in to us ahead of time, we are always happy to receive those. If you’re Law of Self Defense Platinum-level member, we encourage you to use the Platinum member Q&A Form on your member dashboard. Those questions get obviously prioritize anybody else whoever can also send those questions at show at http://lawofselfdefense.com and we’ll take those under advisement for an upcoming show.
So come on in folks, if you are watching this live and we do this show live every Thursday 4pm eastern time, our members can catch it on their member dashboard at http://lawofselfdefense.com or you can watch it live on our Facebook page http://facebook.com/lawofselfdefense or our YouTube channel http://youtube.com/lawofselfdefense, and after the show airs we also have a replay of it available again open access at the law of self defense blog, which is simply http://lawofselfdefense.com/blog.
So come on. If you are watching live from Facebook, if you could click that share arrow at the top of the comments click that thumbs like button that’s always appreciated helps us grow the law of self defense community. If you’re watching this on any social media, if you could leave your city and state that always provides us with helpful geographic information to help customize our content. So before we jump into the show proper, I do of course feel obliged to mention our sponsor, which is CCW Safe. Let’s see if I can get that slide up for all of you. Okay. Try it one more time. There we go, success.
Our Sponsor: CCW Safe Legal Service Memberships
CCW Safe is a provider of legal service memberships, what many people mistakenly call self-defense insurance. In effect, they promise to pay their members legal expenses. If the member is involved in the use of force event, there are a number of companies that offer this kind of service.
I’ve looked at all of them as you might imagine. And I found that CCW Safe is the best fit for me personally, I’m a member of CCW Safe. My wife Emily is a member of CCW Safe, whether they’re the best fit for you, of course, it’s something only you can decide. But I do encourage you to take a look at what they have to offer at http://lawofselfdefense.com/ccwsafe. And if you do decide to become a member at that URL, you can save 10% off your membership with them using the discount code LOSD10. That’s LOSD for Law of Self Defense, and the number 10.
Okay, now, as I mentioned at the start, this is the only show that we do every week, that’s open access that does not require membership, our members get almost daily blog posts. For example, a couple cases we covered this week:
We did a blog post on another self-defense insurance company, quote unquote, USCCA getting sued in Federal court for not paying their member’s legal expenses in a use-of-force event case.
We also covered the case of Michael Strickland, who’s back in the news because he wrote a guest blog post on a blog called the Gateway Pundit. So we reviewed his case the facts of his case, his recently failed appeal of his convictions earlier this year. And now his efforts to bring his case to the US Supreme Court.
That’s the kind of content that only members get. The good news is that membership folks is dirt cheap and even cheaper now than usual. Normally, a standard membership at Law of Self Defense gives you access to all our weekly blog posts video content, and our members only podcast is only about 33 cents a day. It’s under $10 a month.
Law of Self Defense Membership: JUST 99 CENTS!
But even better, you can try it out for two weeks for just 99 cents, folks. 99 cents that’s it. At http://lawofselfdefense.com/trial get all the same access as Any other standard member for that two week period, if you decide it’s not for you, which very few people do, we will not only give you back your 99 cents, we’ll give you back 200% of your money. Granted, it’s only another 99 cents, but let’s face it, you didn’t put up all that much to begin with. So it’s a negative risk opportunity, folks, if you like this kind of content, something you should know by the end of today’s show, then our 99 cent standard membership, two week trial ought to be something you consider seriously at http://lawofselfdefense.com/trial.
Okay, let’s jump into our content for the week.
If my state won’t allow “self-defense insurance,” should that change my tactical decision-making in self-defense?
Okay, so I had a number of excellent questions come in. One came in from Robert P., who’s one of our Platinum members. He’s in New York. And he’s writing about the subject of self-defense insurance. The particular one he was looking at isn’t really relevant here, so I’ll just leave it generic.
But he writes that his wife and he were members of a quote unquote, self-defense insurance company until spring of 2020, when they learned that the state in which they live, which is New York, had effectively banned those kinds of policies. A number of states have put pressure on these companies that offer these services, New York, Washington, one or two others, I don’t recall exactly which ones they are, but in effect, they make it so difficult to offer these policies in those states, that the companies that provide quote unquote, self-defense insurance exit the markets of those states.
He says that he feels this seriously undercuts his ability to defend himself in court, if they were so unfortunate as to have to defend themselves with lethal force. With this liability hanging over our heads, it seems maybe prudent to stop carrying a lethal weapon and hope for the best moving, meaning moving presumably out of New York state would be difficult at this time. Can I comment on that?
Yes, there’s quite a bit to comment on here. First of all, any kind of self-defense insurance, legal service membership should not influence your decision making in self-defense at all. For example, in a deadly force confrontation, where you may be using a gun, potentially to shoot somebody, potentially to kill them, you should be doing that only if you’re facing imminent deadly force threat. And if you are, you need to defend yourself. And if you’re not, you ought not be shooting that person.
And whether or not you have self-defense insurance shouldn’t change that equation at all. So, it shouldn’t change your decision making.
Now, it’s true that if you don’t have that kind of coverage, that kind of legal service membership, it can substantially undercut your ability to defend yourself in court. In terms of the legal battle. Unfortunately, I’d like to live in a world where how much money you have doesn’t affect the kind of justice you get. But legal defenses are expensive. If it’s a murder case, it’s going to be extraordinarily expensive.
The more resources you can bring to that fight, the more likely you are to win, meaning get acquitted. And when we’re talking about cases that can easily run into the six figures, pre-trial before you ever get to the trial, and a multiple of six figures, once you actually get to trial, we’re talking a lot of money. So it can be very beneficial to have that kind of financial backing. It’s one of the reasons we’re pleased to have CCW safe as a sponsor of much of our content.
So, not having such a policy can undercut your ability to defend yourself in court, but it shouldn’t have anything to do with your decision making about defending yourself or your family or your property. tactically, in the moment, when you have to make your use of force decisions, you certainly should not be deciding to use more force, or under broader circumstances just because you have a financial backer for your legal defense.
Remember, how much money you can bring to the fight may help you get acquitted, it doesn’t guarantee an acquittal, you still are facing the risk of prospectively spending much of the rest of your life in jail.
Should I leave my gun at home if I can’t get “self-defense insurance”?
Now, Robert also asks suggests that he’s thinking perhaps Well, with this risk, maybe it’s not worth carrying a lethal weapon. And this is a thought that occurs or is expressed to me by many people who go through my courses. For example, ater listening to me talk for six or seven hours about the great legal peril that occurs once you’ve used or threatened force against another person, it’s pretty common for people to say to me, wow, I did not know this was so risky. I don’t think I’m going to carry a gun anymore for personal protection.
Well, that’s not the point of our courses. The point of our courses, it’s to make you aware of the risks so you can accommodate your behavior, your conduct in self-defense within the legal boundaries to mitigate those risks as close to zero as possible.
It’s not to convince people to go unarmed. I teach the class and I go armed every day, and I have for my entire adult life. So I’m certainly not trying to discourage people from carrying concealed.
And let’s face it, folks, are you just going to take the deadly force beating? Is that the decision you’re really making if you decide simply to leave your gun at home?
Now, there’s good reasons not to carry a gun, not everybody should carry a gun. You all have to make that decision for yourselves. But whether or not you have self-defense, legal insurance, to my mind should not be a substantial factor in coming to that decision.
Can LOSD make some of its posts publicly accessible beyond the LOSD membership?
Okay, we have another question here from David M, also a Platinum member.
And folks, if you want to put questions into the comments, I will get to those time allowing, as well. So feel free to put questions into the comments, either about stuff I’m talking about are independent questions that come to mind. And I’ll do my best to to flip through them before we close up the show today.
So we get a question from Dave M. Also one of our Platinum members, he’s in Delaware. And he says, Andrew, yesterday’s members-only expose regarding the false narrative of excessive police on black murders.
So this was a blog post I wrote last week he’s referring to, in which essentially, I asked if there’s such systemic and accountable, police racist murder happening, where the actual cases because all the cases I see publicized in the news are not, in fact, cases of systemic unaccountable police racist murder.
In fact, I’m aware of no case of unaccountable police racist murder, where there’s not a completely viable explanation for the police use of force that has nothing to do with racism. So I had written that blog post. And, and I know some of you are thinking, well, there’s clearly examples, Andrew, there’s George Floyd, there’s Brianna Taylor …. None of them, folks, not one of them, is an actual case of systemic unaccountable police racist murder, not one.
So I had written that blog post, and that’s what Dave is writing in response to here. He says many of his friends are buying into those fictionalized accounts. Many are not gun owners would therefore have no desire to be a member of law, self-defense.
Well, Law of Self Defense is not just for gun owners, folks, we are weapon agnostic, I don’t really care what weapon you may use to defend yourself the same use of force law applies.
But in any case, he says they’re not likely to be members of Law of Self Defense but they would be well served by hearing that message, the message that there is, in fact, no systemic and accountable police racist murder happening in America. Could I make the post public?
Well, the trouble of making those posts public, folks, is that I have members, and the members pay to be members, and the members pay to have privileged access to that content. Now, for most of them, they’re paying about 33 cents a day. So we try to make it as affordable as we can. But if I reduce the cost to zero cents a day, well, then I have to go do a normal legal practice all the time, and you won’t have this content.
So we’re hoping that 33 cents a day is the price that people are willing to pay to access this content, obviously, many of you are. And we do do this one show, our weekly Thursday 4pm Eastern time News/Q&A Show that’s open access for everybody to give the general public who are not yet members an opportunity to get a feel for what we do how we do it and see whether or not they feel that for them the content we deliver is worth 33 cents a day. Hopefully for many of them it will be. If it’s not that’s just the way the cookie crumbles, folks.
Comment on the “mini v. monster” model of disparity of force? Useful for a trial?
So then I got a very interesting question from Antonio. This was an email message, and he asks if I’m familiar with the mini versus monster concept. Apparently this was created by I mangled the names here. Perhaps it’s David Myers and Juste Peters, put out David Myers and promoted by john Peters and Mas Ayoob, as it relates to disparity of force.
And he sent me an image that represents this concept of mini to monster and I think I put it together as a slide here for all of you. Yes. So this will cover up the whole screen, but I had to make it that big in order to make it useful for all of you to be able to see it. So let me put that up on the screen now and then I’ll kind of talk through what I think is the concept because I have to confess, this is new to me. I’d not heard this before or seen this graphic representation of this idea.
And of course, the idea is very simple, really, it’s that a, where there’s a disparity of size, the larger person is more likely to win the fight than the smaller person assuming, as is assumed for purposes of this exercise here, that they the persons have equal training and equipment. I’m not sure about the equipment, I mean, they call a gun, the great equalizer for a reason. Once the gun is in the equation, then certainly this wouldn’t apply. But they say here at the top disparity of force and a hand to hand confrontation. And the idea is a smaller person is more likely to lose to a larger person in a hand to hand confrontation, which is fine. I mean, I think we can all accept that it’s, it’s what I would call common knowledge, like fires, hot knives, or sharp things along those lines.
What they do here, however, is they, they attempt to apply numbers to this kind of disparity of force, where the numbers here, my understanding is, they represent the likelihood of survival. So where there’s no disparity of force, I would suggest disparity of size is what they’re really talking about. And they define the sizes by both by height and by weight categories, you can see that where it says many small, medium, large, monster, where the two parties engaged in the hand to hand confrontation are of the same size, that’s kind of the diagonal slice through that table at the top, there’s a 50:50 chance of survival and where there’s an increasing disparity of size, the percentage probability of the smaller person winning diminishes.
So when we have a mini finding a monster, the mini The idea is here, I believe, the mini has a 10% chance of survival, the monster 90% chance of survival, meaning, of course, the reverse is also true, right? The mini would have a 90% chance of dying, and the monster would have a 10% chance of dying.
So, Antonio, rather, asks, you know, my thoughts on this. First of all, I was not familiar with this, I had not seen this before. He says he’s, he’s printed it out. And he’s made a record so he can demonstrate he possessed this knowledge. Has it ever been used successfully in court? Would it be used successfully in court? Would it be useful?
And my answer, I guess, would be well, first of all, we would not know if it’s ever been used successfully in court. And it’s one thing people need to understand about our legal system. We keep very careful records about outcomes of cases that happen at the appellate levels, so the Court of Appeals, the state Supreme Court.
We don’t keep great records of what happens at the trial level. There’s no easy way for an attorney to you can’t hop on Lexis, for example, and see what’s happening in all the trial levels, what decisions are being made, what evidence is being admitted, we really generally don’t know anything about what’s happening at the trial level, unless we’re personally involved in the case, or we’ve it’s a high profile case, it’s in the news and so there’s reporting about it, or we’ve watched it on video, if it’s, if it’s a case that’s actually on TV.
Or it gets it gets appealled. If it gets appealed, then the case appears in the appellate record. And we know about the trial, whatever the Court of Appeals, or the state Supreme Court decides to share with us about the trial. We still don’t know the whole trial, we don’t know anything about the things that the appellate courts don’t take issue with, don’t discuss in their appellate court decisions about the trial.
So what happens at the trial level is pretty much invisible to us, even to legal professionals, unless, again, we’re somehow involved in the case or monitoring the case, which we’re not for the vast majority of cases, obviously.
So the trial levels is largely invisible to us in terms of things like evidentiary decisions that are being made. At the same time to try level is where the evidentiary decisions are being made. So you know, 95% of the action, the legal action, is happening at the trial court level, and we don’t see it.
And the reason we don’t track that stuff closely, that a Westlaw or Lexus service doesn’t do that is because those decisions happening at the trial level are not controlling on any other courts, they’re not even controlling on the same court with a different case the next week. And because they’re not controlling, they’re not precedential in value. There’s not much utility to us knowing what happened in a particular case.
Now, of course, there are standardized rules of evidence. For example, there are norms that are supposed to apply to evidence so we can kind of share, if we have experience, share our well-informed opinion about what would likely be admissible or not admissible, but we don’t know what’s actually happening at the trial level.
So what’s something like this be helpful or important in a trial I think we have to look at it from two different perspectives. One is the general idea that a where there’s a disparity of size where a small persons finding a much larger person. That’s a real factor in use of force law that goes to the reasonableness of the smaller person’s perception of threat, the degree of threats, their likely ability to defend against that threat. That’s all real. Everybody understands that a smaller person has a harder time and a hand to hand fight when they’re fighting someone substantially larger or stronger than them.
So that general idea and concept is certainly something I would argue in the case if there was a disparity of size between my client and whoever they defended themselves against. And it could be very important that despite its size, it could justify, for example, going to the gun using deadly defensive force, where that use of deadly defensive force might not have been justifiable if the two parties were in fact, the same size or similar enough in size. So the general concept is totally 100% valid, no question about that.
Is reducing it to this level of detail, these specific numbers, is that useful? Or would it be admissible? And I guess the first thing I’d have to ask because I don’t know, is where do these numbers come from? This 50:50, 60:40, 70:30, 80:20, 90:10, because unless they’re based on actual science, meaning, well-controlled studies, good methodologies were applied to generate these numbers. And frankly, I don’t, it’s hard for me to imagine how such studies could be ethically run.
Unless there’s actual data underlying this research underlying this, that could be presented as a foundation for introducing this summary table, for example, as evidence, I don’t believe these numbers would be allowed as evidence because there’s, well, there’s no foundation to them. They look to me to be, you know, reasonable but fabricated numbers, not based on anything other than kind of common sense and what we might expect to happen.
And the difficulty we run into then trying to introduce something as detailed and numerical as this into evidence is, you’re really, if you’re trying to introduce kind of this kind of expert knowledge, knowledge that you’re arguing, well, a jury wouldn’t normally be expected to know this, because it comes from expert training or experience something unusual, it’s not common knowledge, like fire is hot. It’s ispecialized knowledge.
The trouble is, you can really only introduce specialized knowledge. And I would suggest this would be offered, the only reason to offer this [mini v. monster] is as specialized knowledge. You can only offer it, if it’s touching on an issue that’s outside the reasonably expected understanding of a typical juror, for example, you can’t introduce specialized knowledge that fire is hot, everybody knows fire is hot, unless we’re talking about some really ridiculous extreme degree of heat intensity, that could be I suppose, relevant in the case. But normally, the idea that a flame is hot is not specialized knowledge, it’s common knowledge. And a jury would be expected to already understand the concept. Well, there’s no room, there’s no vacuum that needs to be filled by specialized knowledge.
And I think a jury would normally be expected to understand that if somebody’s substantially smaller than the person they’re fighting that they’re, they’re fighting at a disadvantage. Now, they wouldn’t have these numbers, but I’m not sure these numbers are real anyway. Now, I suppose. So I just don’t see the utility of this level of detail. So I just don’t think it would be very useful.
And frankly, if I were a prosecutor, I would object to this because I would argue that fundamentally, it’s either a, just describing a concept that’s already generally understood. So we don’t need any kind of specialized knowledge to get the point across to the jury. Or it’s just nonsense. I mean, it’s just made up numbers, which is what it looks like to me. Now. If there’s actual research behind this, I’d love to see it. That would be awesome. I’m just, it doesn’t look like it to me, especially given how round and even inconvenient the numbers are. Okay, what else do we have?
Law of Self Defense ADVANCED Live Online Course: Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020
Oh, before I go on, folks, we’re about halfway through. I do want to mention that we are in two days on Saturday, October 3, that’s this Saturday, folks. We’re doing our last Law of Self Defense Advanced Live Online Course for the year, probably for the next six months or so. We haven’t even scheduled the first class in 2021. But I’m not planning to do one until late late winter anyway sometime in March, perhaps maybe early April. So this is the last opportunity to participate in this class for at least six months.
This is our full day class on cell phones. fenceless what we used to call our level one course, this is the same course that’s been accredited in more than 30 states for continuing legal education for lawyers. That’s the quality of the course. But it’s not technical, all the legalese is translated into plain English. So the course is perfectly appropriate for everybody. It is, to my knowledge, the most comprehensive education you can get in self-defense law, that’s law based anywhere, anywhere. And it’s happening this Saturday, October 3.
If you’d like to really have an expert’s understanding of self-defense law, folks, to my knowledge, this is the only place to get it. Whether you’re a lawyer, or whether you’re just an armed citizen, or just would like to know how the law of self defense actually works.
By the way, folks, if you’re thinking, well, I’ll wait six months to the next one. Do you have six months to wait? I mean, do you know when you’re going to be attacked, we don’t get to choose the time place and manner of attack, right? the aggressor gets to do that. And we’re not living in a time that’s getting more peaceful, folks. It’s getting more violent and more politically chaotic. And frankly, the prospects of getting prosecuted by a politically motivated prosecutor are skyrocketing. For a variety of reasons that are outside the scope of today’s show, but which I talk and write about regularly. So your use of force has to be as tightly within the legal boundaries as you can possibly get it because you can’t count on getting cut any slack anymore. It’s not going happen, or at least you can’t count on it.
So you really want to understand the law of self defense. This is the class you want to take. It’s our Law of Self Defense Advanced Live Online Course. I teach it live in, but not in person. We stream it in a webinar format, but there’s plenty of opportunity for Q&A. It’s a full-day course it runs from about 9am Mountain Time to roughly three to 4pm Mountain Time, depending on how many questions are asked and I do stay until all the questions are asked sometimes that adds a whole hour to the class at the end. Of course, you don’t have to stay for that portion if you don’t want to.
But you can learn more about this Saturday, October 3, this Saturday’s class at http://lawofselfdefense.com/advanced.
Okay, let me get back to the questions.
Comment on Kyle Rittenhouse decision to fight extradition to Wisconsin?
Marty s writes from via email. He says this may be straying towards the edges of the area of law you cover but Kyle Rittenhouse’s attorneys are challenging extradition.
I guess, Kyle’s in Illinois now. And Wisconsin, of course has charged him with a variety of felonies including murder. And Kyle Rittenhouse has his attorneys are now one to apparently fight extradition. I saw a news report on that as well. What’s the burden of proof in such a hearing and who has the burden of production in extradition hearing?
For what it’s worth, Marty writes, this is still Marty, the narrative portion of the charging information, the charging document doesn’t seem to support the charges, perhaps they’ll introduce it and point out the contradictions. That’s what Marty is asking me about.
Now, the first thing I’ll say is I know virtually nothing about extradition law. It’s not my area of expertise. Because it hardly ever comes up, folks. The thresholds for extradition is a shockingly low. It’s
barely more than zero evidence in support of the reason why the requesting state once that person to be delivered to them.
Now in Illinois, Illinois case law. I took a quick look before the show today, the Court of Appeals has ruled that even a criminal complaint that fails to show probable cause, in other words, a criminal complaint that wouldn’t technically be enough for an arrest within the state boundaries, is still sufficient to support extradition from one state to another state. I mean, it’s almost boggling.
And part of this is that extradition law is designed in the American system to be extremely robust. There’s an extradition clause in the US Constitution. I mean, our Founding Fathers put effort into this. And basically it requires states upon the demand of another state to deliver a fugitive from justice. And all that’s required is a claim really, that the fugitive has committed some crime. I think the Constitution technically says treason, felony or other crime, but other crimes are pretty broad category, folks.
One awkward part of the Constitutional requirement for extradition is it just says well, the states have this duty to each other. But it doesn’t say,, you know what the conditions are, what the circumstances should be. It doesn’t put any actual rules around it. There’s some federal legislation there, a federal statute that kind of builds an extradition framework. But it still reflects that very low standard.
So basically, it’s just a request from the state executive that wants the quote unquote, fugitive, produce a copy of an indictment or an affidavit made before judge, when many states would call an information, a sworn statement. But again, the standard is incredibly low, even if it doesn’t technically state a crime, it’s sufficient to support extradition. And states don’t want to hold up extradition requests from other states for the most part, because, well, if that other state has one of their fugitives they want that guy to so they all try to play nice.
Now, there are kind of exceptions, loopholes to extradition, particularly where the crime alleged is very low-level. So it’s a misdemeanor, or it’s a low-level drug offense, or for a couple of states, like Alaska and Hawaii, they do have a slightly higher threshold for extradition, just because of the distances and travel required. But none of those exceptions or loopholes would apply to the felonies charged in the Rittenhouse case. So I do not expect written houses attorneys to have any luck fighting extradition in this case.
Now, it would be nice if they had a prospect of having luck, right, because one of the issues in this case, Rittenhouse in particular, is that the evidence favoring a narrative of lawful self-defense is overwhelming. I mean, it’s ridiculous that Rittenhouse has been charged in this way, is going to be tried in this way. Frankly, I see no narrative of guilt that has any prospect of disproving self defense beyond a reasonable doubt.
So, Rittenhouse should not have been charged in first place, if he should not have been charged in the first place should certainly be facing some kind of extradition request. And if the charges are fundamentally nonsense, which I believe the Rittenhouse charges to be, but they’re being pursued for the political advantage of political actors in Wisconsin, which I believe is the case, in theory, it would be nice if you could have a set of eyes a judge who’s not in that political milieu, not in the Wisconsin political machine. to have him look at the narrative of guilt and give a non-politicized assessment of whether it’s adequate to support the charges against Rittenhouse.
I’d like to live in the world where that would happen. I do not expect that to happen. In this case. I expect Rittenhouse, they’ll go through the motions of this extradition fight. Frankly, I just from my perspective, I just hope it doesn’t cost them too much money. Because this case is going to be expensive enough as it is. I know they’ve raised a lot of money. I heard they’re over $500,000 now for the legal defense. And that’s awesome. That’s good. It may not be enough. $500,000 was not enough to cover Zimmerman, Zimmerman’s defense was almost three times that amount.
So you need to be prudent about where you’re spending your money. Even if you have what would normally be considered a lot of it. I certainly would not want to see the defense spending a couple hundred grand on an extradition fight that I expect is going nowhere. That said I repeat again, my level of expertise in extradition matters is very close to zero. So take all that with a grain of salt.
Legal ramifications of using pepper (OC) spray in self-defense?
What else do we have? Rodney G. I believe this was email I forgot to make a note of it asks about the legal ramifications of using pepper spray in a defensive context he heard he heard someone on the internet talking about it, he felt didn’t do a good job you’d like me to address it?
Well, first of all, we do have to be clear that we’re discussing the use of pepper spray in a defensive manner, not in an offensive manner because the analysis is quite different. If it’s being used offensively, I would argue that you can make a strong case that an offensive use of pepper spray is a deadly force attack because it’s being done to debilitate the victim presumably for to be able to inflict further attacks upon the victim. That’s completely different than using pepper spray in a defensive context in which while you’re just defending yourself trying to get away from a threat. So we are talking about the defensive context.
So, to understand kind of how pepper spray works on the use of force continuum, we have to recognize that fundamentally self-defense law places force into one of two buckets.
Either the force involved is deadly force meaning force capable of causing readily capable speculatively capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. Usually, that means a maiming attack a broken bone, something more than just a modest transient injury. So it’s either in the deadly force bucket meaning death, or serious bodily injury, or it’s in the non-deadly force bucket.
Now, pepper spray used defensively is invariably found to be in the non-deadly force bucket.
Is OC ever considered deadly force?
I have seen it characterized as being in the deadly force bucket, of being readily capable of inflicting serious bodily injury, when used offensively.
These are mostly bank robbery cases that end up in federal court for obvious reasons, they’re bank robbery cases, where the robbers go in and pepper spray all the clerks and everybody to facilitate the robbery of the bank. And then when they get caught, the feds want to charge him with an aggravated battery instead of a simple battery. Well, to be an aggravated battery, it has to be a battery that threatens or causes serious bodily injury. So they want to characterize the pepper spray as causing serious bodily injury, which puts it in the deadly force bucket. And those arguments are successful in the federal courts.
But when used defensively, pepper sprays are invariably put in the non-deadly force bucket because it doesn’t cause permanent injury, it’s transient and so forth. Transient pain and discomfort is really what’s being inflicted.
Now, the reason we have these categories is from a defending position you’re only privileged to use deadly defensive force if you’re facing a deadly force strike. Most often, statistically speaking, according to the FBI Department of Justice, most often, about five times as often, you’re actually facing only a non-deadly force threat and therefore deadly force defense would not be appropriate.
Pepper Spray therefore becomes a very useful tool as a means of defending yourself against that non deadly force attack it is in fact my personal preference. I carry pepper spray, as well as a pistol for personal protection and the pepper spray for one places where I may not be permitted to carry a gun and to where the threat I’m facing is a non-deadly force threat against which the gun would not be an appropriate response. So I’m a fan of pepper spray.
Now, I’ve talked about these two buckets deadly force bucket non deadly force bucket. And it’s important also in the context of non-deadly force. To understand that within the non-deadly force bucket, there is a continuum, a kind of internal continuum of force.
So, we distinguish between non-deadly force and deadly force. And then within the non-deadly force bucket, we need to distinguish between different degrees of non-deadly force.
That’s not true of the deadly force bucket. If you’re in the deadly force bucket there are no distinctions degrees of deadly force, it’s all deadly force. There’s not more deadly force or less deadly force, its force capable of causing death or serious bodily injury or it’s not.
But in the non-deadly force bucket, there’s a difference between someone poking you in the chest with their finger and someone punching you in the face with their fist or OCing somebody. So you need to make sure within the non-deadly force bucket that you’re maintaining your continuing proportionality within the scope of non-deadly force as well as between the two larger buckets of non deadly force and deadly force. Let’s see. Hopefully that answers, Rodney’s question.
Then I had a few questions come in about my blog on USCCA getting sued in federal court by Kayla Giles, one of their Platinum-level members, for refusing to meet their apparent obligation to cover her legal expenses under the USCCA Platinum plan that they sold to her, that she paid for. I’ve written about this case, several times. I don’t really want to dive into all the details.
Again, I think what I’ll do instead, those of you who are members have read my posts on this. I think instead of diving into this USCCA escapade, again, I’ll first flip through the comments that have come in during the show and see if we can knock some of those out. Before we wrap things up. So let me go through our member dashboard area first.
Is MAG-20 worth taking? Is it duplicative of what LOSD teaches? (Spoiler: YES, and NO.)
Oscar says he just took the MAG 20 lecture last weekend fantastic compliment to Andrews level one class. Very kind of you to say that Oscar and I would agree wholeheartedly. So folks, the reason I do Law of Self Defense is that back in 1996 I took a course that is now called, and it had a different name then, but now is called . MAG-40.
MAG-40 is the Massad Ayoob Group. Mas Ayoob is a defensive instructor, career cop, now retired in Florida. And I can tell you that in three years of law school, we spent almost No time talking about self defense law. And when I got to Mas Ayoob’s course, MAG-40, it was then called Lethal Force Institute 1, it blew my mind. It was a week of shooting, tactical use of a gun on a range and a week of classroom work that focused to a large extent on self-defense law [AFB: to clarify, one-week class, half the week was spent on the range, half in the classroom], usually in a kind of general principles kind of way.
But Mas is a very effective teacher and speaker. And he opened my eyes to an entire world of law that I had really no idea existed before. And it was shortly after that, that I made the decision to focus my own legal practice exclusively on self-defense law.
Now, having said that, it may seem that while the stuff I teach in the stuff Mas teaches is the both self-defense law, they must be very similar to each other, they must be duplicative of each other. But as Oscar here says, it’s really not. They’re really very complementary because of the different contexts in which the content is taught.
So Mas was a cop ,as a career. So he teaches this stuff from the perspective of a law enforcement officer. And, of course, he’d be the first person to say he’s not a lawyer, so he tends to teach kind of generalized concepts, as opposed to specific statutes, court decisions, jury instructions, and he brings that cop perspective, which is very valuable.
My own perspective, of course, is quite different. I’ve never been a cop, I’m just a lawyer. So I teach this from a lawyer’s perspective having to build an attack these narratives of guilt and innocence in the use of force case. And my approach is much more law specific. So we spend a lot of time looking at specific statutes, jury instructions, court decisions.
And I have a lot of my students who’ve been through Mas’ courses, and a lot of his students have come through mine, and invariably, I hear exactly what Oscar says here, and that is that they find the two classes to be not duplicative of each other at all, really, but highly complementary to each other.
By the way, folks, if you have an opportunity to take one of the MAG courses, MAG-20, which Oscar mentioned here is very much like the course I took in 1996. except mine was 40 hours, half shooting, half classroom, I believe the MAG-20 is just the classroom portion of that. But in case, if you have an opportunity to take any course taught by Mas Ayoob, you’d be crazy not to take advantage of that opportunity. So I urge you to do that.
Rahm asks, in Colorado is a person in their car highly defensible property? Well, unfortunately, Rama, we have people in this participating in the show from all 50 states and I can’t possibly step through state specific law for all 50 states. We do have state specific courses that dive into every state’s use of force law in great detail and answers that and about 100 other questions that you might have about your state specific laws. You can learn more about those courses at http://lawofselfdefense.com/state
Oh, Oscar says he also Yes, Mas was kind enough–here. I actually have the book right here. So the current edition of our book ”Law of Self Defense, 3rd Edition,” Mas was kind enough to write the foreword to that book. Thank you very much Mas, and Oscar got his autograph on his copy of “Law of Self Defense, 3rd Edition.” Pretty cool.
Comment on the grand jury refusal to indict in the Breonna Taylor shooting case?
George says last week during the News/Q&A Show, he’d asked of the $12 million settlement in the Breonna Taylor case, might that settlement might have been made because the town, the town officials who agreed to that settlement with the lawyers representing Breonna Taylor’s family, Breonna Taylor, you’ll recall was the black woman killed by police serving a warrant in I’m blanking on the town, it’s not really important.
But the cops were serving a warrant, they got shot at, they returned fire, they killed Breonna Taylor. And as in many of these cases, there was this was purported to be another example of police racist murder. Just another of the systemic unavoidable police unaccountable police racist murder occurring all around America, in fact, and I was of that opinion, when the town agreed to settle for $12 million. Louisville, Kentucky is where it occurred.
And George and others, as well, maybe the town knows stuff you don’t know. At that time, the grand jury results had not yet been released. Maybe the town had information that I lacked.
And then of course, the grand jury findings, while the grand jury basically declined to indict on anything that had anything to do with Brianna Taylor’s death. They returned a no true bill. It’s a pretty low threshold to get a grand jury to indict. They didn’t, so it appears that there were not, in fact, hidden facts unknown to the public that supported the officers’ guilt.
If anything, all the newly revealed information was consistent with the officers’ use of force having been entirely lawful. So, it’s just a lawyer of the family is Benjamin Crump. It looks like he just got another cash windfall, presumably something around 30%, $4 million of that $12 million, went right into Benjamin Crump’s pocket, so another win for him.
Comment on the Rittenhouse defamation claim against Joe Biden, others?
James asks any comment on the Rittenhouse defamation case against Biden? I don’t do defamation law. I would say there’s really there’s no hope. Honestly, in most of these cases, there’s no hope.
I mean, Zimmerman certainly tried to sue for defamation after his trial. Ironically enough, you won’t believe this when I say it unless you already happened to know this. The judge assigned to Zimmerman’s defamation case against, I believe it was NBC and perhaps other news media as well, for doctoring, photos, videos, audio in the case.
The judge who was in charge of that civil case, brought by Zimmerman for defamation, was the same judge who was in charge of his criminal trial, and was clearly to my eyes antagonistic to Zimmerman as a defendant throughout that trial, and he got her again for the civil case and she basically summarily dismissed the lawsuit.
The basis for dismissing, by the way, was that Zimmerman was a public figure. Of course, the only reason he became a public figure was because of the media circus, that seems to me ought not be on him. That ought to be on the media he was suing. But nevertheless, that’s the judge’s call.
And usually that’s how it comes out. Now, the only reason I hesitate, I would be nearly 100% positive that Rittenhouse has no chance on defamation here, except that one of his lawyers is Linn Wood and Linn Wood got a fantastic settlement for the young man [Nick Sandmann] who was confronted by the Native American Indian and found himself called a racist on all the news media, and then got to what I presume to be a very large settlement from the news media in the defamation act, action.
So I would say that Rittenhouse has no chance at all, except Linn Wood apparently is pretty good at these defamation cases. So I’d like to see him get some money. For sure.
James says I first heard about your law practice and classes from Mas Ayoob. Yes, I’ve been very fortunate for Mas to always say very kind things about my work and I greatly appreciate it.
Okay, let me that’s from our members. Let me flip through now on Facebook, where we always have a lot more traffic.
Hey, Will Parker, a great instructor up in the Kalispell area of Montana, almost Canada, not Canada, but pretty close up there, great instructor. If you’re in that neck of the woods, I encourage you to look him up and very experienced in self-defense law. He’s a graduate of our Law of Self Defense Instructor program.
Are cops taught use-of-force law at academy to protect the cops, or to protect their departments?
Alan mentions just finished “Law of Self Defense,” the book, great info and refresher after 40 years in law enforcement. Yeah, unfortunately, I mentioned earlier that lawyers are not really taught much self-defense law in law school. And the truth is cops are not taught the self-defense law they ought to be taught at the police academy.
They’re taught more than lawyers are taught, based on my experience, that’s for sure. Unfortunately, most of what cops are taught is not intended to protect the cop from criminal liability, to prevent the cop from going to jail for an unlawful use of force. What he’s taught is largely intended to protect his department from civil liability if the department sued over that officer’s use of force. And it’s really not quite the same thing. The department’s interested in saving money. They’re not, based on what they teach, they’re not really interested in saving the cop.
What were your most important factors in choosing CCW Safe for yourself and your family?
Keith asks, what factors did I utilize when deciding which ‘self-defense insurance’ company was best for my family?
Well, there’s a lot of them but one of the two of the biggest factors for why I chose CCW Safe, and this doesn’t mean they should be the most important factors for you. None of these programs are perfect. None of them is a perfect fit for everybody.
But two of the factors that were most important to me was that most of CCW Safe competitors had a cap on how much they would provide for criminal legal defense.
So for example, this Kayla Giles case where USCCA is being sued, the Platinum level program she signed up for apparently privileges her to receive up to $150,000 in criminal legal defense funds from USCCA. She was provided with $50,000 and then USCCA cut her off. She’s suing for the remainder of the $150,000.
But the truth is, folks, $150,000 is not enough for a killing case. If you’ve killed someone in purported self-defense and you’re facing a murder or manslaughter charge, $150,000 just is not enough. When Kayla Giles filed her lawsuit against USCCA in federal court, for her $100,000, the remainder of the $150,000, she’d already run up $150,000 in legal expenses. And she’s not going to trial until ,I think it’s now spring of 2021 is the new trial date.
So she’s not even close to going to trial yet, she’s already went through 150,000. And that was in September of last year. So certainly the number must be higher now. So in other words, even if uscca had paid the entire $150,000, it would hardly have covered her full legal expenses.
In contrast, CCW Safe does not put a cap, they will pay as much for your legal defenses is reasonably required for the legal defense based on you know, standard legal compensation rates and expert witness pay and that kind of stuff. So that was one reason there’s no cap and you don’t want there to be a cap. If there’s going to be a cap, it should be on the order of a million dollars for criminal legal defense.
Now, don’t get confused. Many of these plans have criminal legal defense payment, for that Platinum plan from USCCA it was $150,000. And then they have civil liability coverage, which under that same plan would be a million dollars for civil liability. If you’re sued and the other side wins and they’re awarded a judgment against you USCCA would, I guess, if they felt like it, cover you for up to a million dollars. But that million dollars, not a penny that is for your criminal legal defense. Your criminal legal defense is capped at the $150,000.
So CCW Safe, in contrast, does not impose that kind of cap. So I don’t have to worry that I’m going to exhaust my share of the resources of my financial partner well before I ever get to trial. And it’s very common by the way to run through $100,000, $200,000 pre-trial in a murder or manslaughter case.
The other reason I chose CCW Safe, preferred it, was because their National Trial Counsel is Don West. Attorney Don West, he was one of the attorneys for the George Zimmerman trial. And folks, I watched every minute of that trial. In fact, I watched more than the trial, I watched the pre-trial proceedings, all of that. And that was a perfect legal defense.
Perfect, and they could have screwed it up. I mean, I see legal defenses get screwed up with regularity. Some of these high profile cases, the Michael Drejka case, the handicap shooting case, readily comes to mind, where man oh, man, that legal defense team that just did not bring it.
Well, Don West and Mark O’Mara in the Zimmerman trial, brought it every single day and overcame some of the most unethical behavior I’ve ever seen from prosecutors in that case, and what I perceived to be an incredibly biased judge in the case as well. And they were just perfect.
Now, if you ask them, they’ll tell you well, we got the acquittal for George Zimmerman, and we should have because he was in the right, and that’s true, they should have won, the law and the facts were in their favor, they should have won.
But they could have screwed it up, and they didn’t. So I think the world of Don. I didn’t know Don at the time, since then we’ve become pretty good friends. And if you have Don West on your legal team, even if it’s only through being a CCW Safe member, you are in a much more advantageous position than you would be without him. No doubt about that in my mind. So those two factors were key to me in choosing CCW safe over alternatives.
Let’s see what do we have?
Someone says very neat chart. That was the mini monster chart. I want to emphasize again, this chart is not my creation, folks. So I take no credit, good or bad, for it. I’m going to pop it back up on the screen.
It does have a couple names on the bottom. If you’d like to look it up, just David Meyers not Copyright 1982 I guess it looks like it might have been in a book called close quarters combat, or maybe another book defensive tactics with flashlights by john G. Peters. So if you’d like to look it up and dig into more detail, certainly I would encourage you to do that if that’s of interest. It doesn’t really have anything to do with Law of Self Defense LLC, however.
Comments on the newly elected St. Louis DA re-opening the Michael Brown “hands up, don’t shoot” case?
Terry says recently, I read that a newly elected St. LouisDA conducted a secret investigation on Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Michael Brown in 2014.
The new district attorney in St. Louis, reopened the Michael Brown case. He campaigned for district attorney on the promise to reopen that case.
Now the case, of course, had already been put before a grand jury by the previous district attorney, the district attorney this new guy beat, and one of the reasons he beat him was his promise to reopen the case.
It had also, of course, been reviewed at the time by the Barack Obama, Eric Holder Department of Justice, and they found no reason to bring charges against the officer.
The grand jury, of course, refused to return an indictment against the officer, this guy [newly elected DA] reopened the case, he could do that as a new district attorney. There’s no double jeopardy protection, folks, from a grand jury declining to indict. So a new prosecutor could in theory, reopen the case.
Fortunately for Wilson, the new DA opened the case, looked at the evidence and saw there was no case just like everybody else had seen. So fortunately, that’s a good thing for [Darren Wilson].
Now, I will say it could have gone otherwise. Obviously, the evidence that was reviewed hadn’t changed. And Officer Wilson Darren Wilson has been smart enough to basically disappear off the face of the earth since that event. But you can imagine if he was, say, giving interviews about the case, and therefore generating new prospective evidence about the case, that the new DA might have used that new evidence as an excuse to reopen the case, put them before a grand jury, getting indictment, drag them to trial,even after all these years. Fortunately, Wilson was smart enough or got good enough advice to just keep the low profile he’s been keeping. And I think that’s the best prospect he has for a safe life.
Let’s see. Oh, Paul says he recommends our Law of Self Defense ADVANCED Live Online Course, again, that’s this Saturday, folks, this Saturday, the last one for at least six months.
So do yourself a favor. If that’s of interest. Let me pop that back up. So you can see the URL you would need to go to for more information. http://lawofselfdefense.com/advanced
Ken asks, I showed the pepper spray. Can I show my pistol? Not today.
Are there drawbacks, tactically speaking, to OC spray as a defensive tool?
Yeah, so Brad mentioned, he’s a former law enforcement officer, not a fan of pepper spray. You know, none of these defensive tools are magic. None of them are the perfect solution to all problems. All of them have their drawbacks. That’s certainly true for pepper spray as well. I do encourage people if you’re going to carry pepper spray, don’t just pick it up at Home Depot or something and target wherever they sell it. Believe it or not, when I lived in Massachusetts and use a gun permit to buy pepper spray. But don’t just pick it up someplace and just carry it around get trained in its use. Believe it or not, there are right and wrong ways to use pepper spray. You don’t want to be using it the wrong way.
All right, folks, we’ll see where at the top of the hour if there’s more questions in the comments. That’s all I can get to, however, I want to respect everybody’s time. Remember we do this every Thursday 4pm Eastern time on our member dashboard, on Facebook ,and on YouTube. And if you like this kind of content you could do worse for yourself then becoming a Law of Self Defense Member, you can try out membership for just 99 cents for two weeks full access to our content at http://lawofselfdefense.com/trial.
And until the next time we meet just remember, if you carry a gun so that you’re hard to kill ,which is certainly why I carry a gun, so I’m hard to kill ,my family is hard to kill. You also owe it to yourself and your family to make sure that you know the law so that you’re hard to convict.
Alright folks, I’m Attorney Andrew Branca for Law of Self Defense. Until next time, stay safe.