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    “Loud Music” Killer Sentenced to Life Without Parole

    “Loud Music” Killer Sentenced to Life Without Parole

    Dunn’s narrative of self-defense was ineffective in light of flight from the scene and total absence of corroborating evidence.

    In breaking news CNN reports that Michael Dunn, the Florida man who fired multiple rounds at four black teenagers in an SUV after an argument about their loud music, has been sentenced to life without parole.  One of those four teenagers, Jordan Davis, was mortally wounded.  Dunn had argued self-defense as justification for the shootings.

    Michael Dunn’s first trial hung on the charge of first degree murder for the killing of Jordan Davis, but did result in convictions for three charges of attempted second degree murder with respect to Davis’ three friends, as well as an additional conviction on a charge of “hurling missiles.”  That trial concluded with its verdict on February 15, 2014, as reported by us here,  GUILTY! Dunn Guilty of Most Charges, But Not Murder.

    Prosecutors immediately announced that they would re-try Dunn on the murder charge.  Sentencing on the attempted murder convictions was then delayed until the conclusion of the re-trial, with Dunn held in custody.

    The retrial concluded on October 1, 2014 with a verdict of guilty of first degree murder for the killing of Jordan Davis, as reported by us here: “Loud music” Murder Defendant Guilty of 1st Degree Murder. As in the first trial, Dunn testified in his own behalf. His flight from the scene and the complete absence of corroborating evidence undermined his claim of self-defense.

    Today Dunn was sentenced on all convictions to life in prison without possibility of parole by Judge Russel Healey, who had also presided over both of Dunn’s trials.

    Even had Dunn escaped conviction on the murder charge, the three earlier convictions of attempted second degree murder would likely have yielded a mandatory minimum sentence of 60 years under Florida’s “10-20-Life” law, plus an additional incremental 15 years for the “hurling missiles” charge of which he was also convicted in the first trial.  That 75 years would have effectively been a life sentence without parole for the 47-year-old Dunn.


    NOTE: The Law of Self Defense is proud to announce the launch of Law of Self Defense Webinars, with the first taking place Saturday, October 18, 2014. These are live, interactive, online versions of our 4-hour LOSD Seminars that are conducted all over the country. We currently have over 15 dates to choose from, at the low price of $99/person. For more info, click here.

    Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog (autographed copies available) and Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle). He also holds Law of Self Defense Seminars around the country, and provides free online self-defense law video lectures at the Law of Self Defense Institute and podcasts through iTunes, Stitcher, and elsewhere.

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    Comments



     
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    Richard Aubrey | October 18, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    Presume, for the sake of discussion, that Dunn had a real, genuine, provable self-defense issue at the moment. Even more obvious than Wafer (Dearborn), and shot and killed a guy. Presume that he is acquitted on grounds of self-defense;
    He still started a situation where a man was killed because he, Dunn, objected to loud music.
    I have my own ideas about those playing loud music in order to annoy the rest of us, but the ideas generally involve shattering, catastrophic bad luck, not actions on my part.
    Even if everything had broken right for a self-defense case, he still would have the moral load of killing a guy–getting a guy killed–over loud music.


       
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      Gremlin1974 in reply to Richard Aubrey. | October 18, 2014 at 3:36 pm

      Honestly, I don’t believe that “moral load” would have bothered him, but that is just my opinion. He seems mentally ill to me, once again just my opinion.

      In any case it would have been irrelevant if he did get off on self defense, he still would have been serving a minimum of 60 years for the attempted murder charges.


         
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        Deodorant in reply to Gremlin1974. | October 18, 2014 at 5:33 pm

        If you really believe that he was mentally ill, then you should be asking yourself what he was doing with a gun.

          Why would he have been denied a gun?

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


             
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            Yukio Ngaby in reply to Andrew Branca. | October 19, 2014 at 8:12 am

            Because guns are evil, evil things with a soul of their own that take over the will and corrupt the fiber of all people who dare try to possess one.

            Oh, and the govt.’s agencies– like the FBI & CDC– know this fact and must protect us from guns’ evil clutches by denying people any access to them. That’s why Dunn– and all people– should be denied access.

            Is that not right, odoriferous one?


             
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            Deodorant in reply to Andrew Branca. | October 19, 2014 at 11:47 am

            I am a bit surprised at you. I was not saying that he should have been denied a gun. I was asking the poster to consider his comment that Dunn “seems mentally ill to me” and implying something about the NRA comments on mental illness vis a vis guns. My comment was offhand and too obscure to to make the connection obvious.

            The comment was also ironic. The NRA has rationalized the role of guns in various inexplicable gun attrocities by making statements to the effect that we need to treat mental illness rather than blame the gun. It follows that we would need some method of definitely identifying mental illness. While the person was mental ill, gun ownership would certainly be problematic.

            I was not actually suggesting that he should have been denied a gun based on some prescient (Minority Report style) knowledge. But we certainly need some way to refuse gun ownership to someone who is a danger to themselves or others. We deny driving to those who are intoxicated. (Yes, I know driving is technically a privilege)

            I was just musing on the above. My comment was inexplicable in the short form I posted it. But I read it a number of times and kept remembering the NRA comments on mental illness.

            I don’t believe that Dunn was mentally ill. I think he was just a nasty piece of work. But I went back to LaPierre’s absurd comments after Sandy Hook and his subsequent return to them after each in a spate of gun based attrocities.

            LaPierre said it to dismiss any debate on changes to gun laws. But it is actually an interesting question.


             
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            Deodorant in reply to Andrew Branca. | October 19, 2014 at 12:01 pm

            @Yukio Ngaby Thank you for your Straw Man argument. I did not say that guns are “evil, evil things with a soul of their own that take over the will and corrupt the fiber of all people who dare try to possess one.” You attempted to put words in my mouth. I asked a question about guns AND mental illness based on a previous comment,

            Please feel free to build and knock down as many straw men as you please. But such ridiculous arguments don’t win in the ratioanl world.

            You might want to read the reply I made to Andrew; assuming you really want to know what I think.

            Straw man arguments are silly. They may make you feel superior, but they ultimately show you to be a person without the ability to make a serious argument.

            As long as you mention it, people on this site are apoplectic over 1 Ebola death in this country. They want to ban all travel to this country from west Africa. What would we do if some disease caused 17K in suicides and 13K in other deaths every year? Would we control access to anything that could transmit that disease? There seems to be an overreaction to the former and an underreaction to the latter.


             
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            Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | October 19, 2014 at 2:05 pm

            @Deodorant

            “I was asking the poster to consider his comment that Dunn “seems mentally ill to me” and implying something about the NRA comments on mental illness vis a vis guns.”

            I actually consider my comments pretty well before I make them and it is not the first time I have made a comment that I think Dunn was mentally ill. As a matter of fact I have posted elsewhere that he may have been better served by an insanity plea.

            Also, the only person who as mentioned the NRA is you, I did a page search, only 3 mentions of the NRA and all 3 of them are in your comment. I didn’t mention the NRA.

            “My comment was offhand and too obscure to to make the connection obvious.”

            Then perhaps you should refrain from making “offhand” comments and then getting your feathers ruffled when folks take exception to them.

            “rationalized the role of guns in various inexplicable gun attrocities”

            What is to rationalize, a gun is a machine, it either works or it doesn’t. It has no intent nor desire, it is a tool and nothing more. Also the “atrocities” are committed by the person not the gun and they are not “inexplicable” the explanation is that someone with evil intent misused a tool for whatever reason.

            “treat mental illness rather than blame the gun.”

            so you disagree with this statment. We should not improve our treatment of mental illness and we should blame the inanimate object?

            “It follows that we would need some method of definitely identifying mental illness. While the person was mental ill, gun ownership would certainly be problematic.”

            And who gets to define “mental illness”? I have ADHD am I mentally ill? Is someone with mild depression after heart surgery mentally ill. In the words of Milton Freedman “Where will we find these Angels to arrange society for us?”

            “But we certainly need some way to refuse gun ownership to someone who is a danger to themselves or others.”

            Ahh, so we should not let folks who “might” do something have a gun, but isn’t that any human? We are all capable.

            “We deny driving to those who are intoxicated. (Yes, I know driving is technically a privilege)”

            Actually no we don’t, we make it illegal to use a vehicle while intoxicated, it is only after someone has misused that privilege that the law takes action. We have the same system for people who misuse their right to own firearms. The law is mostly reactive not proactive, it has to be for a society to remain free.

            “I don’t believe that Dunn was mentally ill. I think he was just a nasty piece of work.”

            I don’t know if he is mentally ill or not, he may just be plain old evil, but I think he has some sort of either mental or personality disorder.

            “gun based attrocities.”

            No such thing, atrocities are human based, not tool based.

            “LaPierre said it to dismiss any debate on changes to gun laws.”

            Actually he said it to try to cut off knee jerk reactions that would allow liberals who what to remove people’s freedoms regarding gun ownership, because he knows that those ignorant cretins have no problem standing on the graves of children to accomplish their goals.

            Sandy Hook was the fault of 2 people, the person who pulled the trigger and his mother who did not secure her firearms to keep them away from her deranged son.


             
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            Yukio Ngaby in reply to Andrew Branca. | October 20, 2014 at 12:02 am

            @ Deodorant

            LOL.

            You have amused me.


           
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          Gremlin1974 in reply to Deodorant. | October 18, 2014 at 11:17 pm

          What, Andrew said. If he had never been convicted of a crime then whats the problem. If he had never been a danger to himself or others.


     
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    Richard Aubrey | October 18, 2014 at 9:33 pm

    Gremlin.
    Whether or not the moral load bothered Dunn, the fact is, he has it.
    As to the other charges, they also stemmed from objecting to loud music.
    That’s why municipalities have noise ordinances.

    I’m a bit of a cynic on this particular case… I believe that this case was driven at least as much by state politics as it was by the “administration of justice under law”…

    I think that Michael Dunn is, indeed, guilty of killing one of these kids and shooting at the others…

    As to the murder thing, i think we can quibble a bit… It is my belief that Michael Dunn has been offered up as a sacrifice to the black community in an effort to curry favor from the florida electorate, which is effectively split 50/50…

    His case is one that the florida prosecutorial enterprize can offer up to the skeptical black community as a zealous prosecution of a white person in order to prove that the florida prosecutorial operatives are “color blind”…

    I don’t believe that for one minute… They are simply currying the favor of a particular voting block; the florida black community…

    The Michael Dunn case was a godsend for these people (… sadly for each of the victims, including Dunn and his family…)… Dunn is not likeable, he is aloof, and he did everything that no responsible citizen should have done as to protecting himself… More than that, the left the scene after the shooting for reasons totally unknown to anyone (…i would presume…)…

    I say this case is far more about currying the favor of a special voting block than it is the administration of justice…

    The florida prosecutorial enterprize had an easy time demonizing and locking up Michaael Dunn… He gave the state prosecutors all the ammunition they needed to paint him as something that he may, in fact, not be…. a steely eyed killer that needs to be locked up away from society…

    I doubt that Michael Dunn is a phycopath; and a menace to society… I do believe he is an unlikable, aloof person who has ruined his life (…and the lives of others…)…The state just piled on to curry the favor of a special voting block…

    The people of Florida deserve better than this…

    leroy


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