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Man shoots dead boner thief and is acquitted of all charges


LondonLax
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What a country :)

 

A Bexar County jury on Wednesday acquitted Ezekiel Gilbert of murder in the death of a 23-year-old Craigslist escort.

 

Gilbert, 30, embraced defense attorneys Bobby Barrera and Roy Barrera Sr. with tears in his eyes after the not guilty verdict was read aloud by state District Judge Mary Román.

Outside the courtroom, Gilbert thanked God, the Barrera family and the jury for being able to “see what wasn't the truth” and for the “second chance.”

Had he been convicted, he could have faced up to life in prison for the slaying of Lenora Ivie Frago who died about seven months after she was shot in the neck and paralyzed on Christmas Eve 2009. Gilbert admitted shooting Frago.

“I sincerely regret the loss of the life of Ms. Frago,” Gilbert said Wednesday. “I've been in a mental prison the past four years of my life. I have nightmares. If I see guns on TV where people are getting killed, I change the channel.”

The verdict came after almost 11 hours of deliberations that stretched over two days. The trial began May 17 but had a long hiatus after a juror unexpectedly had to leave town for a funeral.

During closing arguments Tuesday, Gilbert's defense team conceded the shooting did occur but said the intent wasn't to kill. Gilbert's actions were justified, they argued, because he was trying to retrieve stolen property: the $150 he paid Frago. It became theft when she refused to have sex with him or give the money back, they said.

Gilbert testified earlier Tuesday that he had found Frago's escort ad on Craigslist and believed sex was included in her $150 fee. But instead, Frago walked around his apartment and after about 20 minutes left, saying she had to give the money to her driver, he said.

That driver, the defense contended, was Frago's pimp and her partner in the theft scheme.

The Texas law that allows people to use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft was put in place for “law-abiding” citizens, prosecutors Matt Lovell and Jessica Schulze countered. It's not intended for someone trying to force another person into an illegal act such as prostitution, they argued.

 

 

http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Jury-acquits-escort-shooter-4581027.php

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Misleading title, surely?  I mean the guy's entire defense is based on the premise that she was a thief, not a prostitute and the judge agreed. 

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Misleading title, surely?  I mean the guy's entire defense is based on the premise that she was a thief, not a prostitute and the judge agreed. 

 

Also, who killed her in the first place? And is it a crime to shoot a corpse?

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Leaving aside the utter lunacy of a law which allows people to kill others they suspect of theft during the hours of darkness (hey, it's Texas, you have to make allowances for murderous imbeciles having laws made to legitimise their killing), how can it even be theft?

 

They had a transaction.  He's not content with it.  It's a civil matter.  He should sue her (I gather Americans are not unaccustomed with taking legal action against people).  Theft is taking money from someone, not being given it on the basis of undertakings which turn out not to be honoured. 

 

Fraud might apply as well.  Do they allow killing by anyone who feels they have been defrauded?  Watch out bankers...

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I'm not sure if the Americans share our legal definition of theft, but here in the UK theft is described as:

The dishonest appropriation of another person's property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of it (hooray, some of my Media Law finally comes in handy!)

Assuming this is the definition over there, or it is at least very similar, you could argue that the prostitute appropriated the guy's money dishonestly since he obviously thought he was going to get laid in return, and she expressed the intent to permanently deprive him of that money by giving it to her pimp.

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If he paid her money for sex then technically that money is the proceeds of a crime, possession/handling of which is a criminal offence. No one could really be said to have title to that money as a result

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There was a famous case in this country where 2 highwaymen robbed someone of their money but one of the robbers buggered off with all the loot. The second robber then sued the first robber for his share of the spoils as he claimed to be a tenant in common of the proceeds of the crime.

 

The judge, rather pissed off that this came before the court, refused the application, charged the two for their crime, sentenced them to die and they were subsequently hung.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, crime does NOT pay. Especially if you're a ****

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Fraud might apply as well.  Do they allow killing by anyone who feels they have been defrauded?  Watch out bankers...

Texas does have a fairly long history of antipathy to banking, e.g. being the last state to legalize branches and holding companies, is still the state that's the toughest for a bank to foreclose in, and has one of the lower limits on interest that can be charged (especially for larger borrowing).

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I'm not sure if the Americans share our legal definition of theft, but here in the UK theft is described as:

The dishonest appropriation of another person's property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of it (hooray, some of my Media Law finally comes in handy!)

Assuming this is the definition over there, or it is at least very similar, you could argue that the prostitute appropriated the guy's money dishonestly since he obviously thought he was going to get laid in return, and she expressed the intent to permanently deprive him of that money by giving it to her pimp.

 

Can it be theft if the money is freely handed over?  If I give you money on the basis that you're going to replace tiles on my roof but all you do is rearrange them, or you sell me a toaster on the basis that it works when it really doesn't, we use other charges like obtaining money by deception.

 

As for the US case, I imagine it's academic anyway.  I expect there's some provision that a member of the NRA may shoot someone who annoys them.

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Fraud might apply as well.  Do they allow killing by anyone who feels they have been defrauded?  Watch out bankers...

Texas does have a fairly long history of antipathy to banking, e.g. being the last state to legalize branches and holding companies, is still the state that's the toughest for a bank to foreclose in, and has one of the lower limits on interest that can be charged (especially for larger borrowing).

 

 

I gather there's more of a theme of hostility to banks in many parts of the US than perhaps we have here, dating back at least to resistance to foreclosures of small farmers in the Depression?  Things like auction sales of repossessed properties, where neighbours turn up en masse and make it clear to representatives of firms looking to buy up repo'ed property that it would be more prudent for them not to bid?

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I'm not sure if the Americans share our legal definition of theft, but here in the UK theft is described as:

The dishonest appropriation of another person's property with the intent to permanently deprive the owner of it (hooray, some of my Media Law finally comes in handy!)

Assuming this is the definition over there, or it is at least very similar, you could argue that the prostitute appropriated the guy's money dishonestly since he obviously thought he was going to get laid in return, and she expressed the intent to permanently deprive him of that money by giving it to her pimp.

 

Can it be theft if the money is freely handed over?  If I give you money on the basis that you're going to replace tiles on my roof but all you do is rearrange them, or you sell me a toaster on the basis that it works when it really doesn't, we use other charges like obtaining money by deception.

 

As for the US case, I imagine it's academic anyway.  I expect there's some provision that a member of the NRA may shoot someone who annoys them.

 

It wouldn't be theft. There might be potential for fraud. But you would certainly have civil claims for breach of contract, misrepresentation and breaches of implied terms under the Sale of Goods Act.

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I gather there's more of a theme of hostility to banks in many parts of the US than perhaps we have here, dating back at least to resistance to foreclosures of small farmers in the Depression?  Things like auction sales of repossessed properties, where neighbours turn up en masse and make it clear to representatives of firms looking to buy up repo'ed property that it would be more prudent for them not to bid?

It depends on where. As with much else, it varies from nation within the US*. Using the nations identified in the book linked below, the attitudes towards creditor- vs. debtor-oriented economics more or less go:

* Yankeedom (roughly the area most influenced by the New England (thus East Anglian) diaspora) - staunchly in favor of creditor-oriented economics; largely due to a Puritan view that being in debt was at some level sinful while to be wealthy, even if such wealth came from lending (ie leading others into sin), was a sign of God's favor. Thus Massachusetts has one of the highest thresholds for usury (20%) and among the easiest foreclosure processes in the country (IIRC, it's 90 days without payment, placing an advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of the property announcing intent to foreclose in 30 days, followed by auction and filing a form with the Registrar of Deeds... no court involvement).

* New Netherlands (NY metro area) - befitting its history as a pure money-making venture (as opposed to its neighbors, Yankeedom and (to a slightly lesser extent) The Midlands, which were basically founded with the aim of creating heaven on Earth), and its history in finance of being the place Yankee money goes to do deals that are against the rules in Boston, staunchly in favor of creditor orientation.

* Dixie (South Carolina across to Eastern Texas... cotton country, basically) - strongly opposed to creditor-oriented economics, largely because the plantation elite regularly wound up needing to borrow money from Boston, New York, and Philadelphia bankers (this is a generally-unappreciated element of the background of the Civil War).

* Appalachia - strongly supportive of creditor-oriented economics, going back to Andrew Jackson

* Tidewater (coastal Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina) - mixed feelings: if times are good, creditor-oriented, if times are bad, debtor-oriented

* Midlands (Philadelphia west, basically) - mixed feelings; Philadelphia and Toronto (and a few other cities) strongly in favor of creditor-orientation, the more agricultural areas strongly in favor of debtor-orientation

* Left Coast (San Francisco north to Vancouver) - slight creditor orientation (this is basically the west coast analogue to Yankeedom)

* El Norte (the Southwest from the Rio Grande to San Diego, on both sides of the border) - see Tidewater

* Far West (the largely barren interior from Alaska to Colorado) - ideologically creditor-oriented but with a strong tendency to rail against Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Detroit, and Chicago-based banks; that this nation has, for more or less all of its history, been a colony of corporations (first the railroads, then the mining and oil companies) from a few of the others (basically Yankeedom, New Netherlands, The Midlands, and The Left Coast) has a great deal to do with this.

Politically, historically, the Democrats (with their base in Dixie) were strongly debtor-oriented, the Republicans (with their base in Yankeedom) strongly creditor-oriented. The past few decades have more or less seen both parties not speak on the question as each coalition has elements everywhere on the spectrum.

*: to truly understand the US and North America more broadly, it's profitable to consider it as roughly ten nations whose boundaries don't generally conform to any political divisions. This is the latest and most complete example, though the author more or less completely misses creditor- vs. debtor-oriented economics (I have a conjecture regarding that blind spot).

EDIT to add: one of the major factors that turned the Tidewater and Dixie planters to the Rebel cause in the American Revolution was the amount of debt owed, especially to Scottish banks, by the likes of Washington and Jefferson (who, post-Revolution, basically repudiated the debt). Absent that element, it would probably have ultimately been only the New England colonies that became independent.

Edited by leviramsey
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