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DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Lawrence O'Donnell uncove... » Reply #108

Response to Jim Lane (Reply #104)

Fri Nov 28, 2014, 12:15 PM

108. First, thank you

Second, absolutely no doubt I am over simplifying.

However, in your scenario you have the harmed party suing. I agree with your clerk and school scenarios. I don't agree Wilson could sue if he had been charged under the Garner decision. I know he could try. But that doesn't make the statute legal. Unless I misunderstood Flanders, he is saying that the MO statute does trump Constitutional law, the Garner decision. And that just isn't the case. Whether or not MO leaves an illegal law on the books, the law is illegal. The Garner decision and the 4th Amendment trump it.

There are multiple parts to the statute and only one part in question. But the part that states a police officer can shoot a fleeing suspect just because they're fleeing is illegal. The fact the ADA finally told the jurors, in as convoluted language as she could possibly muster, to disregard the MO statue because it is "incorrect" shows they know it's illegal.

I am grateful for your reply. I am far from a Constitutional expert. But I am not completely without training in law. From everything I have read, the experts that have weighed in and the case law I have seen on this very question, Flanders is wrong about this.

I am not disputing you, I don't think. If I am reading you correctly, on this particular issue, you haven't agreed or disagreed with Flanders, correct?

Just like in Louisiana, although the cops arrested people under an illegal sodomy law, those people were never prosecuted and can sue the cops and department. Doesn't mean that the cops will necessarily be fired or held criminally responsible but they can and should be.

I do understand that a statute being found unconstitutional doesn't automatically make someone that followed it a criminal (unlike what we did in Nuremberg) but after the fact, when a law has been known to be illegal and police forces across the country have changed their training, including in MO, it is criminal to follow the illegal, unconstitutional, statute. A statute that's been illegal since before Wilson was born.

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