Guilty or not guilty?

Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by Pastor Gary, Sep 22, 2003.

  1. Pastor Gary

    Pastor Gary
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    Two weekends ago one of the members of my church, a single mother, was arrested for simple assault. She was involved in an incident where her VERY rebellious 17-year-old son was involved in a fight with a neighbor’s 16-year-old son.

    The situtation is this. There were some heated words exchanged between the two young men and a fight ensued. According to witnesses, the neighbor’s son jumped from a slowly moving vehicle being driven by his mother and attacked the 17-year-old. Seeing that a fight had started, the mother of the 16-year-old stopped the vehicle and also attacked the 17-year-old. The lady from my church hearing the commotion looked out her window and seeing the mother and son beating on her son, she ran to his aid. Arriving at the fight she grabbed the mother of the 16-year-old by her shirt and threw her to the ground. A few moments later two men arrived and separated the fighting boys. The police were called and due to conflicting stories they arrested everyone involved.

    I was called and I went to the sheriff’s office where I bailed out the single mother and her 17-year-old son. In the two weeks since the incident I spent many hours counseling and comforting the mother. Needless to say she is very upset about the whole situtation. Her son on the hand just laughs it off.

    My question is this. The mother has asked me if she should plead guilty or not guilty at her arraignment.

    In the eyes of the law she knows that she is guilty of assaulting the other lady. However she also knows that in her heart she was just trying to protect her son.

    If she pleads guilty she could receive 93 days in jail and a $500 fine.

    Any advice???
     
  2. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    In my opinion, she should plead guilty with extenuating circumstances. The mitigating factor being seeing her son being assaulted by two other people.

    I believe this would be the truthful way of stating the case.

    Cheers, and best wishes,

    Jim
     
  3. Karen

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    I strongly think she should seek legal help from the Legal Aid Society.
    PLEASE don't just rely on an informal, anecdotal, layman's view of the law.
    I would not be surprised if NOT guilty because of self-defense (defending her son from TWO people) is even more accurate.

    Karen
     
  4. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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    It was not self-defence because she did attack the woman. I do agree that legal counsel is a must, but we were asked for an opinion.

    Self defence is exactly that,,we defend ourselves...She did the attacking, and that is not self defence in either legal or lay interpretation, hence the extenuating circumstances.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. Karen

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  6. Jim1999

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    with all due respect, read the words carefully and slowly..........self......defence.....not someone else, regardless of relationship.self-defence. That is the understanding in any British or Canadian court..I can't answer for American courts.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. Karen

    Karen
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    In Oklahoma, you can legally use force to defend another who faces immediate bodily harm as long as the force you use is not excessive to prevent the harm. http://jenningscc.com/TaeKwonDo/Laws%20-%20OK.htm

    Karen ( who did indeed read carefully and slowly in her paralegal courses ;) )
     
  8. Jim1999

    Jim1999
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  9. blackbird

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    Sounds to me like both the mom and boy need a good old fashioned "tail-whippin'" from daddy!

    Blackbird

    Put the boys in the ring with gloves and a referee and they'll not take the first swing at each other!
     
  10. GODzThunder

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    Just what is the mother being charged with? Throwing attackers off of her son?

    Here is what I am reading.

    The son and the neighbor's boy threw a few harsh words at each other, no law broken there at this point. You say that the sixteen year old actually started the fight by throwing the first punch (he lept from the car swinging). This puts the sixteen year old at fault. The seventeen year old must have been a better fighter because the mother of the neighbor had to join in.

    Seeing two people now assaulting her son, the mother ran to aid her son, this actually is legal, pulling attackers from her son.

    Next, you are bailing THAT mother from prison? There must be more to this story involved because something does not add up??? On What charges was she arrested? If her story is just that then what about the testimony of the witnesses? If she just pulled attackers off of her son they would have testified to that.

    What is the rest of the story here?
     
  11. David Ekstrom

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    I agree that we need to get legal advice involved here. Pastors need to know when NOT to advise. It does sound to me like self-defense, the way the story is reported. But we're only hearing part of the story. Why is the woman even considering pleading "guilty" if it's as clear-cut as it sounds? This is a can of worms.
     

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