Friday, June 06, 2014

GUN WATCH: Justified Homicide in Califonia not Considered Justified by FBI

GUN WATCH: Justified Homicide in Califonia not Considered Justified by FBI

This shooting in California is a good example of why the FBI does not report the vast majority of justified homicides in this country. The robbery was stopped and the robber killed, so no robbery will be reported by the police. What would be the point? From the San Gabriel Valley Tribune:
“Wurtz came to collect some property that our victim was holding,” Coleman said. But after obtaining the agreed-upon property, “(He) wanted more,” the lieutenant said.

Wurtz then tried to rob McCabe, officials said.

“He Tasered our victim,” Coleman said. “The resident fired in self-defense.”
Without a robbery being reported, this justified homicide does not fall under the FBI definition of justified homicide. Here is the requirement for reporting justifiable homicides in the FBI Uniform Crime Reports. From the UCR Handbook:
NOTE: Justifiable homicide, by definition, occurs in conjunction with other offenses. Therefore, the crime being committed when the justifiable homicide took place must be reported as a separate offense. Reporting agencies should take care to ensure that they do not classify a killing as justifiable or excusable solely on the claims of self-defense or on the action of a coroner, prosecutor, grand jury, or court.

The following scenario illustrates an incident known to law enforcement that reporting agencies would not consider Justifiable Homicide:

17. While playing cards, two men got into an argument. The first man attacked the second with a broken bottle. The second man pulled a gun and killed his attacker. The police arrested the shooter; he claimed self-defense.
The scenario quoted is a virtual shorthand for the Progressive Elite model of murder. The UCR even goes so far as to direct reporting agencies *not* to take into account the findings of coroners, prosecutors, grand juries or courts about whether a homicide is justifiable or not; only the FBI's extremely limited definition is to be used.

This explains much of why the UCR reports only a fraction of justifiable homicides in the United States. They simply define the rest out of existence, which naturally flows from the cognitive model used. If homicides occur from a emotional quarrel, with no one really at fault, then justification becomes moot.

Gary Kleck shows that between 5.6 and 13% of reported homicides are justifiable homicides by citizens who are not police.
The rarest, but most serious form of self-defense with a gun is a defensive killing. The FBI does not publish statistics on self-defense killings per se, but it did start publishing counts of civilian justifiable homicides gathered through their Supplementary Homicides Reports program in their 1991 issue. For a variety of reasons, the FBI counts of civilian justifiable homicides represent only a minority of all civilian legal defensive homicides.
I have not found any work that refutes these findings. Those who cling to the Progressive Elite model simply state the FBI numbers as fact.

In 2010, the UCR reported 278 justifiable homicides which are only 1.9 percent of the total criminal homicides (14,748) reported.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included. Link to Gun Watch

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