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Old 01-03-2018, 08:17 PM   #376
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by Rapini View Post
You can google that if you want instead of directing me to google an unrelated constitutional law concept when we're discussing criminal law.
The Constitutional law and criminal law aspects are intimately intertwined. You're probably mistaking my pointing you to the general concept with me pointing you to a specific example.

The "fighting words" doctrine basically says that people can't use a free speech defense for ALL verbal provocation. That is, states are free to make (limited) laws against (egregious) verbal provocation. Many, if not all, states have penalties for such provocation. And in many, if not all, cases, the worst of the worst verbal provocation is treated as bad as the mildest of the mild physical contact.

Maybe you live in a jurisdiction that has different laws. Maybe that would explain why you're so adamant that no such laws exist. But they do, in many places.

Ironically, they exist because of people like you - people who believe that violence has no place in society. So when a racist follows a black guy around and yells ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** ****** hoping to get punched, people think, wow, that's a legal loophole that really should be closed.

The drawback to all this legal grey, of course, is that people are required to use their judgement. Of course it matters if the attacker appears to be physically stronger than the attackee, e.g., violence against young children has always attracted special ire. Of course it matters if it was premeditated or impulsive. Non-obviously, it matters if the attacker thinks the verbal provocation was personal - for example, if I called a closeted homosexual a ***, he might take it more personally than I meant it to be. And society is better off when people use their judgements instead of trying to set up fool proof rules.
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:46 PM   #377
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Re: Assaulted at live game

I think I see the problem: it seems to me that you're arguing whether words can be a crime, as opposed to arguing whether words can justify physical violence. I am addressing the latter issue, not the former.

Stating that words can be a crime doesn't show that words can be used to justify physical violence.
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:52 PM   #378
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by ninefingershuffle View Post
FYI, I would have pressed charges as well, but I think your argument that you should do so since. You need to create a record/he will get a slap on the wrist is a short sided one. Almost all jobs are at will employment. If this guy loses his job because of his arrest, then he can’t feed his family etc etc and the downward spiral goes from there. You may think he deserves that and maybe he does, but arrests have a lot more collateral consequences that many people think of. Even in today’s day and age, many of my clients have lost jobs over relatively minor marijuana arrests that were later dismissed in court.
Again, I'm fine with "collateral consequences" as long as they're not crazy unfair. Were your clients who were arrested innocent?

(On a personal note, I'll add that marijuana possession is decriminalized where I live and I think that's the way to go. But if someone breaks the law, they have to know there's consequences, right?)
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:54 AM   #379
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by Rapini View Post
I think I see the problem: it seems to me that you're arguing whether words can be a crime, as opposed to arguing whether words can justify physical violence. I am addressing the latter issue, not the former.

Stating that words can be a crime doesn't show that words can be used to justify physical violence.
United States Federal Sentencing Guidelines

(Sorry if this is formatted weird, my phone keeps trying to paste it as html, I think.)

Victim's conduct*(§5K2.10)

If the victim's wrongful conduct contributed significantly to provoking the offense behavior, the court may reduce the sentence below the guideline range to reflect the nature and circumstances of the offense. In deciding whether a sentence reduction is warranted, and the extent of such reduction, the court should consider the following:

The size and strength of the victim, or other relevant physical characteristics, in comparison with those of the defendant.

The persistence of the victim's conduct and any efforts by the defendant to prevent confrontation.

The danger reasonably perceived by the defendant, including the victim's reputation for violence.

The danger actually presented to the defendant by the victim.

Any other relevant conduct by the victim that substantially contributed to the danger presented.

The proportionality and reasonableness of the defendant's response to the victim's provocation.
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:19 AM   #380
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Re: Assaulted at live game

The formatting is fine.

It appears that we're in agreement then that words can't be used to justify physical violence. In certain circumstances, it's possible that words might mitigate a sentence, but they don't negate the crime.

That fact also complements my assertion that OP should have pressed charges regardless of harm done because we need to get these incidents in front of a federal judge if we're going to have that judge use the federal sentencing guidelines to use OP's words to reduce the assailant's sentence -or- use the potential existing pattern of behavior to enhance the assailant's sentence.

If people "use their judgment" to refrain from getting incidents of violence on the record, we lose the opportunity to correct the behavior or remove the violent person from society.
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:12 PM   #381
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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In certain circumstances, it's possible that words might mitigate a sentence, but they don't negate the crime.
Crimes aren't binary. If Person #1 says something to Person #2 and Person #2 makes physical contact with Person #1, it is possible that Person #1 will (and should) get punished more.

As a matter of fact, in combination of what I posted, Person #1 can commit a verbal crime, and if that verbal crime is an immediate, specific, and personal threat to Person #2, Person #2 may not have committed a crime at all with respect to self defense laws. Like let's say Person #1 threatens to kill Person #2's kids, and Person #2 wrestles Person #1 to the ground and calls police. Do you think Person #2 should be charged with a crime (whether or not they would be is probably jurisdiction dependent)?

Quote:
If people "use their judgment" to refrain from getting incidents of violence on the record, we lose the opportunity to correct the behavior or remove the violent person from society.
Why do you believe the police / the law is the only way to correct the behavior?

Why do you believe that being violent is something that is inherent in someone's personality?

Sometimes people lash out. Sometimes - often times IMO/IME - people regret things they did not 5 seconds earlier. You see this all the time at a poker table, people throw their cards into the center and claw desperately at their flying cards because sometime in the past 500 millisecond they realized their mistake.

A very large fraction of the time, if two people are physically separated, they're capable of taking a deep breath and apologizing. You see it every day in sports. And when the police/security are standing there asking if you want to press charges, you have as good a chance as anyone to change their behavior.

"Not if he shakes my hand. I just wanna play poker. We cool?"

"No, but I don't want to see him back here until he gets that temper under control."

"If he apologizes, we'll call it even."
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:10 PM   #382
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Re: Assaulted at live game

I find it extremely unlikely that by "fighting words" you originally meant "I am going to kill your kids". That is not what anyone's first or fifth thought is when you say "fighting words". It seems like you have backed into a definition that is better described as "an imminent and explicit threat of death".

The whole "fighting words" thing should have been put to bed many posts ago with you humbly acknowledging your misunderstanding.
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:22 PM   #383
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by callipygian View Post
Crimes aren't binary. If Person #1 says something to Person #2 and Person #2 makes physical contact with Person #1, it is possible that Person #1 will (and should) get punished more.
When you say crime isn't "binary," I think you're confusing conviction and sentencing. Whether someone is guilty of a crime is probably the most "binary" thing in the law I can think of other than maybe torts/civil liability. The sentence that can vary based on mitigating/aggravating factors. The important thing is to make sure it gets to that point so that that determination can be made.

If we don't involve law and law enforcement, how else are we going to be able to remove someone from society when warranted?
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:55 PM   #384
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by albedoa View Post
I find it extremely unlikely that by "fighting words" you originally meant "I am going to kill your kids". That is not what anyone's first or fifth thought is when you say "fighting words". It seems like you have backed into a definition that is better described as "an imminent and explicit threat of death".
Maybe when I first invoked "fighting words" I did mean words that, by their very utterance, inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.

Maybe I also meant words that created a clear and present danger.

Maybe I also meant words that constituted a direct personal insult or an invitation to exchange fisticuffs.

Maybe I did all of those because that's what the Supreme Court said what "fighting words" are.
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:07 AM   #385
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by Rapini View Post
If we don't involve law and law enforcement, how else are we going to be able to remove someone from society when warranted?
Why is it so hard to imagine physical contact where removal from society is not warranted?

Nobody disagrees that, given a serious physical altercation, someone should get arrested. The question is about minor physical contact.

Is *this* contact minor enough to unilaterally decide, on the taxpayers' behalf, that removal from society is unwarranted?

I want to point out you're not saying no. You're saying that there doesn't exist ANY physical contact that is minor enough. That's simply not true from a legal standpoint, but also from a common sense / practical standpoint - if someone elbows you on the basketball court or pushes you at a Black Friday sale, you don't file charges and let the courts sort it out.

You just let some **** slide. Everyone does.

Now, if you were to argue that yes minor contact should be ignored but *this* contact isn't minor, that's a different story. Only the OP knows how bad his injuries were. From his description - a 1-handed grab on the shoulder and some minor bruising later - I disagree.
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Old 01-05-2018, 09:17 AM   #386
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by callipygian View Post
Why is it so hard to imagine physical contact where removal from society is not warranted?

Nobody disagrees that, given a serious physical altercation, someone should get arrested. The question is about minor physical contact.

Is *this* contact minor enough to unilaterally decide, on the taxpayers' behalf, that removal from society is unwarranted?
Maybe I'm not being clear enough about what I'm advocating. In the OP, a random guy intentionally assaulted the victim after the victim said something to him. I said the victim should press charges so that there's an official record of the incident. If there's an official record of the incident, then if this behavior is the assailant's MO or if it becomes the assailant's MO, he can be removed from society.

It appears that you're arguing that the assault wasn't enough of a big deal to you to get it on record. Again, I don't think I'm ever going to convince you that the world would be a safer place without violent people in it and I don't think you're ever going to convince me that the world would be a safer place with violent people in it. So again we're at an impasse.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:45 AM   #387
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by Rapini View Post
Maybe I'm not being clear enough about what I'm advocating. In the OP, a random guy intentionally assaulted the victim after the victim said something to him. I said the victim should press charges so that there's an official record of the incident. If there's an official record of the incident, then if this behavior is the assailant's MO or if it becomes the assailant's MO, he can be removed from society.

It appears that you're arguing that the assault wasn't enough of a big deal to you to get it on record. Again, I don't think I'm ever going to convince you that the world would be a safer place without violent people in it and I don't think you're ever going to convince me that the world would be a safer place with violent people in it. So again we're at an impasse.
Do you agree that if the physical contact was minor enough, that OP should use his discretion to avoid law enforcement?
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:40 PM   #388
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by callipygian View Post
Do you agree that if the physical contact was minor enough, that OP should use his discretion to avoid law enforcement?
I can't argue against the victim's right to decline to pursue criminal charges if the state gives him/her that option, but I think society would benefit from getting these incidents on the record. And that's why I am in favor of the OP pressing charges.

I understand that you do not agree with me and that we're not going to convince each other of our respective perspectives.
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Old 01-05-2018, 12:59 PM   #389
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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I can't argue against the victim's right to decline to pursue criminal charges if the state gives him/her that option, but I think society would benefit from getting these incidents on the record. And that's why I am in favor of the OP pressing charges.
I don't think you understood my question, or are avoiding it. Let me make more concrete examples.

1. Villain grabs OP, but only once. He stops or someone restrains him.

2. Villain reaches for OP, but stops or is restrained just as he makes contact (such that physical contact is made but physical injury does not occur).

3. Stop the story where Villain knocked OP's chips over, make one chip lost, and set the story in a jurisdiction that has strict laws against destruction of personal property.

In these cases, OP may have the legal option of pursuing legal action. Should he?
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Old 01-05-2018, 01:22 PM   #390
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by callipygian View Post
I don't think you understood my question, or are avoiding it. Let me make more concrete examples.

1. Villain grabs OP, but only once. He stops or someone restrains him.

2. Villain reaches for OP, but stops or is restrained just as he makes contact (such that physical contact is made but physical injury does not occur).

3. Stop the story where Villain knocked OP's chips over, make one chip lost, and set the story in a jurisdiction that has strict laws against destruction of personal property.

In these cases, OP may have the legal option of pursuing legal action. Should he?
Yes. Those could be part of a pattern of behavior that would not be discovered if the incident goes unreported. But again, we're not going to convince each other of anything because you're not interested in removing people from society for patterns of violence. I weighed in so that hopefully people who can be convinced will do so for the benefit of all of us.
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Old 01-05-2018, 04:36 PM   #391
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by callipygian View Post
Do you agree that if the physical contact was minor enough, that OP should use his discretion to avoid law enforcement?
Reasonably people do not think grabbing anyone's throat is minor

pushing or shoving or poking finger in ones chest maybe
grabbing someone by the throat deserves an appearance in front of a judge.
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Old 01-05-2018, 04:51 PM   #392
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Re: Assaulted at live game

These type of guys are the ones that follow you home after the game...I would make sure he is in jail finish him off while you got him. WTF kind of behavior is this??

I had something similar to this happen to me although the guy never touched me.I got him kicked out of the poker room for 24 hours.
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Old 01-05-2018, 05:04 PM   #393
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by Rapini View Post
Yes. Those could be part of a pattern of behavior that would not be discovered if the incident goes unreported. But again, we're not going to convince each other of anything because you're not interested in removing people from society for patterns of violence. I weighed in so that hopefully people who can be convinced will do so for the benefit of all of us.
I agree we're not going to convince each other, but it's because we live in different worlds.

To be clear, I agree it would be really nice to live in your world. Every minor dispute gets resolved by police and judges with infinite resources and infinite patience, and the laws are designed around correcting bad behavior. We'd only spend resources locking up those who can't be corrected, and even people who are locked up would learn real-world skills to eventually become productive members of society.

I invite you to visit my world someday, the one where police have to take time away from battling gang violence to book people for bar fights and basketball court disputes; where felons are released due to prison overcrowding and then take a "snitches get stitches" attitude into public cardrooms; one where many people (and disproportionately those who gamble) think handshakes are legally binding and that verbal threats are an insult to one's honor.

I also invite those who haven't decided which world they live in to look around and do best for the society they live in, rather than the society they wished they lived in.
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:24 PM   #394
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by callipygian View Post
I agree we're not going to convince each other, but it's because we live in different worlds.

To be clear, I agree it would be really nice to live in your world. Every minor dispute gets resolved by police and judges with infinite resources and infinite patience, and the laws are designed around correcting bad behavior. We'd only spend resources locking up those who can't be corrected, and even people who are locked up would learn real-world skills to eventually become productive members of society.

I invite you to visit my world someday, the one where police have to take time away from battling gang violence to book people for bar fights and basketball court disputes; where felons are released due to prison overcrowding and then take a "snitches get stitches" attitude into public cardrooms; one where many people (and disproportionately those who gamble) think handshakes are legally binding and that verbal threats are an insult to one's honor.

I also invite those who haven't decided which world they live in to look around and do best for the society they live in, rather than the society they wished they lived in.
Wow. Agreed completely re living in different worlds. My apologies for everything I've said in response to your posts. I was posting from my perspective without considering your plight. Your post has given me a lot of perspective as to why you're opposed to utilizing law enforcement and judicial resources to remove violence from your community. If I were you, I'd feel like it's hopeless as well.

I can't imagine living in a war zone hopelessly overrun by gang violence which serves as a haven for ex-felons; I'd definitely stay indoors and away from windows at all times. I wouldn't even dream of getting into a situation where someone might make physical contact with me.

I'm sorry that I ever doubted your approach, I trust you that your approach is right for your community, and I hope that your circumstances improve so that you can get out of there ASAP.
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Old 01-05-2018, 06:36 PM   #395
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by callipygian View Post
I also invite those who haven't decided which world they live in to look around and do best for the society they live in, rather than the society they wished they lived in.
It's like the old saying goes: "Be the non-change you want to see in the world."
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Old 01-05-2018, 10:55 PM   #396
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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I hope that your circumstances improve so that you can get out of there ASAP.
So you realize the world isn't the pink and rosy place you hoped it'd be and suddenly all that talk about benefitting society turns into "**** society get the hell out of there"?

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It's like the old saying goes: "Be the non-change you want to see in the world."
And as for the other naive idealist, maybe you should read my post about the naive idealists from the 90s who decided that reporting minor infractions and locking people up for repeat offenses has done.

I am all for changing society. I'm just not naive about it.

You want to convince Marginally Violent Guy to not turn into Definitely Violent Guy? Well for starters you shouldn't send him to prison, where Nonviolent Guys routinely get turned into Definitely Violent Guys.

You want to teach Marginally Violent Guy that a mutually agreeable, diplomatic conflict resolution can be achieved? Don't be so itchy to outsource your problem to the police.

Your best bet, and society's best bet, for steering Marginally Violent Guy away from the path of violence starts with you putting aside your minor injury, and ends with you shaking his hand and showing him that two adults can resolve a difference amicably.

Alternatively, you can send him to jail and hope he gets butt raped, because deep down inside, that's the change you really want to see in the world.

You see, when it comes down to it, my side is really about changing the world. Your side is about how to isolate yourself from it.
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Old 01-05-2018, 11:03 PM   #397
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Re: Assaulted at live game

I think Rapini's efforts are not necessarily to send the guy to jail for his first offense. I think it's about starting a written log to see if the guy is a Marginally Violent Guy or a Definitely Violent Guy when he does this **** again some time down the road.


I really lean toward your stance here callypigian, but the black-and-white-ness of this debate I think takes out a bunch of nuance that is probably pretty necessary to have a meaningful conversation.
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Old 01-06-2018, 12:16 AM   #398
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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I think Rapini's efforts are not necessarily to send the guy to jail for his first offense. I think it's about starting a written log to see if the guy is a Marginally Violent Guy or a Definitely Violent Guy when he does this **** again some time down the road.
Yeah, but MVG might not become DVG if someone teaches him a better way.

That's actually one thing we all agree on. Rapini wants this to be the police's job or a judge's job. I think us NVGs can do that job just as well, and plus I don't think our legal system does a very good job of changing people for the better if we outsource it to the courts.

Contrary to the way I'm characterized, I don't advocate belittling whatever injury occurred or pretending it didn't happen. I advocate treating it like a resolvable dispute and showing him how two adults can resolve things - even if one side has omgphysicallyassaulted the other.
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Old 01-06-2018, 01:17 AM   #399
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Originally Posted by callipygian View Post
So you realize the world isn't the pink and rosy place you hoped it'd be and suddenly all that talk about benefitting society turns into "**** society get the hell out of there"?
Your world, not mine.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:06 PM   #400
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Re: Assaulted at live game

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Your world, not mine.
You don't think people should try to help society in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, most parts of casino-proximal California, and basically all major American cities plus most of rural America; while you kick back and relax in suburban areas and play in ... Foxwoods? (Are there any other major casinos that are located in a place where the police are not stretched thin?)
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