seamusTX wrote:This law was intended to relieve a defender from civil liability claimed by the attacker, or the attacker's family. I'm not confident that this law will be interpreted to relieve a defender of liability for injury to an an innocent third party or property damage.
Injury of a third party could be considered reckless or an accident. It would depend upon the circumstances. In either case, the defender could be civilly liable.
We won't really know until a case lands in court.
Good point. It's mentioned in the statutes:
Â§ 9.05. RECKLESS INJURY OF INNOCENT THIRD PERSON. Even
though an actor is justified under this chapter in threatening or
using force or deadly force against another, if in doing so he also
recklessly injures or kills an innocent third person, the
justification afforded by this chapter is unavailable in a
prosecution for the reckless injury or killing of the innocent
I guess the key point is "recklessly injures or kills". Does this clause presume that injury to a third party is reckless, or does it require that recklessness be demonstrated in order for justification not to attach? If I were on a jury I would tend to assume the latter. From "handgun wounding factors and effectiveness":
A review of law enforcement shootings clearly suggests that regardless of the number of rounds fired in a shooting, most of the time only one or two solid torso hits on the adversary can be expected. This expectation is realistic because of the nature of shooting incidents and the extreme difficulty of shooting a handgun with precision under such dire conditions. The probability of multiple hits with a handgun is not high.
Choosing a bullet because of relatively shallow penetration will seriously compromise weapon effectiveness, and needlessly endanger the lives of the law enforcement officers using it. No law enforcement officer has ever lost his life because a bullet overpenetrated his adversary, and virtually none have ever been sued for hitting an innocent bystander through an adversary. On the other hand, tragically large numbers of officers have been killed because their bullets failed to penetrate deeply enough
The first point is used in the document to argue that each bullet should be as effective as possible, but the fact is still a fact: the nation's top civilian law enforcement agency recognizes that even officers who train regularly as part of their job do not place every shot COM when the target is moving and firing back, and if they expect a shooting they do not rely on a handgun. The second point illustrates that a caliber that overpenetrates is NOT a disqualifying consideration of law enforcement, who in fact do use calibers and cartridges that demonstrably overpenetrate because NOT to do so is dangerous to them. Well that's true of anyone who carries a handgun; if you have to use it, you expect it first to go BANG with every trigger pull, and second you expect its projectiles to be effective. Why then would a CHL, or any civilian owning a defensive handgun, not make the same choice in a weapon they might have to bet their life on?
The conclusion is that overpenetration and missed shots are a natural consequence of shootings, even involving people whose job description includes shootouts and who as a consequence train regularly for them. Thus, a missed or overpenetrating shot cannot be prima facie
of reckless conduct. Those who are not in law enforcemeent cannot logically be held to a higher standard of performance, even if they DO have a similar or even higher standard of training (a person's military background, IPSC experience, CHL qualification, or other training regimens cannot be used to infer a guarantee of shot placement). They might be held to the SAME standard of performance, but that standard as evidenced is rather low. The shooter, in taking a shot, must have been either intentionally aiming at that person or negligently failing to identify his target in order for the shot to have been made recklessly.