Joe Horn cleared by grand jury in Pasadena shootings

A Harris County grand jury decided today that Joe Horn should not be charged with a crime for shooting two burglary suspects he confronted outside his neighbor’s home in Pasadena last fall.

The decision to clear Horn of wrongdoing came two weeks after the grand jury began considering evidence in the case, including Horn’s testimony last week.

Horn, a 62-year-old retiree, became the focus of an intense public debate after the Nov. 14 shootings. Many supporters praised him as a hero for using deadly force to protect property, while others dismissed him as a killer who should have heeded a 911 operator’s instructions to stay in his house and wait for police.

chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/5864151.html

This is very unusual. Usually Grand Juries always bring down a verdict to prosecute. They are only given the evidence by the prosecution (never the defense) and the prosecution normally doesn’t go to a grand jury if they think they have a weak case.

I’m amazed, but happy about it. Maybe Texas folks have a different attitude towards such things.

Indeed they do.

The law on the books says a individual has a right to defend his property and those of his neighbor with deadley force in Texas. No ifs and buts.

I don’t know all the facts of this case. Conflicting reports says he shot them while fleeing others said they turned on him, but none of that matters in Texas, he has the right to defend property with deadley force.

Now he told them to freeze, and not make a move, I reckon they didn’t think he was serious. One thing is for sure, a thug will think twice before jumping in someone’s window.

911 operators do not have hands-on experience in cases like this. I’d rely on my own judgement, not on the operator’s.

From a legal point of view I agree with the jury verdict. The law is the law, a jury cannot make its own law.

From my moral point of view the individual committed a murder.

I disagree with your statement that it was murder. From the Article

When Horn confronted the men in his yard, he raised his shotgun to his shoulder, police have said. However, the men ignored his order to freeze.

Authorities have said one man ran toward Horn but had angled away toward the street when he was shot in the back just before reaching the curb.

and from his own statement…
chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/5866865.html

In a calm, soft voice, Horn said Tuesday he was neither — not a man worthy of praise, nor one who merits scorn.
“I know what a hero is, and that’s not me,” he said. “I’m a human being that was in a situation that I’d never been in before, and** I didn’t want to die.”**

As he was going downstairs, Horn said the fear and adrenaline rush was intense.
“I’m thinking if they go out the front door, I can’t see them at all,” he said. His plan was to look out the front door window to get a better view of his neighbor’s house. Seeing nothing, he ventured outside.

He said he took one step off his front porch and saw nothing. "I felt great. I was so relieved that I didn’t see anything. I thought, ‘It’s over with.’ "

Then he saw the men come around the corner and head into his front yard. Horn had his cell phone in his front shirt pocket while he handled the shotgun.

‘No fear in their eyes’

“It went from ‘I’m glad it’s all over’ to instant fear,” he said.
He shouted the words he now regrets: “Move, you’re dead.” The men — about 10 feet and 13 feet from him — stopped immediately. They looked at one another and said nothing.
“There was no fear in their eyes,” Horn said.

One of the men, believed to be Torres, started to charge him, Horn said. He fired.

“There was no time to aim,” Horn said. “To this day, I still don’t know where I shot.”

Horn said he turned slightly to the right and fired toward the second man, Ortiz, who ran at a fast pace back in the direction of his neighbor’s house. Torres remained in his yard and was walking back toward Horn. He fired a third shot.
Horn didn’t think his shots struck either man.

“I went inside because the guy (Ortiz) disappeared,” he said. “I thought he was behind the house. … I was desperate for the police to get there.”

A police car screeched to a halt in front of his house. An officer drew his gun and ordered him "on the ground."
Horn, who still had his cell phone to his ear, dropped face-first and was handcuffed.

He was eventually allowed to sit up and saw one of the men across the street, lying prone. “I thought I scared him enough to fall to the ground.”

It wasn’t until he overheard one officer tell another that “there were two burglars and this man just killed them” that he realized both men were dead.

If he felt attacked and fearful for his life then i don’t know how it could be murder?

Things are different down in Texas and I hope they always will be. Horn is simply a man doing what any number of our ancestors would have done. It is only in this day and age of hightened sensibilities that Horn becomes the story and not the two gang members breaking, entering, and yes actually robbing (not allegedly) someone’s home. Not to mention the fact that at least one (possibly both) was in the country illegally after having already been deported once due to a cocaine drug offense.

My prayer for these two men is that they were able to have a full realization of their sins and were able to ask God for forgiveness. As for Horn, I pray that he will someday be able to forgive himself.

Are you for real? Do you know my moral point of view more than I do? :confused:

Reality exists externally to all of us. Your point of view, my point of view, are not reality.

You have said this is murder, based on your point of view. None of us are obliged to accept your point of view as final, any more than you are obliged to accept ours. Beckers has as much right to his opinion as you do to yours.

The person presented a disagreement with my statement. Such disagreement implies that according to my moral point of view the fact was not murder. Use of qualifiers in a statement implies a correlation,

A person might have a different opinion but when such person disagrees with the correlation between the fact and the qualifier, then such a person has to demonstrate the opposite by using the same qualifier.

You might have noticed that the first paragraph used one qualifier and based on that the person was not a murderer. The second paragraph used a different qualifier and in that case the person was a murderer.

He has a right to do that.

No, it doesn’t

No, he doesn’t – you gave your opinion, he gave his, which does not agree with yours.

And he has as much right to his opinion as you do to yours.

my objection was with the word “murder” because i read it as implying that he intended to kill these men in cold blood. I used the articles to point out that he claims that he did it in self-defense so therefore its not so much “murder”. (webster definition of murder is the crime of unlawfully killing a person especially with malice aforethought).

I am allowed to hold a different opinion though i would agree that these are senseless deaths and i can’t imagine the burden that Joe Horn will have to carry with him.

p.s. I am a women.

The person presented a disagreement with my statement. Such disagreement implies that according to my moral point of view the fact was not murder. Use of qualifiers in a statement implies a correlation,

A person might have a different opinion but when such person disagrees with the correlation between the fact and the qualifier, then such a person has to demonstrate the opposite by using the same qualifier.

You might have noticed that the first paragraph used one qualifier and based on that the person was not a murderer. The second paragraph used a different qualifier and in that case the person was a murderer.

:confused:

You have every right to hold your opinion. In my post I presented two point of view: The first is based on the existing law and according to that I do not think that the man committed murder. The second was based on my own standards and according to those he committed murder.

I did not debate your opinion and I can see quite e bit of value in what you said. I debated the fact that you disagreed with the second point of view in my post.

I was debating your post based on informal logic grounds. An affirmation (he committed murder) is valid when based on a qualifier (from my moral point of view). Your comment, as stated, appeared to disagree with the fact that “from my moral point of view” “the man committed murder”. At that point I was questioning your comment. However, I do not question the fact that he is not a murderer from your moral point of view. I do not know the details of your moral point of view, and I appreciate the way you presented your point.

I apologize if I confused you even further.:blush:

Your post was a clear signal that I had to move my pompous “rear” from the high throne of logic construction an go back to the thread. Sorry for confusing people with my convoluted thinking.

Pasadena is a little far from my workplace for a daily commute, but even so, if one of Mr. Horn’s neighbors’ houses is ever up for sale or rent, I’d move there in a heartbeat! I was burglarized in March and “nobody saw a thing.” I wish we all had neighbors like Mr. Horn.

If we all had neighbors like Mr. Horn, there would be no burglaries.

I would like to clarify that I don’t believe that the burglars “got what they deserved,” although by their chosen profession they certainly were exposing themselves to that danger. Dismas, the “Good Thief,” while hanging on his own cross next to that of Our Savior, acknowledged that his sentence was just. I don’t know the full extent of his crimes. I don’t believe the Romans, brutal as they could often be, executed someone just for stealing a chicken, for example. But even a chicken thief, while not deserving death for his crime, runs the risk of being killed if he is caught in the act.
Nor did I want to imply that Mr. Horn shot to kill. I simply meant that I wished we all had neighbors who looked after each other they way he did.
Were his actions excessive? Some will argue that personal possessions count for less than human life. I would agree with that statement. Others will quote our Lord when he said that if a thief demands your cloak, give him your shirt as well. Also true. But in this case I must ask, What if family members had been home at his neighbors’ house and the burglars had encountered them there? How many home invasions have turned into scenarios for kidnapping, rape, and murder? Even if Mr. Horn knew his neighbors were gone, his actions could still be justified in that he was protecting his entire neighborhood from further crimes by the pair he shot.

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