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11-21 case briefs

11-21 case briefs - Tim Woodward 108303348 Case Briefs...

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Tim Woodward – 108303348 Case Briefs - 11/21/06 CCJS230 – Section 0201 People v. Goetz 497 N.E.2d 41 (N.Y. 1986) Facts of the Case: In 1984, four youths were riding in the rear of a subway train car. Bernhard Goetz boarded the train and sat near the rear of the same car. Two of the youths approached Goetz and told him to “give [them] five dollars.” Goetz proceeded to stand up, pull out his pistol, and shoot five shots, hitting all four youths. Goetz then fled the scene after the conductor stopped the train when he heard the shots. A week later, Goetz turned himself in to the police and identified himself as the gunman in the subway shootings. He admitted that he was illegally the handgun in New York City for three years and that he had bought it after he was injured in a mugging in 1981. Goetz admitted that he knew the youths were going to rob him and that he intended to kill them. He was indicted with four counts of attempted murder along with several other counts of illegally possessing a firearm and assault. However, the attempted murder charges were dropped by the Trial Term Court and also the Supreme Court, Appellate Division affirmed the dropping of the charges. Issues Presented: Were the previous courts’ decision to drop the charges correct? Was his shooting justified by Self-Defense? Were Goetz’s actions “reasonable” according to the New York Penal Law? Holding: No, the order of the Appellate Division was reversed and the dismissed counts were reinstated.
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Opinion: The charges should have been upheld because of the way that the grand jury was instructed to decide at the grand jury hearing. The definition of the term “reasonable” was widely misunderstood. The jury was supposed to determine if a reasonable person
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11-21 case briefs - Tim Woodward 108303348 Case Briefs...

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