In Texas, you can shoot a prostitute for $150

Ezekiel Gilbert was acquitted of murder charges in Texas for shooting and killing a prostitue he met on CraigsList who took his $150 in exchange for sex, then refused to have sex with him, and left with his money.

He attempted to stop her by shooting at the car that contained her and her pimp, and she subsequently died from her injuries several months later.

There is a Texas law that permits you to use deadly force to recover property that’s taken during a nighttime theft.

Legally, the case poses some interesting questions.  First of which, generally under the law you can’t enforce an illegal contract.  And a contract for prostitution is illegal.  But it’s not clear, under the gun law in question, whether in fact this money was “stolen.”

He gave her the money willingly, that’s not robbery.  And it wasn’t for a legal purpose, so the law can’t enforce anything dealing with why he gave her the money.  But by saying he had a contract with her, and that she refused to fulfill the contract, and therefore she “stole” his money, the court and the law are assuming that there was a legal, and breached, contract in the first place.  And there wasn’t.

So what was there?  He gave her money willingly.  She didn’t give it back.  Under the law it’s not clear what that is.  But it’s not really theft, since the underlying bargain isn’t legitimate under the law.

Judging by the fact pattern, that the man was shooting at a prostitute and her pimp, I suspect the jury wasn’t terribly sympathetic to the victim.

Gun

Gun via Shutterstock

It’s an interesting larger question about when you should be able to use deadly force.  Forget about guns for a moment.  More generally, when do you think it’s okay, if ever, for a private citizen to use deadly force?  If someone breaks into your home at night?  If they’re pointing a gun at you?  If they’re pointing a gun at your spouse?  How about if they grab your small safe containing $50,000 and are about to run out the door, can you use deadly force to stop them then?

I’m just curious generally, taking the gun issue out of the question for a moment, since that issue tends to polarize, what folks who read this blog feel, generally, about the use of deadly force by private citizens to stop criminals.  When is it okay, if ever?

And even in this case.  Let’s say he shouldn’t have shot her, since I assume that’s where the majority of you will side.  What could/should he have done?  She was stealing his money, whether it’s enforceable in court or not, and that could have been her plan from the beginning – steal money from guys who would be afraid to call the cops since they’d have to report they were going to a prostitute.  She was a thief.  So what was he permitted to do to stop her?  Anything?  Would you feel differently if she were a man stealing the $150?

One note, under the law, typically, you have a lot of leeway to use deadly force against someone who breaks into your home.  (Of course, this woman in this story didn’t break into the man’s home.)


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • RealMenDon’tBuyGirls

    She was a VICTIM of a pimp already. And then her sexual exploiter aka her john goes and shoots her? Fry them both. RIP to her and the obviously hard life she had to live :(

  • nop666

    Actually, she wasn’t a thief. In places where sex-work is illegal, a client is paying an escort for their time, which she delivered. Sex is strictly optional, & won’t be delivered unless the client behaves themselves, which this client apparently didn’t.

  • Paul Wii

    I ABSOLUTELY AGREE WITH THE SHOOTER.

    We should all be contracting these filth and gunning them down. Most of them are fat and ugly or at least one and a half of the 2. The nasty ho’s need to be removed so we can start cleaning up our streets. And those of you who think I am kidding are just fools. I seriously would not feel unjustified in dispensing a 93 cent bullet into the dome of these worthless skin sacks. The use up too much oxygen, produce way too damn many off spring and continue the downward spiral of filth that we have gradually allowed to get to the point that it currently is not a shocker that persons publicly auction virginity.

  • Tom Butler

    If they are wrong then he should. Credentials != correctness.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    Congratulations. You just lectured a pastor on Biblical interpretation. There are a few medical doctors who post here. Do you wish to school them in anatomy?

  • J

    Really, you apparently don’t understand WHY pimps exist. If the John failed to pay there was a pimp here who would of tried to beat the money out of him, the pimp also makes sure the Johns pay first. And there are many cases of pimps shooting Johns.

    Personally I think it’s more proof that prostitution should be legalized indoors in private settings, off the streets (to stop marketing itself) and to ensure the safety of those involved. It does the culture more damage to have such sex and violence out on the streets and at least the violence part can be taken out of the equation.

  • J

    It’s actually “Thou shalt not murder”, the kill translation is incorrect, if you read the original hebrew it is NOT a prohibition on killing but on murder which is killing unjustly, or without cause.

    Very few translations (only the sloppily done ones) use your version, the same parts of the Bible call for stoning adulterers and other sinners so it’s obvious it’s talking about killing unlawfully.

  • SSgtUSMC

    She robbed him and he robbed her, of her life, life is choices and she made her bed!!! maybe if she was engaged in dangerous activities maybe she should have been carrying a firearm. maybe she would be alive today

  • SsgtUsmc

    its consequences, should it be such great consequences? no but it is what it is dont live their if you do not like the laws. you want something different, make it happen. life is choices

  • SsgtUSMC

    and you would also know that there is alot of war in the bible as well

  • Aiden Kruskov

    got what she deserved. what kind of hoe takes the cash without passing out the puhz? I’da taken it from her. and my money back. shot the pimp.

  • JiuJitsu2010

    It appears that this law pretty much made prostitution legal in Texas.
    Since they defined the interaction between the man the prostitute as a
    “legal contract” and not an illegal one, this can be used in other cases
    as precedence in stating that the State has deemed prostitution a legal
    contract between adults. Way to go Texas.

  • kkeelly

    actually..escorts are not required to have sex. Soooooo…

  • sonofsarai

    Or if the reshingle job is not to your satisfaction apparantly.

  • William Ellis

    How do we know she did not live up to her end ?

  • Jim Olson

    Thou shalt not kill. Look it up. It is in the Bible, that many of these gun-toting yahoos purport to use as their guiding philosophical principal.

  • Wilf Tarquin

    Probably not. Corruption is Srs Bsns in the south, and protecting it may take precedence even over the beloved Stand Your Ground and Castle laws.

  • Wilf Tarquin

    Yes. Or if the neighborhood kids steal apples from your apple tree. Just gun them down, legally.

  • Wilf Tarquin

    The Castle Doctrine is a blanket permission to kill anyone who a) steals anything that is yours, or b) you think are stealing anything or threatening to kill SOMEONE ELSE.

    To this one can add the Stand Your Ground laws. They are a blanket permission to kill anyone a) you THINK are threatening to kill you, or b) you think are threatening to kill SOMEONE ELSE.

    They are ridiculous laws and hundreds of people per year literally get away with murder. A quick google search will turn up dozens of horror stories.

    And they aren’t even the dumbest US laws, that’s probably the Right To Life laws enacted in some southern states, which say that unless you can prove that there was no human involvment in your miscarriage, you can be sentenced for murder. There are women in prison in the US right now for the crime of having miscarried.

    The US has gone completely off the rails, and as the political system is completely broken it’s hard to see how they’re ever going to get back on track.

  • Radbrad999

    I don’t think that you can legally enforce an illegal contract. The jury got it wrong.

  • Radbrad999

    She stayed for 20 minutes I read.

  • Radbrad999

    So if the pizza guy takes your money but then doesn’t hand over the pizza you can shoot him. Or if the guy you hired to reshingle your roof takes your money and then doesn’t do the job you can shoot him too. Texas justice?

  • Asterix

    So if the local chief of police takes $150 to overlook a speeding ticket, and then arrests you anyway you can shoot him in Texas?

  • JoeSchmo

    LOL – you keep on saying it’s not binding because it was sex he was paying for. But, it wasn’t sex, it was for her TIME – 1 on 1 time with her that he paid for. This is the same loophole that slut used to get paid time and time again for sucking on rod – the same loophole he used to get off – pun intended.

  • Jo Ann Jury

    If you paid a guy to cut your lawn but then he just got in his car and started to drive away, would it be okay to shoot him? If the law says yes then the law sux.

  • Jo Ann Jury

    agreed and for those who think pro’s who should be legally held to uphold their side, imagine the other way around. Do you think a hooker can have a john arrested because she had sex with him but didn’t pay? or shoot him?

  • Thulium

    She didn’t break into his bedroom, she socially engineered her way in. Was deadly force appropriate? I don’t know, I wasn’t there.

  • Proof

    Her family obviously doesn’t give a shit about her when she is prostituting herself like that. I still don’t understand how it’s legal for him to shoot her tho, because I didn’t think prostituting or escorting was legal in Texas. I thought that was only legal in Nevada.

  • Jonas Grumby

    Quite simply, if I were her family, I’d hunt the man down. Quite simply.

  • Gary Seven

    Also smells like OJ Simpson deal

  • Gary Seven

    Now you know why they call it “THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS”. BECAUSE SOMEONE DIES!
    One person GREEDY for money and the other one GREEDY for LUSTFUL SEX.
    May God have mercy on the Godless lawless people brought up in our public schools

  • Psyspace

    Eeeesh…I won’t

  • Fuck the Patriarchy

    She was SHOT after 20 minutes. That’s why she wasn’t walking around longer. And even if she was a prostitute, the fact of the matter is A HUMAN LIFE WAS TAKEN AWAY OVER $150. This is why the rest of the USA hates Texas.

  • Fuck the Patriarchy

    And if she doesn’t want to have sex and he forces her with a gun because it was already paid for, that’s rape. In illegal activities, prostitutes shouldn’t be legally held to uphold their side.

  • Fuck the Patriarchy

    Even if prostitutes aren’t desperate, they are still PEOPLE. Thought I should add that.

  • Fuck the Patriarchy

    It disgusts me that there are people who support his acquittal. People say she was a “tramp,” but you know what? Prostitutes aren’t subhuman animals. They are desperate individuals who want to make money. I don’t believe in sluts; there are women who have deep-seated issues (i.e. were raped) or there are women who are sexually confident and dominant. Neither should be judged. The fact of the matter is; this was an illegal arrangement to begin with so the theft law doesn’t apply. In the end, whether or not she got scared or she straight up took his money, $150 IS NOT A REASON TO TAKE A HUMAN LIFE. Her life is OVER now. She is rotting in the ground. Everyone who cares about her will NEVER see her again because of $150 and a psychopath. Don’t defend this man.

  • Liberal

    Exactly! She probably realized that he’s a MURDEROUS PSYCHOPATH. Even if she was just “jilting him,” that’s no excuse to take a human life. I’m disgusted by all the people who support his acquittal.

  • Liberal

    Even if she was jilting him, that’s no excuse to TAKE A HUMAN LIFE. Besides, it was an illegal thing they were doing and that is not supposed to be considered “theft.” Just because a woman won’t have sex with someone after being paid doesn’t mean you can kill someone. If I paid someone for a packet of gum and they didn’t give it to me, is it alright for me to shoot that person?

  • Anonomous Anti-media Female

    Wasn’t the legal contract that she spend time with him and not for sex? Did she stay and fulfill the contract or not? No news stories seem to be covering this point. If the contract was for her time, then it was legal and she was required to return the money or stay. Did she stay? Then clearly he had no right to shoot. Did she leave? Then according to Texas law he could shoot. Why does this always have to come back to sex? Media and reporters, I blame you

  • BillFromDover

    So, with a lucky shot (at night, of course), one could sever the spine of a 14-year-old running away with an empty pillow case.

    Well, it’s nice to know that, at least, in Texas, one can use deadly force to recover a pillow case.

    Hip, hip, hooray for the Lone Star State!

  • Naja pallida

    People keep fixating on the “contract”. You can’t have a legally binding contract to commit a crime. So that particular point is moot. The only thing in question for the jury was the theft of the money, and whether the response was warranted… and since Texas law permits one to use deadly force against someone who has taken your stuff after dark…

  • Naja pallida

    Years ago, back when I was more regularly volunteering for local rescue organizations, I practically had our Fox affiliate on speed dial. They ran one of those “news on your side” segments, that will send a van out to shoot at almost any local interest story. If I saw a case of obvious abuse, I’d call the city police, then call the county sheriff. If neither would act, then I’d call the news tip line. Invariably, after about 15 minutes of calling the news tip line, the sheriff’s office would call me back for more information.

  • yeah, it’s amazing how fast they move once the cameras show up…

  • David Van

    At this point I’d support him being charged & convicted of attempted rape. That’s the same justification he used for killing her as a thief.

  • David Van

    Could she shoot him for not paying her after having sex?
    It really hinges on when a civil contract is understood by the parties. Even if the contract is later voided by a court, it is still in force until a court dissolves it. The parties cannot declare a criminal act has occurred just because they are disappointed with the outcome of a perceived civil contract.
    Since no civil action seems to have been taken, the contract is still in place, today.
    Suppose the incident happened the other way? What if she had sex with him at her apartment and he refused to pay? By the jury’s logic it would be rape and she would be justified in shooting him for assaulting her.

  • willardcottrell

    Well, it was in Texas after all. I have serious doubts about the educational and theological information being disseminated there.

    This sets yet again another ‘legal’ precedent for the stand your ground concept.

  • UncleBucky

    Oh, the clones of Texas that are now multiplying. Yecch.

  • Naja pallida

    What, you don’t give your prostitutes a non-refundable deposit?

  • Naja pallida

    Having dealt with Texas law enforcement on trying to get them to address animal cruelty issues, that may be the word of the law, but good luck getting anyone to do anything about it. The only time I’ve seen them go out of their way to act on animal cruelty issues is when the media is involved.

  • TheOriginalLiz

    That’s because you apparently have a sense of decency and a respect for life. That doesn’t seem to be the case for these gun nuts who think nothing of shooting teenagers, etc.

  • Naja pallida

    The interesting bit of the law is not just the night time part. That is part of Texas’ “a man’s home is his castle” doctrine… the law also allows for the use of deadly force to stop someone from fleeing the scene after committing a crime on your property. Even if you are in no imminent danger, and there is no potential of a continued threat to your person or property. So, essentially, in Texas, it is legal to shoot someone in the back if they took your stuff. Which is confirmed by this particular case.

  • TheOriginalLiz

    I’m surprised you can’t just use the “S/he needed killin'” defence in Texas.

  • Kes

    Well, with other service transactions providers do generally have a right to refuse service at any time, for any non-discriminatory reason. They’re still entitled to money for what they already did. Calculating that in the context of prostitution is difficult, if not impossible, unless there was some pay scale or pay rate agreed upon ahead of time. Even under the most conservative standard, though, if somebody shows up at the hotel room and decides after a few minutes that they feel uncomfortable and they leave, by any reckoning they’re entitled to SOME financial compensation for their travel time.

    But of course, prostitution ISN’T just like any other transaction, because it involves sex. Our society isn’t particularly concerned if a dentist really wants to be pulling somebody’s teeth, but it does deeply care (at least in theory) if somebody is having sex that they don’t want. So prostitution isn’t really comparable to – say – providing legal representation, or being a realtor, or being a performance artist. If we’re going to say that prostitution is like other service professions, then sexual assaults shouldn’t be punished any differently than simple or aggravated assaults and may even simply be theft of services. I don’t think most people agree with that.

    The weird little hole that prostitution falls into is because, at the end of the day, most people don’t really seem to think “consent” means the same thing in a prostitution context than it does for other people. The money is supposed to be a stand-in for the consent.

  • I developed a fixation on the word “chiaroscuro.”

  • Monoceros Forth

    I have to admit Stephen Donaldson did shape me to the extent that screaming “Take your goddamn dapsone and go to bed” was a sentence I actually found myself composing in my head while reading, and I doubt anyone else has ever put those particular words together in that order.
    Also, clench-racing.

  • Monoceros Forth

    If you start asking how much a thief has to steal before it’s okay to kill them, you’re putting a price on human life.
    You’ve done the same, and placed the price at nil.

  • Yeah I was curious what that nighttime thing was about.

  • $150 to walk around your apartment for 20 minutes, with a guy waiting for her in the car outside? Maybe. I admit I wanted to see the actual CraigsList ad to see what was advertisers, though that doesn’t real change the equation of whether you should kill someone for $150.

  • I’m not entirely sure I understand, are you defending a prostitute taking $150 for sex, then saying “nah,” then walking away when the guy says, “okay but can I have my $150 back”? Paying a prostitute $150 is not for her thinking about whether to have sex. She has the right to say no, in my view, but she doesn’t get to keep the money she took for sex if she’s not going to have sex. If we truly want to normalize prostitution, fine, then treat it like any other commercial transaction. You don’t pay a vendor for him to think about selling you something – and even if you did, he doesn’t get to keep the money if he changes his mind.

  • MyrddinWilt

    She almost certainly was a prostitute. So why did she refuse to have sex?

    I suspect the reason was that the guy started behaving like a rapist long before he murdered her.

  • MyrddinWilt

    Yep, which is why a gun is useless for home defense unless you put a rather minor risk to your life ahead of a much larger risk to members of your family.

    The NRA keeps trying to find people whose lives were saved by waving a gun at a bad guy. Josh Marshall has a story about a 5 year old shot by a gun left round the house about twice a week and those are just the worst of the worst. People shooting members of their family by accident is a daily thing in the US.

  • MyrddinWilt

    A verdict can’t be overturned. But the interpretation of the law can. A retrial would all hinge on whether the court had thrown out any charges by misapplying the law.

    The family could bring a civil case though. If that could be somehow moved into federal court, even better.

  • Kes

    Assuming she was even a “prostitute,” he’s only a “thief” if you believe that prostitutes are obligated to have sex with the people who solicit them and offer them cash. If you believe that all sex should be consensual, and that a person can at any time say no, then there was no theft here at all. The exchange of money doesn’t negate the prostitute’s ability to walk away from sex s/he doesn’t want. Handing over money should mean only that the person will consider going as far or doing as much as s/he wants. The promise or withholding of money should not be available as a means of coercing people into having sex they don’t feel comfortable having, or doing sex acts they don’t feel comfortable doing.

    If you think that sounds as if I’m saying prostitution as usually thought of is an inherently flawed industry because the client-provider relationship presumes the provider has no right to say no, then you got it in one.

  • lynchie

    How about phone the cops. In any case this could happen. Cop shoots son entering motel room.

    http://www.copblock.org/18633/former-rochester-ny-police-captain-michael-leach-who-shot-and-killed-an-innocent-woman-now-kills-his-own-son/

    They did call the father overzealous

  • lynchie

    idiot

  • lynchie

    that’s why they have laws and a police force (well regulated militia). This isn’t the wild west where you simply pick up a gun a start shooting. You are not judge and jury or at least I hope you never are.

  • Indigo

    There’s no need for deadly force outside of a macho-insecurity social structure. He could have overpowered her and taken the money back, he could have shot her in the leg and taken his money back, then called for an ambulance, he could even contact her handler and report her failure to satisfy his expectations. Deadly force is an immoral concept used to justify crypto-murders, too commonly perpetrated by a lazy constabulary.

  • Bellerose

    She didn’t steal anything. She was an escort and he thought she was a prostitute. Believe it or not, not all escorts have sex. She didn’t steal anything, she was paid for exactly what she advertised, there was no promise of sex. And yes, you SHOULD feel terrible.

  • neil louise

    Its a Class A Misdemeanor to shoot a dog with up to $4,000 fine and/or year in jail in Texas. Call girls? Not so much.

  • AC

    The victim was not a prostitute. She was an escort. Ezekiel Gilbert mistakenly believed that she was a prostitute and shot her when she refused to have sex with him. She fulfilled her end of the bargain–she escorted him. He was the actual thief, since he stole back the money that he gave her for the services that she rendered.

    It’s as if I went to a movie theater expecting to see a live concert, and demanded my money back after watching the movie because they didn’t give me a concert, even though the movie theater had never promised a concert. And then I murdered the theater owner because he wouldn’t give me my $10 back.

    Ezekiel Gilbert is not only a murderer, he is also a sleazebag, a thief, and an idiot. And the jury were morons who bought into a nasty victim-blaming argument.

  • jharp

    Get rid of the 38. It’s virtually worthless as a home defense weapon.

    If it really is that dangerous in your neighborhood get a dog. Or if it is really bad get a a 12 gauge pump shotgun.

  • jharp

    It seems legal in Texas as long as it is done at night.

  • jharp

    I would much rather do without the $150 than be haunted by the memories of killing someone over it.

    I will never shoot anyone over a property dispute. Ever. I don’t give a fuck. They can have it.

  • AnitaMann

    Mmm. Many times it’s Florida. And Arizona.

  • Jolosturo

    I wonder if it had been a black or Mexican pimp or a prostitute, who had been robbed, and they shot someone, (at night, to get their property back– {you wanna follow the rules of legal murder})–would they just be acquitted? I’m thinking not.

  • Jolosturo

    Sounds like the start of a new sport-shooting club. Morality seems to be a thing of the past in Texas.

  • Joe Bosse

    This one is actually quite simple.
    1. I do not condone killing anyone.
    2. I personally have not felt the need to carry a gun, I cannot imagine what makes people so afraid, unless they are doing something shady themselves.

    But this was a murder charge, and her death was directly caused by her brother. I am a bit shocked they didn’t go for attempted murder, because that would have stuck.

  • Psyspace

    Hey, She was a thief who got herself killed in the act of thieving. Did she deserve it (i.e did the punishment fit the crime)? No!

    Now…was it an unexpected outcome that she shouldn’t have considered as a risk of her actions?

    Should I feel terrible about this?

  • BillFromDover

    “You need to be willing to shoot into the dark and kill whoever is there.”

    And if it was your wife coming home a day early from a business trip with a craft of wine to surprise you?

  • Naja pallida

    The only way there will be any kind of retrial is if new evidence comes to light that re-characterizes the crime, or if there was some kind of misconduct on the part of the defense, or if there is evidence of jury tampering.

  • We’re often shaped by the literature to which we’re exposed when we’re younger, and this particular fictional creed, from the Oath of the Land is what I believe:

    Do not hurt when holding is enough
    Do not wound when hurting is enough
    Do not maim when wounding is enough
    And kill not when maiming is enough
    The greatest warrior is he who does not need to kill

    – Stephen R Donaldson, from the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever.

  • BillFromDover

    And if the thief was your kid?

  • BillFromDover

    How about $300?

  • tomtallis

    An innocent verdict by a jury cannot be appealed.

  • BillFromDover

    I thought repentance was only for the TV preachers that got caught with their privates somewhere they didn’t belong:

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%22I+have+sinned%22+Swaggart&oq=%22I+have+sinned%22+Swaggart&gs_l=youtube.3…6954.18305.0.18541.24.24.0.0.0.0.117.1570.23j1.24.0…0.0…1ac.1.11.youtube.6YyRazj7H74

  • samizdat

    Your lack of regard for a fellow human being is appalling, though not surprising. After all, if our country can kill Iraqis and Afghanis by the hundreds of thousands, and drone-murder thousands more, then what’s one more life snuffed out in the name of commerce. Is that what you mean?

    Don’t answer that.

  • BillFromDover

    $150?

    Have ya ever heard of a two-bit whore?

  • Naja pallida

    Prostitution and solicitation are both a class B misdemeanor in Texas.

  • Buford

    To be fair, she wasn’t killed for merely being a prostitute… she was killed for stealing $150 from this man.

  • BillFromDover

    There is a Texas law that permits you to use deadly force to recover property that’s taken during a nighttime theft

    So, she would still be alive if it all went at noon instead?

    What kind of friggin’ sense does that make?

    Oh, that’s right… Texas; I almost forgot. Silly me!

  • Buford

    I tend to agree. The issue, however, is that such laws are sufficiently vague as to be ripe for abuse… as is probably the case here. Just like ‘SYG’ laws, the problem is that usually only one side of the story actually gets told in court… the shooter’s.

    Zimmerman is a perfect example.

  • MyrddinWilt

    I think that the court made a perverse interpretation of the law. Which could be overturned on appeal. Only the crazy jury system that makes factfinding by the jury sacrosanct probably means that this guy is still acquitted.

    The bigger problem is that the jerks in the Texas legislature won’t see this as wrong or needing to be fixed. They will just take it as yet more proof that gunliness is next to godliness.

  • Buford

    I’m actually torn on this one. In any society, if someone has the nerve to walk over to your stuff and simply take it as their own, they deserve a response… a harsh one… as their perspective is obviously not beneficial to that society.

    In Texas, one would be right to argue that a TV is not as valuable as the human life ended during the act of stealing the TV… but the thief is the one who decided the TV had more value, not the shooter.

  • nicho

    Because you’re an asshole.

  • Nicholas A Kocal

    Well since a life is only worth $150 in Texas, Texans who support this law cannot claim to be a pro life.

  • RepubAnon

    Yeah, isn’t soliciting a prostitute a crime? Didn’t he conspire with the prostitute to commit a felony (prostitution is usually a felony). Shouldn’t there be a felony murder / misdemeanor manslaughter charge in there somewhere?

  • cole3244

    typical texan bravado, you can’t get wood so get a gun and find someone that will lay your pathetic ass.

  • Psyspace

    No…he probably shouldn’t have shot her for $150. No…I probably won’t waste too much outrage over the fact that he did.

  • It’s just my feeling on it, but I just can’t see it ever being morally right to kill someone for stealing property, unless the loss of that property puts a life in immediate danger. I’m hard pressed to come up with an example for that one exception.

    Property is just a thing and can be replaced. A life cannot be, no matter how ill-spent it’s been.

    The Christianists say they’re big on people being able to repent their sins. Well, taking away someone’s life also removes that chance to repent — and I thought that Jesus fellow supposedly said that final judgement belongs to God only, not to man.

  • Edeiwmurk Nivek

    “Can a store shoot a shoplifter? Can anyone who was unjustly foreclosed upon shoot their banker?”

    Yes and yes, in principle if not in law.

  • Edeiwmurk Nivek

    If you start asking how much a thief has to steal before it’s okay to kill them, you’re putting a price on human life. The only answers I can respect are that it’s never okay to kill a mere thief, or that it’s always okay. I’d say always.

  • mrbrockpeters

    You could say …

    *** puts on shades glasses ***

    “Pimpin’ ain’t easy, as it just got hard out here for a pimp!”

    YYYEEEAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

    *** cue the theme from CSI ***

  • Yep! That’s us…

  • bkmn

    All life is sacred….unless you are a prostitute, escort, junkie, wearing a hoodie on a rainy night, not fair skinned enough, grab a cab that I was hailing, etc.

    Love to hear the christofacists take on this. Should Jesus have shot Mary Magdalene?

  • rolls eyes

  • Jdrs0819

    She didn’t agree to sex, which also makes sense because 150 is incredibly low if sex was involved. He apparently assumed, like you, that all escorts fuck their clients. A lot of them (not necessarily most) want a date to a party or company.

  • The same…..

  • You mean it’s not a tabbi—–laughing

  • Naja pallida

    Walmart has a veritable army of security, which has been largely unaccountable for injuries it has caused subduing suspects. It’s probably only a matter of time before one shoots a shoplifter in the back as they try to run away. Don’t give them any ideas.

  • Naja pallida

    Seems the entirety of the arguments neglect the fact that they were both engaged in a crime together.

  • Tor

    “Can anyone who was unjustly foreclosed upon shoot their banker?”
    You might get some takers with this one…..

  • nicho

    As long as you’re willing to shoot first and ask questions later. Most people would say “Who’s there?” Do that and you’re dead. A bad guy knows who’s there. You need to be willing to shoot into the dark and kill whoever is there.

  • MichaelS

    This verdict is a grave miscarriage of justice. First of all, as you note, on the grounds that prostitution is illegal and therefore the contract is unenforceable. Turn the tables on the facts for a moment… supposing she *did* have sex with him as agreed (before payment), and then he refused to pay her… If she shot him, would she be acquitted? No way.

    But more disturbing is the fact that this Texas law would seem to make a even a minor civil crime punishable by death, and without the benefit of due process or a conviction. Does this verdict now mean that when I buy something in a store that does not live up to its claims, and the store refuses to refund me my money, I can kill the person, if that refusal (and so-called “theft”) occurred at night?

    Can a store shoot a shoplifter?

    Can anyone who was unjustly foreclosed upon shoot their banker?

    Breaches of contract happen every day — and that’s exactly what this case was, a breach of contract. If my builder finishes 99.9% of my $100,000 renovation, am I entitled to shoot him if he doesn’t finish the last .1% ($100) of it? Or vice versa, if he’s waiting for the last $5,000 payment and I don’t want to pay him because I think the work was shoddy, can he shoot me? Can I shoot him for the shoddy work (amounting to a theft of my payment)?

    Idiotic law. God bless the South. Let them all secede.

  • nicho

    Oh my god. You believe that “escorts” are just escorts? I’ll bet you believe that The Golden Pussy is really a “gentlemen’s club.”

  • I’m no fan of guns by any means, but I live alone and own a .38 handgun that I keep by my bed. If someone comes into my house unexpectedly, without my permission or knowledge, I will if necessary shoot them. It comes down to worst case scenario for me: I have to assume they are there to harm or possibly kill me. If I don’t assume that, I could face the worst. I pray that never happens, and I’d like to think I would be rational enough to fire a warning shot or shoot to injure. But I’m prepared to live with consequences if it happens.

    But I hear coworkers all the time say the vilest, most violent things about what they’d do if they caught someone trying to steal something of theirs, harassing them, etc. I’ve no doubt they would’ve acquited this man, and likely patted him on his back for taking ‘one of them’ out.

  • Aillirk

    Right. So if someone is holding a lit torch to your house, filled with all your worldly possessions, it might be justifiable.

    If they somehow got the deeds to your house and were going to pull some sort of movie-esque change where they steal your wife, your home, your job and your children, it might be justifiable.

    $150 that you’d been willing to waste trying to get laid? Nope.Very, very much no.

  • Jdrs0819

    She was NOT a prostitute. She was an escort. She did no agree to sex.

  • nicho

    Isn’t Texas one of those states where if you imagine, without even a shred of evidence, that someone might possibly be thinking about maybe harming you, you can blow them away?

  • The law generally looks at lethal force that way – you can usually only use the force commensurate with the force the person is using against you. Which is why things get tricky when property, vs your own person self, is involved.

  • SkippyFlipjack

    “What could/should he have done?”

    Maybe said to himself, “Shit, I probably shouldn’t have hired a prostitute” and went back inside to watch some TV.

  • UncleBucky

    Hm. San Antonio, TX. TEXAS. It’s always TEXAS with this stuff!

    What more do we know about Lenora?

  • LosGatosCA

    Let’s see, it’s Texas where most of the state operates under diminished capacity most of the time, so that means if the prostitute was black, a drug addict, or was missing more than 4 teeth, her life was only worth about $36. And if the shooter was white, he has an inalienable right to shoot at any godless minority heathen at will. So those legal precedents need to be considered as well.

  • Snaggletooth

    One more reason why sexual work needs to be legalized, regulated, and unionized.

  • MyrddinWilt

    Just when you think the NRA/GOP crazy could not get any more stupid.

  • Aillirk

    Generally, in less your life or the life of another is in danger, I find the use of deadly force deplorable. If the man had $150 dollars to spend on a prostitute, he didn’t need it so badly that his life depended on those $150 and therefore, no, it was NOT justified.

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