Have citizens arrests ever resulted in trials?

I thought citizens arrest was an urban legend. Has a citizens arrest ever resulted directly in a trial?

Yes. There is a whole body of law around citizen’s arrests.

What about a trial and a conviction?

I doubt the conditions of the apprehension would have much bearing on the trial record, unless it were egregious and unconstitutional.

That is all very well and good, but I am still having trouble actually finding a case where a citizen’s arrest resulted in a conviction. Help, please?

That’s the point I’m trying to make. Of course, I don’t have the resources of a legal education so I can’t help, but maybe a real profession may have some awareness. Especially since I guess aspects of citizen’s arrest are part of case law.

Seems to me that it would be freakishly specialized, in the total volume of legal precedent, but what do I know?

When people are detained for shoplifting by store personnel, that’s typically a citizen’s arrest. Happens frequently. Same with security guards,and some campus “police” who are not sworn officers.

One that’s not really a citizen’s arrest, but more of a vigilante mob is when Richard Ramirez, the “Night Stalker” was identified, they put his name and face all over L.A. When Ramirez arrived back in L.A., he was recognized, fled, tried to carjack someone, and an angry mob began chasing and eventually beating him. Police rescued him from that mob. There was not an issue with trying him despite how he was apprehended.

Richard Reid, the shoe bomber was put under arrest by citizens on the plane he was on, and then turned over to authorities: Richard Reid - Wikipedia

I recall a case in downtown Toronto in the news years ago. Some guy stole some items from the sidewalk display outside a store. The owner and/or some friends saw the fellow many hours later a few blocks away, and grabbed him, tied him up and put him in their van and took him to the police. For their trouble, they were charged with kidnapping and illegal detention. It ended up at trial where, IIRC, they were found not guilty - but the warning was that unless the arrest was immediate to the crime, it was not the sort of arrest citizens were entitled to make on their own.

I think the thief got off without charges.

Of course, this is Canada so different laws apply but the citizens’ arrest law is pretty much the same common law - if you physically detain someone you better be really sure they are committing a crime. The rule of thumb is you’d better see the crime being committed.

Canada has different laws but it’s generally wise to follow a basic rule that involving yourself in apprehending, detaining, stopping etc criminals is inherently risky. Not just to your physical safety, but in terms of exposing you to both criminal and civil liability. If you aren’t doing it for a very compelling reason (i.e. protecting the life of yourself or another person), I think most of the time a risk versus reward analysis would find that leaving the catching of criminals to the police is the prudent move. Many businesses have done this same analysis, and that is why most of them have standing policies that physical force isn’t to be used to detain thieves and such, it just is not worth the risk of the business seeing its employees harmed, or them doing something to the thief that might result in liability for the business.

All a citizens arrest is, is detaining someone. Which is also what an arrest is.
All people have a right to detain someone they reasonably believe has committed an offence.

Yes, very true.

…Detaining someone… while waiting for the police to arrive.

The key in almost every criminal charge or acquittal is the word “reasonable”.

IIRC from news, where people can get into trouble is taking someone else’s word a crime has been committed. The best defense is that, in fact, the crime was committed.

The caution about being hurt is very true. Recently, though, criminals have been taking advantage of the “don’t touch” policy to commit brazen wholesale theft.

“If things can’t keep going on like this… they won’t.”

Technically, a police officer can arrest somebody when outside their jurisdiction based on the power of a citizen’s arrest. This might be invoked if the officer chases somebody who leaves the borders of their area of patrol.

Thanks for the very informative responses.

This is not really the same thing, but a few years ago there was a case in the UK where a householder ‘caught’ a criminal burglarizing his house.

He grabbed a weapon (baseball bat?" and chase the thief out onto the road, where he eventually caught him and ‘arrested’ him by beating him to the ground.

The subsequent court case hinged on the fact that, while a householder has every right to defend his home with whatever came to hand, it was not reasonable to chase the miscreant down the street and injure him.

There was quite a public outcry at the time and I believe that the householder was acquitted of assault, while the burglar was convicted.

A few similar cases in Canada. Most recently -

you have the right to defend yourself and your home, but generally the law here does not regard the protection of only property to be worth as much as a human life; certainly once the perp flees, the right to inflict harm ends. The key to self defense is “proportionate response”.

IIRC the farmer in the Colten Boushie case got off because he claimed the gun discharged accidentally while he was reaching in to turn off the truck, the jury believed him, and the judge had refused to allow the lesser charge of accidental homicide to be considered.

There is no such offence of “accidental homicide” in Canada.

The full transcript of the judge’s charge is given in one of the notes to the Wikipedia article. He charged the jury to consider both 2nd degree murder and manslaughter.

What is a police officer’s jurisdiction is a matter that can change by state. For instance by statute I have statewide powers of arrest. If I witness a crime I can arrest as a police officer not a citizen. I have only had to do it once and I did have to use physical force. It was treated like any other arrest I made while working but I got out of doing the paperwork.

Practically speaking, most cops I’ve dealt with operate under “mutual aid agreements” which allow an officer to complete an arrest in a neighboring jurisdiction. But, under the law I’ve researched, the courts have held that, even in the absence of such an agreement, a cop’s arrest outside of their patrol area is legitimate based on common law citizen arrest powers. So, yeah, I agree with you, but the doctrine is another potential legal justification.

So what would the wording of the actual charge(s) be that was not permitted for the jury to consider, for accidentally discharging a firearm and killing someone? (Is the judge the one who decides this, or the crown attorney?)

“Criminal negligence causing death”? Simple “Criminal negligence”? “Unsafe use of a firearm”?