In Texas you can shoot a prostitute for $150

Link to article: Man acquitted of murder

Summary: a woman was driven to a man’s home to have sex with him. She went inside to talk to the man for about twenty minutes, accepted $150 from him, then got back into the car and left without going through with the sex. The man shot at the car, hitting the woman, resulting in paralysis. She died a few months later.

According to my limited understanding this is okay because of a law in Texas that says you have the right to use deadly force if somebody steals from you at night. So if you ordered pizza one evening and the driver took the money but then left without giving you the pizza, you could kill him if you felt it was the only way to get your money back. That seems to be accepted, and what is called into question in this case is whether that law is valid as the contract was for sex - something not legal.

This feels similar to, but even worse than, Florida’s now infamous “stand your ground” law. I’ve not put this in the pit because I’d like to learn more about how these laws came into being, and why they were necessary. ISTR that way back when it was okay to shoot a horse thief - how has this transmuted into it being lawful to take somebody’s life for stealing a few dollars (even absent of a threat of bodily harm)? Was there a specific case that led to creating of these laws? Is there public knowledge of them, and if so, public support?

That’s messed up on a number of levels.

Fair call for the hooker to refuse, without knowing what her reasons are, but you don’t take the cash with you. A transaction is a transaction.

But shooting her:eek: And getting away with it?:eek::eek::eek:

nah, that’s seriously fucked.

“Hooker”. When they’re dead, they’re just “hookers”.
The article raises some interesting legal questions. Can I shoot people in a restaurant over a bill dispute because they are stealing from me?

Only at night and only if they are fleeing (well, walking away with your cash).

As such a contract would be unenforcable, could he have shot her after having sex with her? I mean, she’d have no legal claim to the money. It seems the US states that have had Bushes for governors are enthusiasts for the Most Dangerous Game.

Aww man. I wanted to get the first Archer quote into this thread.

Seems like this would open up lots of opportunities for drug gangs. Wow, Texas and all. Are we sure Mexico doesn’t want it back?

I think they call that around the world.

I’m actually OK with this.

Myself, I wouldn’t shoot someone over $150, but I am fine with the law as it stands.

To me the issue isn’t the fact that prostitution was involved. The issue to me is whether that crime here qualifies as a robbery.

If somebody had just taken $150 then it would clearly be a robbery. But in this case the money was given to the woman. It was in expectation that she would then have sex and that expectation was unfulfilled but the money was given voluntarily at the time. So I would say this was more a case of fraud than robbery.

I don’t know if “stand your ground” covers fraud. But I don’t think it should. Fraud, in general, doesn’t seem to be the kind of crime that justifies the use of deadly force in defense against it.

I see that you’re from Texas - are local people generally aware of this law? Would a thief be likely to be aware of it? I’m thinking that the intent is actually prevention - that somebody may think twice before stealing if it may mean paying with their life.

Florida’s stand-your-ground law, at least, which I have handy, only applies to “prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.”

Forcible felonies are “treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.”

So, no fraud.

“Paying with their life”.

No no, you’ve got that all wrong. The man shot at the prostitute, and as a very likely result, (if he is not a professional range shooter) she spent three months in the hospital.

The hospital bill, intensive care and all, for those three months was…what, say a couple hundred thousand dollars? Lets make a low estimate, let’s assume the prostitute’s parents picked up the funeral bill, and let’s say the total cost resulting from this shooters John Wayne-like action was a hundred grand.

And who pays those costs? The shooter? The prostititute? Nope. You did. The taxpayer.

So the headline of this thread should read: “In Texas, you can shoot somebody over 150 dollars and let the taxpayer pick up the resulting 100 grand hospital bill.”

I thought only liberals let the taxpayer pick up the tab. Does this law come with a bill that the person shot should pay his own hospital bill? Now that would be consistent.

I don’t get why that was theft and not breach of contract.

You can’t “contract” an illegal act. Or rather, such a contract isn’t legally binding.

It’s not theft, either. He gave her the money willingly, and since there could not be a legal contract involved the only other possibility is that it was a gift.

So I can shoot someone who sells me a QP of oregano, as long as the deal takes place after dark?

Nope-you actually received something for your money.

I’ve lived in Texas my whole life, and I was not aware of it. But also he did go through a trial, and the defense used this law as their defense and the jury bought it. If it had been a different jury, or a less persuasive defense team, it’s possible he would not have been acquitted.

I can’t understand how anyone could be okay with this law. I find it terrible. I hope it’s changed, but I find that unlikely. Unless someone more sympathetic was killed, like a kid stealing candy from a convenience store at night. If I’m understanding the law correctly, the convenience store owner could use deadly force to recover that candy.

This is perverse. Maybe this is a stupid question, but do Texans not value life?

So many, many snarky responses to choose from here…