Apologies if there’s already a thread- I couldn’t find one through various searches.
For those who haven’t been following the story through various print and cable news magazines, Wiki has a good synopsis of the case. Here are the basics:
Joe Horn is a 61 year old retiree who lives with his daughter and her family in Pasadena, Texas (part of metro Houston as I understand it). He seems to have led a clean life (leastwise he has apparently never been in trouble with the law).
Last November he witnessed two men (both Hispanic) breaking into the house of his neighbor. He called 911 who dispatched police. While he was on the phone the two men emerged from the window with their bags. The two men were not a direct threat to Horn, though they did cross onto his property in leaving the house they burgled. In spite of the fact that the men were not threatening him and the 911 operator’s direct orders to ‘DO NOT INTERFERE!’, Horn went outside and shot both men dead- from behind by some counts. The Pasadena police were already at the property when this happened.
The two men were revealed to be career felons, both from Colombia and both in the country illegally. The bags they carried contained about $2000 in property they had stolen from the neighbor’s home. They were suspects in a professional burglary ring, though I do not know if that burglary ring has committed any violent (non-property) crimes.
There was a huge uproar over the issue with two very distinct sides. A Black Panther leader, Quanell X, held a rally protesting Horn and calling him a racist murderer, while Horn’s supporters held a “separate but equal” rally calling him at worst a vigilante and at best a hero. It was a very heated case with death threats all around (against Horn, against the defense, against the prosecution). This week “a Harris County grand jury cleared Mr. Horn by issuing a no-bill after two weeks of testimony”- IANAL so I’m not clear what a “no-bill” is but the point is the grand jury chose not to indict or prosecute Horn.
So what’s your opinion? I seriously doubt anybody here will consider him a hero, but do you think he should have been indicted?
OT1H, the men he killed were not threatening him (according to one of the policemen one man did charge him, but only after Horn pointed a gun at him) and both men were shot from behind (though one, according to a witness, was facing him at the time and turned just as the bullet entered [or something similar to that]). I am not sure whether either man was armed, but they were not pointing guns at Horn.
OTOH, these men were criminals, were on his property, were in the country illegally from a nation we are not on good terms with, and were in the process of committing a crime when Horn spotted them and were fleeing the scene when shot.
What’s your opinion of the matter?
I’m not sure I would have voted to convict if he went to trial, but I definitely think he should have been indicted and made to stand trial.