Thursday, March 26, 2009

Court Clears Woman Who Chased Robber to Death

Source: Crienglish

A Chinese court has ruled that a woman acted in self-defense when she drove her car in chasing three robbers, knocking them off their motorcycle causing the death of one of the robbers, the Guangzhou Daily reported Thursday.

The report said the robbers had followed Miss Long to her garage one early morning last July in Shunde district of Foshan city in southern Guangdong province. As she was out on the road and waited for a traffic light, two men smashed Miss Long's car window and snatched a handbag from the passenger's seat that contained over 80,000 yuan in cash and other documents.

The robbers then attempted to escape by jumping on a motorbike driven by a third accomplice who was waiting nearby. Miss Long sped after the robbers before knocking over the motorcycle with her car, according to eye-witnesses.

One robber died on the spot from the fall and two others were later arrested by police, who also found the stolen items and some iron drills that were used in the robbery.

The Foshan Intermediate Court ruled on Wednesday that although the robbers had started to escape after their criminal act, they were still within sight of the victim. Thus the court considered the robbery to be still in progress and ruled that Miss Long's chase and subsequent charging of the motorcycle was a case of justifiable defense.

The court also sentenced the two surviving robbers to 11 to 12 years in prison plus fines.

Seems like a strange decision to me. How can you chase someone down with your car and have it be self-defense? If you are being robbed and you hit the robber in the head and kill him, then you're defending yourself. But if the robbery has already happened and you've made a conscious decision to chase the robber while he's fleeing, then you're attacking. What if the woman had hit another car or an innocent bystander. That's not self-defense!

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