Baldwin defense stupidity.

in #rustlast month


Before I get into this, I will make it clear (again) that I'm fully aware that a defense attorney's job is to fight for his or her client, and get the best possible outcome for that client. Sometimes that means that the defense will reach for some really stupid arguments.

So, since Alec Baldwin claimed that the replica Colt single action Army revolver that went off while in his hand went off without him pressing the trigger, it seems prudent that law enforcement would test the gun to see if that were possible.

Now, Baldwin's defense team is trying to get the grand jury to dismiss the charges with prejudice because of the tests conducted by the FBI because the gun was damaged during the tests and that the mallet test, the one that damaged the gun, wasn't necessary.

I'm not putting on a lawyer hat here. I'm just speaking as somebody who has experience with the same kind of gun that stretches back to twenty years, and somebody who can think logically to a certain extent.

First of all, the only claim that they can make is that the gun was damaged during testing, therefore after the fatal shooting.

That means that the complaint is that the damage was done between the shooting and the prospective trial. That's kinda-sorta how it has to work. In fact, it seems that the tests being done, despite yielding the conclusion that the gun was fully functional and that it couldn't have been fired without the trigger being pressed, should be marginally better for the defense than what they claim to have wanted.

I mean, the alternative is that they roll the dice that that gun, as it was nearly three years ago, was one of fewer than 1% of single action revolvers ever made with a defect that allowed it to be fired without the trigger being pressed. Odds are, all they'd have is a boring demonstration, in trial, in front of a jury, of the hammer never falling without the trigger being manipulated.

As for the mallet test, technically that wasn't necessary within the confines of Baldwin's claim. The claim wasn't made that the hammer was hit with a blunt object or dropped. Still, the test is relevant to see if the gun would fire without the trigger being pressed. In fact, it did show that it could happen, as was testified to in the Hannah Gutierrez trial. That's actually the reason why "cowboy loads" are a thing with that kind of a gun -- it makes it so the firing pin is resting over an empty chamber until you're ready to fire.

The mallet test might not have been entirely necessary; but, it's illustrative of how much work was put into testing the gun to see if it could have discharged without the trigger being pulled.

The bottom line is that this shouldn't stand in the way of Baldwin facing trial.

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