Castle
People who act under a "Castle doctrine" or "Stand your ground" laws are making headlines. Photo Credit: Ndunruh/Wikimedia Commons/CC-BY-SA

A series of states have passed “Stand Your Ground” laws, which permit a person to respond to home intrusions or personal attacks with lethal force if necessary. Some recent court cases involving the laws have made national headlines.

Home a castle in some states

Most people have heard that old saying “a man’s home is his castle” or something to that effect. Castles, in medieval times, had to be defended.

A small, but growing, number of states guarantee people’s right to defend themselves in case of a home intrusion by passing laws that free people of legal culpability if they use force to defend themselves against a home invader. That includes lethal force.

Sometimes called “Castle Doctrine,” “Stand Your Ground” or “Make My Day” laws, 15 states currently have laws to that effect, according to the Palm Beach Sun-Sentinel. The legal protection can also extend to attacks. In other words, a person being attacked can respond with deadly force if they feel they are in danger and face no criminal or civil liabilities.

New Year’s home invasion makes news

An incident involving a young widow in Oklahoma recently made national headlines. Sarah McKinney,  18, was at home with her infant son less than a week after her husband died from lung cancer, when two men tried to force their way into her home on New Year’s Day, according to CBS.

She called 911, asking the dispatcher if it was legal to shoot the intruders if they got in the home. The dispatcher told her to do what was necessary. When 24-year-old Justin Martin broke into the house, she shot him with a 12-gauge shotgun.

Authorities will not charge her as she acted legally under Oklahoma’s Castle Doctrine, but Martin’s accomplice is being charged with first-degree-murder, as the crime that he was attempting to commit led to Martin’s death.

Teen avoids murder charge

A Florida teen was recently acquitted of a murder charge, according to the Daily Mail, after being charged in the death of a classmate who attacked him. Jorge Saavedra, 15, stabbed 17-year-old Dylan Nuno 12 times, killing him, after the two got into a fight at a bus stop. Nuno, in the grade ahead Saavedra, had been allegedly bullying the younger boy, and Saavedra was trying to get away from his harasser.

Saavedra was tried as a juvenile. The presiding judge concluded that he had acted within the law, as Florida law allows people to respond with force, even deadly, if they have a reasonable belief that they will be hurt or killed unless they respond in kind. Florida’s law, among the first in the nation of the kind, was passed by then-governor Jeb Bush in 2005, according to the Tampa Bay Times. There have been at least 97 legal cases involving the law, resulting in seven acquittals and 57 instances of charges being dropped or the case being dismissed.

Sources

CBS

Daily Mail

Tampa Bay Times

Palm Beach Sun Sentinel: http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2011-09-12/news/fl-boat-shooting-defense-20110912_1_murder-charges-michael-monahan-controversial-state-law

Post By bryanh (1,420 Posts)

Connect

Do you have a fantastic idea related to this article, but just don't have the money you need to start your own company or side-business? Get the loans you need from https://personalmoneynetwork.com to help get your new company underway, from the small loan professionals at PersonalMoneyNetwork.

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

PG&E to pay $70 million for pipeline tragedy

Pacific Gas and Electric Co., a northern California utility, has agreed to pay $70 million to the California town of San Bruno for a pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010. Company says it’s remorseful The San Francisco-based power company’s president, Chris Johns, released a statement Monday, saying PG&E is sorry and eager to […]

Judge stabbed and deputy shot in Washington courthouse

Grays Harbor County Courthouse

Following a standoff in a Washington state county courtroom Friday, a man reportedly escaped after shooting a sheriff’s deputy in the shoulder and stabbing a judge in the neck. The man is still at large. Treachery among the tree farms The incident occurred Friday afternoon in the western Washington town of Montesano, which bills itself […]

Microraptor was one flashy little dinosaur

Microraptor fossil

A team of Chinese and American scientists have found that Microraptor, a small four winged dinosaur that went extinct about 130 million years ago, was likely black and almost certainly had glossy, iridescent feathers. Until now, the coloring of extinct creatures was a matter of pure speculation. That may no longer be the case. The […]

Autocorrected message leads to school lockdown

Homage to the Sun

Adjacent schools in Georgia were locked down for two hours Wednesday after a text message reportedly warned of a “gunman” on campus. Later, it was learned that the message was the result of a smartphone autocorrect function, attempting to “fix” the misspelled slang word “gunna.” A series of mixups A series of mixups led to […]