Monday, May 01, 2006

AB 1020: The "Castle Doctine"

OK. Haul out the keyboard (or pen, if you prefer) and write your Legis-critter--ask them to vote for AB 1020.

Here's a summary:

Under this bill, if a person used defensive force that was intended or likely to
cause death or great bodily harm, the court must presume that the person reasonably
believed that the force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm if: 1) the
individual against whom the force was used was in the process of unlawfully and
forcibly entering (or had already unlawfully and forcefully entered) the residence of
the person who used the force; 2) the person was present in that residence; and 3) the
person knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry was
occurring (or had occurred).

WITHOUT the bill?

In general, a person who uses force in self−defense or in the defense of another
person may not be convicted of a crime stemming from that use of force. This law
applies only when: 1) the amount of force used is reasonable; and 2) the person uses
that force to prevent or stop what he or she reasonably believes is an unlawful
interference with himself or herself or another person (such as the crime of battery).
Current law specifies that a person may use force that is intended or likely to cause
the death of or great bodily harm to another individual only if the person reasonably
believes that using such force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or great
bodily harm to himself or herself or another person

Which calls for a lot of "if/and/but" thinking in the middle of the night, when split-second decisions are called for.

The good guys:

Introduced by Representatives OWENS, ALBERS, BIES,
PETROWSKI and VOS, cosponsored by Senators ROESSLER, STEPP and REYNOLDS

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