Whose Side Is The Law On?

Discussion in 'Law and Justice System' started by PoliticalChic, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. PoliticalChic

    PoliticalChic Diamond Member

    Oct 6, 2008
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    Brooklyn, NY
    1. "...one young Oklahoma mother's brush with death on New Year's Eve at the hands of a man who, reportedly high on drugs, broke into her remote home and came at her and her infant son with a large knife....she barricaded the door with a couch, called 9-1-1, and pleaded with the dispatcher to send help. ...she asked whether she could shoot the intruder if he broke down the door, and was told, "Do whatever you can do to protect yourself.... [D]o what you have to do to protect your baby' Sheriff's deputies rushed to her, but by the time they arrived, the assailant had breached the door, Sarah Dawn McKinley had seen his weapon and fired her gun.

    a. At least intuitively, she understood that under state laws, homicide is generally justifiable only as a last resort, after all other reasonable, available measures have been taken to avoid the use of force. Police, prosecutors, judges and juries tend to take a dim view of the use of armed force when it is premature, excessive, inspired by anger or otherwise shows bad judgment.

    b. Oklahoma law states that a homicide is justifiable when in defense of one's self or one's child against a violent felony, including one within the home. However, while that might appear to provide perfect legal protection to many individuals who defend themselves against criminals, such is not the case. Under that law, which is similar to laws in some other states, McKinley would have been required to demonstrate not only that her assailant broke into her home, but that at the time of firing her shotgun she also reasonably believed that he posed an imminent threat of killing or inflicting "great personal injury" upon her or her child.

    2. ...fortunately for McKinley and others in similar situations, Oklahoma also adopted an NRA-backed "Castle Doctrine" law in 2006. That's the name given to a comprehensive set of laws that provide important legal protections to people who are forced to defend themselves....Oklahoma's 2006 law protects the right of a person to defend himself against an intruder who enters the defender's home or business unlawfully and by force, without the defender having to demonstrate that he reasonably feared that the intruder was about to cause death or great bodily harm.

    3. The forceful and unlawful entry is enough to establish a legal presumption that the defender's fear of serious injury was reasonable—and, therefore, that his defense against the criminal was reasonable as well. This shifts the risk away from the defender—who would otherwise have to consider not just his assailant's actions, but also his assailant's motives—and puts that risk where it belongs, on the attacker.

    4. Oklahoma's multifaceted law also contains a provision allowing a person to defend himself against "great personal injury' and that provision isn't limited to the home. Very importantly, the law also contains a "criminal immunity" provision that prohibits the arrest of a person who uses force in self-defense, unless "there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful."

    5. A fourth element of NRA-backed Castle Doctrine legislation is a "stand your ground" or "no duty to retreat" provision. This provides that, when an act of self-defense is otherwise lawful, and takes places in a location in which the defender is lawfully present, the defender is not required to retreat from a felonious attack, or the threat of an attack.

    6. A fifth element of NRA-backed Castle Doctrine legislation is a "civil immunity" provision, which protects defenders against lawsuits by their assailants or their assailants' families. People worldwide are familiar with the story of English farmer Tony Martin, who, in addition to serving several years in prison for the fatal self-defense shooting of an intruder with a very long criminal record, was sued by the intruder's accomplice, whom Martin wounded. While that story grabbed international headlines, similar, less widely publicized abuses of our civil courts take place in this country all the time.

    7. Oklahoma is only one among a majority of states that have adopted NRA-backed "Castle Doctrine" laws over the last seven years. Florida, which can fairly be said to have launched the modern reform of state self-defense laws by adopting its Right-to-Carry law in 1987, continued in its trendsetting role in 2005 by adopting a comprehensive Castle Doctrine law. Fourteen more states adopted similar laws in 2006, five in 2007, three in 2008, one each in 2009 and 2010, and four in 2011. Along with Utah, which already had strong protections for lawful defenders, that makes a total of 30 Castle Doctrine states. Of those 30 states, 27 have general or limited "stand your ground" provisions, 13 have criminal immunity provisions and 21 have civil immunity provisions.

    8. Just as we work toward the day when all states allow all good citizens of age to carry firearms for protection, we will work until all states fully protect the right of law-abiding people to use force in defense of themselves and one another, without fear of prison or bankruptcy. Decent people have a right to nothing less."
    Oklahoma Rifle Association Est. 1927

    The date when NY will adopt the NRA-backed "Castle Doctrine" laws?

    Looking more and more like January the first of never.....

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