« on: May 01, 2012, 08:12:14 AM »
I think we're going to need to see a lot more case-law and a lot more legislative tweaking before we know the full impact of these castle doctrine laws.
For instance, in Ohio, the main case on point is Kozlowski. In the notes for that case:
Under the “Castle Doctrine,” a person attempting to expel or expelling another is allowed to use deadly force or force great enough to cause serious bodily harm; there is no duty to retreat inside one's home. State v. Kozlosky (Ohio App. 8 Dist., 09-22-2011) 2011 -Ohio- 4814, 2011 WL 4389951. ;
The “Castle Doctrine” creates a rebuttable presumption that a defendant acted in self-defense when attempting to expel or expelling another from his home who is unlawfully present, and the burden to prove that the charged individual was not acting in self-defense falls on the state. State v. Kozlosky (Ohio App. 8 Dist., 09-22-2011) 2011 -Ohio- 4814, 2011 WL 4389951. ;
Defendant's testimony established that he had a bona fide belief that he was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm at hands of intruder in his home and that only means of escape was use of force, raising rebuttable presumption, under Castle Doctrine, that he acted in self-defense when he shot intruder, and his murder conviction was against manifest weight of evidence; before intruder entered defendant's home third time without permission and against protestations, and physically attacked upstairs tenant, defendant had learned that intruder had killed a man and had been convicted of carrying a concealed weapon, and defendant personally observed intruder's violent behavior towards tenant. State v. Kozlosky (Ohio App. 8 Dist., 09-22-2011) 2011 -Ohio- 4814, 2011 WL 4389951. ;
So, to me that says you have no duty to retreat and you have a "rebuttable presumption" of being in the right.
Basically, my understanding is: no duty to retreat. You are PRESUMED to be right, but the state can rebut.
Unfortunately, people in these parts basically think this means you can shoot anybody who enters your home. Given that I'm in law school, I think of hypotheticals such as:
A 9 year old is lost in your neighborhood. Thinks that your home is the home of a friend of his. Is crying and distraught. Walks to your front door which is unlocked. Walks in thinking it is the home of his friend. You shoot the 9 year old to death.
Does anybody honestly think the state won't rebut that presumption in a case like this?
I don't think the castle doctrine, or FL's stand your ground are controversial in and of themselves. What's controversial is that now a bunch of idiots think they can go around shooting everybody.
I mean, unless Trevon Martin was screaming, "I'm gonna find me a white woman to rape!", then nobody had any business accosting him just because he was walking down the street. Provoking a confrontation, then resolving it with deadly force, doesn't seem to be the type of activity that should be protected by the law.