Thursday, January 05, 2012

Self-defense case in Oklahoma with young mother heightens attention to "Castle Doctrine", and Second Amendment rights

A young widow caring for her baby in Oklahoma, shot an intruder after calling 9-1-1 and asking “permission” and getting a non-committal answer.


Oklahoma is one of thirty states with the “Castle Doctrine” (wiki information link) allowing the use of deadly force to protect property from invasion.  In other states a person must attempt retreat.  It seems unrealistic to expect someone to abandon property. Another term for this situation is "Make My Day" laws. 

The incident also makes an argument for recognizing Second Amendment rights as applying to individuals.
In a case in Texas, a man shot a burglar trying to break into a neighbor’s home, and a grand jury refused to indict.

In the Oklahoma incident, a young mother was defending her child. Nothing could get more sympathy from a potential jury. 

But in the past some people have actually been sued for defending their homes. In Wisconsin, a man was charged and sued both after setting up a retaliatory device to harm a repeat burglar.  But in Florida a store owner was not prosecuted after setting up an electric trap on a roof entrance that electrocuted an intruder. 

Recently, CNN's Fisher and Herman have discussed also "Stand your Ground" laws in 17 states. In Florida, a teenager knifed and killed a bully who came after him, and will not be prosecuted.

Sunday, Jan. 8:  A burglar was shot trying to break-in to an apartment in Temple Hills, MD.  The legal consequences have not yet been reported.  (Source: NBC Washington).

Generally, the crimes have been more brazen, perhaps out of existential anger than desperation, than they had been even fifteen years.  There has been a real change since 9/11.  That increases the argument for the "Castle Doctrine". 

Picture: Arbuckle Mts, south of Oklahoma City, recent trip

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