Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Castle Doctrine Passed! (UPDATED)

UPDATE - No votes were as follows. All Democrats.
Lemmons, Jr.
Lipsey (Running for Attorney General)
Smith, Alma

Mary Waters voted yes on 5142, no on the rest.

From the Lansing State Journal.

The state House passed bills Tuesday that supporters said would strengthen and clarify self-defense rights in Michigan.

A key provision in the legislation is a presumption that someone who forcibly enters a home or a vehicle intends to harm the occupant. The legislation also would eliminate a requirement that people being attacked must retreat before responding with deadly force.

The bills would allow people who feel threatened, in their homes or in a public area under certain circumstances, to defend themselves and use deadly force without facing criminal or civil liability. The law would cover only people who are not committing crimes and are in a place in which they legally have a right to be.

And from SAFR's email.


April 25, 2006

Jones seeks to assure victims' rights to self-defense during attack

Law-abiding Michigan residents who actually and reasonably believe
they are facing imminent death, great bodily harm or rape at the
hands of a violent criminal are justified in using force to defend
themselves and their families. They are no longer required to retreat
from a violent attacker in their own home under a package of bills
sponsored and spearheaded by state Rep. Rick Jones. The measures were
approved today by the Michigan House of Representatives.

One of Michigan's most basic values is that a person's home is their
castle,. said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. .This legislation makes it clear
that not only do you have the right to stand your ground and defend
yourself, but you will not be prosecuted or sued for defending
yourself or your family in your own home..

The 'castle doctrine' is enshrined as a sacred right in English
common law. It holds if you're wrongfully threatened or attacked in
your home, you may meet force with force.

One inspiration for this law is the historical account of Dr. Ossian
Sweet's 1925 trial for defending his home against the Ku Klux Klan in
Michigan,. Jones said. His attorney, Clarence Darrow, successfully
used the castle doctrine to defend Dr. Sweet from prosecution for

House Bills 5142-43 eliminates the duty of law-abiding citizens to
retreat in a home or occupied vehicle and establishes a presumption
that a criminal who forcibly enters intends to cause death, great
bodily harm, or rape. House Bill 5548 would amend current law to make
anyone who lawfully defends themselves immune from civil liability.
House Bill 5153 creates immunity from criminal prosecution.

This will prevent criminals or their families from suing victims for
injury or death, Jones said. It's common sense and good law.

Jones says this law is necessary to protect the law-abiding.

As a former sheriff, I can tell you there are times when action needs
to be taken before it is physically possible for law enforcement to
get there, Jones said. This will give the average resident in
Michigan the confidence to know that they can act to defend their
life and their family without threat of a lawsuit or criminal

The provisions of the legislation do not cover persons engaging in
criminal acts.

The vote for most of them was 91-15. The YEAS and NAYS will be posted here once HJ38 from is published.


Anonymous said...

This legislation proves one thing; lawmakers in Lansing do not have enough to do. Talk about a useless and unneeded law, this is the poster child. I guess tackling the state’s problems and trying to find a replacement for the SBT is not important enough, so they have to make up stuff to do. Apparently, working three days a week is too much.
I don’t know what this bill did or added that wasn’t already there. So I don’t support this legislation, nor do I oppose it.

Really, this is simply another example of why one party should not control both houses. This is simply an election ploy, as all of the recent GOP bills have been. They are forcing the Governor to sign it and tick off her base, and if she doesn’t she will be called a “gun-grabber” by reactionary, one-issue people like dan here. Tell me, is there anything the republicans will not play politics with, politicize and do to stay in power?

I guess the 15 people who voted no support common sense, and they have enough courage to say so. Because I can guarantee this, they will trashed on the stump by big-money PACs like the nra. It’s ironic that all of the no votes came from Detroit-area lawmakers where gun violence is a major problem.

Anonymous said...

It's not ironic that all of the no votes came from Detroit. It was perfectly predictable.

This legislation is a victory for freedom, responsibility and accountability.

Anonymous said...

I feel that it needs to be stated that this congressional hopeful could not be more ardent in his defense of the Second Amendment.

I attest that the Second Amendment is just as essential to our freedom as the remainder of the Bill of Rights. I strongly state that those such as Mitch Albom who urge the infringement of our right to keep and bear arms are practicing constitutional contempt.

I am a member of the NRA. I am licensed to carry a concealed firearm and I do so.

If District 8 gives me the honor of serving them in DC, they can rely upon unrelenting defense of the 2nd Amendment from me.

RKG said...

Exactly what problem was this legislation designed to correct? One would be tempted to conclude from the celebration surrounding passage that large numbers of people are in our prisons for shooting burglars. I suspect the facts are otherwise. Exactly where did the current state of the law (legislative or judicial) fail so that legislation was required?

Anonymous said...

People have spent thousands of dollars to defend themselves in litigation because they didn't "retreat" from an attacker in their own homes. Obviously this happens less in areas where gun control isn't preached as the saving grace for all crime.

There is a reason that, without fail, cities with strict gun control laws have high amounts of violent crime. Only the criminals have guns. Allow citizens to legally own guns and use them to protect themselves, and the theives find a different place to rob.

Anonymous said...

Current State laws are extremely vague. Basically, they leave it up to Prosecutors to decide whether to press charges or not. A Prosecutor in one county may decide that a shooting is justified while a similiar case in another county could result in a trial.

Another problem is that criminals (or their families) can sue a person that fired in self-defense even if the shooting is justifed and no charges are filed. So if a guy breaks in, attacks you, and you shoot him in self-defense HE could turn around and sue YOU for $1 million dollars. The really sad thing is that criminals often win these lawsuits.

So the purpose of the state law is to 1) Provide uniformity all across Michigan in the way these cases are investigated and processed; 2) To clearly define the conditions under which it is OK or not OK to defend yourself; and 3) To prohibit criminals from sueing homeowners that shoot in self-defense.

This law won't create a shooting gallary. If someone ever breaks into my home while I am there I will give the criminal every opportunity to flee. I have no desire to injure or kill anyone. But I want to know that if the intruder DOES try and attack me that I am within the law to use my gun for self-defense. I don't want to leave it up to some young anti-gun prosecutor trying to make a name for himself in liberal circles to decide whether or not to make an example out of me. If some jerk prosecutor presses charges in a self-defense case, it ends up costing a fortune for defense lawyers even if the defendent is eventually found innocent. Nobody should have to worry about going to jail and being wiped out financially just for being an innocent victim of a criminal attack.

Anonymous said...

The vast, vast majority of gun crimes are commited by people using illegal guns. Taking away guns from law abiding citizens does nothing to stop criminals, but it DOES eliminate their fear of getting shot while attacking a victim.

Taking guns away from responsible citizens does nothing to reduce crime or make the streets safer. Catching and locking up violent criminals does.

Anonymous said...

So who's talking about taking guns away from law abbiding citizens? The answer? No one! News Flash, the term gun grabbers is made up. Just like war on Christmas. Pure fantasy,

Anonymous said...

Patrick? You have something against people from Detriot? Do you want to talk about this in your campaign? Let's hear more about what you do not like about the people from Detroit. How about the people from Lansing? Do you like them?

Anonymous said...

Please don't try to spin my statements. The actions of liberal politicians in Detroit are usually predictable. Do you deny that?

Anonymous said...