Expanding the 'castle doctrine'
- May 12, 2011 - 9:44 PM
The Defense of Dwelling and Person Act would expand what is known as the "Castle Doctrine," and would allow residents to use deadly force to defend themselves in more than just their homes, including a garage, vehicle, tent or boat.
The current "rule of retreat," which holds that killing another person should occur only as a last resort, would be reversed, allowing deadly force to be used whenever a person believes a threat exists.
Current law states that the intentional taking of the life of another is not justified "except when necessary in resisting or preventing an offense which the actor reasonably believes exposes the actor or another to great bodily harm or death, or preventing the commission of a felony in the actor's place of abode."
The bill creates the presumption that anyone entering an area "by force or by stealth" can be assumed to pose an "imminent threat of great bodily harm or death," and therefore deadly force can be used against them.
The bill would provide immunity from civil or criminal liability for anyone using lawful deadly force.
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