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View Full Version : South Dakota self defense questions spurred by self defense shooting in Brookings


jeepstrapped
April 10, 2009, 01:51 AM
First
This just happened recently in South Dakota

http://argusleader.com/article/20090409/UPDATES/90409052

Basically a drunk kid broke into a mans house, the homeowner warned the kid not to come in and that he was armed.
The kid broke a window, from what I understand he also gained entry into the house and was shot 1 time in the chest. He died at the hospital.

I have been looking through SD law, and haven't found anything definitive yet. I do believe we have the legal concept of a Castle Doctrine in SD.

I am not going to argue about what the homeowner did do, should have done, or did not do. I won't armchair quarterback someones decision to defend themselves in their own house against an intruder.

Question 1: Does anyone here know anything about SD Castle Doctrine, or self defense laws?

"edit"
Shortened this up a bit, realized a was writing a short novel.

Al Norris
April 10, 2009, 09:49 AM
Many States had "Castle Doctrine" as incorporated by case law. South Dakota was one of them. I believe that in 2007, your State legislated the Doctrine into actual law.

Most States that have legislated Castle Doctrine, go a bit further than simply making it lawful to defend your habitation with lethal force. Most also incorporate immunity from criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits.

Another piece of legislation being incorporated by many States, is "Stand Yor Ground" law. This provides a legal defense against having to retreat from any place you lawfully can be at. Usually, this type of law also attempts to provide immunity from criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits.

Since these Self Defense laws are generally new, many have not been tested in court.

I don't know the specifics of SD law, so I can't comment any further.

NavyLT
April 10, 2009, 10:00 AM
I would say that South Dakota does NOT have the castle doctrine in effect. Here are SD statutes:
22-16-34. Justifiable homicide--Resisting attempted murder--Resisting felony on person or in dwelling house. Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person while resisting any attempt to murder such person, or to commit any felony upon him or her, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person is.
22-16-35. Justifiable homicide--Defense of person--Defense of other persons in household. Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person in the lawful defense of such person, or of his or her husband, wife, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant if there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony, or to do some great personal injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished.

Notice that the law does not define what reasonable grounds are to suspect that a felony, great personal injury or iminent danger is being committed.

A good example of Castle Doctrine is Oklahoma:
ยง21-1289.25. Physical or deadly force against intruder.
PHYSICAL OR DEADLY FORCE AGAINST INTRUDER
A. The Legislature hereby recognizes that the citizens of the State of Oklahoma have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes.
B. A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
1. The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against the will of that person from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
2. The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

See the difference? In Oklahoma, someone breaking into your house is AUTOMATICALLY assumed to be doing so to cause death or great bodily harm and therefore it is AUTOMATIC that deadly force may be used lawfully to stop them.

USAFNoDak
April 10, 2009, 10:04 AM
22-16-34. Justifiable homicide--Resisting attempted murder--Resisting felony on person or in dwelling house. Homicide is justifiable if committed by any person while resisting any attempt to murder such person, or to commit any felony upon him or her, or upon or in any dwelling house in which such person is.


Would smashing a window and conducting a forcable entry be considered a felony under SD law? If so, then it would seem that deadly force is authorized in this case, according to their statute. That's just how I read it and I'm no lawyer, nor do I live in SD, though I've spent lots of hunting time in my neighboring state.

HuntAndFish
April 10, 2009, 12:11 PM
Basically a drunk kid broke into a mans house, the homeowner warned the kid not to come in and that he was armed.
The kid broke a window, from what I understand he also gained entry into the house and was shot 1 time in the chest. He died at the hospital.

Brad Odens, a 23-year-old electronics engineering technology student

Respectfully, this was not a "kid". This was a fully grown man. A 23 year old man breaking into my house through a window would face the same peril.

Dust Monkey
April 10, 2009, 01:53 PM
Good shoot. If the article is accurate. 23 year old man, not a kid. Is it a shame? Sure it is. But actions have re- actions. That 23 year old must have missed that day in school.

mnhntr
April 10, 2009, 03:13 PM
good reason to not get so drunk you cant find your own house. Guess he wont do that again:rolleyes:. I think people should wake up and realize they control their own destiny and quit making stupid decisions. Now the family will cry it was not his fault, but i am sure the shooter did not force the alcohal down his throat and tell him to try to break in.