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Old October 4, 2012, 02:34 PM   #33
Frank Ettin
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Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 6,832
Quote:
Originally Posted by noosredna
...in Missouri, the Castle Doctrine insures that you will not be sent to prison...
Nope, sorry. You don't understand Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground laws. See my discussion of that topic in post 22:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ettin

Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadHunter
Quote:
Originally Posted by StainlessSteel215
Anywhere in USA, even southern states like Florida that adopted the stand your ground laws. There is VERY specific language that went into legislation when these laws were crafted. You have to really prove without a shred of doubt that you had no way to exit the house safely before discharging your firearm at an intruder. Im telling you, you'd be surprised!
Well, in a word, NO. That's just not true. In Massachusetts that was true years ago. North Carolina was about the last Southern state that had weird Castle Doctrine and even it's been changed. In South Carolina, the Attorney General issued a public statement that people should shoot intruders in their home. In Georgia, our Castle Doctrine has existed for the better part of 100 years. No retreat is necessary.
I've been pretty tied up the last few days and missed SS215's comment. So let me help HH clarify things.

Every Stand Your Ground/Castle Doctrine law has one or more conditions that must be satisfied in order to come within its protections, but in no case is the inability to retreat one of those conditions.

I discussed the Florida law in some detail in this post:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ettin

...[3] The Florida's Castle Doctrine/Stand You Ground law at Section 776.013 helps by providing, among other things:
Quote:
(1) 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:
(a) 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 that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and

(b) 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.
(2) The presumption set forth in subsection (1) does not apply if:...
[3] A presumption is a rule that affects evidence and burden of proof in court. Ordinarily, one who asserts something in court will have the burden of proving, by presenting good evidence, that certain facts supporting that assertion are true. But sometimes the law might allow one of those facts to be accepted as true without specific evidence of that fact if the party with the burden of proof shows that certain other facts are true. So the party might be entitled under a rule of law to have fact A presumed to be true if facts B, C, and D are shown to be true, even if the party produces no direct evidence that fact A is true.

[4] So you can establish that your use of lethal force was justified, thus satisfying 776.012, if --
  1. You can show that

    1. The person you used force against 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 that person’s will..."; and

    2. You, "...knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred...."

  2. None of the exceptions in 776.013(2) apply.

And if you can do that, you don't have to specifically establish that you believed, "...that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself...."

[5] But note that you don't get the presumption automatically. You need to show that the conditions that create the presumption exist. That might be easier than showing a fear of imminent death or great bodily harm, but you still must do some work to establish your claim of justification. ...
The Florida law is fairly typical of Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground laws. They help one establish one or more threshold legal requirements for justifying one's use of lethal force by providing one or more helpful presumptions. But one would still have to establish the facts giving rise to those presumptions.

In any case, Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground laws are not "licenses to kill" or "get out of jail free cards."
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"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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