View Single Post
Old July 12, 2009, 03:59 PM   #42
Bartholomew Roberts
Senior Member
Join Date: June 12, 2000
Location: Texas and Oklahoma area
Posts: 6,896
As I understand it, the Castle Doctrine basically does not allow prosecutors and juries to second-guess the use of deadly force in your own home. Under the common law, you could only use deadly force in self-defense when you reasonably believed that such force was necessary to protect yourself from the imminent use of unlawful lethal force by another person.
The "Castle Doctrine" legislation tends to vary from state to state depending on the laws of the individual state. For example, the notion that someone breaking into your home was enough to create a reasonable, immediate fear of death or serious injury predates the "Castle Doctrine" law in Texas.

The Castle Doctrine basically says that when someone breaks into your house, you can kill them. You don't have to prove that your use of force was reasonable, or that you were threatened with deadly force, or that what you did was necessary, or that the threat was imminent. No one is going to second guess you in your house.
No law, including the various Castle Doctrine laws, does what you describe above. Most state laws create a rebuttable presumption that someone breaking into your house is enough to justify a reasonable fear of death or serious injury. It does not say that you can't be second guessed. All it says is that in the absence of other facts, we will presume that the act of breaking into your house alone was enough to justify a fear of death or serious injury (and therefore justify the use of lethal force in self-defense).

However, the presumption is rebuttable - meaning that a prosecutor can offer evidence to show that you were not in immediate, reasonable fear of death or serious injury if there is such evidence.
Bartholomew Roberts is offline  
Page generated in 0.04918 seconds with 7 queries