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Switch to Forum Live View Indiana Law: Shooting Public Officials OK Under Certain Circumstances
2 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2012 - 1:53PM #21
Nepenthe
Posts: 2,713

Radley Balko, one of the leading libertarians who has been highlighting for the past several years the incredible increase in the militarization of the police:


Myths and Misconceptions About Indiana's New Self-Defense Law


So, first we need to know why the law was written.  From the article (emphasis mine):


After Richard Barnes had a verbal altercation with police, his wife pleaded with him to let officers into their home. Barnes refused. The police entered anyway. Barnes responded by shoving an officer to prevent him from coming inside. Barnes was arrested, charged and convicted of battery on a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. He appealed, arguing that because the officers' entry into his home was illegal, he was permitted to use force to prevent them from coming inside.


The Indiana Supreme Court could have simply ruled that as a result of the call, Barnes' state of mind and his wife's pleas provided exigent circumstances for police to enter the Barnes' home legally. Instead, the court went much further, finding that "there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers." The court even acknowledged that this unraveled hundreds of years of common law precedent.



As he notes in the article, the ruling here basically denies a person the right to argue self-defense against a police officer in front of a jury.  Why is that important?


The ruling effectively barred anyone accused of using force against a police officer, for any reason, from arguing self-defense or the defense of others at a trial. At the time, critics pointed out that with the ruling, a man who uses force against a police officer who is raping his wife would not be allowed to argue in court that he was defending his family. The battered spouse of a police officer who fends off her husband could in theory be arrested and, under the ruling, wouldn't be permitted to argue self-defense.



So will people now be able to gun down officers and then argue self-defense?  Well, they can sure try, but will fail.


Moreover, an Indiana resident's mere assertion that he shot a police officer because he thought the cop had entered his home illegally and presented a threat doesn't necessarily get him off the hook. If a prosecutor thinks the homeowner acted unreasonably, he or she can still press charges. And if members of a jury then determine that that the homeowner's assessment of the threat wasn't reasonable, they can still convict him.



And I will bet anyone dollars to donuts that the vast majority of prosecutors in Indiana are pro-cop, meaning that if a person does shoot a police officer who enters their home, they will most likely be going to court, where the prosecution will do everything in their power to deny the act of self-defense, even if it was a clear cut case. 


So, how would this look in real life.  Well, I referenced Cory Maye earlier, and Balko does it here:


One night Cory Maye was asleep with his 18-month-old daughter. Maye claims he awoke to the sound of men attempting to break into his home. When the men went to the back of the house and kicked open the door to the bedroom where his daughter was sleeping, Maye shot and killed the first person to enter his home. Maye said when he realized the intruders were police, he immediately surrendered; there were bullets still left in his gun. The person Maye killed was Ron Jones, a Prentiss police officer.


Maye had no criminal record and wasn't a drug dealer; police found one burnt marijuana cigarette in Maye's apartment. At his trial, Maye was prevented from arguing he acted in defense of his daughter. He argued he had acted in self-defense but the jury nonetheless convicted him of capital murder and sentenced him to death.


The Mississippi Supreme Court eventually awarded Maye a new trial on the grounds that the trial judge improperly barred him from arguing that he was also defending his daughter that night. After that ruling, prosecutors allowed Maye to plead guilty to manslaughter. He was released from prison last summer.


If the raid on Maye's home had occurred in Indiana after last year's state Supreme Court ruling, Maye would have been barred from arguing to a jury that he had been defending himself or his daughter. The jury would hear only that he had killed a cop. The revision to the state law that Gov. Daniels signed last week merely permits someone in Maye's position to argue self-defense in front of a jury.



 

Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
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2 years ago  ::  Jun 15, 2012 - 2:30PM #22
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

Jun 13, 2012 -- 8:20PM, Ebon wrote:


What scares me about Americans and guns is not that you have the right to own weapons. It's the fact that you keep making laws saying it's ok to shoot people. It's like you've got some maniac who sleeps with his guns looking through the books and saying "What about this? Can we shoot them then?". There seems to be almost a perverse glee at the prospect of shooting people.




I'm a firearms enthusiast, but I don't like the hyper-conservative, paranoid "gun culture" that seems to be drawn to firearms.


I love going to gun shows, but oh my gawd, the nutcases that show up a those events-- you don't even want to know. If I could, I would take one -- you would come out with enough material to write a book... LOL!


Other than if somebody was just about to seriously hurt or kill my wife or one of the kids, I can't imagine shooting another human being.


And even then, I'd probably feel like shit about it for the rest of my life. 

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 22, 2012 - 10:38PM #23
Merope
Posts: 9,796

This thread was moved from the Hot Topics Zone.

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2 years ago  ::  Jun 24, 2012 - 8:10AM #24
IDBC
Posts: 4,500

Howdy Ebon


Jun 13, 2012 -- 8:20PM, Ebon wrote:


What scares me about Americans and guns is not that you have the right to own weapons. It's the fact that you keep making laws saying it's ok to shoot people. It's like you've got some maniac who sleeps with his guns looking through the books and saying "What about this? Can we shoot them then?". There seems to be almost a perverse glee at the prospect of shooting people.




This law is not about a new law, find new reasons saying it's ok to shoot people.  What this law is about is to protect those who accidendtly shoot law enforcement officers.  Police officers do on rare occasions shoot and kill innocent people.  They are protected by law from persecution if they shoot innocent people in the lawful performance of their duties.  What this law is attempting to do is to prevent prosecution of people who shoot innocent police officers who are performing their lawful duties.  Just as in rare cases police shoot innocent people, people shoot innocent police officers. 


 

HAVE A THINKING DAY MAY REASON GUIDE YOU
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