Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Going to the Governor

The "stand your ground" bill has passed both houses of the Michigan legislature and is headed to Governor Granholm. From MCRGO:

Home safety falls into governor's hands

A bill sponsored by state Rep. Rick Jones to protect law-abiding Michigan residents was sent to the governor today. The legislation gives Michigan residents the right to use force to defend themselves and their families, when facing imminent death, great bodily harm or rape at the hands of a violent criminal.

Jones said his bill clarifies the law on self-defense and makes it clear that law abiding citizens cannot be prosecuted or sued civilly for defending themselves.

"One of America's most basic values is the right to protect oneself and their families," said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. "This will give every resident in Michigan the confidence to know that they can act to defend themselves and their family without threat of repercussion. The House and the senate have done the right thing by passing the bills; now it is in the governor's hands."

The legislation eliminates the duty of law-abiding citizens to retreat and establishes a presumption that a criminal who breaks and enters or car jacks intends to cause death, great bodily harm or rape. In addition, the bills make anyone who lawfully defends themselves immune from civil liability, and make it clear that they cannot be prosecuted.

"In 33 years of law enforcement, I saw many victims of crime," Jones said. "This important package of bills protects crime victims and allows citizens to defend themselves, their spouse and their children from imminent death or rape."

The inspiration for the bill came from the historical account of Dr. Ossian Sweet's 1925 trial defending his home against the Ku Klux Klan in Michigan. The case began in 1925 when Ossian Sweet, a Detroit doctor and grandson of slaves, moved his family to a neighborhood where they would be the only black family. This enraged the Ku Klux Klan, who and surrounded his home yelling insults and racial slurs. Some of the crowd rushed and shots were fired from the house. One man was killed and another was injured. Dr. Sweet was charged with murder and eventually acquitted.
I expect that Granholm will sign it based on the number of Democrats who voted for it in the legislature. We shall see.

1 comment:

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