I live in Rhode Island and am having some animated discussions about the use of deadly force. As I read the law (copied below), it appears that I would be justified to shoot someone who has broken into my home. A LEO friend insists (even for a 'home invasion') that I would need to be shooting only in self-defense, or I would end up in jail. Is my LEO friend right? If I ended up shooting an unarmed burglar or a 'home invader', would I be heading off to jail?
Look, I certainly don't want to shoot anyone, for any reason. But do I need to wait for the burglar or 'home invader' to start shooting first? Or am I duty-bound to give some sort of notice prior to shooting?
Rhode Island General Law - TITLE 11
Criminal Offenses - CHAPTER 11-8
Burglary and Breaking and Entering - SECTION 11-8-8
§ 11-8-8 Injury or death – Defense. – In the event that any person shall die or shall sustain a personal injury in any way or for any cause while in the commission of any criminal offense enumerated in §§ 11-8-2 – 11-8-6, it shall be rebuttably presumed as a matter of law in any civil or criminal proceeding that the owner, tenant, or occupier of the place where the offense was committed acted by reasonable means in self-defense and in the reasonable belief that the person engaged in the criminal offense was about to inflict great bodily harm or death upon that person or any other individual lawfully in the place where the criminal offense was committed. There shall be no duty on the part of an owner, tenant, or occupier to retreat from any person engaged in the commission of any criminal offense enumerated in §§ 11-8-2 – 11-8-6.
§ 11-8-2 Unlawful breaking and entering of dwelling house.
Link to full description of §11-8-2