FL Castle Doctrine effects -

FL Castle Doctrine effects -

This is a discussion on FL Castle Doctrine effects - within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; This could be in another forum but I think here we see evidence of a successful outcome - emphasis on the legal aspect. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-onlin...22294481.shtml ...

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  1. #1
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    FL Castle Doctrine effects -

    This could be in another forum but I think here we see evidence of a successful outcome - emphasis on the legal aspect.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-onlin...22294481.shtml


    Florida Castle Doctrine Law Has An Effect
    Times-Union
    Last year, Florida`s new "deadly force" law was simply an interesting newspaper story to Doug Freeman. This year, it may have saved him from prison.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Deadly-force law has an effect, but Florida hasn't become the Wild West


    State attorneys say it makes filing charges more difficult for prosecutors.


    By J. TAYLOR RUSHING, Capital Bureau Chief


    The 'deadly force' law at a glance
    What it is: The "deadly force" law allows Floridians to use force against a perceived deadly threat and removes a traditional clause that requires them to retreat first before doing so.

    What it says: "A person has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be and the force is necessary to prevent death, great bodily harm, or the commission of a forcible felony."

    How it passed: As Senate Bill 436, it passed the Florida Senate 39-0 on March 23, 2005, and the House 94-20 on April 5, 2005. It was signed by Gov. Jeb Bush on April 26, 2005.

    When it started: The law took effect on Oct. 1.


    Affected cases


    The 2005 deadly force law has affected the following handful of cases in Duval County, in which prosecutors either filed no charges or reduced charges:


    A late 2005 incident in which a Jacksonville man was shot by a motorist after an argument in which the victim allegedly attacked the driver.

    A January incident in which a Jacksonville man was shot to death by an acquaintance during a domestic dispute.

    A March incident in which a Jacksonville man was shot to death after going to an acquaintance's home and demanding money, at gunpoint, allegedly owed to him.

    A March incident in which a Jacksonville woman was stabbed to death by another woman after a road rage episode.

    A May incident in which a Jacksonville man was shot at a local electronics store after confronting the store owner.

    Source: Office of State Attorney Harry Shorstein


    TALLAHASSEE -- Last year, Florida's new "deadly force" law was simply an interesting newspaper story to Doug Freeman.


    This year, it may have saved him from prison.

    Freeman, owner of Marvin's Electronics in Jacksonville's Murray Hill neighborhood, has claimed self-defense in shooting 26-year-old Vincent Hudson five times in his store on the night of May 31. Their stories differ on the nature of the confrontation -- it was either an attempted robbery or a request for money -- but Hudson survived and Freeman won't face charges.

    The murky details contain one clear point: Florida's legal landscape has changed since Oct. 1, when a law took effect that broadens the legal principle of self-defense.

    "I knew about the law, but it's not something you think about on a moment's notice," Freeman said. "It's a good law. It should have been enacted years ago. There has to be a mechanism in place to safeguard average citizens against something like this."

    Predictions flew across Florida last summer that the deadly force law would turn the state into a Wild West environment where shootings flared during everyday confrontations. With the law on the books for nine months, prosecutors and defense attorneys say the changes have actually been more subtle.

    What's happened, most say, is that more homicides are not being prosecuted or that they result in reduced charges.

    "We expected the larger impact to be in trials, with people jumping into court because of shootings and lots of shouting from the rooftops. That's not happening," said Jacksonville lawyer Russell Smith, president-elect of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. "The real impact has been that it's making filing decisions difficult for prosecutors. It's causing cases to not be filed at all or to be filed with reduced charges."

    In Duval County, where this year's homicide epidemic has heightened attention on the 2005 law, State Attorney Harry Shorstein largely agrees. There have been 86 homicides so far this year in the county, compared with 91 for all of last year. Duval has had the highest per-capita murder rate of any Florida county for six straight years.

    The law apparently can't be blamed for the homicide binge, Shorstein said, because it has influenced only a handful of homicide or attempted homicide cases. One of those was the Marvin's Electronics shooting. Although Shorstein has publicly sided with Hudson, he said the new law played a role in deciding not to press a case against Freeman.

    Shorstein, whose office covers Duval, Clay and Nassau counties, agreed that the law has hindered prosecutors. Although his office has only cited it a few times among this year's homicides, he believes it has had a wider influence that is prevalent, but difficult to document.

    "It's caused a general expansion of self-defense, which makes all issues of self-defense more favorable to the defendant or suspect than before," he said. "It's also created a greater propensity to use deadly force than existed before. There's a lesser sensitivity to gun violence and death, and that's not good. The last thing we need in Jacksonville is a greater use of deadly force."

    State Attorney John Tanner, whose office covers Flagler, Putnam, St. Johns and Volusia counties, said he can't blame the deadly-force law for any increase in homicides in his jurisdiction.

    "And I would notice it because I personally review all homicides in the 7th Circuit -- even vehicular," Tanner said.

    The law, written by the National Rifle Association, passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jeb Bush, eases the rules by which Floridians can use deadly force in self-defense. Residents can now use such force to protect themselves anywhere they have "a right to be" without first trying to retreat. In allowing this, the law broadened the "castle doctrine," named for the English common-law tradition that a man has a right to defend his castle, by applying it to public settings.

    Bruce Colton, president of the Florida State Attorneys Association, said prosecutors across Florida seem to be having the same experiences as Shorstein and Tanner.

    "I haven't heard any horror stories statewide," Colton said. "I never thought people would start shooting each other all over state. But I do see anomalies from time to time, and that's what state attorneys are concerned about."

    The most lasting legacy of the law is likely to be one of perception, say Colton, Tanner, Shorstein and Smith, as the right to self-defense already existed as a proven legal concept.

    "Now there's just a new jury instruction," Smith said. "This doesn't create a new defense as much as it just validates something we've been arguing for years."
    Chris - P95
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  2. #2
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    The best effect I see is other states following suit w/ similar laws. We may make this a free country once again.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    Good post P95. This is what I have been trying to say in other threads. What's weird is they are calling it "The Deadly Force Law" aka Castle Doctrine. Or am I mistaken here ?

    Especially the part of commiting a felony:
    "A person has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be and the force is necessary to prevent death, great bodily harm, or the commission of a forcible felony."
    IIRC Kansas has passed the Castle Doctrine also.
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    I am trying not to hold my breath while PA follows this path - written to congress critter and supposedly we are one of 10 or so still waiting to have this signed in (I hope - sincerely).

    Our current duty to retreat is too excessive.
    Chris - P95
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    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."


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    Does anyone know where Texas stands on this law? I don't see anything saying that we have to attempt retreat before using force.
    "I'd rather have my gun and not need it, than need it and not have it"

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    WA will be trying to pass the legislation in January when the legislature reconvenes. We currently don't have a duty to retreat but were not protected civilly from the BG's family. Which I think is absurd if it's ruled self-defense that you can still get sued. The Brady bunch is everywhere trying to call this the "Shoot First Bill" and "The License To Kill Bill" rediculous......

    Eddie- Check PDO for where your state stands on Duty to Retreat. Theres a lot of conflicting info on the net about this stuff so make sure you do your research before you decide where your state stands. Everytime you search for info on yahoo, all that ever comes up is Florida, so it's a little tricky. Dont trust Wikipedia Online either, they said WA is a castle doctrine state and thats not true.

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    Here in Colorado we had the original ( as they named it ) Make my Day law , some are now trying to overhaul it now to come more into line with floridas law where your absolute right to defense is less narrowly defined , i suspect inspite of the big D in front of most of our legislators names some form of reform will pass next year .
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  8. #8
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    Another link on the Castle Doctrine in the "Reader's opinion" section called T-You :

    http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-onlin...22309791.shtml

    However, I think the guy who says

    "Defend, but not excessively
    A person should have the right to protect themselves by what means are available to them; however, they still have the responsibility to not use excessive force. In other words, somebody who shoots a person one time, that shooting would be justified. But if he shoots five times, that is excessive force, and clearly goes beyond self-defense."

    Kinda of misses the point. And probably didn't attend the CCW class I did. Shoot until they stop is what I was told. Not to count the shots.
    Armed & Dangerous...and Inconspicuous...

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    profshadow, as silly as it seems, that concept is law in several countries. douple tapping a BG might send you to jail. 2 to the body and one to the head will send you to a nice prison term.
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
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  10. #10
    Member Array Benjaminm0110's Avatar
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    Miggy- Is that the situation in the US or other countries with stricter gun laws?

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Old Chief's Avatar
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    In the event of a home invasion there is nowhere to retreat. As a practical point we should be allowed to defend our selves in our own homes. It is simply too bad that the law of the land favors the criminal element over peace loving law abiding citizens, IMHO all states should have a home defense law as a practical part of their codes. But who would envision that politicians are practical and straight thinking?

  12. #12
    Member Array profshadow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miggy
    profshadow, as silly as it seems, that concept is law in several countries. douple tapping a BG might send you to jail. 2 to the body and one to the head will send you to a nice prison term.
    Thanks for the info. Guess I just need to get bigger bullets (and the gun to put 'em in) so that one works when I travel out of Florida.
    Armed & Dangerous...and Inconspicuous...

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    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    Sooooooo....the above tells me that if you happen upon a sexual assault you can walk up to the perp and shoot him in the ear. (???)

    "Forcible felony" paints a pretty large picture. Does this mean violence from one person to another or would a bank robbery(with weapon shown)be a forcible felony ?? --------

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSSZ
    Sooooooo....the above tells me that if you happen upon a sexual assault you can walk up to the perp and shoot him in the ear. (???)

    "Forcible felony" paints a pretty large picture. Does this mean violence from one person to another or would a bank robbery(with weapon shown)be a forcible felony ?? --------
    Florida's definition of forcible felony.
    The 2005 Florida Statutes

    Title XLVI
    CRIMES Chapter 776
    JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE

    776.08 Forcible felony.--"Forcible felony" means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.
    Justifiable use of force.
    The 2005 Florida Statutes

    Title XLVI
    CRIMES Chapter 776
    JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE

    776.031 Use of force in defense of others.--A person is justified in the use of force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on, or other tortious or criminal interference with, either real property other than a dwelling or personal property, lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal duty to protect. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be.
    Good luck.
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