Oregon (court) -- No duty to retreat for use of lethal force
While Oregon does not (yet) have any specific law or wording in the law indicating there is no duty to retreat, the Oregon Supreme Court has ruled via reversal of a previous ruling that the Oregon legislature did not intend for mandatory retreat/escape to be required. This isn't quite the same as a distinct "stand your ground" law, but it's a step in the right direction. It basically flatly said Oregonians have the right to use lethal force if justified, without any duty to retreat, reversing the earlier judgment that had for all intents and purposes become how the law was "read" in new trials.
Interesting original case, though, given a few salient points:
- The defendant had prior knowledge of the assailant's mindset based on previously having been beaten up by the assailant.
- The defendant was being chased by the assailant via automobile, but turned his own car to follow the assailant immediately prior to the shooting.
- The defendant claimed the assailant exited his car with a .44mag firearm; the prosecution claimed the rifle shot came through the rear of the car's cabin and knocked the assailant onto the road (where he fell on his gun).
- Note the original statement to the jury, which is highly restrictive as to the requirements for justified self-defense and, according to this Supreme Court ruling goes far beyond the intent and letter of the law.
- Nice to see the Supreme Court wake up and acknowledge it had grossly overstepped its bounds by manufacturing law that wasn't there.
Originally Posted by The Oregonian newspaper, Friday March 30, 2007