Search This Blog

Friday, May 02, 2014

Gangster Grandma And Stand Your Ground

Stand Your Ground Laws Tested
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A Montana man is accused of setting a trap and blindly blasting a shotgun into his garage, killing a 17-year-old German exchange student. A Minnesota man is convicted of lying in wait in his basement for two teenagers and killing them during a break-in.
Related Stories

The two recent cases take the "stand your ground" debate to a new level: Do laws that allow private citizens to protect their property also let them set a trap and wait for someone to kill?

"We don't want it to be easy to be able to prosecute people. But we want to be able to hold individuals accountable when they have stepped outside the bounds of society," David LaBahn, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, said Wednesday.

More than 30 states have laws expanding the self-defense principle known as the "castle doctrine," a centuries-old premise that a person has the right to defend their home against attack, LaBahn said. The name evokes the old saying, "my home is my castle."

Most of these changes have come since Florida in 2005 became the first state to interpret the "castle doctrine" to apply outside the home  (1)  with a measure known as the "stand your ground" law.


The principle came under national scrutiny in the 2012 shooting of an unarmed Florida teenager, Trayvon Martin, by a neighborhood watch volunteer who was following the 17-year-old. George Zimmerman was acquitted last year after arguing self-defense.


In Montana, Markus Kaarma told investigators his Missoula home had been burglarized twice within the last week before Sunday's shooting death of 17-year-old Diren Dede. Kaarma told his hairdresser he had stayed up three nights waiting to shoot a kid, the woman told investigators.

The night of the shooting, Kaarma and his partner, Janelle Pflager, left their garage door open. Pflager left her purse in the garage "so that they would take it," she told a police officer. She also set up a video baby monitor and installed motion sensors, prosecutors said. (2)

After midnight, they heard the sensors trip. Pflager turned to the video monitor and saw a man in the garage. Kaarma took his shotgun, walked out the front door and to the driveway.


He told investigators he heard metal on metal and without speaking fired four times — sweeping the garage with three low shots and a high fourth shot. Dede was hit in the head and the arm.

Montana's law says a person is justified in using deadly force if they believe it necessary to prevent an assault or a forcible felony.

I have always maintained the Florida law was insanity and a criminal negligence on the part of the State legislators.
If a man's home be his castle, then that area in which he has the right to attack rather than withdraw and in which he possesses immunity permitting him to use deadly force may be sensibly described by the limits of the man's properties.

If, however, this area of immunity and of the right to attack is extended to the world at large, any serious effort at restricting deadly force is nullified.

The man in Montana took great time and effort to set a trap for burglars. It was not just an enticement; it was an "enticement for burglars".
Hence, the poor slob assumed that anyone found within his trap was a genuine, card-carrying member of the Burglars' Union.

I remember an instance when an old lady with dementia was wandering through our neighborhood, and she ended up in a neighbor's garage.

Go ahead, Granny! Make my day!


No comments: