We are the 99%

March 23, 2012

ALEC and The Castle Doctrine

Media Matters has an interesting post up regarding the recent killing of Trayvon Martin:
Legal experts have noted that Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law may prevent George Zimmerman from ever being successfully prosecuted for the killing of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman has claimed that he acted in self-defense, and court precedent indicates that the State has the heavy burden of disproving this in order to win a conviction.

Florida's statute on the use of force in self-defense is virtually identical to Section 1 of ALEC's Castle Doctrine Act model legislation as posted on the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD). According to CMD, the model bill was adopted by ALEC's Civil Justice Task in August 2005 -- just a few short months after it passed the Florida legislature -- and approved by its board of directors the following month.

Since the 2005 passage of Florida's law, similar statutes have been passed in 16 other states. [links and emphasis in original] 
You can probably guess where this is headed.  Here's a hint: Which of those "16 other states" do you think I care about right now?

Before we get to that, I do want to show you what media matters means by "virtually identical."  Here's ALEC's "Castle Doctrine" text:
3. A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place [other than their dwelling, residence, or vehicle] where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
And here's how it shows up in Florida law:
(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
Wow.  That got me to thinking.  What about the recently signed Castle Doctrine legislation in Pennsylvania?  Is there any language in Pennsylvania law that's similar to the ALEC legislation quoted above?

Take a look:
(2.3) An actor who is not engaged in a criminal activity, who is not in illegal possession of a firearm and who is attacked in any place where the actor would have a duty to retreat under paragraph (2)(ii) has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and use force, including deadly force, if:

(i) the actor has a right to be in the place where he was attacked;

(ii) the actor believes it is immediately necessary to do so to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse by force or threat; and

(iii) the person against whom the force is used displays or otherwise uses:

(A) a firearm or replica of a firearm as defined in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9712 (relating to sentences for offenses committed with firearms); or

(B) any other weapon readily or apparently capable of lethal use.
It's all in there - just a bit unfurled.

The legislation was introduced by State Representative Scott Perry  (R-92).  While himself not an ALEC legislator (at least as far as I can tell), some of our favorite Friends of ALEC are listed of sponsors of the bill:
  • Daryl Metcalfe
  • Mike Turzai
  • John Evans
  • Mathew Baker
  • Steven Barrar
Many thanks to the American Legislative Exchange Council for their thoughtful legislative inspirations!

10 comments:

Heir to the Throne said...

Nice of Dayvoe to link to Matt Gertz their Joyce foundation paid anti-gun shill.
Media Matters took $600K for gun control while carrying?

EdHeath said...

So, HTTT, how many black teenagers have to die because the assistant of the CEO of Media Matters carries a concealed handgun? Does Rush Limbaugh have armed guards? If that's OK, why not the CEO of Media Matters? After all, he could face a real threat, you conservatives claim it is God's work to murder abortion doctors.

And of course, I guess by your silence on the issue, you think Trayvon Martin had it coming, that George Zimmerman performed a public service. Open season on people you conservatives think are "undesirables". Maybe you can award trophies.

Heir to the Throne said...

Ed
I am waiting for more fact to come to light. I am a little bit skeptical of accepting the narrative from those who promoted the Duke Lacrosse / Jena 6 False narratives .
Just Saying: George Zimmerman Doesn’t Look Like A Cold-Blooded Murderer To Me – At Least Not Yet

I hope there is no video of the encounter to collaborate his story and allow Zimmerman to get off like the so-called DNA evidence did for the Duke Lacrosse rapists.

Open season on people you conservatives think are "undesirables". Maybe you can award trophies.

You do know George Zimmerman is Hispanic?

Ol' Froth said...

Would that be the Havana Zimmermans? You do realize Heir, that "Hispanic" is not a race. Its an ethnicity, like "Irish" or "Spanish." To get really technical, biologically, there's only one race, "human." Socialogists have further divided "race" into three broad categories, and you're really just splitting hairs.

In the meantime, the real focus here should be on expanded "Castle Doctrine" laws, which were never necessary. The old "retreat if practicable" was much much better. If you had an escape route take it. Even under the old laws, if no escape was possible, you still had a right to defend yourself. The expanded castle doctrine laws say that if a person "feels" threatened, they can use deadly force, which is insane. Police are held to a higher standard than that. The Florida (and PA law) only encourages unneccesary confrontation and dick swinging.

Heir to the Throne said...

Police are held to a higher standard than that.
Ha ha ha ha.
But For Video: Vegas P.O. Derek Colling's "World of Hurt"

Ol' Froth said...

Yes Heir, you can always find bad cops. And guess what? I condemn them. The fact of the matter is, that the standard applied to police in the use of deadly force is "to protect their lives, or the lives of another from the immenent threat of death or serious bodily harm." Note that in this standard, there is an objective truth, the very real threat of death, or serious harm, while with the expanded castle doctrine, the standard is "i thought he might hurt me."

EdHeath said...

HTTT, you literally say that anyone and everyone who is calling for George Zimmerman to be arrested was also (every single one of us) calling for prosecution in the Duke case or protested the Jena 6 case. Because all liberals say exactly the same thing.

After all, liberals calling for an arrest in a case of a fatal shooting must be full of shit, since it is not like George Zimmerman was in his van following Trayvon Martin, Zimmerman did not get out of his van and certainly did not provoke the situation such that Zimmerman now says he felt threatened. Zimmerman could not possibly have provoked the situation in any way. Obviously there is no evidence that could impugn anything that Zimmerman said.

And then you say "You do know George Zimmerman is Hispanic?" So when liberals say calling Obama socialist is racist, you scream about the playing the race card. Then you say what you said. Because (among other things) I guess Hispanics are too ethnically inferior to be Republicans, or something.

It amazes me that you accept without question the story of a self appointed vigilante answerable to no one, yet you accuse all cops (whose actions are delineated by law, are subject to investigation and who are disciplined when caught) of being corrupt felons simply because they belong to a union. Because union membership is actually the same thing as being a communist-terrorist. All unions, especially public service unions, should be disbanded, their wages cut in half, all their pensions transferred to the one percent and the tax rates of the one percent cut to match the wage cuts.

Heir to the Throne said...

you can always find bad cops. And guess what? I condemn them.
You know who does not condemn bad cops, the police union which Ed defends so vigorously.
Remember Anthony Abbate the Chicago cop convicted of pummeling a female bartender half his size?
The police union is still defending him and trying to get him rehired.
And Ed what do you said to the Police union official who says Police officers should only be fired if convicted of murder or rape.

Dayvoe said...

FOR THE RECORD:

Heir to the throne again gets it wrong. I have NEVER blogged about the Duke Lacrosse team. I've commented on it once or twice. I even wrote

You're not going to get any arguments from me about the Duke Lacrosse team.

The case should have ended the minute DNA tests failed to show any connection between the accuser and the accused.


By the way, HTTT commented on the above just a few hours later. SO he must've known that I'd written

Yet another mistake from HTTT.

EdHeath said...

HTTT, I'm not vigorously defending police unions (otherwise known as the FOP), I saying you scream about them at the drop of a hat. Froth said police are held to a higher standard (which any schmuck would agree with) and you went ballistic. And now you are bringing up unrelated incidents over how many different years in how many different places and trying to suggest some kind of conspiracy.

I guess you are saying to Trayvon Martin's father that his six foot but one hundred sixty pound reed of a 17 year son had to die because he reacted to the provocation of a 6' 230 man who followed him in a vehicle, got out of the vehicle and eventually shot him dead. You are saying that is a proper interpretation of the stand your ground law: find an isolated black kid, walk up to them and shoot them.