Thursday, March 23, 2006

Well, Hawaii does recognize self-defense | Man justified in fatal stabbing of intruder. At least some of the time. (Though they are opposed to the Castle Doctrine law recently introduced in the Hawaii legislature.)

In this case it was clearly self-defense. That didn't stop the police from making his life miserable.
Even though it appeared that the resident was defending himself, police arrested him Sunday, saying they were obligated to investigate since lethal force was involved. The man, who was arrested for suspicion of second-degree murder, spent a night in jail and was released Monday pending further investigation.
In many states, if it is clearly self-defense, people are not arrested. Though back when I was a firearms instructor we used to tell people that they would likely be arrested if they defended themselves.

In most jurisdictions, you are not going to find the police on your side right away. And there are plenty of DAs who will try to prosecute self-defense because they object to the idea of "the little people" having that much autonomy. (Why do you think the NRA is pressing Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground Laws in some 20 states? Because they are needed to get the law back on the side of the law-abiding.)

But at least Hawaii came to its senses in this case, and recognized the right of the individual to defend themselves.

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