Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine Laws
With all of the talk about “Stand Your Ground” laws and self-defense in the “media” lately, I thought that it would be a good idea to take a look at which U.S. states have those laws in place and the definition of what the law is, without all of the media hype.
First a general definition of the “Stand Your Ground Law” different states my differ slightly in their interpretation of the law:
Stand-your-ground laws allow someone to use force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of a threat, without an obligation to retreat first. Generally, these laws require the person to (1) have a legal right to be at the location and (2) not be engaged in an unlawful activity.
State with Stand Your Ground Laws in Place
- New Hampshire
Castle Doctrine Definition – again my differ slightly depending on each state (source http://cga.ct.gov/2012/rpt/2012-R-0172.htm:
The Castle Doctrine is a common law doctrine that designates a person’s abode (or, in some states, any place legally occupied, such as a car or place of work) as a place in which the person has certain protections and immunities and allows such a person in certain circumstances, to attack an intruder instead of retreating. Typically, deadly force is considered justified homicide only in cases when the actor reasonably feared imminent peril of death or serious bodily harm to oneself or another. The doctrine is not a defined law that can be invoked, but is a set of principles which is incorporated in some form in the law of most states. Forty-six states, including Connecticut, have incorporated the Castle Doctrine into law.
States with Castle Doctrine laws in place
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
What do you think – are Stand Your Ground and Castle Doctrine law a good idea?