Beginning of Widespread Acceptance of "Castle Doctrine"?


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pkalisz
June 23, 2005, 11:57 AM
I hope news like this indicates that the "Castle Doctrine" will be implemented throughout the USA. From Lexington Herald-Leader.

Posted on Thu, Jun. 23, 2005


UK student not indicted in slaying of man
CLAIMED HE WAS DEFENDING HIMSELF FROM ROBBER
By Brandon Ortiz
HERALD-LEADER STAFF WRITER

A grand jury has dismissed murder charges against a University of Kentucky student who shot a Louisville man in a struggle outside a Lexington apartment complex.

UK junior Brian H. Briggs, 20, said in an interview that he told a grand jury Tuesday that he shot Cory Harris, 22, in self defense after Harris threatened to kill him during a May 2 robbery. Harris died a day later.

Grand juries meet in secret to decide if prosecutors have sufficient evidence to make a suspect stand trial. Authorities must prove only they have probable cause to proceed.

"Probable cause is a nothing standard," defense attorney Marcel Radomile said yesterday. "For the grand jury to dismiss the murder charge is miraculous."

Prosecutors declined to comment yesterday. Lt. James Curless said police had probable cause to make an arrest.

"There was a man's life taken at the hands of someone else," he said. "The claim of self-defense is something that comes at a later time in the legal process, as it did in this case and as it has and will in other cases. That's the way it's supposed to work in our legal system."

This is the second time in four months that a Lexington grand jury has dismissed murder charges against a suspect.

Charges against Lucian H. Anderson, who shot a man in his driveway on Christmas Day, were dismissed by a grand jury in March.

Brian Briggs had known Harris through mutual friends for about a year. Harris seemed like a nice guy, Briggs said. The two had partied together and played cards and video games.

On the night of May 2, Harris came to Briggs' apartment to supposedly show him a 1987 Monte Carlo for sale, Briggs said. He eventually met Harris in a secluded hallway. That's when Harris, Briggs said, pulled out a gun and said, "I am sorry to have to do this, but I need that money."

Moments later, the two were fighting for the gun for what seemed like an eternity, said Briggs, who had tossed away his own gun earlier. After Briggs bit the man's arm, Harris allegedly told him, "I wasn't even going to shoot you, but now I'm going to kill you."

"That really made me so intent on not losing the battle for the gun," Briggs said.

Briggs said he eventually wrestled the gun away, and shot Harris as he was moving toward him.

Later that night, police found Briggs at a friend's apartment. He lied about his scuffle with Harris, Briggs said, because he was scared. Police arrested him and charged him with first-degree assault.

That charge was raised to murder on May 3 when Harris died at the UK Medical Center.

Briggs plans to continue studying journalism and business marketing next fall under his academic scholarship. But he worries that the arrest will linger in the minds of his classmates and professors.

"People are still going to look at the fact I did shoot a man and he did die," he said. "I don't know. That's hard to deal with. It is really hard to deal with."

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El Tejon
June 23, 2005, 12:02 PM
Don't see how the "Castle Doctrine" would be involved under KY law in either shooting. Blackletter self-defense if media description is correct.

Standing Wolf
June 23, 2005, 02:29 PM
I hope news like this indicates that the "Castle Doctrine" will be implemented throughout the USA.

Actually, the castle doctrine is the norm rather than the exception. A few states require one to retreat in one's own home; in most, however, it's assumed one has an inherent human right to defend oneself at home.

Hawkmoon
June 23, 2005, 03:47 PM
In this case the alleged attempted robbery took place OUTSIDE of an apartment complex. It may have been a legitimate self-defense shoot, but whether or not it was ... the castle doctine doesn't apply.

Are you perhaps confusing "castle doctine" with "duty to retreat"?

RavenVT100
June 24, 2005, 11:43 AM
Yeah. Castle Doctrine is often confused with the idea that one may use deadly force in one's own home without first having been threatened with the same. But that's not what it is, and it does apply in most of the U.S. as well as in many nations whose legal systems are based on common-law.

Hawkmoon
June 24, 2005, 01:05 PM
Yeah. Castle Doctrine is often confused with the idea that one may use deadly force in one's own home without first having been threatened with the same. But that's not what it is, and it does apply in most of the U.S. as well as in many nations whose legal systems are based on common-law.
Actually, that IS essentially what the castle doctrine is about. But the operative concept is "in one's home." The incident reported in this thread took place outside of the building. Therefore, the castle doctrine could not apply because the man wasn't within his castle.

I think he was referring to "duty to retreat before resorting to lethal force." Many states still have a duty to retreat provision in their self-defense laws.

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