WA- save the self defense reimbursement!


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p35
April 11, 2011, 12:50 AM
Washington State has a fairly unique law that requires the State to pay a criminal defendant's attorney's fees and lost wages if a jury finds him/her not guilty because he/she acted in self defense.

I just got word that there's a hearing in the Legislature Wednesday on a proposal to eliminate self defense reimbursement in future fiscal years. Reading between the lines, it looks to me like the Powers That Be (who have always hated the policy) are using the State's current fiscal problems as an opening to get rid of the law.

The Washington Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is organizing resistance to the proposal, and I am sure they would welcome the weight of the RKBA lobby on their side. If you see a possibility that you might use force to defend yourself or your family in the future, this is about you!

Please contact your legislators!

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mljdeckard
April 11, 2011, 08:57 AM
How many times have they actually had to reimburse someone? Is this a really big expense?

Claude Clay
April 11, 2011, 09:13 AM
in the mid/late 1970"s Connecticut had something similar...

it was called along the lines of a ' victums account' and paid upto $!0,000 to a victum if and after a criminal was found guilty and the victum could prove his 'loss'. i am not sure if it still exists.

p35
April 11, 2011, 09:25 PM
My guess is that they pay out maybe ten claims a year. Not a huge expense.

We do have a victim compensation program around here that pays medical bills on a system similar to worker's compensation, but that's a different animal entirely.

mamartin
April 11, 2011, 09:52 PM
Hey gentlemen, I'm one of those people who would most definately defend myself and family if s hit the fan. I didn't know this act existed but am glad it does. I know something like it exists for the NRA, but would most definately need it, had I been brought up on charges. I will try and find out who I can write a letter to and most definately do so. Thank you, for bringing this to our attention. Regards, Mike

bikemutt
April 11, 2011, 10:06 PM
Here is a link to the bill: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/billinfo/summary.aspx?bill=2067&year=2011

I think allowing some sunshine on how much this has cost the State historically is a great idea.

p35
April 12, 2011, 12:16 AM
Here's how to find your legislators:


http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx

p35
April 12, 2011, 06:49 PM
Just found out that this year it's about 30 cases and about $1 million total. Could be higher than normal.

MD_Willington
April 13, 2011, 04:39 PM
Have informed several forums of what is going on, Hunter is a tool he was against HB1016 -2011 too.

p35
April 14, 2011, 11:27 AM
Just got this:

Thanks for your comments. HB 2067 was just introduced by Rep. Hunter, Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, as we look at options to balance our $5+ billion budget shortfall. HB 2067 was originally scheduled for a public hearing this week, but it has been removed from the hearing schedule. If the bill doesn't get a hearing and come up for a vote in committee, it will "die." Therefore, I think it's very likely that HB 2067 won't move any further in the legislative process this session.

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