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Reply #2: Your right to kill an intruder is a common law doctrine. [View All]

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-24-12 03:25 AM
Response to Original message
2. Your right to kill an intruder is a common law doctrine.
Edited on Sat Mar-24-12 03:53 AM by No Elephants
"Your home is your castle" is a common law doctrine.

I do not know if there is a statute in that state that codifies the common law or that goes beyond the common law.

I do know that the highest court in Massachusetts reversed centuries of common law when it held that you are not entitled to kill a human being if you have a safe means of escape, even if that human being has invaded your home.

Finding someone hiding on your property whose intentions are unknown to you is a very long way from the Martin Zimmerman situation and I hope no one conflates the two.

ETA: The right to kill an intruder mentioned in the post title is restricted to your home and if other people are present.

A famous case involved a spring loaded weapon in some unoccupied summer cabin (or something like that) that was aimed at the door, so that anyone who opened the door for any reason got shot. I don't know what a 14th century British judge might have decided in that case, but the intruder who's leg was shot off sued the owner for damages and won.

Another edit: I am definitely not implying this young man--or any human-- should have been shot. I am merely stating some facts about the law and saying this case is very different from Martin Zimmerman.
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