Friday, May 1, 2009

Castle Doctrine Protects Florida Homeowner

CNN is reporting that the new “no retreat” law protects a Florida orange grove owner, Ladon "Jamie" Jones, who used deadly force in self-defense during an attempted robbery. According to the article:

“According to the affidavit, Jones heard his Toyota Land Cruiser, parked in the barn at his orange grove, start up before daylight Tuesday. Jones told police he grabbed his gun, a 9mm that he keeps with him while working at the grove. He said he could see two people in the SUV as it backed out of the barn, according to the affidavit. He said he saw the passenger's arm reach outside the vehicle, and believed that person might be holding a gun.

“The Land Cruiser stopped directly in front of him, Jones said in the affidavit. He said he raised his gun and pointed it at the occupants, shouting "Stop," but the vehicle appeared to be moving directly toward him.

“’Fearing for his life, he then fired what he thought to be six to eight rounds into the front windshield of the vehicle,’ the affidavit stated.”

Shots killed Nikki McCormick in the front passenger seat while Tony Curtis Phillips fled the scene not know McCormick had been killed. Because of the castle doctrine law, Jones is not facing any charges. However, the poetic justice here is that because McCormick was killed during the commission of a felony, Phillips will also be charged with Second Degree Murder in McCormick’s death.

Of course, the Brady Campaign is upset, but really fails to make a strong case against the Castle Doctrine or “shoot-first” laws as they attempt to label them:

"The shoot-first law is not needed," said Brian Malte of the Brady Campaign. "This person, regardless of the situation, may have done the right thing, but he cannot be prosecuted for doing something wrong if he hit an innocent bystander."

Is it just me or did a member of the Brady Campaign just tacitly acknowledge that an individual used a handgun justifiably in their own defense? As to not being able to be prosecuted if an innocent is injured, that doesn’t pass the sniff test.

Andrew Arulanandam of the National Rifle Association takes a more rational view:

“At the moment a crime occurs, victims don't have the luxury of time. They have seconds to decide on a course of action to protect their lives and their families. This law provides law-abiding people with options.”

I’m sorry that Mr. Jones was forced to use deadly force in defense of his life, but I am certainly glad that the castle doctrine law in Florida gives him that option. The right to self-defense is a fundamental human right. Previous statutes had legislated that right away, and it is only now with their repeal that people can once again stand up for themselves without fear of prosecution. Clearly a step in the right direction!

Until next time!!!


Nick Jesch said...

Maybe its just that I've either been paying attention lately, or that I've been in places to learn of these situations. Perhaps someone else can lend weight to this, but it seems there have been a number of incidents of late where either: a) a firearm was legally and effectively used to protect innocent/victim lives, or b)a firearm was unavailable, mostly due to restrictive regulations, and innocent life was lost at the hands of criminals. And in both types of incident, the victims were not charged, and/or praised for their excellent work in protecting lives, or had public sympathy for having been unable to protect the innocent. Bottom line, there seems to be a trend of late strengthening the use of lethal force by ordinary citizens in the fight against crime, and it seems to be far more widely approved than, say, two years ago. This is a healthy trend, I believe, and I hope it continues.

Fingolfen said...

I've read a few, though they've been somewhat countered locally by the high profile "mass murders" with firearm.

That this piece was on CNN and that the NRA spokesperson was given the last word was the real shocker for me...

Scott said...

Fingolfen: What about those incidents that you do not hear about? Why would a sane person report to authorities they used a firearm in defense of themselves in most states? The victim becomes victimized by the criminal and legal system. Your emotional comment was ignorant of the reality. Look at China it has billions of people and less crime. Is it so hard to comprehend why? The primary reason is China does not tolerate violence. Yes, firearms are verboten there, that I disagree with. All persons should have the right and ability to protect ones self, family and property, by any means necessary.