The Castle Doctrine

The Castle Doctrine

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The Castle Doctrine is a law that gives citizens the right to protect their homes and other property by any means necessary---often resulting in the use of deadly force. The Castle Doctrine is different in all the states and is not federally mandated, which is one of the biggest issues with the law. Governor of Ohio:
Strickland called the bill “common-sense legislation”, Strickland also stressed that it will also clear up ambiguous sections of Ohio's concealed-carry law “What we've clarified in this bill I think will go a long way toward providing both law enforcement as well as law-abiding citizens some confidence that what they're doing is, in fact, consistent with the law,” he said. (cbaus.)
I do not think that the Castle Doctrine can possibly clear up Ohio’s already convoluted concealed-carry laws for firearms because the Castle Doctrine states that you can react with deadly force to protect yourself from people trying to hurt you but the law does not put any real limitations on your ability to act aggressively when someone is threatening you. However threatening behavior is never really definable because everyone feels threatened by different things, a joke to one person is a threat to somebody else.
The Castle Doctrine allows you to defend yourself or your family from criminals but, where does that stop and the line between killing someone and claiming self-defense begin. There is no boundary that is clearly defined by law, so those people that are taking advantage of the Castle Doctrine often get away with it. I think that people being able to protect themselves is a good idea because the cops don’t always make it on time or at all but I think that there should be much more limits on this law and that it should be federally mandated and the law should be the same nationwide. I think that the people who have claimed the Castle Doctrine should be investigated thoroughly and if it comes out that they were the aggressor then I don’t think they should be allowed to claim it. The Castle Doctrine really does need to be revised and made so that there are no loopholes and the fact that it is different from state to state just helps people get away with killing somebody else. I don’t think that any law that is made with the intention of letting people get off free with murdering somebody else should exist without the time and attention paid to it that taking somebody else’s life deserves.

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Those kind of laws should not be left up to each individual state but by the government as a whole. To make matters worse, each individual state keeps adding extensions to the Castle Doctrine that make it almost easier to just shoot someone than to call the police, I mean why would anyone bother, before the criminal had to be armed and the victim had to least attempt to retreat before killing them became an option nowadays though it’s shoot first and people do not even try to solve the problem without violence first or calling the police first.
The problems with the Castle Doctrine have never been clearer than in the case of Harper. Brice Harper. Harper shot and killed the Husband of the women he was having an affair with. The man was angry certainly but unarmed. The husband, Dan Fredenberg walked into Harper’s garage and was shot three times. Harper claimed he was defending himself, and won’t be charged but I do not understand how he was protecting himself exactly. Yeah, the guy was probably going to kick his ass but he was sleeping with his wife; a well-deserved beat-down and he did not have to shoot the guy he could have simply brandished the gun, there was no need to shoot him, let alone shoot him three times. He could have even held him at gunpoint until the cops arrived, or even just shoot him in the kneecap to incapacitate him.
“Harper told the police he feared for his life at that point. Maybe so. But it’s hard to see how he could have reasonably had such a fear when he saw Fredenberg walking up the driveway and had the option of going inside and closing the door. Montana’s law, however, gives people in this situation more leeway for a confrontation—this really is about standing your ground, for good reason or for bad. You can use force if you think it’s necessary to prevent someone from unlawfully entering a house. You can use force “likely to cause death or serious bodily harm” if you think that’s necessary to keep yourself from being assaulted. You don’t have to fear that you may be killed or seriously injured. You have no duty to retreat or call the police. And if you have evidence that your use of force was justified, it’s the state’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it wasn’t()
I think that this incident and the many similar ones to it just go to show how bad the Castle Doctrine is. Now I can understand a teenaged mother protecting her children from a home invader is a good idea but, this situation is very different from the norm. The mother was on the phone with police dispatch and was protecting her children, she also asked repeatedly if she could shoot before she did and that’s what you are supposed to do. Harper’s situation was a lot different he knew that Fredenberg was unarmed and he did not even attempt to call the police, Fredenberg was probably not going to be of significant threat to him after all Harper was the one with the weapon and Fredenberg did not break into his house and harper certainly was not protecting anyone and really he had no just cause to shoot Fredenberg three times resulting in his death.
The Castle Doctrine could do a lot of good but because it’s so very vague in what actually constitutes a threat and what does not and all the extensions just make it the best law for people like Harper to take advantage of. The Castle Doctrine would need a lot of revisions and carefully placed limits before it could ever be considered a good thing, as of now the castle doctrine has just been helping a lot of murders walk free when they should be imprisoned lately than it is helping anyone.



Works Cited

Teen Mom Shoots
Case of Brice Harper
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