Idaho Stand-Your-Ground / Castle Doctrine
by Rep Christy Zito District 23A
One of the most basic and fundamental tenets of our liberty in the United States is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.
Our system of law was created so that if five guilty men went free to preserve the liberty of one innocent man, then the system has worked.
In addition, our right to life and the God-given right to protect and defend it is clearly stated in our Constitution and is a right that existed before there was an organized government of any kind. Laws in the United States today, including Idaho, typically have a presumption of guilt when deadly force is used to defend one\’s life.
There is great risk in delay or hesitation to use deadly force if you are must wait for law enforcement to arrive.
I am a mom who lives in an area where the report time on a call to the Sheriff\’s Office can be as long as 45 minutes, because of the immense area that our amazing officers must cover. It is not acceptable for anyone, anywhere.
The stand your ground section of HB444 states that one has the right to use deadly force and not retreat if you are not the aggressor and you feel like your life is in jeopardy.
HB 444 provides that one can use deadly force to defend life in their home, yard, place of business, or any place where one has a legal right to be.
Also included is the presumption of innocence when deadly force has been used. That means that you are innocent until proven guilty.
Current laws state that the criminal who broke into your home is the victim until you can prove you needed to shoot in self-defense.
Additionally, H.B. 444 includes “criminal immunity” which says that if you are charged and tried for your justifiable homicide, and you are found not guilty by reason of self-defense, you are entitled to have reasonable court costs reimbursed.
This provision serves more than one purpose.
First, it will encourage prosecutors to think twice before filing charges based on public pressure. Some prosecutors will charge and try gun owners for murder to make a political statement against guns. Never mind that you had to take someone’s life to defend yourself or your loved ones. Now they are going to ruin you financially in court to try and make an example out of you? This law helps prevent that.
The Stand-Your-Ground/Castle Doctrine legislation pending in the House State Affairs Committee in Idaho was drafted in response to the citizens of Idaho.
The law as it stands currently favors the criminals that roam Idaho and prey on innocent victims.
House Bill 444 will put the law firmly in favor of the innocent victims who are forced to defend themselves. That’s you. That’s me. That’s most Idahoans who just want to be left alone and not attacked by some violent individual who intends to take away what is rightfully yours – your life.
After listening to a presentation by Idaho’s Gang Task Force, I am convinced more than ever that preserving and expanding our right to stand our ground and defend our loved ones is more important than ever.
Thank you for choosing me to be your voice in your government. I have enjoyed your comments and suggestions, and look forward to more. If you are in the Boise area be sure to stop at the capital, It is a beautiful building and your representative would love to see you.
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