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  • Use of deadly force at home....

    This is a question I have been meaning to ask one of the officers when they come down to the 911 center but I keep forgetting....

    There is a firearm in my home that is there just in case. So here in Mississippi the law says that if someone breaks into your home you have the right to use deadly force if you feel your life is threatened. Well to be honest just the fact he broke in makes me feel threatened. But what happens if someone uses deadly force on a burglar and it turns out the burglar did not have a weapon?

    Thanks everyone. Stay safe.

  • #2
    The measurement standard is an objective one, not subjective. If a like person in a similar situation would have done the same - you're good.

    You have to be able to clearly articulate that you honestly felt your life or another person who was present besides the burgle, was in immediate danger of being seriously injured or killed.

    Make sure the body falls inside the house

    Comment


    • #3
      While Mississippi has a long standing tradition of allowing homeowners to defend their property with force it has recently been signed into law. Mississippi is under the castle doctrine which in a nutshell means that a mans house is his castle. You have no duty to retreat to saftey when defending your property. This includes your house but can also be construed to cover your car say during a carjacking.

      Their have been several burglars and would be robbers killed lately by homeowners in my neighboring jurisdiction. None of the homeowenrs have faced charges in the shootings (several of which happened on the porch outside the house). Look in the clarion ledger for details.

      If it turns out the burglar or intruder did not have a weapon your still covered under the castle doctrine. You just have to believe that person is a threat to you or your property. Don't know about you but anyone who breaks into my house is a threat wether armed or not.

      Hope this helps.

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      • #4
        Alabama is also a "Castle Doctrine" state. Those provisions have been recently extended to one's automobile or other motor vehicle.

        Comment


        • #5
          Indiana has also recently removed the "duty to retreat" from their Lethal Force law. You can now legally stand your ground when offered violence.

          Indiana has also recently recognized the "Castle Doctrine". Simply stated, if someone forcibly enters your home, (and in some states your "occupied" vehicle or business) you can legally assume that they are there to do you bodily harm and use whatever force is reasonable. The fact that the Law stated that you can assume that they intend to do you bodily harm allows you to rise to the level of deadly force.

          I would like to find the case law on it, but another officer told me that recently there was a case where a homeowner was found justified for shooting an invader THROUGH the front door. For obvious reasons I would not advocate that as a regular practice, but if this was the case it's nice to see the courts supporting the homeowners right to defend their dominion against any attacker.

          I would wait until they breached the threshold and I could ID the target before opening fire. I would not wait until I had to engage them in hand to hand combat or until I could ID a weapon. The simple fact that a criminal would invade my occupied dwelling would be enough for me to fear for the safety of my family.

          A word of caution for any non-LEO's reading this. In a home invasion, it is MUCH better to barricade yourself in a bedroom and call the police, then make your stand there. You don't want the police to have to determine who the good guy is in a split second.

          Indiana has some nice protections for it's citizens. I.E. Citizens have the right to use reasonable force the prevent the escape of a Felon. In the case of an armed home invasion a Citizen could use deadly force to sieze an armed escaping felon as long as that force would be deemed reasonable under Tennessee v. Garner.
          "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
          8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

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          • #6
            Originally posted by KevinFFVFD View Post
            This is a question I have been meaning to ask one of the officers when they come down to the 911 center but I keep forgetting....

            There is a firearm in my home that is there just in case. So here in Mississippi the law says that if someone breaks into your home you have the right to use deadly force if you feel your life is threatened. Well to be honest just the fact he broke in makes me feel threatened. But what happens if someone uses deadly force on a burglar and it turns out the burglar did not have a weapon?

            Thanks everyone. Stay safe.

            Just make sure he DOES have one in his hand before the police get there.

            Seriously though, someone break in to my home, while I might not feel threatened directly cause I am used to dealing with potentially dangerous situations at work, I feel that I can articulate that I was acting in a manner to defend my family from the possibility of harm or death.

            Comment


            • #7
              To say again, (in TN) if someone forcibly enters your home without your permission, it is legally assumed that they intend to harm you or your family. Whether or not they have a weapon is irrelevant.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by cashton View Post
                Just make sure he DOES have one in his hand before the police get there.
                Don't even think about staging the scene afterwards! If you responded to a reasonable threat of death or great bodily injury with deadly force that's one thing, but trying to "enhance" your actions by doing something like placing a weapon in the (deceased) suspect's hand is going to lead you to nothing but grief, if not a prison cell.
                "I'm not fluent in the language of violence, but I know enough to get around in places where it's spoken."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by cashton View Post
                  Just make sure he DOES have one in his hand before the police get there.
                  I cant believe a sworn LEO actualy posted this as a response. Please tell us you were joking.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Northtechsan View Post
                    I cant believe a sworn LEO actualy posted this as a response. Please tell us you were joking.
                    He did. Read it again.

                    When someone makes a statement and then says, "Seriously, though,...." it clearly means he wasn't being serious.

                    Am I the only LEO left who assumes the best of my brother officers? Doubt the dirtbags...trust each other.
                    If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason.

                    ---Jack Handey

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Not an officer.. I would like to ask a follow up question on this topic without having to start another post.

                      Does the homeowner have to give any warning to the individual(s) when confronted that they have a gun and they need to leave or to comply to get on the ground and wait while officers are in route?

                      EDIT - Found my answer elsewhere, it would be a part of any "duty to retreat law" a state may have.
                      Last edited by Jaguar57; 10-18-2007, 02:28 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes...yes...yes...I was joking....

























                        or was I?





























                        Of course I was. You have to be a LEO I guess to catch the warped sense of humor sometimes. Staging something after the fact in a matter like that could land you in seriously hot water to the tune of possibly a murder charge or serious manslaughter.

                        The bottom line is, when you start talking about killing another person, there are going to be 1000 what ifs. Much like an on duty officer involved shooting, things are going to happen so fast and a million things are going to be running through your head, are you really going to have time to think?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KevinFFVFD View Post
                          This is a question I have been meaning to ask one of the officers when they come down to the 911 center but I keep forgetting....

                          There is a firearm in my home that is there just in case. So here in Mississippi the law says that if someone breaks into your home you have the right to use deadly force if you feel your life is threatened. Well to be honest just the fact he broke in makes me feel threatened. But what happens if someone uses deadly force on a burglar and it turns out the burglar did not have a weapon?

                          Thanks everyone. Stay safe.

                          In TN, whether the person has a weapon or not, if they break into your home, there is an automatic presumption of fear of serious bodily injury or death and deadly force is justified.

                          The deadly-force defense statute (in TN) has recently been extended to include businesses and vehicles.

                          ..oops...gunslinger beat me to it..
                          I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by KevinFFVFD View Post
                            This is a question I have been meaning to ask one of the officers when they come down to the 911 center but I keep forgetting....

                            There is a firearm in my home that is there just in case. So here in Mississippi the law says that if someone breaks into your home you have the right to use deadly force if you feel your life is threatened. Well to be honest just the fact he broke in makes me feel threatened. But what happens if someone uses deadly force on a burglar and it turns out the burglar did not have a weapon?

                            Thanks everyone. Stay safe.
                            If someone shoots a burglar and the burglar has no weapon then that's a good thing, it means the homeowner can take his time in aiming before he pulls the trigger. The fact that a homeowner law abiding citizen does this is a good thing, it takes one more crack head off the streets and saves tax payers money for his future in and out relationship in various prisons.

                            No all kiding aside, the facts of each case are based on the "totality" of the circumstances related to what the victim "felt" at the time, without the hindsight of 20/20 after facts. if you feel your life is in danger and he's in your home, you better blast him and call 911 at the same time.
                            "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by pulicords View Post
                              Don't even think about staging the scene afterwards! If you responded to a reasonable threat of death or great bodily injury with deadly force that's one thing, but trying to "enhance" your actions by doing something like placing a weapon in the (deceased) suspect's hand is going to lead you to nothing but grief, if not a prison cell.
                              All I would say to that is "Prove it".
                              "Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The MARINES don't have that problem." ....Ronald Reagan

                              Comment

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