Tuesday, January 26, 2010

British Defense Attorney Believes Self Defense Law Change There Would Grant License To Kill

Allowing the God given right to self defense is gaining momentum in Great Britain. This right to self defense by law abiding people against criminal attack got a major boost in support from the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. He said that the law should be changed to lean as far as possible on the side of the householder.

The current law ostensibly allows one to use “reasonable force” against attacking thugs; however, the term “reasonable” has not been defined. It has been the practice to define what is reasonable by the perspective of a Judge, who is sitting on the bench in a safe environment in Court, rather than what is reasonable from the perspective of a person, who, along with his family, has been tied up in their home or robbed by armed men.  

We have been reporting the case of Munir Hussain, and his brother who attacked the man who tied up Munir, the brother, and Munir’s ’s family. The Hussain brothers got prison time. The home invader got probation.

Many, who want to liberalize the British law would like Courts to use a standard of review to decide if the response to thugs was "grossly disproportionate" in self defense cases there. This is grossly disproportionate to the more workable “Castle Doctrine” adopted by many American states.

Under the Castle Doctrine Law, a man’s home is his castle. There is a rebuttable presumption that when a stranger breaks into a home in Castle Doctrine states, the occupant does not have a duty to retreat from the home invader. It is presumed that the Home Invader is there to do harm to the home’s occupants. The threatened occupant can kill the home invaders if the occupant believes he is imminent danger.

But, as in the USA, there are those in Britain who are afraid of letting people defend themselves. Just like the Bradys warned of shootouts at every fender bender, The chairman of the British Criminal Bar Association, Paul Mendelle, said that a change to the “grossly disproportionate” standard of review would be a “license to kill.” He also believes that the change would create vigilantes. He believes that the current restrictive law works well, and is easily understandable by criminal juries, as if they cannot comprehend what self defense is.

And, God forbid, householders who kill burglars could actually be acquitted. He believes burglarizing home invaders should not be killed by householders for committing a maximum 14 year sentence crime. That’s regardless of the terrorization by the thug toward the house’s occupants, and householder’s level of fear for their own and their familiy’s lives and safety.

As the law stands now in Britain, there is absolutely no right to a trial by a jury. Judges are allowed to hear cases without juries, and personal anti gun bias can come into play.  

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