A bill headed to the Governor’s desk would give people legal immunity if they kill someone who breaks into their house, car, or workplace. The State Bar Association says it’s a bad idea.
Attorney Ray Dall’Osto of the bar’s criminal law section says there’s no need for it, because state law already protects people in those situations. In fact, he says nobody has ever been charged for killing someone who breaks into their house in the middle of the night. He says the legislation is very broadly written, and could extend immunity to people who see someone breaking into their car, from their house.
Dall’Osto says it could also give people presumed innocence if they shoot their husband or wife during a domestic dispute, and claim self-defense, even if it wasn’t.
The bill’s protections do not apply when the property owner should have known that the intruder was a police officer. The Senate agreed to let the same exceptions apply for fire-fighters and ambulance personnel. The Assembly in a late night session ratified the changes.
Rick Schuh-WHBY contributed to this report