Advocates say Wisconsin’s castle doctrine worked as it should have, after a man was cleared for killing another man in his home in March. State Senator Van Wanggaard, author of the state’s castle doctrine, commented on the death of Bo Morrison, who was shot and killed by a homeowner in Slinger, after fleeing a party to which police had responded for noise complaints made by the homeowner, Adam Kind. Morrison, who was intoxicated, had entered Kind’s home, presumably to hide from the police who Kind had called.
“The first 15 pages of the district attorney’s report specifically deals with the self-defense elements, and that they’re met,” he said. The district attorney determined that Kind did nothing illegal under the terms of the state’s existing self-defense statutes. The castle doctrine requires that juries, in cases which come to trial, presume that defendants believed it was necessary to use force within their home.
Still, state Representative Tamara Grigsby said the death of Morisson, who’d been attending a party in the garage of a home adjacent to Kind’s property, is he realization of her worst fears surrounding the law. “I don’t think that the investigation should have concluded the way it did, because I think it could have been handled in a much more responsible manner,” said the Milwaukee Democrat. “I mean for God’s sake, the police were 300 feet away.”
Grigsby hopes the castle doctrine may be repealed by a future legislature. “If, and I like to say when, the makeup of the legislature changes, I think this will be one of the first things,” she said. “We’ve done a lot of very harmful things this session, but this is one of the things that is literally a matter of life and death.” Wanggaard notes the bill passed with bipartisan support in both the Assembly and Senate. “Representative Grigsby was one of the 24 (in the Assembly) who voted against it. She still opposes it and I understand, she doesn’t agree with it. But 75 percent of the legislature did, and I think it’s a good bill.”