I’m Sorry Dave, You Got it Wrong

Dave Weigel writing for Slate says: No, President Obama Didn’t Support a “Stand Your Ground” Law in Illinois. He says this comparing what he says is the Illinois law that was amended by SB 2386. He says:

No: “Stand your ground” is substantively different than what Obama backed in Illinois. He backed a tweak to the “castle doctrine,” which reads like this:

A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s trespass on or other tortious or criminal interference with her real property (other than a dwelling) or personal property, lawfully in his possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his immediate family or household or of a person whose property he has a legal duty to protect.

“Stand your ground” takes the concept of the castle doctrine and turns it into a traveling force field of sorts. Here’s Florida’s language:

A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

It’s a pretty obvious difference, which probably means that the “Obama used to support this” theory is essentially trolling.

Public Act 093-0832 has 3 sections, each of which were amended by SB 2386. Weigel quotes section 3, but ignores section 1 which states:

Sec. 7-1. Use of force in defense of person.

(a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or another against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.

Nothing in either section 3 (quoted by Weigel) or section 1 (quoted above) mentions any limitation of place. Weigel is saying that section 3 is tied to place because he says Stand Your Ground becomes a “traveling force field of sorts”. The only section of the Illinois law that is tied to place is section 2 which says:

Sec. 7-2. Use of force in defense of dwelling.

(a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s unlawful entry into or attack upon a dwelling. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:

(1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner, and he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent an assault upon, or offer of personal violence to, him or another then in the dwelling, or

(2) He reasonably believes that such force is  necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.

Only Section 2 actually relates to a “Castle Doctrine”. Only Section 2 is tied to a place. All three sections were amended by the same wording from SB 2386:

In no case shall any act involving the use of force justified under this Section give rise to any claim or liability brought by or on behalf of any person acting within the definition of “aggressor” set forth in Section 7-4 of this Article, or the estate, spouse, or other family member of such a person, against the person or estate of the person using such justified force, unless the use of force involves willful or wanton misconduct.

The law does not state a duty to retreat, therefore in Illinois there is no duty to retreat. Illinois is one of 33 states with no duty to retreat. No duty to retreat IS Stand Your Ground.

Links: SB 2386 Public Act 093-0832, 720 ILCS 5/

Instalanche! Thanks Glenn!

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