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Your home is your castle

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by cleanbluesky, Feb 23, 2006.

  1. cleanbluesky

    Capodecina

    Joined: Nov 2, 2004

    Posts: 24,654

    There is a Tony Martin debate in another thread...

    There are various legal issues with the Tony Martin case - but my question is should we have an 'American' model of home-defence whereby anyone who enters your property without permission is fair game*...

    Such an attitude may seem unreasonable but there is an evolutionary precident for protection of a person's 'area'.
    The ability to have a territory has a subtle psychological effect on people.
    'Your area' will likely be the most expensive thing you buy.
    Without this safety it is possible to completely screw your life.

    So is it valid to believe that a person should be able to defend their home in any way they see fit - even if it means killing those who are a present and immediate threat?

    * Within reason of course
     
  2. Psyk

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

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    It's already like that. If someone breaks into your house and are an immediate threat then you can kill them in the heat of the moment and not face charges. What you can't do is shoot them as they are running away or capture them and torture them.

    That's roughly what the law is as far as I know, whether I agree with the law or not I'm undecided.
     
  3. semi-pro waster

    Man of Honour

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    Location: Glasgow

    We already can, you are allowed to take reasonable steps to defend yourself in your home. You cannot lay traps, that is not reasonable but should someone enter your property and you fear for your life(not the case for Tony Martin) then you can defend yourself and your loved ones using reasonable force. Your caveat simply puts us to the same situation as exists already.
     
  4. Visage

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    Even Tony Martin's own defense team didnt try and claim that he acted reasonably.

    He shot a burglar in the back as he was climbing out of the property, with an unlicensed shotgun.

    There's an argument to be had about where to draw the line when it comes to defending ones property, but to use the Tony Martin case to suggest that what he did should be legal is utterly wrong, IMO.

    Individual cases make bad laws.
     
  5. Dolph

    Man of Honour

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    We do already have a good system where anyone who poses a threat to you (in your own home or outside it) is fair game.

    It seems to me that those who want the right to harm people who come onto their property are more concerned with revenge than protection.

    If those I care about were under threat, I would happily kill to protect them. Harsh, but it's true. I wouldn't do it simply because someone offended some honour of mine by breaking into my home. I'd forcibly eject them, but not kill them.
     
  6. cleanbluesky

    Capodecina

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    Yes, but bear in mind the reasons that I have stated. There are certain actions which we can stand back and say 'this should happen' but the response we would have if we were placed in that situation might be very different because of the result of psychological triggers.

    The best example i can think of would be a riot or other event. It is a prime example of locust effect, whereby people behave very differently in big groups than when alone.

    I suggest that 'home protection' might be a similar psychological trigger, whereby an individual's attitudes would change to a much more viscious response than they would usually contemplate. Fight or flight is a well know reaction, given the circumstances anyone challenged on their own property is hardly likely to choose flight.

    I would say that any heat of the moment actions should be acceptable, including shooting if the person is trying to escape (as long as they are on or within range of property) and any violent action (no matter how gruesome) as long as it is not cool and calculated.
     
  7. Visage

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    But how would that work in practical sense?

    Wouldnt that give carte blanche for any murderer to simply say 'Cor blimey, guv'nor, i came over all enraged and killed him, m'lud'?
     
  8. Rich_L

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    Wouldn't the 'psychological triggers' be considered as diminished responsibility and is therefore already considered in our legal system?
     
  9. semi-pro waster

    Man of Honour

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    How do you define heat of the moment? If I believe that I am likely to suffer a housebreaking and I place a baseball bat beside my bed then is that not premeditated if I then attack someone who breaks in?

    Or are you specifically thinking about torture situations or similar? As Visage says it would be very difficult to reliably determine what is heat of the moment.

    And in a riot you will be charged 'art and part' for offences committed before you joined in the riot as well.
     
  10. cleanbluesky

    Capodecina

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    Not really, because they are part of the human condition rather than a failure of it. It can be predicted that such behaviour will happen when people are threatened in specific ways.

    For example, violence is illegal, except in self-defence. No-matter what you legislate, people are still gonna defend themselves because they are more motivated to defend themselves than to obey whatever laws society has imposed upon them in that manner - even if the laws are internatlised.

    The concept of diminished responsibility is another way in which the human condition is accomodated by the law - because under sufficient stress strange things can happen to people...

    Similarly I believe that there is a very predictable and natural response to having your property or family threatened and I dont think there should be any legal punishment for expressing this response an as viscious a manner as possible, as long as it is done within the hear of the moment and the person is still on your property or very close.
     
  11. cleanbluesky

    Capodecina

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    You have the right to defend yourself however you see fit, arming yourself with legally posessable weapons is no premeditation as you have not decided to use said weapons upon someone, except in self-defence.

    Torture shouldn't be protected, but to do something brutal and fast to someone should be fine
     
  12. Visage

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    But there are already a wide range of 'natural responses' that are illegal....

    And under your plan, whats to stop me inviting someone into my home, shooting them dead, and then denying that i invited them?
     
  13. cleanbluesky

    Capodecina

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    Such as?

    Nothing, but there's nothing to stop you inviting someone into your home after you were burgled and then killing them, and saying they were the burglar now...
     
  14. Liefrich

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Dec 22, 2005

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    Location: Cardiff

    I've just studied the Tony Martin case at Uni.

    Presently you can use reasonable force to remove people from your home, this does not include murder.

    You have to remember Tony martin shot the young men whilst they were running away, it was excessive use of force.

    Is this law right? In my opinion yes, trespass onto your property is not acceptable but being able to kill someone who enters it illegally is defiantly not "evolutionary."
     
  15. Dolph

    Man of Honour

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    Incorrect, at least under the law as it stands.

    Keeping an offensive weapon in an unusual place (such as by the bed) or taking it out in public is certainly classed as intent and a premeditation to use force when force using that weapon is subseqently used.

    Why? Why do you want to change the statute from self-defence to the right to punish?

    Do you believe personal revenge and retribution is justice?
     
  16. Vonhelmet

    Caporegime

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    I read an interview with Huey from the Fun Lovin' Criminals once. He lived in a flat, and was woken by the sounds of someone trying to break in through the window. He opened the window, let them in, then set at them with a bat. Fair game, apparently.
     
  17. Sleepy

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    The law in the US depends on which state you live in. In some you can legally shoot anybody on your property to protect life and property in others you can only use lethal force to defend against violence and some have a retreat clause as well that must be fullfilled.

    I do though believe that being legally allowed to use lethal force to protect your property should be allowed.

    I keep my bedroom stored weapons on a display stand
     
  18. Visage

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    [​IMG]

    ???
     
  19. semi-pro waster

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    Regardless of whether that person presents any form of threat to you? Is your property really worth that much to you? I know mine isn't, sure I'd be upset if someone stole something from me but to kill them for it.... not a chance. If I honestly and reasonably believe they were a real and immediate threat however I could countenance striking first even if that action resulted in their death.
     
  20. Sleepy

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    [​IMG] + [​IMG]