Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Castle Doctrine law takes effect in Ohio

The Buckeye State's new "castle doctrine" law takes effect today:
COLUMBUS -- A homeowner who injures, maims or even kills an intruder is on the right side of the law, starting today in Ohio.

The so-called "castle doctrine" law assumes the owner was acting in self-defense and shifts the burden to police and prosecutors to prove otherwise.

Until Tuesday, people who attacked intruders had to prove they were acting in self-defense.

About 20 states have similar laws with all types of variations. Some states do not limit the self-defense presumption to the person's home but apply it to the workplace or even on the street, if the person is threatened.

In fact, Ohio's provision extends to inside vehicles. And, as it is elsewhere, Ohio's castle doctrine -- so named for the popular premise that 'one's home is one's castle' -- is steeped in controversy.

Article here. Over the past few years, we've seen a number of states update their castle doctrine laws, typically adding important protections against civil lawsuits for those who act in self-defense within the law's scope.

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