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Thread: Ohioans, this bill needs our support! Call your senators!

  1. #1
    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    Testimony heard on self-defense legislation in Ohio

    December 6, 2007
    http://www.crescent-news.com/news/article/2953662

    By MARC KOVAC

    C-N Capital Bureau

    COLUMBUS -- A note to crooks thinking about breaking into Ellen Wickham's home.

    If you get past the locks, the lights, the alarms and the 160-pound Great Dane (named Henry), you can expect to be shot. On sight.

    "Of course, I will call 911, but I won't wait for the police to arrive," the Columbus-area woman told state lawmakers Wednesday morning. "I, along with my firearm, am my first line of defense. Crime scene investigators are great photographers, but I prefer my pictures without blood and bruises." I could not have said it better myself.

    Wickham was one of several proponents to testify before the Senate's Criminal Justice Committee in favor of Senate Bill 184, sponsored by 1st District Sen. Steve Buerher, R-Delta. (75th District Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, a Republican from Napoleon, introduced companion legislation in the Ohio House.)

    The self-defense legislation would create the legal presumption that residents fighting back against home intruders acted in self defense and would grant them immunity from future civil claims made by the perpetrator. Under existing law, residents defending their homes against intruders must prove the perpetrators were close enough to do them harm and intended to do harm. The proposed legislation reverses those roles, forcing criminals to prove they did not intend to harm occupants. The civil provision would cover acts of self defense in homes or elsewhere and would prevent criminals from seeking civil recourse if injured while attacking others. [color=red]That's the way it should have been, remember: Innocent until Cundiff, who recounted for lawmakers an attack that occurred on a rural farm in Carroll County six years ago. He and his girlfriend were camping on private property when they were accosted by a couple of trespassers. The situation escalated into an late-evening assault, with one of the drunken assailants hitting Cundiff's girlfriend on the side of the head with a paving brick, he said.

    Cundiff shot the individual with a handgun he carried, seriously injuring him. He told lawmakers he has spent $30,000 defending himself against subsequent criminal charges against him (he was acquitted) and a pending civil complaint.

    "I'm angry with my life," he said. "I could have graduated from graduate school this past year. Instead, I clean trash out of vacant foreclosed homes. ... (O)n the eve of that shooting I was 20 years old. Last month, I turned 27 years old and this case still has not gone to trial. My college fund was spent defending myself and I'm still defending myself to this day."

    He added, "I've never been in trouble with the law until that fateful night. I did what I had to do, I protected myself and my life has been changed forever."
    That's horrible. That's one of my biggest fears; if I ever found myself in a situation where I had to defend myself or my family, I don't want to be worrying about whether or not I can afford to shoot a criminal in self defense.

    Wickham urged lawmakers to approve the bill and the "reasonable change in Ohio statutes" its provisions would provide to "law-abiding citizens."

    "Why, when someone forcibly enters my home or forcibly holds me against my will, would I be held accountable for any injury I inflicted upon them?" she asked. "Why am I at risk for losing everything I have worked hard for if the criminal I defended myself against sues me in civil court? Who broke the law, and who is the real victim?"

    Let's call our senators and get this thing passed!

  2. #2
    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    http://www.senate.state.oh.us/senato...ZipSearch.html

    If you need to look up your senator...

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    I can't find where in this bill removing civil liability from a home owner is made clear.

    Most of this bill deals with terrorism so I'd have to assume there is a section on somebody breaking into a house and the limitations of their or their families recourse should they be killed or wounded.

    http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/b...?ID=124_SB_184


    I'd like to read and understand the whole bill before supporting it in the event there are things in it I disagree with.

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    sehiser wrote:
    I can't find where in this bill removing civil liability from a home owner is made clear.

    Most of this bill deals with terrorism so I'd have to assume there is a section on somebody breaking into a house and the limitations of their or their families recourse should they be killed or wounded.

    http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/b...?ID=124_SB_184


    I'd like to read and understand the whole bill before supporting it in the event there are things in it I disagree with.
    Wrong session of the General Assembly. Your link is for the 124th session. We are currently in the 127th session. Correct link to the bill is:

    http://www.legislature.state.oh.us/b...?ID=127_SB_184

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    Cool, thanks, I was looking at the session and wondering if that was right or not.

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