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Thread: Legislature eyeballing RCW 9A.16.110 - self defense reimbursement

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    Legislature eyeballing RCW 9A.16.110 - self defense reimbursement

    Are lawmakers quietly trying to bury state’s unique self-defense statute?

    Next Tuesday in Olympia, the House Judiciary Committee is holding a work session to discuss something called “unjust conviction compensation,” but it also appears they will be looking at a way to repeal this state’s unique self-defense compensation statute.

    http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-i...efense-statute

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    Dave Workman:

    I Remember what Happened when Olympia went afterso called 'Assault Rifles', too.

    It did NOT End very Nicely for The Democratic Liberals, now did it?

    aadvark

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    Regular Member jt59's Avatar
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    House or Senate Judiciary

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Workman View Post
    Are lawmakers quietly trying to bury state’s unique self-defense statute?

    Next Tuesday in Olympia, the House Judiciary Committee is holding a work session to discuss something called “unjust conviction compensation,” but it also appears they will be looking at a way to repeal this state’s unique self-defense compensation statute.

    http://www.examiner.com/gun-rights-i...efense-statute
    Dave,

    Can you please clarify... your article indicates that this is the "House" Judiciary but that they are meeting in Senate room number 3. The bill that was introduced last session, died in committee with a significant effort and communication to the committee members.


    HOUSE BILL 2067
    _____________________________________________
    State of Washington 62nd Legislature 2011 Regular Session

    By Representative Hunter
    Read first time 04/09/11. Referred to Committee on Ways & Means.




    AN ACT Relating to eliminating reimbursement for defense costs of persons acquitted on the basis of self-defense; and repealing RCW 9A.16.110.

    BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:

    NEW SECTION. Sec. 1 RCW 9A.16.110 (Defending against violent crime -- Reimbursement) and 1995 c 44 s 1, 1989 c 94 s 1, & 1977 ex.s. c 206 s 8 are each repealed.


    --- END

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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    If at first they don't succeed just keep on filing, right? Maybe those that are pushing the overall "anti gun" and "anti gun owner" agenda are just hoping that someday they'll find us all sleeping and they can slip something like this through.

    Why is it of interest in a time when money saving should be topmost of their priorities? How much has been paid out for prosecutions where there was a finding of Self Defense?

    The State could save more money if they'd just stop letting all those cars go home with employees at night. Especially those that don't need a car assigned to them in the first place but get one just because they're a department head.
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    Regular Member decklin's Avatar
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    Yeah, I remember hearing about this several months ago.
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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    So, if I get this right, they want to remove the liability of the state to repay any money used in a legitimate defense against a bogus charge?

    IOTW, they wanna make it easier to attempt to prosecute people for lawful self defense..

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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    Prosecutors have hated this for sometime as it represents a recourse in just throwing all self defense incidents into one pot and let it be sorted out with out consequence for the prosecutors office.

    I presume on the surface this is in response to reduce cost in the State, but has the State had to pay out on this and if they did what has it cost?
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    Opt-Out Members BigDave's Avatar
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    After looking into this a little more, in 128 Wn.2d 492, SEATTLE v. FONTANILLA the City of Seattle did not have to pay for her defense though she was found not guilty because she acted in Self Defense.
    It seems to have come down to the City is unable to make the State pay for defense cost and the rub is the City is not mandated to pay.

    Apparently there is more work that needs to be done on this RCW to actually give it teeth.

    RCW 9A.16.110
    Defending against violent crime — Reimbursement.

    (1) No person in the state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting by any reasonable means necessary, himself or herself, his or her family, or his or her real or personal property, or for coming to the aid of another who is in imminent danger of or the victim of assault, robbery, kidnapping, arson, burglary, rape, murder, or any other violent crime as defined in RCW 9.94A.030.

    (2) When a person charged with a crime listed in subsection (1) of this section is found not guilty by reason of self-defense, the state of Washington shall reimburse the defendant for all reasonable costs, including loss of time, legal fees incurred, and other expenses involved in his or her defense. This reimbursement is not an independent cause of action. To award these reasonable costs the trier of fact must find that the defendant's claim of self-defense was sustained by a preponderance of the evidence. If the trier of fact makes a determination of self-defense, the judge shall determine the amount of the award.

    (3) Notwithstanding a finding that a defendant's actions were justified by self-defense, if the trier of fact also determines that the defendant was engaged in criminal conduct substantially related to the events giving rise to the charges filed against the defendant the judge may deny or reduce the amount of the award. In determining the amount of the award, the judge shall also consider the seriousness of the initial criminal conduct.
    Nothing in this section precludes the legislature from using the sundry claims process to grant an award where none was granted under this section or to grant a higher award than one granted under this section.

    (4) Whenever the issue of self-defense under this section is decided by a judge, the judge shall consider the same questions as must be answered in the special verdict under subsection (4) [(5)] of this section.

    (5) Whenever the issue of self-defense under this section has been submitted to a jury, and the jury has found the defendant not guilty, the court shall instruct the jury to return a special verdict in substantially the following form:
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    Regular Member Lammo's Avatar
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    I think they are looking at this only as a cost cutting measure and only to avoid making real cuts to stuff that the State shouldn't be spending our money on. As a cost cutting measure, repealing this will likely be fairly useless. I believe there have been fewer than five cases in the past 20 years in Spokane County where a self defense claim resulted in acquittal and an award of defense costs (I could be wrong about that, it's happened before and it will happen again). Unless the prosecutors over on the wet side are really out of control and losing self-defense cases left and right the savings will be less than noticeable.
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    Regular Member amlevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lammo View Post
    I think they are looking at this only as a cost cutting measure and only to avoid making real cuts to stuff that the State shouldn't be spending our money on. As a cost cutting measure, repealing this will likely be fairly useless. I believe there have been fewer than five cases in the past 20 years in Spokane County where a self defense claim resulted in acquittal and an award of defense costs (I could be wrong about that, it's happened before and it will happen again). Unless the prosecutors over on the wet side are really out of control and losing self-defense cases left and right the savings will be less than noticeable.
    Based on yesterday's news report, curbing the Governor's travel, as well as those who accompany here, would save more money after just one less trip.
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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    I communicated with one of the sponsers of the original bill, and teh answer was "cost cutting". My answer to him was...at who's expense?

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