REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Shooting through the loophole

Your home is your castle, and now Ohio law gives you the benefit of the doubt when defending your castle. It used to
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

Your home is your castle, and now Ohio law gives you the benefit of the doubt when defending your castle.

It used to be, if you shot someone while defending your home, the burden of proving self-defense was on you. Now, with a change in state law, the assumption of self-defense is far stronger in certain circumstances and it's up to prosecutors to prove otherwise.

On the face of it, there seems to be little wrong with this concept, simply because we still presume innocence until guilt is proven and we don't want anything that abrogates that.

But the potential for abuse of this is so great. Police don't like this law and many gun-rights advocated don't like it, and we don't like it.

What has police, and us, worried is this scenario: You're in someone else's home and that person, for whatever reason, decides to shoot you. All the shooter has to do is claim you were threatening him or his home, and he need not prove otherwise.

As is the case when law meets reality, it probably won't be that simple and there will be cases when the evidence at the scene trumps the self-defense claim, and the police can legitimately act. But do you want to count on that?