Interesting story from the Colorado Springs Gazette:
An El Paso County jury on Friday awarded nearly $300,000 to the daughter of a burglar who was fatally shot in 2009 while breaking into an auto lot…
To nutshell the linked article – a family-owned business had been victimized of late by burglars and the owners (realizing that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away) decided to stand vigil over their property through the night. Some time during the night, two drug-addled, petty thieves broke in and the family members sprang in to action, firing a total of four shots, one of which killed one of the two burglars. The DA referred the shooting to a Grand Jury which declined to indict, so no crime was committed as far as Colorado is concerned. The plaintiff’s attorney argued that the family deliberately set out to kill whomever might break in and as they were never in personal danger, this was a wrongful death…the civil jury agreed.
I, personally, would never kill to defend property – not even 100% sure I would kill to defend myself, but I would kill to defend any innocent person, if there was no other way to protect them. But my attitude about criminals is that they have chosen a path fraught with danger…if they wind up injured or dead as a result of their voluntary actions, then no fault accrues to anyone who assists them in to the hospital or the hereafter (except if some weirdo took captive a criminal and then did him in, or some such thing like that – once a criminal is definitely rendered harmless, no one has a right to take his life except by due process of law). It is too bad that the burglar died – but his death sentence was signed when he got stoned and decided to steal to support his habit. If it hadn’t been this bringing an untimely end to his life, it would have been something else…and perhaps something much worse, and maybe with the burglar taking innocent people with him.
On that jury, I would have told the burglar’s family to take a hike. People have a right to defend their lives and property – and anyone who enters property without the owner’s permission and with an intent to do wrong has just taken his life in to his hands.
What do you think?