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Criminal Justice & Legal System

Michigan’s “stand-your-ground” law would be repealed under new bill

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Updated at 10:33 am

A Democratic state Senator hopes to repeal Michigan’s “stand-your-ground” law.

Under that law, a person can use deadly force against someone else with no requirement to retreat. That’s as long as the person isn’t engaged in a crime, is somewhere they’re legally allowed to be, and feels deadly force is the only way to defend themselves.

State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, says it provides too many protections for people who engage in gun violence.

“Emergency room physicians and folks are just honestly worried about the prevalence of gun violence in our communities and frankly pretty nervous about the fact that there is no duty to retreat and substantial immunity from both criminal and civil liability under these statutes,” said Warren.

She points to incidents such as the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida as reasons to repeal the law in Michigan.

“People are using this lack of duty to retreat as a reason to inflict harm and are sometimes not held liable for taking someone’s life. And I want to set that right in Michigan,” she said.

Warren says her legislation – Senate Bill 611 – would not repeal Michigan’s “castle doctrine” law allowing a person to use deadly force against someone who has broken into their home. 

An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to the castle doctrine as allowing a person to use deadly force against someone who has trespassed on their property. The castle doctrine applies to the use of force against someone who has broken into their home or business.

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