State Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) has vowed to repeal Wisconsin’s Castle Doctrine law. “If I have to fight on this for two years or 10 years, I’m going to do that,” the freshman state senator told the Star Tribune. “I’m going to make sure we get rid of this backwards law.”
The law – passed in November with bipartisan support – protects homeowners, drivers and business owners from liability when they use force, including deadly force, to protect against an intruder. Larson was one of only seven state senators, all Democrats, to vote against the law.
Florida’s “stand your ground” law, broader than this state’s “castle doctrine” law, permits anyone at risk of falling victim to a “forcible felony” to respond with deadly force, regardless of the location. It will be a key issue in the case of George Zimmerman, the multi-racial neighborhood watch volunteer charged with killing an African American teenager, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Fla.
Martin’s death set off weeks of protests, but a similar case, a castle-doctrine style shooting that occurred in Slinger just six days later, elicited a more muted response. There, a homeowner shot a suspected intruder, Bo Morrison, 20, he found hiding on his back porch at 2 a.m. But Morrison, police said, was most likely not intent on burglarizing the house, merely on evading officers busting an under-aged drinking party next door. The homeowner was not charged.