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Legislation inspired by Barnes ruling passes Senate committee

January 17, 2012

A Senate committee voted unanimously to pass a bill that would allow a person to resist the unlawful entry into a dwelling by a law enforcement officer under certain conditions.

The Committee on Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters voted 8-0 Tuesday in favor of Senate Bill 1, which was amended to remove Section (b)(1), an exemption focusing on the investigation of suspected domestic or family violence. The senators believed police investigation of domestic violence was adequately addressed by Section (b)(2), which exempted from the bill “entry into a dwelling by a law enforcement officer who has a reasonable belief that a person inside the dwelling has been or is at risk of physical harm.”

The introduced version of the bill was prepared by the Legislative Council Barnes v. State Subcommittee. The Legislative Council directed the subcommittee to review the Indiana Supreme Court's opinion in Barnes v. State, which held that the right to reasonably resist an unlawful police entry into a home is no longer recognized under Indiana law and that the Legislature could consider a possible response.

 

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