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Governor signs bill inspired by Supreme Court ruling

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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed Senate Enrolled Act 1 into law Tuesday evening. The legislation deals with the right of people to defend against unlawful entry and was created in response to the Indiana Supreme Court ruling in Barnes v. State.

“Contrary to some impressions, the bill strengthens the protection of Indiana law enforcement officers by narrowing the situations in which someone would be justified in using force against them,” he said.

In Barnes, a divided Supreme Court held that residents don’t have a common law right to resist police in any situation. A legislative study committee was formed to look into the law.

The new law puts into place a two-part test before a person can use deadly force against a police officer: it clarifies and restates the current requirement that a person reasonably believe the law enforcement officer is acting unlawfully and adds that the force must be reasonably necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the citizen.

“Moreover, unless a person is convinced an officer is acting unlawfully, he cannot use any force of any kind. In the real world, there will almost never be a situation in which these extremely narrow conditions are met,” Daniels said.

SEA 1 is the last bill the governor signed into law this session. A complete list of legislation is available on the governor’s website.

 

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  • good law
    in St Joe county a man was recently arrested for impersonating a federal marshall. The South bend tribune said that "the activity had been going on for some time" or words to that effect. More so than law abiding cops, this bill sends a message to those who would abuse the appearance of police authority, real or apparent, that unlawful home invasions by persons in uniform may be lawfully resisted with reasonable force.

    This right is a natural one confered by God not any legislature but nevertheless this is a good thing for a free people just as our ancestors thought when it was writ into the Magna Carta.

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