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09 August 2008

The Fulton County D.A. Better Not Prosecute

Two years ago, state Sen. Jim Whitehead (R - Evans) introduced and passed the "Stand Your Ground" law which allows for an individual to "meet force with force, including deadly force, in defense of one's self, one's home or other property" [Source: Georgia Injury Law Blog, "Stand Your Ground Laws Allowed In Georgia", November 20, 2007]. The law also provides immunity from criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits.

In 2007, the Stand Your Ground law passed one of its first tests when an 84 year old Augusta man shot a 23 year old female attempting to break into his home. At the time of the incident, law enforcement officials said the 84 year old was allowed to shoot thanks to the Stand Your Ground law [Source: WRDW-TV, "Homeowner thankful for Stand Your Ground law", May 4, 2007].

Now, over the two years since Gov. Perdue signed the bill into law, Stand Your Ground is being tested again. . .in the metro Atlanta area.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution is reporting this morning that a would-be burglar was shot and injured by a 75 year old Union City resident after an attempted home invasion.

Around 4:30 p.m., the 75-year-old homeowner on Ravenwood Loop heard some noise coming from the rear of his house, Union City police spokesman George Louthe said.

The man went for his 9 mm Glock handgun and returned to see a 17-year-old's leg straddling the window.

"He shot three times," Louthe said. "But the suspect ran."
[Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution, "Teen shot breaking into Union City home, cops say", August 8, 2008]

The article goes on to report that the Fulton County District Attorney's office will decide whether to file criminal charges against the 75 year old.

There shouldn't be much debate on whether to charge the homeowner who defended his property.

In the simplest terms, this man felt threatened and exercised his rights under the Stand Your Ground law to defend himself and his property.

In other words, the 75 year old Union City man did exactly what he was supposed to do. Some 17 year old thug was trying to break into his home, and the homeowner took him out.