State Sen. David Clemens was defending his “murder bill” on the radio yesterday when we called in to correct him on his own legislation.
Here’s the clip:
As we pointed out first on this blog, a bill he wrote would make it legal for you to:
- kill someone even if you could safely avoid it by retreating
- kill someone to prevent them from causing $100 worth of damage to your stuff
- kill someone who’s running away from you
Clemens, a Republican from West Fargo, told WDAY radio host Jay Thomas that his bill has “conditions,” so that you can’t kill unless your life is in danger. This is absolutely not true.
It’s true that there is a part of the bill (see number 3) that would allow you to use deadly force when you feel your safety’s at risk. But it’s not a requirement. As you can see, the word “or” precedes that part of the bill.
We tried to explain this to Clemens. At first, he denied that the word “or” was in the bill. Once he finally admitted it, Jay disconnected us and took a commercial break. You can hear the entire segment here. You can also read the entire bill for yourself here.
Bismarck attorney Tom Dickson told Mean Read the bill “provides a legal defense if you shoot your neighbor’s kid when he is running down your sidewalk after pilfering a six-pack of beer from a cooler on your porch.”
Cass County State’s Attorney Birch Burdick told the Forum he thinks the bill would make it legal to “shoot someone in the back who was fleeing from a home after stealing a DVD copy of an old movie like Sleepless in Seattle.”
Who you gonna believe — legal experts, or a guy who doesn’t even know what’s in his own bill?