Crowd protests "Castle Doctrine" law
Over 160 people marched in West Bend the night of Sunday, March 25, calling for a repeal of Wisconsin's new "Castle Doctrine" law. The law assumes that property owners are justified in killing intruders.
The law was used for the first time last week, when Washington County's district attorney refused to prosecute 35-year-old Adam Kind of Slinger. Authorities said he shot 20-year-old from West Bend Bo Morrison, who entered Kind's enclosed porch March 3 to hide from police officers who were breaking up a drinking party next door.
Those at last night's protest carried signs reading "Castle Doctrine equals License-to-Kill." Mike Jones held up a sign urging people to sign an online petition he hopes to give lawmakers and called upon Governor Scott Walker to repeal the law.
He said self-defense is legitimate but quote, "the Castle Doctrine is just an excuse."
Prosecutors said Kind went back to bed after he called police about the drinking party; he grabbed a gun when he heard noises from his porch. The district attorney's report said Kind knew officers were only 100 yards away when he shot Morrison.
His attorney said Kind did not know how close police were, and it would not have mattered.
Several signs at the protest mentioned Trayvon Martin, a Florida teen killed by a Neighborhood Watch captain in late February under the state's "Stand Your Ground" law. Protestors say a national debate spurred by Martin's case could spill over into a challenge over the Wisconsin law.
On Friday, President Obama said Americans need to do some soul-searching.
Castle-law protestors again gathered Tuesday, March 27 near UW Madison.
Until now, news accounts had not mentioned race in the Slinger shooting, but Dan Suarez of the International Socialist Organization said both deaths were quote, "lynchings" and that both victims were murdered because of the color of their skin.
Washington County's chief prosecutor refused to charge the homeowner in Morrison's death, making it in the first in the state to be ruled as justified under the Castle Doctrine law that took effect late last year.
The state Legislature has been out of session since the protests began. Unless a special session is called, lawmakers are not due back in Madison until next January, after the November elections.