MADISON (WSAU) State lawmakers are starting to react to calls to repeal Wisconsin’s “Castle Doctrine” law – and it does not look like it will happen any time soon. Lawmakers from both parties are supporting the measure – which assumes that homeowners are justified in using deadly force on intruders.
It’s been the subject of two protest rallies since 20-year-old Bo Morrison was killed in Slinger last month. He ran into a man’s house to hide from police officers who were breaking up an underage party he attended – and he was shot by the homeowner. Milwaukee Assembly Democrat Tamara Grigsby said the homeowner made a “grave error in killing a young man.” But Washington County prosecutors said the killing would have been justified, even if the Castle Doctrine law had not been in place.
Assembly Republican Dean Kaufert of Neenah was the chief sponsor the law – and he said homeowners in frightening situations should not have to worry about being prosecuted for protecting themselves. Opponents of the law note that Morrison was black. And they’ve linked his killing to that of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, a black teen killed in Florida under that state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. But the Democratic leader of the Wisconsin Assembly is not pushing for a repeal. Peter Barca of Kenosha said he supports people’s rights to defend themselves and their families from intruders.
A number of Democrats voted for the Castle Doctrine law last year. It passed the Assembly 71-to-24, and the Senate 26-to-7.