A husband is beating up his wife. She escapes to the bedroom, locks the door, and dials 9-1-1. As the police arrive at the front door, the hysterical wife tells the dispatcher that her husband is trying to kill her. She’s in the bedroom screaming. The abusive husband, who has taken a breather, is sitting in the living room when the police still hearing screams knock down the door. The husband, believing that the police are unlawfully entering his house, shoots the first officer dead.
Thanks to the National Rifle Association, Gov. Mitch Daniels, and the Republican legislators, this scenario and other variations are not only possible but legally defensible in Indiana.
Question, should self - defense in fact, be possible in the scenario? Then, allow the judge or jury decide if it is justification?
The actual facts were these,
In an appeal of a criminal conviction Barnes v. State, in May 2011, Richard Barnes argues against his conviction for a 2007 incident where the police responded to a domestic violence 911 call. Barnes argued with the police through a closed door and the wife pleaded to let the police in. Barnes was arrested, charged and convicted for various charges, among them battery on a police officer. He appealed, arguing that the police illegally entered and he was allowed to use force to prevent their entry.
Indiana Supreme Court could have said that the circumstances allowed the police to enter based on the sounds and the wife's cry for help. But, the court instead found that there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police.
Get that? Police, rightly or wrongly bust through your door and you have no right whatsoever in your trial to claim self defense or defense of others if you resist.