Council storms the 'castle'

Posted: April 13, 2012

REACTING to the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, City Council called yesterday for state lawmakers to repeal Pennsylvania's recently expanded "castle doctrine" law.

"We're asking the Legislature to repeal that law because copycats are everywhere, and so they are going to test the theory of whether or not you can be the aggressor based on some trumped-up reason that you think you're threatened," said Councilman Curtis Jones Jr., who introduced the resolution, cosponsored by Council members Bill Greenlee and Marian Tasco.

Last year Gov. Corbett approved an expanded version of Pennsylvania's "castle doctrine," which extended the use of deadly force permitted to defend one's home, to other places like public streets. However, a weapon must be displayed by the alleged attacker, and the shooter cannot claim immunity from self-defense, as he can under Florida's law.

Martin's shooter, George Zimmerman, was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

-Jan Ransom

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