HB 444, known as Stand Your Ground legislation, is a bill that attempts to severely broaden Idaho’s justifiable homicide statues. This bill would give an individual the right to use deadly force to defend themselves without a duty to retreat from a dangerous situation if the individual believes force is necessary to prevent their death or serious bodily injury. HB 444 would encourage vigilante justice and exacerbate the already rampant racial disparities in Idaho’s criminal justice system. Read the full text of the bill here.
Allowing anyone to use deadly force to defend themselves without a duty to retreat will result in higher homicide rates (as seen in states that currently have Stand Your Ground legislation on the books) and removes an individual’s right to due process in our legal system. Instead, this will open the door for violent, sometimes fatal, mistakes that will arise from unnecessary and avoidable escalation of overheated situations.
Below you will find talking points in opposition to HB 444.