All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Anti-Self-Defense Bill in the State House of Representatives

Presently, Washington State citizens have legal protection of their right to self defense. The state will pay the defense costs of those falsely accused.

House Bill 2067, introduced by state Representative Ross Hunter (D-48) [Vote WA questionnaire], would repeal the existing Washington law that provides for the reimbursement of legal defense costs to law-abiding citizens who are charged with a crime but found not guilty by reason of self-defense.

Here is actual language from the law that is proposed to be repealed: “No person in the state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting by any reasonable means necessary, himself or herself, his or her family… When a person charged with a crime…is found not guilty by reason of self-defense, the state of Washington shall reimburse the defendant for all reasonable costs…”

Self-defense is a fundamental right that can be weakened by overzealous prosecution. Current law provides an incentive for prosecutors to give serious consideration to whether the accused has a viable claim of self-defense before the prosecution begins. The passage of HB 2067 would repeal an important citizen protection in the state's legal system.

HB 2067 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee this Wednesday, April 13 at 3:00 p.m.

Please contact your state Representative, by calling the toll-free legislative hotline, (800) 562-6000, and respectfully urge him or her to OPPOSE this anti-self-defense bill.

If your state Representative sits on the House Ways & Means Committee, please refer to the list below and call and e-mail their office directly.

If you need help identifying your state Representative, please click here.

House Ways & Means Committee members:

Representative Ross Hunter (D-48), Chairman <- Hunter is the sponsor.
(360) 786-7936

Representative Jeannie Darneille (D-27), Vice Chairman
(360) 786-7974

Representative Bob Hasegawa (D-11), Vice Chair
(360) 786-7862

Representative Reuven Carlyle (D-36)
(360) 786-7814

Representative Eileen Cody (D-34)
(360) 786-7978

Representative Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36)
(360) 786-7860

Representative Kathy Haigh (D-35)
(360) 786-7966

Representative Zack Hudgins (D-11)
(360) 786-7956

Representative Sam Hunt (D-22)
(360) 786-7992

Representative Ruth Kagi (D-32)
(360) 786-7910

Representative Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney (D-46)
(360) 786-7818

Representative Timm Ormsby (D-3)
(360) 786-7946

Representative Eric Pettigrew (D-37)
(360) 786-7838

Representative Larry Seaquist (D-26)
(360) 786-7802

Representative Larry Springer (D-45)
(360) 786-7822

Representative Pat Sullivan (D-47)
(360) 786-7858

Representative Ed Orcutt (R-18)
(360) 786-7812

Representative Gary Alexander (R-20)
(360) 786-7990

Representative Barbara Bailey (R-10)
(360) 786-7914

Representative Bruce Dammeier (R-25)
(360) 786-7948

Representative Bruce Chandler (R-15)
(360) 786-7960

Representative Larry Haler (R-8)
(360) 786-7986

Representative Bill Hinkle (R-13)
(360) 786-7808

Representative Kevin Parker (R-6)
(360) 786-7922

Representative Charles Ross (R-14)
(360) 786-7856

Representative Joe Schmick (R-9)
(360) 786-7844

Representative J.T. Wilcox (R-2)
(360) 786-7912

The April 13th hearing for House Bill 2067 was cancelled minutes before it was to start. This bill is likely dead for this legislative session.

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