Ohio is the only state where a person claiming self defense is considered guilty until they’re proven innocent. Unlike the other 49, Ohio requires that a person who shoots an attacker in self defense must prove that they’ve acted reasonably. Arizona had law for a few years, but it was repealed because of the infamous case of Harold Fish, who spent three years in prison for second degree murder. Janet Napolitano, then Governor of Arizona, vetoed two bills designed to give Harold Fish a new trial. After Napolitano was recruited by the Obama administration, another bill was passed and Fish was released. But back to Ohio . . .
It looks like some needed reforms there are finally moving in the Ohio Senate. HB 203 – which would eliminate the ‘duty to retreat’ among other reforms -first passed the Ohio House 63-27 in November of 2013. But it has languished in the Senate since then. Some claim that Governor Kasich has said that he will sign the bill. First it needs to pass the Senate.
The law also clarifies that the exercise of a constitutional right is not disorderly conduct, so the mere carrying of a firearm would not, in and of itself, be cause for police to harass or arrest the carrier. “Disorderly conduct” has been a catchall charge used to harass open carriers in several states. Ohio is following a trend started in Wisconsin and Utah to insure that the exercise of constitutional rights is protected.
The laws now moving in Ohio consist of common sense reforms, many of which are long overdue. That’s why it passed the House with such overwhelming numbers. Now we will find out if the Republican Senate leadership will let it come to a vote.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.