Under Granholm’s Stand Your Ground Law, State Senator Virgil Smith could be found Not Guilty
How would you respond to a home invasion at 1 am? How would you protect those in your home?
Under former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm’s Stand Your Ground Law, Michigan State Senator Virgil Smith will be found not guilty if a jury concludes Senator Smith reasonably believed the use of force was necessary to defend himself or another individual from the imminent unlawful use of force by another individual. Senator Smith alleges an assault and home invasion by his ex-wife in the middle of the night on Detroit’s eastside on his property. Under Michigan law, he can assert the stand your ground defense.
Did the shots fired into the car stop the alleged assault and home invasion by his ex-wife? Did he fear his ex-wife would attack his guest? Did his actions defend his guest? If I was his lawyer, I would say yes to those 3 questions. And I would commend Smith for shooting at the car and for not using deadly force on the person committing an assault on his property.
What would you do if your home was being invaded at 1 am on your property?
And let’s not forget the view of Detroit’s Chief of Police James Craig. Craig made national headlines when he said firearms should be used to defend our property in a NRA interview.
Please read over the MLIVE article “Standing your ground in Michigan: A look at the law, efforts to change it, and why they won't succeed,” written by Tim Martin to get a refresher on Michigan’s Stand Your Ground Law. It also includes a pic of Governor Granholm in a hooded sweatshirt.
Also, Check out “Stand Your Ground: Michigan Act Similar To Florida Law Used in Trayvon Martin Case Provokes Repeal Effort” a piece from the The Huffington Post written by Kate Abbey-Lambertz.
I’m not so sure about the Insanity Defense, but if Zimmerman can walk under the circumstances surrounding the tragic killing of Trayvon Martin, Smith can definitely be acquitted for shooting at a car while being assaulted in the middle of the night on his own property. I would argue Smith showed restraint and his actions were reasonable to protect his guest. I would argue that Smith shooting at the car helped him take control of a situation and his actions saved his guest from possible harm.
Here’s the SELF-DEFENSE ACT (EXCERPT)
Act 309 of 2006
780.972 Use of deadly force by individual not engaged in commission of crime; conditions.
(1) An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses deadly force may use deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if either of the following applies:
(a) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual.
(b) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent sexual assault of himself or herself or of another individual.
(2) An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses force other than deadly force may use force other than deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if he or she honestly and reasonably believes that the use of that force is necessary to defend himself or herself or another individual from the imminent unlawful use of force by another individual.
History: 2006, Act 309, Eff. Oct. 1, 2006
© 2009 Legislative Council, State of Michigan
Attorney Isaac Robinson is a criminal defense Attorney in Detroit, Michigan, licensed in Michigan for ten years. Robinson is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago. NU Law presented Robinson with the Wigmore Key Award at his law school graduation. Robinson is an advocate for human rights. His cell 313-739-5093