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Front Page » Table of Contents » Law & Public Policy

By Isaac Robinson on August 8, 2015

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.

Act 309 of 2006

780.972 Use of deadly force by individual not engaged in commission of crime; conditions.
Sec. 2.
(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

By Dmitri Iglitzin on August 29, 2011

In a truly unprecedented attack on federal law enforcement agents at the National Labor Relations Board, California Representative Darrell Issa and his Republican allies in the House of Representatives are doing the bidding of corporate elites in an effort to suppress the collective bargaining rights of private sector workers.

In June of this year, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) commenced an enforcement action against Boeing based on a claim by IAM District 751, part of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers, that Boeing broke worker protection laws when it told its unionized workers in Everett, Wash. it would transfer airplane assembly to its newly non-union facility in Charleston, South Carolina due to their past and possible future union activity.

Read more of this post here ...

By Randy Leer on July 30, 2011

Well, it's a headline that should be showing up in the press, for several reasons. Most recently because of a revelation that has come out of the Norway tragedy. The headline reads: "Norway gunman touted lax US gun laws." (To read the story go to this link.)

Arguably, Norway has equally as much right to go to war with the US as we did with Afghanistan. We criticized them for harboring terrorists. We are arming the terrorist that attacked Norway. As a matter of fact, that is what we used as a justification for invading Iraq.

Read more of this post here ...

By Diane Wahto on June 14, 2011

In the 1960s, during the heat of the civil rights, student rights and anti-war movements, women, both black and white, found themselves relegated to the domestic side of leftist activism. Much to the surprise and disgust of leftist activist women, left-wing males let movement women know that their role was to cook, clean, make the coffee, and make themselves available for sex whenever the men wanted it. Author Gail Collins covers this issue in her book, When Everything Changed, an overview of the women’s movement during the last fifty years.

Not every man treated every woman as a subservient being, but the treatment was widespread enough that many women finally decided to form their own movement groups, giving birth to the Second Wave of the women’s liberation movement.

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By Angelo Lopez on June 3, 2011

Alexander Hamilton has always been the one Founding Father that I didn't like. There are many reasons for this. Two of my favorite Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, couldn't stand Hamilton. Though I am to the left of the political spectrum, I've always felt that some of the Left's criticism of the Founding Fathers are unfair. The criticism of the Left that the Founding Father's were capitalistic and imperialistic seems to apply though to Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton was a supporter of a strong professional military and championed the North's merchant class, stock markets and a central banking system. While reading Ron Chernow's book Alexander Hamilton, though, I found out that Hamilton was a strong advocate for the abolition of slavery. During the 1780s, Hamilton was one of the founders of the New York Society for Promoting the Manumission of Slaves, which was instrumental in the abolition of slavery in the state of New York. After reading about Alexander Hamilton's work for the New York Manumission Society, I gained a greater appreciation of Alexander Hamilton.

Alexander Hamilton was born in Nevis in the British West Indies in 1757, the illegitimate child of common-in-law couple James and Rachel Hamilton. James abandoned the family when Alexander was ten, and two years later, his mother Rachel died from an unspecified disease. After his mother died, Alexander Hamilton and his brother James were brought under the legal guardianship of their cousin Peter Lytton, who unfortunately committed suicide. During this chaotic childhood, Alexander Hamilton lived in poverty and was a social outcast due to his illegitimate birth. His intelligence was noticed though, and he soon lived with a respected merchant, Thomas Stevens and his wife, Ann.

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By Angelo Lopez on May 7, 2011

When I heard that Osama Bin Laden was killed, I had many mixed feelings. On the one hand, I was relieved that this man was no longer around to mastermind terrorist acts that would kill more innocent people. I hope Bin Laden's death put closure for the family and friends of all the people that Bin Laden had a hand in killing. On the other hand, I felt uncomfortable celebrating the killing of a human being, no matter how evil that person has been. In many ways, the way people are acting now is probably similar to the way previous generations reacted to the death of Adolph Hitler or Joseph Stalin.

Osama Bin Laden represents to me the type of extremism that is at the heart of so much terrorism. Because of Bin Laden, Al Queda and the Iranian revolution, most Americans tend to associate religious extremism with Islam, but all religions are plagued with examples of extremism. The three Abrahamic religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam have had sad episodes of religious extremism where its partisans have used their religion to harass and kill those who do not hold their religious tenets.

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By James Bordonaro on April 26, 2011

Comedian John Stewart, host of Comedy Central's cable TV program, has been a significant force in moving legislation on medical care for 9-11 responders sickened by the toxic materials in the air following the collapse of the World Trade Center towers. Now, after securing funding nearly 10 years later, Stewart alerts his views to a complete travesty of legislative overreaching.

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By Randy Leer on April 18, 2011

I previously posted on this topic. This has generated more discussion on Facebook. I have found this discussion to be interesting. It is enlightening to see how many Americans think and what they believe. I surely did not convince them of my points, but I think the discourse is educational. So I am going to do “Part 2" here. I hope this can be educational and enriching for you as well.

The key posts that took place after I posted the link to my article were:

"I personally believe in the Biblical and Third World models of national economics - "IF YOU DON'T WORK - THEN YOU DON'T EAT!"

Read more of this post here ...

By Randy Leer on April 16, 2011

I was on Facebook today. I saw something that a good friend of mine had written and the resulting comments.

Mr Obama: not all folks who have money inherited it from their rich parents like your Harvard classmates did.Some of us worked hard to succeed.To get where I am took lots of weekend nights in the library when I should have been out with friends.It took eight years of post graduate education and 12 years in the military,away from home,to finance that education.Demonizing people who work hard does not bring "Hope"!

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By Ken Poland on April 7, 2011

The fight over spending cuts is a fight over peanuts when you look at the total national spending. Cuts are being made to the programs with the least ability to resist or the least inside connection to find the funds somewhere else in the maze of projects and programs.

A freshman congressman from the state of Washington has promised her constituents that she will find the funds somewhere else to replace the $10 million cut in funds intended for Port of Vancouver work.

A Representative from Ohio is seeking to restore funding for a project in his State that falls under the House’s budget cut. A $20 million transportation grant for N.H. falls under the axe. Senators and Representatives of N.H. and Maine are working feverishly and promising to get funding elsewhere for that project. There are many more examples of this sort that are peanuts in terms of trillion dollar deficits. Remember the Alaskan bridge to nowhere? I haven’t heard from their, now famous, ex governor suggesting that Alaska reimburse the Federal Treasury to help in deficit reductions.

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