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Make My Day Laws

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A teenager fights for his life in a Tulsa hospital after being shot ten times. Investigators say 38-year-old Jesus Bustos shot 17-year-old Justin Burgess. Bustos hasn't been arrested because investigators want to make sure the shooting wasn't justified. This is the second citizen shooting to make headlines in less than a week. The News On 6’s Ashli Sims reports so far, neither shooter has been arrested, but Oklahoma law does allow people to stand their ground.

Oklahoma has two laws aimed at protecting citizens, who protect themselves, but not every shooting may qualify.

The homeowner says a man broke into his house. The two struggled over a baseball bat, and the homeowner stabbed the intruder to death.

Police were called to a house in the 1100 block of south 146th East Avenue. That homeowner says a man was banging on his door. As the door started to give way, the homeowner shot through the door and killed the man. In both cases, the killings were found to be justified, and the homeowners were cleared.

The legal reason is Oklahoma's "make my day" law.

“It’s not a green light to shoot anyone that comes on your property,” said local attorney Brett Swab.

Swab says the law was created to protect people who were attacked in their homes.

"I think the law provides an avenue for the homeowner to use deadly force in situations where they feel an imminent threat of bodily harm or death," Swab said.

Last May, the law was expanded. Dubbed "stand your ground," it allows people to protect themselves and their property no matter where they are.

That's the law prosecutors will look at when deciding if they'll file charges in the 21st and Riverside shooting. Swab says police and the district attorney look at a number of factors, like who was the aggressor.

“Where was the person shot? If you were shot in the back then you assume the person was fleeing or you were pursuing, then it's hard to show fear," said Swab.

If the shooter is found justified under make my day or stand your ground, they can't be prosecuted criminally or civilly.


Watch the video: Stand Your Ground Law
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