LEGAL Oklahoma Lawmaker Files ‘Kyle’s Law’ to Compensate ‘Victims of Malicious Prosecution’

Sicario

The Executor
Oklahoma Lawmaker Files ‘Kyle’s Law’ to Compensate ‘Victims of Malicious Prosecution’
An Oklahoma state senator filed a bill on Tuesday dubbed “Kyle’s Law,” inspired by the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, to protect Oklahomans who exercise their right of self-defense from facing trial for “political reasons.”

State Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) said the legislation, also called Senate Bill 1120, is designed to ensure “victims of malicious prosecution” are able to receive compensation for expenses and damages. Should the bill become law, if a person charged with murder is found not guilty due to justifiable homicide, the state would have to reimburse that person for all reasonable costs “including loss of wages, legal fees incurred, and other expenses involved in their defense.”

The statement continues in part:

"When a homicide is determined to be justified and the accused establishes that they had sustained injury due to malicious prosecution, then that person will be awarded “fair and just compensation.”

SB 1120 further states that in order to support a claim of malicious prosecution, the claimant must establish that the prosecution was instituted or instigated by the prosecutor and was without probable cause; that the prosecution had legally and finally been terminated in favor of the claimant; and that as a result of the criminal prosecution, the claimant sustained injury.

Malice may be established if the motive for the prosecution was something other than a desire to bring an offender to justice, or that it was one with ill will or hatred, or willfully done in a wanton or oppressive manner and in conscious disregard of the claimant’s rights. Under the legislation, a prosecutor may be held personally liable to a claimant if malicious prosecution is established."

The bill was filed just a few days after Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges stemming from defending himself against three rioters during a Black Lives Matter riot on August 25, 2020, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse shot and killed James Rosenbaum, who threatened to kill him and reached for his gun, and Anthony Huber, who hit Rittenhouse in the head and neck with a skateboard and also attempted to grab his gun. Rittenhouse shot and injured a third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, who pointed a pistol at him.

Rittenhouse was immediately labeled a “white supremacist” by many, including then-presidential candidate Joe Biden, and was called a “vigilante” by corporate media. During his trial, Rittenhouse endured the questioning of an arguably vicious prosecution — the judge at one point accused Assistant District Attorney Thomas Binger of a “grave constitutional violation” for casting suspicion on Rittenhouse exercising his right to remain silent before the trial.

Binger also told the jury that Rittenhouse lost the right to self-defense because he brought an AR-15 to a riot, mocked the teenager for breaking down on the stand, and broke basic gun safety rules by pointing a rifle at the courtroom. Another prosecutor, James Kraus, told Rittenhouse he should have let himself be attacked because “everybody takes a beating sometimes.”

Rittenhouse told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that he believes Binger was more interested in advancing his own interests than in reaching a fair verdict.

“They knew I was innocent but they still decided to bring these charges to make their name — to have a name. They wanted my head on their shelf,” he said, noting that Binger is a “corrupt person who just wants to make a name for himself and not look at the facts.”

He continued:

"I used to be a fan of the prosecutors, not anymore: I believe there are still good prosecuting attorneys out there. He is the prosecuting attorney that wants to make a name for himself, and he is supposed to speak the truth and nothing but the truth, but he decided he wanted to lie and try to put me in prison for the rest of my life for defending myself."

Sen. Dahm said he hopes his bill’s passage will ensure that what happened to Rittenhouse never happens to anyone else:

"Kyle Rittenhouse should never have been charged. The video evidence from early on showed it was lawful self-defense. It is our duty to protect the rights of the people we represent, and the right to self-defense is paramount. This bill will ensure that what happened to Kyle Rittenhouse cannot happen to the people of Oklahoma.”
 
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hunybee

Veteran Member
It's a, definite, move in the right direction. I'd like it even better if the offending D.A. we're on the hook for the cost of compensation rather than the tax paying citizens

and THAT right there is the issue. it needs to personally hurt when people do wrong. when they break the law trying to hurt another. when they abuse their power and position. it should hurt personally. the consequences should be painful directly, and indirectly.
 

SquonkHunter

Geezer (ret.)
and THAT right there is the issue. it needs to personally hurt when people do wrong. when they break the law trying to hurt another. when they abuse their power and position. it should hurt personally. the consequences should be painful directly, and indirectly.
So long as there is no price to pay these malicious prosecutions persecutions will continue. Make them pay! :mad:
 

gunnersmom

Veteran Member
How long can this country turn a blind eye to robbing, raping, looting and killing on the one hand, while needlessly procecuting those of another mind set who are against robbing, raping, looting and killing and simply want to defend their own liberty and that of their community? We cannot live in a world that allows trash to run free and loot and kill with abandon and expect level headed citizens to stand by without defending life and property. Something's gotta give here.
 

Jackpine Savage

Veteran Member
I think Andrew Branca, self defense lawyer, might be the originator of idea.

Kyle's Law: Sign up

WHY KYLE'S LAW MATTERS
(Updates added 11/21/21.)

Hey folks, I’m Attorney Andrew Branca, for Law of Self Defense, and I’d like to take just a moment to talk with you about Kyle’s Law, our proposed law for stopping politically motivated prosecutions of self-defense.

Too often, rogue prosecutors bring felony criminal charges against people who were clearly doing nothing more than defending themselves, their families, or others from violent criminal attack.

We've seen this happen in the George Zimmerman trial in Florida a decade ago, in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial just completed in Kenosha WI, and in plenty of cases in between.

These are cases where there is little or no evidence inconsistent with self-defense, such that there can no good-faith reason for a prosecutor to drag that defender to trial. The only motivation of the prosecutor is personal aggrandizement and political capital.

The real problem here is that these trials are a win-win for these rogue, politically motivated prosecutors. If the trial ends in a conviction, they won the legal case.

Even if the trial ends in an acquittal, however, as the George Zimmerman and Kyle Rittenhouse trials did, the prosecutor still wins, in the form of political capital and esteem from their own social and political community. They at least "fought the good fight" as their team sees it.

With a win either way there exists zero disincentives for prosecutors to bring felony charges even in self-defense cases where the evidence and law overwhelmingly favor the defendant, and an actual conviction is all but impossible.

The consequences for the clearly innocent defender, however, are catastrophic no matter how strong his case of self-defense. For the lawful defender who finds himself the target of a rogue, politically motivated prosecutor, it's a lose-lose.

Sure, the defender with the evidence and law on his side will probably win an acquittal--but at what cost? Especially with the mainstream media having demonized the defender for a year or more prior to the trial--as a murderer, a racist, a white supremacist.

An acquittal after the trial does not make up for the loss of job, marriage, home, business, reputation, educational opportunities, and emotional stability. Indeed, many such acquitted defenders find it largely impossible to ever live a normal life again.

It's time to change this equation. It's time to compel prosecutors to have skin in the game, to have something to lose if they bring a laughably weak, yet horribly destructive, felony prosecution in a case of self-defense. And it's time to provide a path for the wrongfully prosecuted defender to get compensation for his monetary, reputational, and emotional damages.

Kyle's Law is my proposal to accomplish exactly that. This statutory proposal targets laughably weak prosecutions of self-defense cases, prosecutions so weak they can only be politically motivated, and without any real prospect of conviction.

What do I mean by "laughably weak" in a more objective sense? Well, at trial a prosecutor knows he will bear the burden to disprove self-defense beyond any reasonable doubt. Let's imagine that means he must disprove self-defense by 90% of the evidence. If the defendant is acquitted, that means the prosecutor fell short of that 90% threshold.

If they fall short of that threshold by a small amount, say 75%, that still looks like a reasonable self-defense prosecution to my lawyer's eye. Fair enough.

But what if the prosecutor at trial can't even disprove self-defense by a mere 50%? Not even by that mere majority of the evidence? That's not a little bit short of beyond a reasonable doubt, that's enormously short. To my eye that looks like a self-defense prosecution brought in the full knowledge that it lacks anything close to the legal merit needed for a conviction--in other words, like a prosecution brought for political purposes despite its obvious lack of legal merit.

What I propose is that in every self-defense case the jury instruction on self-defense includes a special question to the jury--if you the jury are acquitting this defendant on the grounds of self-defense, do you also find that the prosecution failed to disprove self-defense by a majority of the evidence?

If the jury agrees the prosecution failed to meet even this very low threshold, the defendant is immediately entitled to compensation for any losses resulting from this unfounded prosecution.

And that compensation shall be made both by the state generally and by the prosecutor personally.

First, the state generally: A self-defense defendant who qualifies under Kyle's Law would be entitled to monetary compensation from the state for legal expenses, lost wages, and all other economic costs associated with the unjust prosecution. (Washington state already has a statute that does precisely this, §9A.16.110, but it is the only state that does. This needs to expand to every state.)

Second, the prosecutor personally: A self-defense defendant who qualifies under Kyle's Law would be entitled to monetary compensation from the prosecutor personally for mental distress, emotional pain & suffering, lost economic/ business/educational opportunities, reputational damage, and so forth, plus any legal costs incurred to secure this compensation—and that means the suffering of both the defendant himself AND his immediate family. (No state currently has such a provision of law.)


Third, the charging officer: Too often I see a charging document sworn out by law enforcement officers and containing claims for which there is purportedly probable cause on which to base an arrest and prosecution, but which later turn out to be utterly non-existent (e.g., the charging document claim that George Zimmerman "racially profiled" Trayvon Martin, the basis for the second-degree malice murder charge against Zimmerman--in fact, no evidence of "racial profiling was ever offered at trial). Officers who swear out nonsense to facilitate a wrongful prosecution ought to be held accountable, but never are. Let's change that. Mere threat of perjury charge is not enough, because the prosecutor who induced the false claim is not then going to charge perjury over that very claim. What's needed is a private cause of action the wrongfully accused themselves can pursue against lying officer. (Added 11/21/21.)

Fourth, make probable cause hearings great again: The probable cause hearing is supposed to act as a screen to make sure that cases lacking substantive evidence don't make it to trial, to prevent unethical prosecutors from using the process itself as a punishment for those they dislike. Today's probable cause hearing is a joke, little more than a rubber stamp for a prosecutor, and no protection for the innocent defender at all. Let's make ALL probable cause hearings in self-defense cases into something akin to self-defense immunity hearings--if the prosecution can't disprove self-defense by a preponderance of the evidence at this pre-trial hearing, the matter is dismissed with prejudice, with such dismissal also triggering the other provisions of Kyle's Law. (Added 11/21/21.)

Further, if the State seeks to reimburse the prosecutor for this damage award, that reimbursement also becomes the property of the self-defense defendant.

Only by holding the state generally and the prosecutor personally both responsible for such cases of unjust persecution of self-defense cases can we keep these victims of violent attack from also becoming victims of an assaultive justice system.

At present, we are simply trying to raise awareness and build a community around this Kyle’s Law project—we are not seeking any funds or financing in any form from anyone, at least not yet.

If you'd like to join the still informal Kyle's Law community, without any cost or obligation at all, and simply for the purposes of being kept informed of our progress as we develop this legislative concept, I encourage you to type your email into the box below.

Thanks for your consideration of our Kyle's Law concept, and I look forward to having you join our modest, but rapidly growing, community focused on the legal defense of self-defense itself.

--Andrew

Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC
 
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