An Oklahoma state lawmaker has filed a law that would hold the state accountable for “malicious prosecution” should any overzealous prosecutors try to charge a person with murder who is found to have acted in self-defense.
He’s naming the legislation, quite fittingly, “Kyle’s law” after teen Kyle Rittenhouse, who was found not guilty last week for all charges relating to an incident during riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, last summer when he was forced to defend his life and shot three people, killing two.
Thankfully, while a jury acquitted Rittenhouse, many have noted that he never should have been charged in the first place and that it appears to have been more about politics than justice.
This is why Oklahoma state Sen. Nathan Dahm, a Republican who represents Broken Arrow, wants to ensure that his constituents never find themselves facing charges for acting in self-defense.
“Kyle Rittenhouse should never have been charged. The video evidence from early on showed it was lawful self-defense,” Dahm said, according to a news release from the Oklahoma Senate. “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.”
Senate Bill 1120, or Kyle’s Law, was filed on Tuesday to “ensure Oklahomans who use self-defense won’t have to face trial for political reasons,” the release said.
“If the measure becomes law, victims of malicious prosecution would be able to receive compensation for expenses and damages,” it said.
Under Kyle’s Law, if a defendant accused of murder is found to have acted in reasonable, justifiable homicide, the state would be required to reimburse a “maliciously” accused defendant of all reasonable costs, such as lost wages, legal fees and any other expenses they incurred as part of their defense.
The legislation does specify that this is for defendants who feel they were wrongly prosecuted and that any untoward motive on the part of the prosecutors must be well-established.
To be eligible for this compensation, 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,” the news release explains. “Under the legislation, a prosecutor may be held personally liable to a claimant if malicious prosecution is established.”
If this bill was being filed in Wisconsin, we can certainly imagine that the prosecutors who filed charges against Rittenhouse would be getting a bit nervous.
As Dahn noted, it was clear from the very beginning that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense when he shot at Joseph Rosenbaum, Anthony Huber and Gaige Grosskreutz.
Rittenhouse, like others who went to Kenosha that night to provide first aid and protect private property, armed himself in self-defense, as millions of Americans opt to do every day to ensure that, if they are forced to, they will be able to defend their own lives using lethal force.
The shooting happened during a protest that was part of one of the left and the establishment media’s pet causes, the Black Lives Matter movement; CNN literally characterized the riots as “fiery but mostly peaceful.”
It was also a convenient cause with which to attach the clueless anti-gun trope that “no one needs assault rifles,” often cited by those who a) think that “assault rifle” is an actual category of firearm and b) want to ban all the scary, black guns.
In other words, it was a shooting that was quickly politicized with utter disregard for the facts. For that, a young man not only lost a year of his life that he’ll never get back, including three months in jail, but his newly gained notoriety among society’s most outraged and hateful members will likely follow him the rest of his life.
Every single American citizen has the right to protect their lives, and every single American has the right to a fair trial. Lady Justice is portrayed as being blind for a reason. Politics and public opinion should never be allowed to penetrate a fair court of law.
So much less should prosecutors be allowed to leverage the criminal justice system to ruin a person’s life for a political pet cause.