BOISE — A bill to put “stand your ground” case law into Idaho code has passed the House with broad support from Magic Valley lawmakers.
SB 1313, one of two Stand Your Ground bills introduced this session, would put judicial standards that already exist in case law and state jury instruction into statute.
Proposed changes to current code include expanding the definition of justifiable homicide to include someone defending their place of employment or an occupied vehicle against an intruder.
The bill would also add a presumption that a person who enters or attempts to enter a home, business or vehicle “unlawfully and by force or by stealth” has done so with the intent to commit a felony.
Supporters of SB 1313 say it would clarify justifiable homicide standards for ordinary citizens who aren’t familiar with case law or jury instruction. Some opponents say it’s not the role of the legislature to codify presumptions; others point to increases in justifiable homicides in states that have enacted Stand Your Ground laws and data suggesting such laws disproportionately affect racial minorities.
Twin Falls Prosecuting Attorney Grant Loebs has played a role in SB 1313’s passage through the statehouse. Loebs testified in House and Senate committee hearings for the bill as a representative for the Idaho Prosecuting Attorneys Association.
Rep. Sally Toone, a Democrat from Gooding, was the only Magic Valley representative to vote against SB 1313 in the House.
Rep. Scott Bedke of Oakley, Rep. Maxine Bell of Jerome, Rep. Lance Clow of Twin Falls, Rep. Stephen Hargten of Twin Falls, Rep. Clark Kauffman of Filer, Rep. Steve Miller of Fairfield and Rep. Fred Wood of Burley, all Republicans, voted in favor.
The overall vote was 54-12.