I check in regularly at OntarioHomeOwner.com for news about anything and everything related to real estate. The other day, I saw a post stating that it is now legal to use violence when protecting your home. Some background:
In 2006, Cedric Forde, a career criminal, was asleep when he was woken up by Clive McNabb, a rival of his. The two men fought, Cedric stabbed Clive, and Clive died. Cedric was charged with manslaughter in Clive’s death, and, despite claiming self-defence, was convicted. His lawyer argued the “castle doctrine”, basically that you are not required to flee your home as you might in other violent situations, but can fight back with force when it is your own residence. This argument was unsuccessful at the trial. On the appeal, however, the argument was successful, and Cedric will now have a new trial.
The castle doctrine has often been used by innocent homeowners when defending their properties. As this article in the National Post notes, however, it is not a “get out of jail free card”; in Canada, the force used to defend your home must be reasonable. Here’s hoping you never need to remember that.