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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Umm, Franklin, maybe you haven't heard but Wisconsin now has this law called "The Castle Doctrine"


FranklinNOW is reporting a Franklin man has been arrested for shooting at an intoxicated man outside his house. The article says:

“According to the Franklin police report:

The prowler, a 34-year-old Milwaukee man, was apparently intoxicated when he mistakenly attempted to enter a home in the 8200 block of South 100th Street at 9:15 p.m. June 21.

When the resident heard the prowler, he fired a shot at the man through the bay window of his home. His wife called police while the homeowner held the man at gunpoint.”

The article doesn’t say if the intruder was shot or suffered any injuries. Since this major element was left out of the story, I’ll assume the would-be intruder was not a shooting victim. The article concludes:

“The intoxicated man was arrested for disorderly conduct, and the resident was arrested for recklessly endangering safety.”

There’s the problem.

The uninformed might holler and scream that the intoxicated man was not inside the Franklin man’s home. Doesn’t matter.

Wisconsin’s relatively new so-called “Castle Doctrine” law took effect last December making Wisconsin the 49th state in the nation to have such a statute on the books. The law states that the actor using force is immune from civil liability if, and I quote from the statute:

“The person against whom the force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering the actor's dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business, the actor was on his or her property or present in the dwelling, motor vehicle, or place of business, and the actor knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry was occurring.”

Also:

"...the court may not consider whether the actor had an opportunity to flee or retreat before he or she used force and shall presume that the actor reasonably believed that the force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself..."

I also take issue with the FranklinNOW reporter who wrote that the intoxicated man “mistakenly attempted to enter a home.” No way.

Two plus two = 5 is a mistake. Attempting drunkenly to break into a home that isn’t yours (he was from Milwaukee and is trying to bust into a Franklin residence) is a lot more serious.

My high regard for Franklin Police Chief Rick Oliva and his department is well-documented. However, may I respectfully suggest the department re-examine Wisconsin’s current law.

Bravo to the homeowner protecting his household and family. The arrest made against him needs to be tossed, pronto.

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