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Home invader killed - was this self-defence or murder?

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What a fascinating case out of Alberta today (which you can read HERE)450_CFCN_invasion_080103[1].jpgTwo home invaders quickly find themselves overmatched by their intended victims. One of the intruders is killed on the spot. Another suffers life threatening stab wounds and is currently in hospital.The occupants of the home - who had been sleeping prior to the attack - escaped with minor injuries.And now police say they may lay a murder charge against the victim who fought back with deadly force.Let the howls of national protest begin."Good for him!" many are no doubt saying. "He had every right to defend his property."If we were in the United States, this issue likely wouldn't even be debated. There seems to a much different standard down south in terms of how much force a victim is allowed to use to defend themselves. (As in, as much as a victim feels is necessary)This Alberta man would likely get a pat on the back and nothing more from U.S. authorities.It's not so simple in Canada. Although a person is allowed to use self-defence, it is limited to being on a fairly even level with the threat they are facing.Of course, that may be easier said than done. A person who bursts into your home in the middle of the night could have all sorts of weapons, even if none are readily visible.It wouldn't be reasonable to expect the victim to calmly analyze the situation and then make a clear-headed choice about what, if any, weapon he or she could use in response. (Ex. - I'll see your switchblade and raise you a steak knife)It's going to be very interesting to watch how police and justice officials in Alberta handle this case. No doubt there are many facts we still don't know which could impact which way this goes.But I suspect there are many people across Canada - from curious members of the legal community to outraged citizens fed up with crime - who have very strong feels right now about what should happen.Got a thought. Post it below.

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About Mike McIntyre

Journalist, national radio show host, author, pundit and cruise director ... Mike McIntyre loves to keep busy.

Mike is the justice reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press, where he has worked since 1997. He produces and hosts the weekly talk radio show Crime and Punishment, which runs on the Corus Radio Network in several Canadian cities.

Born and bred in Winnipeg, Mike graduated from River East Collegiate and completed his journalism studies in the Creative Communications program at Red River College.

He and his wife, Chassity, have two children.

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