40 Out of 50 Indiana State Senators Sign Amicus Brief Supporting Right to Use Force to Resist Unlawful Police Entry

The brief supporting the petition for rehearing was filed in Barnes v. State, the decision Orin blogged about last month. The brief was also signed by 31 of the 100 Indiana House of Representatives members, but the overwhelming support in the Senate struck me as especially striking.

The brief argues that the Indiana self-defense statute, which allows the use of force “if the person reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person’s unlawful entry of or attack on the person’s dwelling, curtilage, or occupied motor vehicle,” is applicable whether the unlawful entrant is an ordinary citizen or a police officer. Neither the Barnes majority nor the dissent cited this statute, and my quick look through the briefs suggests that the parties didn’t mention it on appeal; I suspect that means they didn’t bring up at trial, either.