TULSA, Okla. — Sen. Nathan Dahm (R-Broken Arrow) filed legislation that protects Oklahomans that use self defense from facing trial.
Senate Bill 1120 (SB 1120) protects those who use self defense from trial for “political reasons.”
According to a statement from Dahm, if the measure becomes law, “victims of malicious prosecution would be able to receive compensation for expenses and damages.”
Dahm filed SB 1120 or “Kyle’s Law” on Tuesday.
“Kyle’s Law” is named after Kyle Rittenhouse — a 17-year-old boy from Illinois who fatally shot two men and wounded another in Kenosha, Wisconsin during protests over the shooting of Jacob Blake, a black man, by a white police officer.
Rittenhouse argued that he fired in self-defense after the three men attacked him. He was charged with first-degree reckless homicide, first-degree recklessly endangering safety, first-degree intentional homicide, attempted first-degree intentional homicide, possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18-years-old and first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Public reaction to the shootings were heavily polarized. Right-wing political figures hailed Rittenhouse as hero among them and pushed for his acquittal, stating that he acted in self defense. Left-wing political figures said that acquitting Rittenhouse is a miscarriage of justice and a display of racial double standards in the U.S. justice system.
Rittenhouse’s trial lasted from Nov. 2 to Nov. 15. On Nov. 19. the jury reached a unanimous verdict — Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all counts.
“Kyle Rittenhouse should never have been charged,” Dahm said. “It is our duty to protect the rights of the people we represent, and the right to self-defense is paramount. This bill will ensure that what happened to Kyle Rittenhouse cannot happen to the people of Oklahoma.”
Under this legislation, if a person is charged with murder but is found not guilty due to justifiable homicide, the state of Oklahoma would have to reimburse the defendant for all reasonable costs. This would include loss of wages, legal fees incurred and other expenses involved in their defense.
SB 1120 also states that in order to support a claim of malicious prosecution, the claimant must establish that the prosecution was “instigated by the prosecutor and was without probable cause,” according to a description of the law from Dahm’s office.
Malice may be established if the motive for the prosecution was something other than a desire to bring an offender to justice, the statement explained. Under the legislation, a prosecutor may be held personally liable to a claimant if malicious prosecution is established.
FOX23 has not obtained a copy of SB 1120 yet, since official filings for legislation begin in December. When the legislation becomes available, FOX23 will provide updates on the filing, the details of the bill and any other updates here.
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