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Anti-Self-Defense Bill Introduced in the Washington House

Monday, April 11, 2011

House Bill 2067, introduced by state Representative Ross Hunter (D-48), would repeal the existing Washington law that provides for the reimbursement of legal defense costs to law-abiding citizens who are charged with a crime but found not guilty by reason of self-defense.  Here is actual language from the law that is proposed to be repealed:  “No person in the state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting by any reasonable means necessary, himself or herself, his or her family…  When a person charged with a crime…is found not guilty by reason of self-defense, the state of Washington shall reimburse the defendant for all reasonable costs…”

Self-defense is a fundamental right that can be weakened by overzealous prosecution.  Current law provides an incentive for prosecutors to give serious consideration to whether the accused has a viable claim of self-defense before the prosecution begins.  The repeal of HB 2067 would remove an important check and balance in Washington’s legal system.

HB 2067 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Ways & Means Committee this Wednesday, April 13 at 3:00 p.m.  Please contact your state Representative TODAY, by calling the toll-free legislative hotline, (800) 562-6000, and respectfully urge him or her to OPPOSE this anti-self-defense bill.  If your state Representative sits on the House Ways & Means Committee, please refer to the list below and call and e-mail their office directly.  If you need help identifying your state Representative, please click here.

House Ways & Means Committee:

Representative Ross Hunter (D-48), Chairman
(360) 786-7936
ross.hunter@leg.wa.gov

Representative Jeannie Darneille (D-27), Vice Chairman
(360) 786-7974
j.darneille@leg.wa.gov

Representative Bob Hasegawa (D-11), Vice Chair
(360) 786-7862
bob.hasegawa@leg.wa.gov

Representative Gary Alexander (R-20)
(360) 786-7990
gary.alexander@leg.wa.gov

Representative Barbara Bailey (R-10)
(360) 786-7914
barbara.bailey@leg.wa.gov

Representative Bruce Dammeier (R-25)
(360) 786-7948
bruce.dammeier@leg.wa.gov

Representative Ed Orcutt (R-18)
(360) 786-7812
ed.orcutt@leg.wa.gov

Representative Reuven Carlyle (D-36)
(360) 786-7814
reuven.carlyle@leg.wa.gov

Representative Bruce Chandler (R-15)
(360) 786-7960
bruce.chandler@leg.wa.gov

Representative Eileen Cody (D-34)
(360) 786-7978
eileen.cody@leg.wa.gov

Representative Mary Lou Dickerson (D-36)
(360) 786-7860
marylou.dickerson@leg.wa.gov

Representative Kathy Haigh (D-35)
(360) 786-7966
kathy.haigh@leg.wa.gov

Representative Larry Haler (R-8)
(360) 786-7986
larry.haler@leg.wa.gov

Representative Bill Hinkle (R-13)
(360) 786-7808
bill.hinkle@leg.wa.gov

Representative Zack Hudgins (D-11)
(360) 786-7956
zack.hudgins@leg.wa.gov

Representative Sam Hunt (D-22)
(360) 786-7992
sam.hunt@leg.wa.gov

Representative Ruth Kagi (D-32)
(360) 786-7910
ruth.kagi@leg.wa.gov

Representative Phyllis Gutierrez Kenney (D-46)
(360) 786-7818
phyllis.kenney@leg.wa.gov

Representative Timm Ormsby (D-3)
(360) 786-7946
timm.ormsby@leg.wa.gov

Representative Kevin Parker (R-6)
(360) 786-7922
kevin.parker@leg.wa.gov

Representative Eric Pettigrew (D-37)
(360) 786-7838
eric.pettigrew@leg.wa.gov

Representative Charles Ross (R-14)
(360) 786-7856
charles.ross@leg.wa.gov

Representative Joe Schmick (R-9)
(360) 786-7844
joe.schmick@leg.wa.gov

Representative Larry Seaquist (D-26)
(360) 786-7802
larry.seaquist@leg.wa.gov

Representative Larry Springer (D-45)
(360) 786-7822
larry.springer@leg.wa.gov

Representative Pat Sullivan (D-47)
(360) 786-7858
pat.sullivan@leg.wa.gov

Representative J.T. Wilcox (R-2)
(360) 786-7912
jt.wilcox@leg.wa.gov

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