A man who had stolen beer from a convenience store before came back for more on Thursday, June 28, 2012. This time the clerk was ready for him. Now a Houston Grand Jury will decide whether to charge the clerk with a crime.
This all took place at a convenience store on Elgin. The circumstances are unclear, but sources say that the man at one point put down the beer and tried to provoke the clerk into a fight.
Some people think the use of deadly force seems excessive for a 12 pack of beer. However, a law passed in Texas in 2007 known as the Texas Castle Doctrine may well shield the clerk from any responsibility. The Castle Doctrine is a codification of the common law rule that a man has a right to use any means necessary to protect his home or “castle.” Up until 2007, there was a duty to retreat if possible before using deadly force.
The Texas Castle Doctrine creates a presumption that the use of force is reasonable and necessary when someone is unlawfully and with force entering or attempting to enter your occupied home, car, or place of business, or when someone is committing a crime against you. Furthermore, so long as you are in a place where you have a right to be, if someone uses force against you, you are not required to retreat but my stand a defend with force. Thus, this law give you the right to stand and defend your ground.
The Castle Doctrine law also shields a person from any civil liability so long as he was using lawful force. Like any presumption, this one may be rebutted–thus, it is not a “set in stone” rule. The prosecution can rebut it by showing that the act was not done in self-defense.