TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Self-defense can make the difference between a murder conviction and what we just saw in Florida, a man being set free after killing a 17 year old.
Now, some in Indiana think the Hoosier state needs to make a change to its own self-defense law.
The law in Indiana is known as stand your ground. It came into effect in 2006. It allows a person to use deadly force against an attacker and most importantly states that an individual does not have a duty to retreat, including against public officers.
Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt is one of a few attorneys who has first-hand experience with Indiana's Stand your Ground law.
He looked at a case where a homeowner shot and injured two people, who were accused of breaking into that man's house.
"The whole intent is that if you think someone is going to harm you seriously or kill you, you should have a right to protect yourself," said Modesitt.
The tricky wording in the law is if a person "reasonably believes" they're in danger, something that can be extremely difficult to prove beyond the shadow of a doubt.
The law states a person is justified in using deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat "if the person reasonably believes that that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or the commission of a forcible felony."
"You have to almost go into that person's head and decide what reasonably should they have thought or believed at the time in taking whatever action they took."
Now, the case with George Zimmerman is leaving at least one Hoosier representative calling for the law to be reviewed next legislative session.
Democrat Clyde Kersey agrees that there needs to be discussion when an incident like this happens, no matter where it takes place.
"When there's something like this comes up in another state, I think it's our responsibility to look at what our law calls for and whether we need to make some changes to it."
It's important to note the charges filed for a self-defense incident are determined strictly by the prosecutor. Modesitt says he will only go after a charge he thinks is just and attainable.
It's important to note the stand your ground law was never used in Zimmerman's case, a self-defense argument was.
To see the exact wording of the law, click here .
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