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Sent: Thursday, January 25, 2001 6:58 PM
S.C. Attoney General Backs Homeowners on Defense
By JACK JONES, Associated Press Writer
COLUMBIA, S.C.--People defending their homes against
invasion should not be arrested or prosecuted, the state attorney general said in a memo that followed an outbreak of break-ins. "I am today declaring open season on home invaders. That season is year-round," Charlie Condon said Wednesday. South Carolina state law lets people defend their homes.
The memo, sent to local prosecutors, sheriffs and police chiefs, came after a rash of home invasions in North Charleston and elsewhere. Condon noted a Columbia man used a sword to kill an intruder last week.
"Defenders of property do not have time to weigh options or consider consequences," Condon wrote. "We as prosecutors and law enforcement should back homeowners to the hilt."
Condon believes people will understand that his statements do not permit deadly force to resolve other situations, spokesman Robb McBurney said. "Reasonable people can see the difference," he said.
Anderson County Sheriff Gene Taylor agreed. "I hope nobody misuses the concept," Taylor said. "But I wouldn't mind seeing a few burglars dropped."