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Missouri bill criticized as 'Make Murder Legal Act' blocked

Posted at 4:38 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 17:38:59-05

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A bill aimed at strengthening self-defense laws but dubbed the "Make Murder Legal Act" by one local prosecutor failed to advance in the GOP-led Missouri Legislature Thursday.

A Senate committee blocked the bill, which would have given shooters the benefit of the doubt that they acted in self-defense.

If passed, it would have meant that prosecutors could not bring charges against people who reasonably believed they were acting in self-defense. Police would need to find probable cause that shooters or other assailants acted unlawfully before arresting them.

Prosecutors and other law enforcement groups had warned that the change would be a significant hurdle in arresting and prosecuting violent criminals.

Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Russ Oliver, who spoke on behalf of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys during a hearing on the bill this week, called the measure the "Make Murder Legal Act."