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"According to many barstool pundits in the weeks following, and now seconded by a jury in Spokane County, killing a person as they steal property is legitimate self defense."
It certainly is, if he refuses your order to cease and desist and submit to arrest, and that is the only way to stop him --- regardless of arbitrary and frivolous decisions to the contrary by this state's Supreme Court.
The property he is stealing represents part of your life --- the hours, sweat, and talents you have invested in creating or acquiring it. In the case of an automobile it can be a significant part, and its loss can reduce the quality of your life substantially. You have no duty to passively surrender that property and absorb those losses on the specious ground that the thief's life is "more valuable" than your property, or on the even more specious ground that you are somehow responsible for the thief's behavior because as "a member of society" you have failed to provide for him. You had, and have, no duty to provide for him.
"Unfortunately, our justice system's focus on punishment and isolation over treatment . . . ."
A criminal's fellow citizens have no duty to "treat" him or "rehabilitate" him. The criminal, like all other persons, is responsible for keeping his own behavioral house in order, including respecting others' rights.
" . . . .and our culture's devaluation of people who have made mistakes."
Robbing, raping, murdering, stealing from someone is not a "mistake." It is a planned, deliberate, conscious act. Persons who commit such acts have negative value, by any rational assessment of value, and the rational response to those acts is to remove their perpetrators from the community forthwith.
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