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Va. lawmakers spike 'castle doctrine' bills

Wednesday - 3/7/2012, 12:47pm  ET

RICHMOND, Va. - Legislation making it clear that Virginians can kill intruders who threaten them is dead for this year.

The General Assembly on Wednesday rejected two bills that would have written centuries of common law, known as the "castle doctrine," into the state code.

One of the bills would protect people from criminal prosecution. The House of Delegates killed the measure at the request of its sponsor. The Senate sent it back to committee, effectively killing it for the year.

The other bill would shield people who kill or maim intruders from civil lawsuits. It was sent back to committee and carried over until next year.

Lawmakers appointed to resolve differences between House and Senate versions said more study is needed to resolve unanswered questions about the consequences of the legislation.

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