谣言六十二:在美国,房屋主人可直接开枪击毙侵入者

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真相:我绝对不建议你侵入任何人的领地,因为你无法预料会发生什么。但是说一有人侵入就可以开枪不用负法律责任那绝对是胡说。这次辟谣声势浩大,用两篇文章;一篇是我多年前写的,比较简短好理解,也算有理也有据;一篇是转载,复杂但引经据典,有法律原文有判例。转载的文章的原作者是微博达人@唐律疏议,他在中国和美国的专业都是法律。

文一:

在美国,擅进私宅会被“毙掉”吗?

作者:山石(本站主人)

(注:本文发表于多年以前。)日前,电视台记者到某知名演艺人士别墅采访被打一事搞得国内舆论很是热闹。打人问题,本是很容易判别是非的治安事件,但不少网友振振有辞地说打得有理,打人算轻的了,要搁在美国,这种“私闯民宅”早就被毙了(最骇人的 说法是被爆头)。一般网友说说倒无所谓,因为基本上不存在权威性的问题,但上周有一名牌大学的知名教授在访谈节目中谈到此事也非常肯定地这样认为,说“这 要是在美国,家庭的主人拿起枪来,当场就毙掉!毙掉这是白毙的。”本来对此说就有存疑的朋友觉得有必要弄个水落石出,因此向在美国的笔者求证:在美国,什 么叫私闯民宅?主人看见不速之客到来一般能采取什么措施?能随便“爆头”吗?

美国是联邦制国家,各个州法律各异。对是否构成“侵犯”别人领地、如何处理也各有不同。但有一点相同的 是,来犯者必须是有意而为才构成侵犯,必须构成危险或者造成损失主人才能采取行动。怎么判断有意?第一种,你的领地是有围墙的,翻墙而入那肯定是有意的; 第二,你的领地没有围墙,但有明确告示说明这是私人领地不许闯入但还是进来了;第三,既无围墙也无告示,但你口头警告无效的。

在美国第二种居多,告示也确实很常见。但除了刚刚提到的“私人财产,不许侵犯”之外,底下一般还有更重 要的一句:“违者会被起诉”。这就是后果,你侵犯了人家财产,人家可以起诉你,如此而已。但主人起诉了不等于能赢,赢了不等于能得到什么赔偿。什么时候能 赢呢?来犯者对你造成精神物质损失。

能不能开枪?开枪算不算正当防卫?可以,但很少见。至少必须是主人有证据证明在开枪的那一刻来犯者对主 人的生命财产构成严重威胁才行。怎样界定又是各州不同。来犯者手持凶器比如枪支、炸药、大刀那是没有问题的。有些地方在晚上也允许向翻墙者开枪(因为黑灯 瞎火看不到是否有武器),但白天一般也要求看到武器才能开火。如果说主人开枪后搜身发现来犯者身藏枪支行不行?一般不行,这一般是相当严重的防卫过当了。

有人可能会问,如果来犯者手无寸铁,就是赖在我家门口、轰也轰不走讨厌死了,能不能打他甚至开枪?绝对不行!你唯一的选择是报警交给警察处理。

事实上,大家可以想象一下,如果那么简单就可以对来犯者“正当防卫”,开枪爆头,那美国每天应该都有人 被打甚至被杀才对吧?应该时不时看到类似的新闻吧?但没有,从一个侧面说明这个说法不合实际。其实在美国无意闯入别人领地是件很容易的事情,因为大部分美 国住宅空地很多,经常没有明显界限,很多也没有警告。

有不少说有一个日本人在美国私闯私宅被枪杀、房子主人没事。这不证明可以爆头么?(另注:也有说是中国人或者韩国人,笔者查找不到这样的例子,姑且认为是那些人记错了。)

事实如何呢?确实有这么一个日本人,也被杀了。但是,并非是无缘无故的。这是个日本小孩,刚到美国,英文说不利索。晚上穿着一身诡异的衣服去参加万圣节 (美国鬼节)聚会走错门,对方警告他,叫他别往前,哪知他竟然更快步向前去开门才被毙(一般认为他听错话了以为对方邀请他向前)。

故事发生地刚好是治安很差的地方,因此房主人心中害怕有点点理由。就算如此,大部分美国人还是觉得不可思议,大部分人也认为如果不是发生在美国最排外的州房主人不可能不受到刑事处罚。

房主人虽然没有受到刑事处罚,民事处罚还是罚得很重的,一共被判赔给死者家长 65 万美元。

有兴趣的请看死者父母给他建的网站或者维基

也就是说,就是这个名闻全球的例子里,开枪也并非无责而是被重罚,仅是无刑事责任民事责任很重;和传闻相差甚远。

美国作为第一强国,经常有人喜欢将其习惯行为,包括法律法规作为标准来比较。这倒也无妨,如果是合理的 先进的也值得学习。但可惜的是,不少说法其实和事实相差甚远、有的完全就是凭空捏造甚至颠倒是非的。但无论哪一种只要是和中国情况不一样的,在网上经常就 被津津乐道引为榜样,实在令人扼腕叹息。其实,这些说法很多非常荒谬,只需要稍稍开动脑筋思考一下即可辨别。同时,现在网络发达,只要粗通英文,这些说法 (包括本文)都很容易认证,大家不妨以后试一试。

当然无论开枪者责任多大我都不建议你去试的。

文二:本文原作者写于2013年,其中提到同性婚姻那些信息已不再完全准确,但不影响阅读。

在美国,房屋主人可直接开枪击毙非法侵入者吗?

               ——正确认识美国法律中的“城堡条款”

作者:唐律疏议

叶海燕在其工作室与多人发生纠纷。叶海燕(自称是出于自卫)用刀砍伤若干人。国内一些法律人(包括叶海燕的律师)援引英美法中的城堡条款为叶海燕砍人事件辩护,曰:依美国法律的话,对非法侵入者可直接开枪,何况只是用刀?

叶海燕的律师在微博中援引城堡条款

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叶海燕案的案情不是本文的重点。本文想说的是:关于美国法律“在美国主人可开枪击毙非法侵入者”的说法,不符合事实。

关于美国法律此说法的来源是中世纪欧洲法律的“城堡条款”(castle doctrine),其原意为:一个男人的房子就是他的城堡;他有权使用暴力(包括致死性暴力,比如直接开枪)对付侵入者。该条款内容因为涉嫌对非生命权的保护超过了对生命权的保护,因此在今天的美国,即使没有废除,其适用也已受到严格限制。

一 从法典的规定来看,城堡条款即使没有废除,其适用也已受到严格限制

首先代表美国刑事立法范本的《标准刑法典》(MPC,Model Penal Code)就已明确放弃城堡条款。美国五十个州加上联邦都有各自的刑法典。但在基本概念上的规定大同小异。美国法律协会(ALI)制定了MPC供各州在刑事立法时进行参考。MPC中的内容也确实被很多州大量借鉴。MPC本身虽非现实生效的法律,却是美国法学院学生学习刑法时必须熟悉的法典。应该说MPC可在很大程度上代表美国的刑法基本理念。

MPC 3.04条规定了自卫时使用“致死性暴力”(deadly force)的限制。其第2款b项规定:在自卫时使用致死性暴力是不合法的,除非行为人相信必须使用致死性暴力才能避免自身遭受杀害、严重身体伤害、绑架 或被强迫的性行为。此外该条还进一步规定,即使行为人碰到以上情况,如果行为人完全可以通过逃跑安然脱身的话,那么也是不允许使用致死性暴力的,除非—— 这里终于提到了一下关于住所的内容——当时行为人是在自己的住所或工作的地方。

就我们想讨论的问题而言,这里其实已经说得很清楚了。开枪自然是属于致死性暴力的。那么,只有在确信自己身处一些不开枪就要遭殃的严重情况下,法律才允许你开枪自卫。涉及你住所的条款,仅仅是免除了你的“逃跑义务”(duty to retreat),而与授权使用致死性暴力并无多大关系。

所以,如果仅仅是有人非法入侵了你的房子,必然构成上诉那些危险情况吗?显然不是。假设别人(比如一个小女孩)仅仅是走错了门,误入你家,你能直接向她开 枪吗?肯定不行。要是真开枪了,那就是谋杀,而不是自卫。因为这时虽然有人非法侵入你的住宅,但并没出现那些必须开枪才能避免的人身危险。

在实践中,美国有些州已经废除城堡条款,如康涅狄格州。康州刑法典关于自卫的规定和MPC很接近:在自卫中不允许使用致死性暴力,除非行为人合理确信 (1)对方正在或即将对自己使用致死性暴力;或者(2)对方正在或即将给自己造成严重身体伤害。而涉及住所时,仅仅免除了行为人的“逃跑义务”。(康州刑法典 Sec. 53a-19 )

有的州则比较含糊地保留了“疑似城堡条款”。比如亚利桑那州州立法典的刑法部分规定,对非法进入或使用暴力闯入者可以使用致死性暴力,但行为人必须合理确信自己有生命危险或遭受严重身体伤害的危险。(Arizona Revised Statute, Title 13, Section 418 )之所以说它是疑似城堡条款,是因为亚利桑那州的这个规定其实有些画蛇添足——当行为人合理确信自己有生命危险或遭受严重身体伤害危险时,致死性暴力本来就已可以使用,哪里还用得着管对方是否闯进你的屋子呢?

此外,即使有城堡条款的州,城堡条款的适用也受到严格限制。如俄克拉荷马州和阿拉巴马州都保留有城堡条款,它们的基本规定也非常相似,即:若碰到正在或已经闯入者,则预设房屋主人已受到致命或严重身体伤害的危险,因而可以使用致死性暴力自卫。

但是这规定的背后是极其严格的限制。

1.适用条件为,不但进入是非法的,而且必须是暴力侵入。两个州的法典中对此的用词都是“unlawfully and forcefully entering”。也就是说,如果对方是非暴力的进入(比如主人忘了关门时别人很平静地走进来了),或暴力但是合法的进入(比如警察为执行公务破门而入),都不能使用致死性暴力来对抗。

2.主人对危险状况的认识必须是“合理的”(俄克拉荷马州法典用词为“reasonable fear”;阿拉巴马州法典用词为“reasonably believe”)。如果一个小女孩在玩耍时砸了你们家窗玻璃,而你却认为这是她要暴力侵入你们家危害你的生命安全,于是你把小女孩一枪打死。那肯定是不行的。

3.法典中明确说了,只是预设(presume)非法侵入使得主人面临严重人身安全。这个词在法律上的含义是:如果对方不提供反证的话,法院即照此认定。 但如果对方提供证据证明并非如此,那么法院即可推翻这个预设。也就是说,如果将来在法庭上检控方或被害人证明当时的环境下,主人无理由认为自己面临任何人 身危险,那么开枪的主人还是要承担法律责任的。

4.此外在这两个州的法典中都规定了在某些特定情况下,即使遭遇非法暴力侵入,主人也不得使用致死性暴力。比如侵入者是你的父母、祖父母,或其他对你有合 法监护权的人时,你不能对他们开枪。又比如当别人(不一定是警察)侵入时你正在进行某些非法活动的话,你也不能使用致死性暴力来对抗。

(具体内容见阿拉巴马法典Section 13A-3-23 ;俄克拉荷马法典Title 21, Section 1289.25 )

二 实践中两个相关判例分析

使得城堡条款引起国内误解的一个重要原因是1992年发生在路易斯安那州的服部案。日本中学生因为误解而进入他人的领地,被主人开枪打死。后法院判决主人 无罪。此判决结果使很多人产生了对“对非法进入者可直接开枪”的印象。但事实上,该案发生在晚上。主人看不清进来的是谁。而且开枪之前,主人对被害人提出 大声警告。可能因为语言原因,被害人没听懂,而继续向主人靠近。主人大声让被害人站住,而被害人仍在靠近。这时主人才开枪。因此这个案情其实比较符合城堡 条款的适用条件。以当时的情况,主人相信自己正要遭受危险的这一认识是合理的。所以可以免除刑事责任。然而即使如此,在民事诉讼中,主人仍被判决向被害人 父母支付巨额赔偿。主人对此不服,一直上诉到路易斯安那州最高法院。最高法院维持原判。

可见即使从服部案中也能看出,主人是不能随便向闯入者开枪的。否则即使免除谋杀的刑事责任,也要承担侵权的民事责任。城堡条款不是说只要别人到你地盘上你就能合法地要他的命。

另一个更直接的也距离现在更近的案例发生在佐治亚州。屋主开枪打死侵入者,被判重罪谋杀(felony murder)终身监禁。事情发生在2005年。被害人Epp是房子原来的主人,9月将尚未完全完工的房子卖给了被告人McNeil。12月某日被害人来 到房子完成“要求的工作”(required work,判决书中仅仅用了这两个词,没有更多解释)。但被害人进来显然是没有经过允许的。因为被告人的15岁儿子La’Ron完全不知道有人进来,直到 他发现院子里有个人。La’Ron认为被害人是非法侵入(就算是预约了上门修水管的工人也得先敲门打招呼,怎能自说自话直接进来?)要求他离开。被害人不 肯。双方起了争执。La’Ron打电话让被告人McNeil回来,并说Epp用刀指着他。McNeil回来后,与Epp争执。这时McNeil和Epp分 别站在McNeil的地产与McNeil邻居的地产上。争执中,Epp向McNeil走来,穿过了两份地产的边界线,到达了McNeil的地上。 McNeil用枪指着Epp大声要他退后。Epp没有退后,反而继续向McNeil靠近。McNeil于是对准Epp的头部开枪。Epp当场身亡。

在法庭上,McNeil声称开枪是自卫,因为当时被害人用刀指着他。但是警方证据显示:被害人死亡的时候,裤兜里的刀是折叠好的。因此被告人开枪时并不存 在被刀刺伤的危险,不能构成自卫。最后McNeil被判重罪谋杀和终身监禁。McNeil不服,上诉到佐治亚州最高法院。州最高法院维持原判。

佐治亚州刑法典中有类似于亚利桑那州的“疑似城堡条款”。只有在以下情况才能使用致死性暴力保卫自己的住宅:进入者的进入方式是狂暴的并且该进入是为了对居住者实施暴力人身侵害;如果侵入者不是居住者的家属的话,进入必须是非法并且暴力的(unlawfully and forcibly enter,用词和前文所说阿拉巴马州和俄克拉荷马州一样);或者使用致死性暴力对抗之人合理确信进入者是为了某种实施某种重罪才进入,并且只有使用致死性暴力才能阻止。

有趣的是,州最高法院对本案持不同意见(dissent)的法官,在他的不同意见部分里提到了佐治亚州刑法典中的这个城堡条款。他认为McNeil是在自 己的领地上,向非法侵入自己领地的人开枪。这应该受到城堡条款的保护。但是多数法官尽管对此事实无异议,却不同意应该适用城堡条款的观点。因此 McNeil还是被判了重罪重刑。

后此案被重审。重审的结果是将“谋杀”的罪名改为了“故意致人死亡”(voluntary manslaughter)。仍然是重罪。不过由终身监禁改为了有期限的监禁。

从这个案例可见,城堡条款的适用是受到限制的。如前述,佐治亚州刑法典已严格限制城堡条款的适用,现在又加上州最高法院的判例(该案是佐治亚州最高法院的判决,对今后该州所有法院审理类似案件时有法律约束力),足以推翻“主人可开枪击毙非法侵入者”的说法。

小结:

本文提供了共五个州的刑法典以及《标准刑法典》中的规定,加上佐治亚州的一个实例。美国其余四十五个州的情况限于篇幅,不能一一描述。但依据本文已经提供 的资料,已足以证实在美国主人可直接开枪击毙非法侵入者的说法。即使其余四十五个州中有个别州真的存在这种法律,也不能说“在美国”是怎么样的。比如卖淫 在拉斯维加斯是合法的,能否因此说卖淫“在美国”是合法的呢?显然是不行的。因为在内华达州以外的其他州不合法。比如纽约州承认同性恋婚姻,但加利福尼亚 州不承认。能否直接下结论同性恋婚姻“在美国”是合法的还是不合法的呢?当然也是不行的。因此,基于本文已经提供的资料,可知“在美国,非法侵入住宅的, 主人可以开枪将其击毙”的说法,不正确。

加一点。2013年6月9日查到德克萨斯州的城堡条款貌似和俄克拉荷马以及阿拉巴马的一样,都是presume严重危险,如果对方unlawfully and with force enter。见德州刑法典9.31(a)

尾注:
——————

[1] MPC相关规定原文。

MPC 3.04

(1)    the use of force upon or toward another person is justifiable when the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.

(2)    (b) the use of deadly force is not justifiable unless the actor believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily harm, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat; nor is it justifiable if

(i)                 he provoked, with the purpose of causing death or serious bodily injury

(ii)               he knows that he can avoid using deadly force with complete safety by retreating or by surrendering possession of a thing to a person asserting a claim of right thereto or by complying with a demand that he abstain from any action that he has no duty to take, except that:

the actor is not obliged to retreat from his dwelling or place of work, unless he was the initial aggressor or is assailed in his place of work by another person whose place of work the actor knows it to be

[1] 康涅狄格州刑法典相关原文。

Sec. 53a-19.

Use of physical force in defense of person.

(a) Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c) of this section, a person is justified in using reasonable physical force upon another person to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of physical force, and he may use such degree of force which he reasonably believes to be necessary for such purpose; except that deadly physical force may not be used unless the actor reasonably believes that such other person is (1) using or about to use deadly physical force, or (2) inflicting or about to inflict great bodily harm.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a person is not justified in using deadly physical force upon another person if he or she knows that he or she can avoid the necessity of using such force with complete safety (1) by retreating, except that the actor shall not be required to retreat if he or she is in his or her dwelling, as defined in section 53a-100, or place of work and was not the initial aggressor, or if he or she is a peace officer, a special policeman appointed under section 29-18b, or a motor vehicle inspector designated under section 14-8 and certified pursuant to section 7-294d, or a private person assisting such peace officer, special policeman or motor vehicle inspector at his or her direction, and acting pursuant to section 53a-22, or (2) by surrendering possession of property to a person asserting a claim of right thereto, or (3) by complying with a demand that he or she abstain from performing an act which he or she is not obliged to perform.

链接http://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_951.htm#sec_53a-19

[1] 亚利桑那州法典相关规定原文。

13-418. Justification; use of force in defense of residential structure or occupied vehicles; definitions

A. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, a person is justified in threatening to use or using physical force or deadly physical force against another person if the person reasonably believes himself or another person to be in imminent peril of death or serious physical injury and the person against whom the physical force or deadly physical force is threatened or used was in the process of unlawfully or forcefully entering, or had unlawfully or forcefully entered, a residential structure or occupied vehicle, or had removed or was attempting to remove another person against the other person’s will from the residential structure or occupied vehicle.

链接可从法典官网页面进入http://www.azleg.gov/ArizonaRevisedStatutes.asp 然后点击title 13再点击13-418即可找到

[1] 阿拉巴马州法典相关规定原文。

Section 13A-3-23

Use of force in defense of a person.

(a) A person is justified in using physical force upon another person in order to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by that other person, and he or she may use a degree of force which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary for the purpose. A person may use deadly physical force, and is legally presumed to be justified in using deadly physical force in self-defense or the defense of another person pursuant to subdivision (4), if the person reasonably believes that another person is:

……

(4) In the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or has unlawfully and forcefully entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or federally licensed nuclear power facility, or is in the process of sabotaging or attempting to sabotage a federally licensed nuclear power facility, or is attempting to remove, or has forcefully removed, a person against his or her will from any dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle when the person has a legal right to be there, and provided that the person using the deadly physical force knows or has reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act is occurring. The legal presumption that a person using deadly physical force is justified to do so pursuant to this subdivision does not apply if:

a. The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner or lessee, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person;

b. The person sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used;

c. The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity; or

d. The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his or her official duties.

链接http://www.legislature.state.al.us/CodeofAlabama/1975/13A-3-23.htm

[1] 俄克拉荷马州法典相关规定原文。

Title 21,Section 1289.25

A. The Legislature hereby recognizes that the citizens of the State of Oklahoma have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes or places of business.

B. A person or an owner, manager or employee of a business is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:

1. The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, occupied vehicle, or a place of business, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against the will of that person from the dwelling, residence, occupied vehicle, or place of business; and

2. The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

C. The presumption set forth in subsection B of this section does not apply if:

1. The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner, lessee, or titleholder, and there is not a protective order from domestic violence in effect or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person;

2. The person or persons sought to be removed are children or grandchildren, or are otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used; or

3. The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, occupied vehicle, or place of business to further an unlawful activity.

链接http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=69782

[1] 该案民事判决部分在路易斯安那州第一巡回上诉法院的案例名称和编号为Hattori v. Peairs, 662 So.2d 509(1995)。在路易斯安那州最高法院的案例名称与编号为Hattori v. Peairs, 666 So.2d 322 (1996)。最高法院的判决没有写理由,仅仅驳回了上诉。上诉法院的判决书全文可在此链接中看到:http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=295642265381394386&hl=en&as_sdt=2&as_vis=1&oi=scholarr

[1] 该案在佐治亚州最高法院的案例名称与编号为McNeil v. State, 284 Ga. 586 (2008)

[1] 佐治亚州法典相关原文。

O.C.G.A.§ 16-3-23.  Use of force in defense of habitation

  A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s unlawful entry into or attack upon a habitation; however, such person is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:

  (1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner and he or she reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person dwelling or being therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence;

  (2) That force is used against another person who is not a member of the family or household and who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and forcibly entered the residence and the person using such force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred; or

  (3) The person using such force reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony therein and that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony.

佐治亚州法典链接:http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/gacode/default.asp

[1] McNeil在2013年3月假释。相关新闻链接:http://www.11alive.com/news/article/277243/3/John-McNeil-free-6-years-after-murder-conviction