OKLAHOMA CITY –Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, has filed legislation to ensure Oklahomans who use self-defense won’t have to face trial for political reasons. If the measure becomes law, victims of malicious prosecution would be able to receive compensation for expenses and damages. Dahm filed Senate Bill 1120, called Kyle’s Law, on Tuesday.
Kyle Rittenhouse was recently acquitted of all charges in the deaths of two men and the wounding of a third during a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2020. Rittenhouse had claimed self-defense in the shootings.
“Kyle Rittenhouse should never have been charged. The video evidence from early on showed it was lawful self-defense,” Dahm said. “It is our duty to protect the rights of the people we represent, and the right to self-defense is paramount. This bill will ensure that what happened to Kyle Rittenhouse cannot happen to the people of Oklahoma.”
Under Dahm’s legislation, if a person is charged with murder but is found not guilty due to justifiable homicide, the state would have to reimburse the defendant for all reasonable costs, including loss of wages, legal fees incurred, and other expenses involved in their defense. When a homicide is determined to be justified and the accused establishes that they had sustained injury due to malicious prosecution, then that person will be awarded “fair and just compensation.”
SB 1120 further states that in order to support a claim of malicious prosecution, the claimant must establish that the prosecution was instituted or instigated by the prosecutor and was without probable cause; that the prosecution had legally and finally been terminated in favor of the claimant; and that as a result of the criminal prosecution, the claimant sustained injury.
Malice may be established if the motive for the prosecution was something other than a desire to bring an offender to justice, or that it was one with ill will or hatred, or willfully done in a wanton or oppressive manner and in conscious disregard of the claimant’s rights. Under the legislation, a prosecutor may be held personally liable to a claimant if malicious prosecution is established.
For more information, contact Sen. Nathan Dahm at 405-521-5551 or email Nathan.Dahm@oksenate.gov