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Bishop v. State
Supreme Court of Georgia
356 S.E.2d 503 (1987)
In response to several break-ins of his trailer, Robert Bishop (defendant) positioned a high-powered rifle on two chairs with the barrel pointed toward the trailer’s front door, known as a spring gun or trap gun. A string was attached to the door knob that was connected to the trigger so that the weapon discharged if someone opened the front door. While Bishop was at work, James Freemen attempted to enter Bishop’s trailer and the rifle discharged. Freeman was struck by either a ricocheting bullet fragment or a piece of flying metal. Freeman later died. Bishop was convicted of malice murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. Bishop appealed, arguing that his use of the spring gun was justified.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Gregory, J.)
Dissent (Smith, J.)
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