August 10, 2022

You Be The Judge And Jury

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Here’s a chance for you to be the judge and jury. Granted, the only information you are going to have comes from this story in the DesMoines Register.

Kevin Kelly is a tree farmer. Deer eat his trees threatening to put him out of business. He claims the government (DNR) won’t take care of thinning the deer herd around his farm so he thins them himself. He has been trying for a few years now to be charged with the illegal shooting of the deer so the matter will end up in the courts and be straightened out once and for all.

Kelly basically claims this.

“The right of defense of person and property is a constitutional right and is recognized in the construction of all statutes,” the Supreme Court wrote in that Pottawattamie County case. “If in this case it was reasonably necessary for the defendant to kill the deer in question in order to prevent substantial injury to his property, such fact, we have no doubt would afford justification for the killing.”

The DNR says not so fast.

“If they have $1,000 worth of damage caused by deer I can enroll them in a program to allow them to kill additional deer,” Harris said. “I work with the landowners. I have as many as 60 deer permits for one landowner in Johnson County. I have a property owner in Benton County allowed to kill 40 does on a depredation license.”

As you can already surmise, this issue is not simple and the debate gets involved and interesting. Each side presents valid claims.

Kelly has a court date of March 19, 2007. While we wait, you be judge and jury. Read the article and render a decision based on the facts of the article as best you can.

Tom Remington