¶ … Legality of Booby Traps
A property owner should most certainly not be allowed to utilize booby traps on his or her property, even if he or she has provided notice to intruders. There are too many negative consequences that booby trapping can present -- many of which might be unintended. Additionally, there are other ways that property owners can protect their property than by utilizing booby traps, which are tactics for use in martial encounters and not for daily civil ones. The plethora of other means by which a property owner can defend his or her property (without involving booby traps), and the negative consequences that individuals can incur because of booby traps supports the notion that individuals should not use these ploys to guard their property.
One can argue that the crux of this particular issue is a judgment in value. Whether or not booby traps -- even when proper signage informing individuals of their presence -- are usable in society largely depends on whether or not the value of private property is greater than the value for human life. Specifically, this value judgment must assess whether or not the right to defend...
A look at legal precedents seems to indicate that the human life is more valuable than the rights to property. This fact is well documented in the case of Katko v. Briney. In this particular case, the defendant had booby trapped a dilapidated residence in which he still quartered goods. The plaintiff broke into the home and was injured by a shotgun blast from a booby trap. The plaintiff sued the defendant on the grounds of the use of deadly force and injuries. The court decided that utilizing deadly force in such a setting was not lawful, regardless of signage notifying trespassers of the trap (Burgess-Jackson, 2012, p. 1). This case helped to solidify the fact that there is a higher valuation for human life than there is for defending property.
Moreover, there are other court cases that help to buttress the fact that booby traps are not lawful for defending property, because they place a higher esteem for personal property than they do for human life. In the case of McComb v. Connaghan, there was a wrongful…
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