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Self Defense Deadly Force, Reasonable Person, Initial Aggressor Outline

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This is an extract of our Self Defense Deadly Force, Reasonable Person, Initial Aggressor document, which we sell as part of our Criminal Law Outlines collection written by the top tier of New York University School Of Law students.

The following is a more accessble plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Criminal Law Outlines. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:

SELF DEFENSE

Concern about application in practice, especially racial biases of jurors, police, prosecutor
(Goetz)
Common Law
MPC

Nondeadly force

Justified use if reasonably believes that its use is necessary to protect himself against imminent use of unlawful force by another

Deadly force



3.04(1) Justified use if actor believes that its use is immediately necessary to protect himself against use of unlawful force by another

Justified use if actor reasonably believes (Goetz) that its use is necessary to protect himself against imminent and unlawful use of deadly force by the aggressor
Goetz:
Involved deadly force
Court rejects D's subjective "honestly believe standard, and uses objective "reasonably believe"
Because of legislative intent - referring to
NY Penal Law

3.04(2) Justified use if actor believes that its use is necessary to protect himself against death,
serious bodily harm,
kidnapping, or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat

REASONABLENESS
Why objective common law standard

Want to prevent harm to innocent people from behavior that is based on honest but unreasonable beliefs
What does the "reasonable person in the defendant's situation" incorporate?

YES physical factors/anything observable o
Physical size and appearance (because immutable)

NOT subjective personality factors o
Temperament/emotional/psychological traits (because controllable)

UNCLEAR middle factors depend on how much control and utilitarian concerns (want to deter people prone to violence)
o
Romero: culture not part of reasonableness inquiry o
Physical traits (concerns the brain) with a mental impulse component?

Ex. PTSD, traumatic brain injury,
head injury

YES because this fundamentally changes how the brain is wired and how information and situations are processed

3.09(2) QUALIFICATION (def unavailable)
If the belief of defendant is reckless or negligent and the offense only requires a reckless/negligent MR >
defense is not available

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN
MPC AND COMMON LAW

1. Immediately:
broader/longer timeframe (ex.
Domestic violence)

2. Believes: honest belief 

Definition of deadly force

NO because still can control and manage, can seek help o
Previously negative experiences?

Ex. Mugging or sexual assault or culture

YES because our brain is finely tuned to what happens to us; changes how the brain is wired and how information and situations are processed

YES/NO depending on how analogous the previous experience was

NO because line drawing problems
- how much detail about the previous experiences to bring in (Race of the people involved?)
Consider whether bringing information will aggravate jury biases o
Ex. Racial/Gender biases (ex. Bring in previous muggings, lead jury to consider racial factors)

BUT can give instruction to jury not to decide based on implicit biases

Is this actually effective?

Force likely or reasonably expected to cause death or great bodily harm

Shooting in direction of another

Definition Threat to inflict great bodily harm of threat of Sometimes list of offenses that allow you to use DF
deadly force

Deadly force summary
Common Law

MPC 3.04

1. 1.

Reasonably believe in necessity to use force

[subjective] force which actor uses with purpose of causing OR which he know to create substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily harm

Shooting in direction of another is
DF
Threats of death, serious bodily harm kidnapping,
sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat

Honestly believe in necessity to use force
(only defense in purposeful killings)
BUT if reckless/negligent in having the belief, then not a defense to a recklessness/negligence charge

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