Legal Justification to the use of Deadly Force

This is a discussion on Legal Justification to the use of Deadly Force within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; While I'm new to the site (it is great, thank you) I have a thought to share on the most basic point of concealed carry ...

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Thread: Legal Justification to the use of Deadly Force

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    New Member Array GRYGANDALF's Avatar
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    Legal Justification to the use of Deadly Force

    While I'm new to the site (it is great, thank you) I have a thought to share on the most basic point of concealed carry or the possession of a dangerous weapon at all...when is it legal to use it.
    I'm assuming the people on this site are the solid citizens.The good guys who operate under the law. If they don't like the law they change it, but that is another story. Each state has its own statute covering legal justification in the event that deadly physical force is used. If you don't know it, you should.
    Generally the acronym, "Dr Barks", covers it. That is, deadly physical force is "justified" to "prevent or terminate" a deadly threat to you or someone else in the context of: D=defense, r=Rape, B=Burglary-generally in home, a=arson, r=robbery, k=kidnap, and, s=forcible sodomy, hence, Dr Barks.
    Note the prevent or terminate aspect, so chasing the perp down the driveway as the jerk is retreating is a problem if you hunt him down and execute him. You can't drive to the local hangout, see the guy who did the dead and use deadly force...you are not preventing or terminating the crime at that point...call the police.
    Your mental state when you kill someone is generally not very relevant. Did you prevent or terminate one of the listed crimes or didn't you? Police can be wrong and still have justification, you don't have that luxury. Shooting someone without justification is murder and has criminal and civil ramifications you don't want to deal with. It is not about the lawyers and judges, it is about the law of the land and your failure to understand and live up to it.
    Best advice, keep your weapon in your pocket for all but the most obvious defense situations. Hope no one has to make the tough call to shoot another human, but if you are going to carry you must really really understand under what circumstances you are on the side of the law. Each state is different, and I'm only discussing this in a general way, ...get your own state's laws.

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    Array Chorizo's Avatar
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    +1, well said. However, mental state does have a play, especially when you are asked "Were you in fear of your life?"
    21 years and 21 days, United States Marine Corps & NRA Life Member since 1972

    "The trouble is with the increasingly widespread problem of idiots prancing around out there confusing their opinions with actual facts." peckman28

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    New Member Array GRYGANDALF's Avatar
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    I'm really talking from my state's statute, so maybe your mental state has some import in another state. But generally, it will be strangers in a jury, or a district attorney's office or a police station who will be looking at whether the facts outside of your feelings provided the legal justification for the shooting regardless of how you percieved it or felt about it. i don't know if this is right or wrong for the site, but people would be doing a service if they cut and pasted the justification statute from thier state for others to reead.

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    Ask and you will receive, the bold is my addition on section 2 that highlights state of mind.


    Idaho Statutes TITLE 18

    CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
    CHAPTER 40
    HOMICIDE
    18-4009. JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE BY ANY PERSON. Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in either of the following cases:
    1. When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,
    2. When committed in defense of habitation, property or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein; or,
    3. When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress or servant of such person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was
    the assailant or engaged in mortal combat, must really and in good faith have endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was committed;
    or,
    4. When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.
    21 years and 21 days, United States Marine Corps & NRA Life Member since 1972

    "The trouble is with the increasingly widespread problem of idiots prancing around out there confusing their opinions with actual facts." peckman28

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    Member Array Biloxi Bersa's Avatar
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    Not sure where you're going with this thread. Are you suggesting to members to research their state regulations regarding deadly force? Offering legal advice? Suggesting we do a "check up from the neck up?"

    I'd suggest that most folks in this forum have researched their applicable state regs. I'd also suggest that the attitude of most folks in this forum are of the mindset that drawing and firing is hopefully the last thing we'd ever have to do.

    Are you suggesting, based on your comments, that CCW permit holders are trigger happy?

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    Not I. Have carried for many, many years, been in condition orange several times, but never gone to red once while civilian carrying.
    21 years and 21 days, United States Marine Corps & NRA Life Member since 1972

    "The trouble is with the increasingly widespread problem of idiots prancing around out there confusing their opinions with actual facts." peckman28

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    Member Array Smooth23's Avatar
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    His post reads like an anti to me.. Besides, I thought new york was a need-to-know-someone state for ccw?

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    A common standard for the justified use of lethal force is A.O.J.: Ability, Opportunity, Jeopardy. Click on the siggy for more info.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    New Member Array GRYGANDALF's Avatar
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    Hardly an "anti", I have been a hunter for close to forty years here in the great state of New Yawk. (though have taken Elk--thank you New Mexico) I have been a concealed carry permit holder for 20 years. I "know" no one. New York CITY is another matter, I'm not a holder there. My pedigree is a diversion, the comment of a "check up from the neck up" is the goal of the post. There are many posters who are self professed young and inexperienced, reminding all hands of our laws and providing a handy acronym, Dr Barks, did not seem very threatening or a bad idea. Hope most agree.

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    Member Array denverd0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GRYGANDALF
    I'm really talking from my state's statute...
    This is the key. Anyone who carries a gun needs to know the laws in the jurisdiction where they are carrying. The laws elsewhere may be, and probably ARE, different!

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    VIP Member Array cphilip's Avatar
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    The actual criteria for use of deadly force and self defense are fairly universal and mainly case law. You can read all the state stuff too but that basic self defense is fairly universal because its based on case law.

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    Member Array gotammo's Avatar
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    I believe that state of mind goes hand in hand with the statutes as a real threat doesn't have to be present (as a threat can be real or preceived) if at the time you shot you truely believed there was at threat and in court that is what you be defending to the jury.
    If someone says they have a gun in their pocket and you shoot them was the threat real or precieved after all you did not see the gun before shooting?

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    Distinguished Member Array fed_wif_a_sig's Avatar
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    Most states I have worked in, and the federal standard is three words..."Means Opertunity and Intent.

    Did the person have the "Means", weither seen or implied that lead the person to believe that they were at risk of death of serious bodily injury to themselves or another.
    Did the person have the "Opertunity" to do such actions that would cause death or serious bodily injury. If they're 100 yards away with a pocket knife kida difficult, but at 30 feet a different story.
    Did the person have the "Intent" to cause death or serious injury. This isnt what they think its what a reasonable person would have thought based upon their words and actions.

    Some states do not allow you to defend another, only yourself and family. Some states do not allow you to protect your property (here in Texas you can use deadly force to protect your property just as the repo folks).

    It is always best to visit with your local state/county prosecutor as well as visit with your state's law enforcement certification folks. Their legal section teaches this and will usually be able to teach you in 10 minutes what the law reads.

    Good luck.
    Steve
    "Respect all ... Fear none!!!

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    Word to the wise

    Quote Originally Posted by fed_wif_a_sig View Post
    Most states I have worked in, and the federal standard is three words..."Means Opertunity and Intent.

    Did the person have the "Means", weither seen or implied that lead the person to believe that they were at risk of death of serious bodily injury to themselves or another.
    Did the person have the "Opertunity" to do such actions that would cause death or serious bodily injury. If they're 100 yards away with a pocket knife kida difficult, but at 30 feet a different story.
    Did the person have the "Intent" to cause death or serious injury. This isnt what they think its what a reasonable person would have thought based upon their words and actions.

    Some states do not allow you to defend another, only yourself and family. Some states do not allow you to protect your property (here in Texas you can use deadly force to protect your property just as the repo folks).

    It is always best to visit with your local state/county prosecutor as well as visit with your state's law enforcement certification folks. Their legal section teaches this and will usually be able to teach you in 10 minutes what the law reads.

    Good luck.
    Even though I can under my State's laws use deadly force to stop some one from stealing my house trailer (a felony), I know I wouldn't kill them over that. Steve gives us a very good rule of thumb to use and with his broad experience across States and his Fed LEO perspective, I believe you could say that it is "a word to the wise" from him.

    It would be a hard sell to any jury if you shot someone in the middle of the street if they didn't meet the "means, opportunity, intent" standard, no matter what your State laws were.
    21 years and 21 days, United States Marine Corps & NRA Life Member since 1972

    "The trouble is with the increasingly widespread problem of idiots prancing around out there confusing their opinions with actual facts." peckman28

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    Member Array TechGuy's Avatar
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    When I took my CCW class (Oct 06) it made me think long and hard about continuing with obtaining my actual permit. (I did in 12/06) We covered several situations that before the class I would have thought were justified. But according to the law, were not. And then he covered the chances of being sued by the perps family even if it was a justified shoot. (99 44/100 %) So it never hurts to re-think the situation and use this thread as a reminder every time we strap one on. And that is my 2 cents worth, if worth that much.

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