The question of when to use deadly force is as much a moral question as it is a judicial one. Every time you draw your weapon there are risks. It could be reasonable to use force in a violent attack situation, kidnapping, or carjacking. There has to be imminent peril and threat of possible injury or death. As long as you can articulate how you felt your life was in danger that would be your justification for self-defense. Any given person’s view of self-defense may not be how a judge or jury views the case; criminal and civil penalties are severe if the wrong judgment call is made. There is a risk in this because standing one’s ground or defending his or her castle must still be reasonable. Situations, where the need to exercise self-defense is foreseeable, should be avoided.  Where it cannot, any use of force must be reasonable and if a safe retreat is possible, that is the prudent course of action. The reason for this is clear: even if not criminally actionable, the exercise of self-defense is likely to engage costly bodily injury or wrongful death litigation. (Self Defense & Deadly Force)

The shooter’s prior criminal history and conduct would definitely be researched. A prior history of violence could influence that person’s moral judgment when it comes to an uncertain circumstance.  Their reaction may not be the same as most reasonable persons. The defendant could present character evidence regarding their own reputation if it is offered as circumstantial evidence. That would be up to the attorney’s strategy in the case. It may not be in their best interest to introduce character evidence. That would open the door for the prosecution to rebut the evidence. #selfdefense #criminaljustice #deadlyforce #standyourground


Self Defense & Deadly Force. (n.d.). Retrieved from Ciyou & Dixon, P.C.:


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