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Old 01-15-2008, 07:38 AM   #19
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,200
Re: Legal right to use Aikido in defense of yourself

Don Magee wrote: View Post
Specifies that a person: (1) is justified in using deadly force; and (2) does not have a duty to retreat; if the person reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or the commission of a forcible felony.
Emphasis mine. We'll come back to it.

Don Magee wrote: View Post
Yes, you are going to go to probably get arrested. But a good lawyer should have no problem getting you proved innocent.
If she/he is a good lawyer, he/she will not be trying to "[get] you proved innocent". It's the job of the prosecuting attorney to convince the jury that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; it's the job of the defense attorney to convince the jury that that standard has not been met. In the case where you are discovered with a dead body at your feet, the defense attorney's job will be to establish that your use of force was reasonable -- which, in this context, means that the jurors will look at the tale your attorney spins, find it credible (i.e., believe that that's what happened), and conclude that it was a reasonable course of action for you to take. Your attorney may indeed succeed in doing that, but (unless the situation is so clear-cut that the DA doesn't even bring charges, in which case you wouldn't have a defense attorney) it's not going to be "no problem". It's going to take a lot of careful work that can easily backfire. That's why they get paid the big bucks.

But yes, you are probably going to end up in court if it is not cut and dry. But I think if someone is seriously threatening you, then killing them is the only option. Of course I think our dispute in this conversation is your interpretation of the word threatening.
We don't have a dispute. Your dispute is between your interpretation of the law and what would actually happen were you to kill someone. My point is simply that you can't just say, "Oh, I thought I was in danger," and take a walk. You will have to establish in the mind of the DA that your interpretation was reasonable, or you will go to trial, and then you will have to establish in the mind of the jury that your interpretation was reasonable, or you will go to jail. That is a matter of fact, not a matter of opinion.

Here is a situation from this weekend I was involved in (no I didn't kill anyone). I was at a 2 way stop. My wife was driving. She had come to a complete stop and started her turn left. A van came up on the other side of the road, rolled though the stop light and honked at us thinking apparently he had the right of way. My wife did not stop and finished her turn. This really ticked this guy off bad, he started riding our tail, flashing his lights and screaming/giving us the finger. I laughed about how silly it was he could get that worked up about it, then I realized he was following us. We were about two blocks away, we pulled into our sub-division and drove around the block twice, he was still following us. I told my wife, that we were to pull into our drive way. If he stopped and got out, I intended to kill him. Luckly, just as I said that, he turned off and left. I spoke with my friends in law enforcement about this. They believed that I would be in every right to stop this man.
I'm surprised that they didn't suggest that a better course of action would have been to lead him to the nearest police station rather than to your home.

He was a serious threat to my wife, my property and myself. There was nothing to lead me to believe he was in his right mind, and he was following me. There was no way to know he was not armed, and I am not under any duty to flee, or retain him for police. Simply shoot first, find out what happened later.

I hope I never have to kill a person. But I am fully prepared to do so.
Yes, and I hope you sleep well after having done so, and don't afterwards consider that you might have had a third choice (or a fourth one, or a fifth one, or...) as a pointed out in your incident above -- one that would have resulted in a better outcome than killing or being killed.
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