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Self Defense; Defense of another; Defense of Property

Primus

Regular Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2013
Messages
3,939
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A person is allowed to act in self-defense. If evidence of self-defense
is present, the Commonwealth must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that
the defendant did not act in self-defense. In other words, if you have a
reasonable doubt whether or not the defendant acted in self-defense, your
verdict must be not guilty.

http://www.mass.gov/courts/docs/courts-and-judges/courts/district-court/jury-instructions-criminal/6000-9999/9260-defenses-self-defense.pdf

This is 2009 version of Jury Instructions. Alot of good material with cites to relevant case law. Covers "castle doctrine", defense of others, even defense against police for excessive force. Didn't see it posted anywhere else on here. Enjoy
 

davidmcbeth

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Jan 14, 2012
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earth's crust
Is self-defense a standard defense or an affirmative defense or needs to be eliminated as an element that the state must prove.

An interesting subject matter.
 

OC for ME

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Jan 6, 2010
Messages
12,131
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White Oak Plantation
Thanks for the link.

I. SD:

Number 5: As I read it a MA citizen does not enjoy the protections of "castle doctrine" given the language of the instructions outside of a "dwelling" such as a private business. No SYG provision MA citizens are outta luck outside the home it seems.

Number 12: When pigs fly! Yes, I did read the case opinions listed. I especially liked this part:
Page 601...In such a situation, the disposition of the case depends on the application of the rules pertaining to self-defense. Thus, we conclude that where the officer uses excessive or unnecessary force to subdue the arrestee, regardless of whether the arrest is lawful or unlawful, the arrestee may defend himself by employing such force as reasonably appears to be necessary.

Page 602...Moreover, once the arrestee knows or reasonably should know that if he desists from using force in self-defense, the officer will cease using force, the arrestee must desist. Otherwise, he will forfeit his defense. (Commonwealth v. Moreira)


II. Defense of Another: Missing "up to deadly force."

III. Defense of Property: What if the property is a firearm? Do you not have the justification to use deadly force then? Another reason, in a long list, to not visit MA.
 

snatale42

Regular Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2010
Messages
90
Location
Central VA
Thanks for the link.

I. SD:

Number 5: As I read it a MA citizen does not enjoy the protections of "castle doctrine" given the language of the instructions outside of a "dwelling" such as a private business. No SYG provision MA citizens are outta luck outside the home it seems.

Number 12: When pigs fly! Yes, I did read the case opinions listed. I especially liked this part:


II. Defense of Another: Missing "up to deadly force."

III. Defense of Property: What if the property is a firearm? Do you not have the justification to use deadly force then? Another reason, in a long list, to not visit MA.
If it's a legit self defense shooting, it's a legit self defense shooting. How many people in SYG states claim SYG just to wind up in prison anyways? As long as I wasn't in Boston I wouldn't worry about it.
 
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