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Thread: How Much Injury Is Required Before Self-Defense is Justified? Branca's Legal Insurre

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    How Much Injury Is Required Before Self-Defense is Justified? Branca's Legal Insurre

    Blog discussion by an apparent attorney litigator.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/06...-is-justified/
    Note those words: “resisting any attempt”. You need not wait until the harmful act has been completed, or has even begun its application. You are permitted to use deadly force under the circumstances described to resist even a mere attempt to murder you or to commit a felony upon your person or upon your home where you shall be. Any requirement that you first suffer disabling injury? No. Any requirement that you first suffer trauma sufficient to cause bruises that last longer than a day, or even half a day? No. Any requirement that you first suffer so much as the slightest scratch of your skin? No, no, no.
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    First of all, I won't visit a site called "legalinsurrection.com."

    But I will answer the titular question independent of anything said on that site.

    No injury is required before one can legally defend himself. It will vary from State to State, the particulars of a situation that gives rise to lawful self-defense. However, I know of no State that requires actual injury before one may defend himself. There may be such a State law somewhere, but that would be an irresponsible law. I would not live in such a State that does not recognize my right to defend myself from what a reasonable man would see as an imminent threat to life or limb.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Q. Dear Dr. Drew, My opponent is swinging a 5 and a half foot long, antique broadsword at my neck with all the power of the Mighty Casey at the bat .... How deep a cut to my neck must I first suffer before stopping my opponent?

    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    First of all, I won't visit a site called "legalinsurrection.com."
    I have no problems at all visiting a website owned by a Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Securities Law Clinic at Cornell Law School.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 07-01-2013 at 11:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    First of all, I won't visit a site called "legalinsurrection.com."

    .
    Why not? Would you visit a site called "illegalinsurrection" instead?

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    Quote Originally Posted by georg jetson View Post
    Why not? Would you visit a site called "illegalinsurrection" instead?
    It is merely on his personal global ignore list. Works for me!
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Campaign Veteran marshaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    It is merely on his personal global ignore list. Works for me!
    Ironic. I was just thinking how nice it would be if there was a global ignore list with eye95 being the top entry. Global as in I could finally stop reading his posts, secure in the knowledge that nobody else is either.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul View Post
    Ironic. I was just thinking how nice it would be if there was a global ignore list with eye95 being the top entry. Global as in I could finally stop reading his posts, secure in the knowledge that nobody else is either.

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    Regular Member EMNofSeattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    First of all, I won't visit a site called "legalinsurrection.com."

    But I will answer the titular question independent of anything said on that site.

    No injury is required before one can legally defend himself. It will vary from State to State, the particulars of a situation that gives rise to lawful self-defense. However, I know of no State that requires actual injury before one may defend himself. There may be such a State law somewhere, but that would be an irresponsible law. I would not live in such a State that does not recognize my right to defend myself from what a reasonable man would see as an imminent threat to life or limb.
    You did not include a quote stating why you won't visit the website, and are acting immature, below the standards expected of OCDO

    ...moving on
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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marshaul
    I was just thinking how nice it would be if there was a global ignore list...
    Not too long ago I learned that there actually is such a thing here on OCDO.

    And since I can't read the post, I'll answer the title, pretty much as others have:
    The standard in every law I've seen is that the person reasonably be in fear of death or great bodily harm.
    I've never seen a law saying one must actually suffer any harm.

    That is, of course, completely different from trial results & how a jury might think.
    I think many people (who don't think through the ramifications of their position) expect that someone at least have been beaten up some before using force, esp. deadly force, in self-defense.
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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    I'm an armed man, a visibly armed man, armed with a deadly weapon.

    If you assault me, I'm going to reasonably assume that you believe you can best an armed man in a fight. Further, I'm going to assume that the only reason to assault a man armed with a deadly weapon is to gain control of the deadly weapon.

    Following from the above, I'm going to further assume that your attempting to gain control of a deadly weapon is so that you may then use said deadly weapon.

    Since you and I are the only ones fighting, I'm going to assume that you intend to use a deadly weapon on me.




    I'm going to do my darndest to make you assume the "laying on the ground with a sucking chest wound" position.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 07-01-2013 at 02:04 PM.

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    sucking chest wound
    Don't all chest wounds suck?
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper1 View Post
    Don't all chest wounds suck?
    Ironic 'humor' aside, no, a sucking chest wound is a very specific injury that allows air into the pleura. Properly called a pneumothorax. A tension pneumothorax is real trouble, when a the damaged tissue makes a check valve that fills the pleural space and collapses the lung.

    My racetrack medical services director, Chief Quack, invented the (Dr. Norm) McSwain Dart for emergency reduction of tension pneumothorax.
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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    First of all, I won't visit a site called "legalinsurrection.com."

    .
    I'm not scared .. went to the site. A name is just a name.

    Found it humorous ... the state almost saying that the injuries were not injuries at all ... like a nice massage ... nice & pleasant experience, right?

    One need not be subjected to any injury to use deadly force ... use it to prevent injury that is apparently coming if action is not taken.

    the witnesses for the state are soooo bad..even their "experts". Experts in showing how bad a case that they have I guess.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    Not too long ago I learned that there actually is such a thing here on OCDO.

    And since I can't read the post, I'll answer the title, pretty much as others have:
    The standard in every law I've seen is that the person reasonably be in fear of death or great bodily harm.
    I've never seen a law saying one must actually suffer any harm.

    That is, of course, completely different from trial results & how a jury might think.
    I think many people (who don't think through the ramifications of their position) expect that someone at least have been beaten up some before using force, esp. deadly force, in self-defense.
    The statutory standard seems to be "apprehending fear of imminent" death or serious bodily injury, not actually suffering the injury.

    Case law coming from state appellate/state supreme courts seems to be splitting hairs between "immediate" and the much further off "imminent". And they are basing it all on what that mythical beast "a reasonable person" would apprehend. They generally do not care to become in the

    But the question itself is flawed, because self defense is about preventing the injury in the first place, not about seeking to inflict retaliation for an already-received injury. That a criminal defense attorney mounting a self defense-based defense aginst a charge of murder would not/does not see that is unconscionable.

    There is a certain criminal defense attorney who says they would (paraphrasing) rather defend a client who admitted he shot the victim, intended to shoot the victim, and intended the victim to become dead before he (the defendant) did. No "I was in fear for my life" BS, either. A simple "when the victim did this, that, and the other I apprehended I was in danger of becoming dead or seriously hurt by those actions, so I did stuff to prevent myself from becoming dead or seriously hurt." Cold-blooded, emotionless reason.

    All he has to do is go up to each member of the jury and ask if they would apprehend they were in danger of becoming dead or seriously hurt if they did not stop him from doing this, that, and the other. (All that requires is explaining the difference between apprehension, thinking, feeling, and fearing.)

    stay safe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    The statutory standard seems to be "apprehending fear of imminent" death or serious bodily injury, not actually suffering the injury.

    Case law coming from state appellate/state supreme courts seems to be splitting hairs between "immediate" and the much further off "imminent". And they are basing it all on what that mythical beast "a reasonable person" would apprehend. They generally do not care to become in the

    But the question itself is flawed, because self defense is about preventing the injury in the first place, not about seeking to inflict retaliation for an already-received injury. That a criminal defense attorney mounting a self defense-based defense aginst a charge of murder would not/does not see that is unconscionable.

    There is a certain criminal defense attorney who says they would (paraphrasing) rather defend a client who admitted he shot the victim, intended to shoot the victim, and intended the victim to become dead before he (the defendant) did. No "I was in fear for my life" BS, either. A simple "when the victim did this, that, and the other I apprehended I was in danger of becoming dead or seriously hurt by those actions, so I did stuff to prevent myself from becoming dead or seriously hurt." Cold-blooded, emotionless reason.

    All he has to do is go up to each member of the jury and ask if they would apprehend they were in danger of becoming dead or seriously hurt if they did not stop him from doing this, that, and the other. (All that requires is explaining the difference between apprehension, thinking, feeling, and fearing.)

    stay safe.
    These two words, immediate and imminent, are frequently used interchangeably but of course, as you inferred, they do have different meanings. Immediate being infers an action which is upon someone right now or is so close to taking place that it might as well be occurring. Imminent speaks of an action that is likely to occur at any moment. Personally, I much prefer imminent when given the luxury of this option since that word implies I may have more time to take a decision as to whether or not to employ my firearm and then to act upon that decision.

    As to the "certain criminal defense attorney", I have heard him speak of what you wrote quite a few times in various phraseology and admire the fact that he doesn't mince words with this one.
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    Possibly a reasonable defense against a murder or manslaughter charge should be, "Would the attacker have been charged with Felony Assault (or equivalent) if he had not been stopped by the victim?"
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    From Front Site:
    "Disparity of Force is defined as a situation that any reasonable person would conclude places you at an overwhelming disadvantage in your effort to protect yourself against immediate and serious bodily injury.

    Here are some examples of Disparity of Force:

    Large man against small man.
    Able bodied man against disabled man.
    Man against woman.
    Two or more men against one man.
    Two or more juveniles against one man or one woman.
    Man or woman known to have training in the martial arts against untrained man or woman.
    Again, your adversaries (even in a disparity of force situation) must be demonstrating the ability, opportunity, and intent to inflict immediate and serious bodily injury to you or those around you in order to justify shooting."
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    Quote Originally Posted by golddigger14s View Post
    From Front Site:
    "Disparity of Force is defined as a situation that any reasonable person would conclude places you at an overwhelming disadvantage in your effort to protect yourself against immediate and serious bodily injury.

    Here are some examples of Disparity of Force:

    Large man against small man.
    Able bodied man against disabled man.
    Man against woman.
    Two or more men against one man.
    Two or more juveniles against one man or one woman.
    Man or woman known to have training in the martial arts against untrained man or woman.
    Again, your adversaries (even in a disparity of force situation) must be demonstrating the ability, opportunity, and intent to inflict immediate and serious bodily injury to you or those around you in order to justify shooting."
    In Virginia, I believe the word imminent is used.

    One thing that is so often overlooked in all of this is what constitutes serious or grave bodily harm. The OP present some information which could be taken a little light. So what is serious or grave bodily harm. I have heard two attorneys describe what this means.

    • Lacerations.
    • Broken bones.
    • Contusions.
    • Burns.
    • Disfigurement.
    • Temporary unconsciousness.
    • Bullet/knife wounds.


    I'm sure there are more but these are good reference points.
    Last edited by SouthernBoy; 07-02-2013 at 05:30 PM.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Blog discussion by an apparent attorney litigator.

    http://legalinsurrection.com/2013/06...-is-justified/
    Ha, ha, yeah, that would be me, I wrote that. :-)

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    This message does NOT constitute legal advice.

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    I would have brought in a chunk of concrete a 6 foot 4 inch athlete, and asked the so called expert if she would like to demonstrate how insignificant the injuries were.
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