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Thread: WI Statutes and Use of Force...

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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    WI Statutes and Use of Force...

    Quote Originally Posted by Brass Magnet View Post
    I don't know where you got the "lesser force" idea. This is not really relevant. There is no mention of any "force continuum" that I know of in Wisconsin law as to the privilege of self defense. .
    Here you go.....
    939.48 Self−defense and defense of others. (1) A person is privileged to threaten or intentionally use force against
    another for the purpose of preventing or terminating what the person reasonably believes to be an unlawful interference with his or
    her person by such other person. The actor may intentionally use
    only such force or threat thereof as the actor reasonably believes
    is necessary to prevent or terminate the interference.
    The actor
    may not intentionally use force which is intended or likely to cause
    death or great bodily harm unless the actor reasonably believes
    that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great
    bodily harm to himself or herself
    .

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    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wisc. Stats.
    The actor may not intentionally use force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm unless the actor reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself.
    If the actor has only a gun immediately at hand then he reasonably believes that a gun in the hand is worth two in the grave.

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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    If the actor has only a gun immediately at hand then he reasonably believes that a gun in the hand is worth two in the grave.
    The actor also has 2 hands, 2 feet (best used to evade with), a head, etc.
    You illustrate an excellent point regarding those who carry a handgun and are not prepared to use anything else. Not a wise idea.
    It is not a reasonable belief that you must use a gun if that is the only weapon you possess and the use of deadly force would not otherwise be necessary.
    Last edited by Interceptor_Knight; 10-24-2011 at 12:02 PM.

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    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Brass Magnet
    I don't know where you got the "lesser force" idea. This is not really relevant. There is no mention of any "force continuum" that I know of in Wisconsin law as to the privilege of self defense. .
    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    Here you go.....

    939.48 Self−defense and defense of others. (1) A person is privileged to threaten or intentionally use force against
    another for the purpose of preventing or terminating what the person reasonably believes to be an unlawful interference with his or
    her person by such other person. The actor may intentionally use
    only such force or threat thereof as the actor reasonably believes
    is necessary to prevent or terminate the interference.
    The actor
    may not intentionally use force which is intended or likely to cause
    death or great bodily harm unless the actor reasonably believes
    that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great
    bodily harm to himself or herself
    .


    Yes, but the blue is irrelevant if we know deadly force was used. Maybe I'm not articulating my argument very well....hmm... It's all on your quote in red; "reasonableness" is what I'm saying. In the case we were talking about it, deadly force was used; therefore, the reasonableness of that person using deadly force is what's on trial. So, there's not a: "If person is unarmed, you can use a baseball bat, if they have a baseball bat, you can use a gun" type of thing. It's all about whether or not a reasonable person in the same situation would have acted as he did.


    ETA: So, "Whether a lesser force would have sufficed" as you put it...hindsight being 20/20 doesn't really matter, it's whether or not what the actor did was reasonable at the time.

    Maybe I'm just being too nit picky....or woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning....
    Last edited by Brass Magnet; 10-24-2011 at 12:22 PM.
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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass Magnet View Post
    ..... It's all about whether or not a reasonable person in the same situation would have acted as he did.

    Maybe I'm just being too nit picky....or woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning....

    The part in blue is very relevant. If the actor had the opportunity to run away but did not, they should be able to articulate why they believed this would have not stopped the "attack". If the actor had the opportunity to punch the attacker in the head but did not, they should be able to articulate why they believed this would have not stopped the "attack". This goes on....
    If the only justification for using a firearm is that they happened to possess one at the time of the confrontation then this is no justification at all.
    Also, the actor had better be able to articulate exactly what the threat was as they believed it to be.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brass Magnet View Post
    ...So, there's not a: "If person is unarmed, you can use a baseball bat, if they have a baseball bat, you can use a gun" type of thing. It's all about whether or not a reasonable person in the same situation would have acted as he did...
    Unless the person is actively physically attacking you or has already attacked you and is coming back to do you further harm, when exactly is it reasonable to shoot an unarmed person? To hit an unarmed person with a baseball bat?
    Do you see why I am a proponent of having other use of force options and having the mind set to do so?
    Last edited by Interceptor_Knight; 10-24-2011 at 12:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    The part in blue is very relevant. If the actor had the opportunity to run away but did not, they should be able to articulate why they believed this would have not stopped the "attack". If the actor had the opportunity to punch the attacker in the head but did not, they should be able to articulate why they believed this would have not stopped the "attack". This goes on....
    If the only justification for using a firearm is that they happened to possess one at the time of the confrontation then this is no justification at all.
    Also, the actor had better be able to articulate exactly what the threat was as they believed it to be.

    Unless the person is actively physically attacking you or has already attacked you and is coming back to do you further harm, when exactly is it reasonable to shoot an unarmed person? To hit an unarmed person with a baseball bat?
    Do you see why I am a proponent of having other use of force options and having the mind set to do so?
    But that's not what I'm trying to say. Yes, the actor must articulate that he feared for his life and why that he felt what he did was the most reasonable choice but it doesn't matter whether or not lesser force would have sufficed if the actors conduct is deemed reasonable at the time of the action.

    So, going full-circle, the part in blue only goes to determining whether or not a reasonable person could have reacted in the same way but does not set such a hard-line rule as a force continuum.

    For example: A person is walking through a dark alley and hears someone shout "I'm gonna kill you" and see's a menacing dark form about to spring. The dark form may appear to be holding something. The person pulls his firearm and the bad guy goes at him. The person fires. Later it is determined that the bad guy didn't have a weapon and could have been subdued with a kick to the groin but it doesn't matter because a reasonable person could have acted in the same way as the victim.
    Last edited by Brass Magnet; 10-24-2011 at 12:39 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass Magnet View Post
    So, going full-circle, the part in blue only goes to determining whether or not a reasonable person could have reacted in the same way but does not set such a hard-line rule as a force continuum..
    It does. If a reasonable person would believe that a lesser force would be effective in the same situation then deadly force is clearly not justified (necessary). The self defense statute does not protect the hyper-sensitive individual or one who is not willing to consider a lesser force.
    Also, you may never use deadly force to defend property. Just because you were robbed before does not justify deadly force used against another robbery unless there was an imminent threat to your life presented during the robbery.
    It was because Vegas was robbed (attempted) at gun point that Concealed Carry and the use of deadly force was justified for him.
    Last edited by Interceptor_Knight; 10-24-2011 at 12:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    It does. If a reasonable person would believe that a lesser force would be effective in the same situation then deadly force is clearly not justified (necessary). The self defense statute does not protect the hyper-sensitive individual or one who is not willing to consider a lesser force.
    I was beginning to think I was arguing semantics but I see it's not now.

    Yes, it doesn't protect a hyper-sensitive individual but it also doesn't use the other extreme end of the spectrum to pronounce judgment. The criteria is not "if ANY reasonable person would have acted differently" it's if a reasonable person could have reasonably acted in the way that he/she did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    Also, you may never use deadly force to defend property. Just because you were robbed before does not justify deadly force used against another robbery unless there was an imminent threat to your life presented during the robbery.
    It was because Vegas was robbed (attempted) at gun point that Concealed Carry and the use of deadly force was justified for him.
    On property we agree, at least in this state. Though; I disagree on principle. I'm not sure why you bring Vegas into the discussion though.
    Last edited by Brass Magnet; 10-24-2011 at 01:02 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass Magnet View Post
    I was beginning to think I was arguing semantics but I see it's not now.

    Yes, it doesn't protect a hyper-sensitive individual but it also doesn't use the other extreme end of the spectrum to pronounce judgment. The criteria is not "if ANY reasonable person would have acted differently" it's if a reasonable person could have reasonably acted in the way that he/she did.



    On property we agree, at least in this state. Though; I disagree on principle. I'm not sure why you bring Vegas into the discussion though.
    If you are judged by 12 and those 12 do not believe it was reasonable to shoot an unarmed person in the scenario presented to them by the case at hand, it is not going to go in your favor.

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    Herr Heckler Koch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass Magnet View Post
    On property we agree, at least in this state. Though; I disagree on principle. I'm not sure why you bring Vegas into the discussion though.
    It is relevant, both in a general sense of discussing the use of deadly force and in relation to quotes by the media.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    If you are judged by 12 and those 12 do not believe it was reasonable to shoot an unarmed person in the scenario presented to them by the case at hand, it is not going to go in your favor.
    Well, yeah that's a given; but we are arguing the law and the criteria with which the jury is supposed to base it's decision. Whether they decide one way or the other is completely irrelevant.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    It is relevant, both in a general sense of discussing the use of deadly force and in relation to quotes by the media.
    As protection of property is not an affirmative defense to murder in this state I fail to see the relevance to the current conversation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herr Heckler Koch View Post
    A toe tag and carried by six is a sure thing with no appeal in this life.
    Not a justification for killing without an imminent threat...
    Perhaps some people are better off just staying at home where they are "safe" and others are safe from them if they can not deal with real world confrontations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass Magnet View Post
    Well, yeah that's a given; but we are arguing the law and the criteria with which the jury is supposed to base it's decision. Whether they decide one way or the other is completely irrelevant.
    It is completely relevant if the standard of reasonable person lies in the opinion of those 12. In other words, it is irrelevant whether members of a gun forum believe something to be reasonable because it is likely that most of those on the jury will not be gun nuts nor 2nd amendment enthusiasts, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass Magnet View Post
    As protection of property is not an affirmative defense to murder in this state I fail to see the relevance to the current conversation.
    Because someone may (has) state that the reason they carry is because they have been robbed before. If their mind set is that they will use their firearm if they believe they may be robbed even if there is no imminent threat to their life then their actions do not meet the reasonable person standard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    It is completely relevant if the standard of reasonable person lies in the opinion of those 12. In other words, it is irrelevant whether members of a gun forum believe something to be reasonable because it is likely that most of those on the jury will not be gun nuts nor 2nd amendment enthusiasts, etc.
    There's no reason to devolve into discussing intangibles when there is a relevant conversation of the law at hand. Doing so is disingenuous. Either it's the law or it isn't. Those 12 are instructed as to what the law is.
    Last edited by Brass Magnet; 10-24-2011 at 01:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    Because someone may (has) state that the reason they carry is because they have been robbed before. If their mind set is that they will use their firearm if they believe they may be robbed even if there is no imminent threat to their life then their actions do not meet the reasonable person standard.
    Once again, this is a given under Wisconsin law but has no bearing on the reasonableness standard. If the person was in fear of losing his property; tough luck, because it's not a defense for murder. If the person being robbed was in fear for his life, then he may be privileged to use self defense.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass Magnet View Post
    .. If the person being robbed was in fear for his life, then he may be privileged to use self defense.
    We are back to this being a reasonable fear of an imminent threat to their life when discussing deadly force. You are privileged to use force to defend your property just not deadly force. You are privileged to use force to defend your person just not deadly force in the absence of an imminent threat to your life. In the absence of being threatened with a weapon or what you reasonably believe to be a weapon it is difficult to articulate and justify what the imminent threat to your life was.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass Magnet View Post
    .. Those 12 are instructed as to what the law is.
    Since the law does not explicitly define what conduct meets the reasonable standard it is left to the jury to decide was is/was reasonable in the case at hand. I can not recall a case where a Wisconsin jury has been sympathetic to the use of deadly force against an unarmed person who has not physically attacked the actor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    The actor also has 2 hands, 2 feet (best used to evade with), a head, etc.
    You illustrate an excellent point regarding those who carry a handgun and are not prepared to use anything else. Not a wise idea.
    It is not a reasonable belief that you must use a gun if that is the only weapon you possess and the use of deadly force would not otherwise be necessary.
    You have to be able to articulate reasonable explanation, which would include that you exhausted other options (if any were available, and if they were not, then you must be able to articulate why). You can kill someone or cause great bodily harm with a single punch or kick to the right place. What if your attacker is well trained in hand to hand combat? Are you supposed to guess? So if anything is going to escalate to physical confrontation, you better have your gun drawn before they land any blows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    If the actor had the opportunity to punch the attacker in the head but did not, they should be able to articulate why they believed this would have not stopped the "attack".
    A single blow to the head can kill or permanently injure someone. In fact, an intentional blow to the head can be (and has been) considered as intent to use deadly force.

    Unless the person is actively physically attacking you or has already attacked you and is coming back to do you further harm, when exactly is it reasonable to shoot an unarmed person? To hit an unarmed person with a baseball bat?
    Do you see why I am a proponent of having other use of force options and having the mind set to do so?
    And again, you have no idea what kind of physical or hand to hand combat training the other person has had. If you wait until the point that physical contact has been made, it may already be too late.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    If you are judged by 12 and those 12 do not believe it was reasonable to shoot an unarmed person in the scenario presented to them by the case at hand, it is not going to go in your favor.
    Which is why it is up to you to reasonably articulate why you did what you did. That doesn't mean you had to include considering options of "lesser force".

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    Founder's Club Member Brass Magnet's Avatar
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    Look,
    We started out talking about your comment in the other thread that if lesser force would have sufficed, self defense with deadly force is a crime. I stated that I believe that to be untrue because of the reasonableness standard. Then we got into what goes into the reasonableness standard as far as the law is concerned which is fine. But now you are going of on tangents. The jury is informed of the law and the case law relevant to the topic at hand. They are instructed as to what is privileged or unprivileged conduct. What they decide has no bearing on the standard. THAT is the law, that is what I wanted to discuss; right or wrong.

    Discussing this with you is like trying to hit a hummingbird with a lawn dart.
    Last edited by Brass Magnet; 10-24-2011 at 02:20 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmwguy11 View Post
    .. You can kill someone or cause great bodily harm with a single punch or kick to the right place. What if your attacker is well trained in hand to hand combat? Are you supposed to guess? So if anything is going to escalate to physical confrontation, you better have your gun drawn before they land any blows.
    You are going to have an extreme uphill battle trying to convince a jury to see as reasonable your belief in an imminent threat to your life was based on the remote possibility that your attacker was Chuck Norris...
    Seriously, it is not reasonable to pull a gun in a fist fight unless you are an unwilling participant and they have caused or are likely to cause great bodily harm. If you are standing toe to toe with someone to defend your honor or that of another, you are screwed...
    It is not reasonable to stick around and swap blows with someone when they threaten a fist fight. You should be running in the other direction as your first course of action.
    There would be a metric ton of bodies piled up if every time someone shoved me, punched me, etc and/or threatened to kick my butt during my life I simply drew a handgun and shot them. It simply is not a reasonable response.

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