Justifiable homicide

Justifiable homicide

Justifiable homicide is the killing of one person by another that is committed without malice or criminal intent. When a person commits a justifiable homicide they are not guilty of a criminal offense. Homicide can be considered justifiable homicide if it is committed in self defense, the defense of others, while trying to prevent of serious crime, and in the line of duty. Capital punishment is also considered justifiable homicide. Preventing a prisoner from fleeing by means of deadly force may also be considered justifiable homicide.

Federal statistics indicate that the incidence of justifiable homicide decreased by 29 percent from 1992 to 2002. According to federal statistics police officers commit more acts of justifiable homicide than citizens do. There are also different circumstances surrounding justifiable homicide committed by a police officer and justifiable homicide which is committed by a private citizen.

The killing of a felon during the commission of a serious crime can be considered justifiable homicide. This kind of justifiable homicide can be committed by a police officer of a citizen. Most justifiable homicides by police involve attacks on the officer while justifiable homicide by citizens typically involves the disruption of a crime in progress. To be considered a justified homicide, the person who commits the act must reasonably believe that a serious crime is about to take place or is taking place and that such action is necessary for the prevention of the crime.

Justifiable homicide can also involve one person killing another for the purpose of self defense. If a person reasonably believes that s/he is in imminent danger of losing their life or suffering great bodily injury at the hands of another person, any self defense that results in death may be considered justifiable homicide. Usually for self defense to be considered justifiable homicide, there is a general duty to retreat if it is possible to do so (with the exception of the state of Louisiana where there is no duty to retreat). A duty to retreat may not be necessary if the justifiable homicide took place in the defendant's home or place of business.

Justifiable homicide can also be committed to protect someone else, particularly one's family members or sometimes in defense of a residence. Some state laws provide that homicide is justifiable when person who is lawfully in a home, place of business, or motor vehicle reasonably believes that the other person is attempting to make, or is making an unlawful entry into that place. It is justifiable homicide if the person believes that deadly force is necessary to prevent the intruder's entry or compel the intruder to leave. The duty to retreat may or may not apply in these cases.

If you would like to learn more about the laws in your state regarding justifiable homicide, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney in your area. A legal professional can address your legal questions about justifiable homicide, evaluate your case, and determine the best way to protect and maximize your legal interests.

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