LA § 6:18 Self-defense—Homicide

LA § 6:18 Self-defense—Homicide

State: Louisiana

Louisiana Criminal Jury Instructions (2017)
§ 6:18 Self-defense—Homicide

A homicide is justifiable if committed in self-defense by one who reasonably believes that he [she] is in imminent danger of losing his [her] life or receiving great bodily harm and that the killing is necessary to save himself [herself] from that danger.

The danger need not have been real as long as the defendant reasonably believed that he was in actual danger.

There are several factors that you should consider in determining whether the defendant had a reasonable belief that the killing was necessary to save himself [herself] from that danger.

(1) the possibility of avoiding the necessity of taking human life by retreat, provided however that person who is not engaged in any unlawful activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat before using deadly force to save himself [herself] from the danger of losing his [her] life or receiving great bodily harm. He [she] may stand his ground and meet force with force;

(2) the excitement and confusion of the occasion;

(3) the possibility of preventing the danger to himself [herself] by using force less than killing;

(4) the defendant’s knowledge of his assailant’s dangerous character.

[(5) any other factor which relates to the reasonable belief that the person charged is in imminent danger of losing his life or receiving great bodily harm and that the killing was necessary to save himself [herself] from that danger.]

Thus if you find:

(1) that the defendant killed in self-defense; and

(2) that the defendant believed that he was in danger of losing his [her] life or receiving great bodily harm; and

(3) that the defendant believed the killing was necessary to save himself [herself] from the danger; and

(4) that the defendant’s beliefs were reasonable in light of the circumstances; then you must find the defendant not guilty.

I. If you find that

(1) the defendant was lawfully inside a [dwelling][place of business][motor vehicle] and

(2) the person against whom the force or violence was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering or had unlawfully and forcibly entered the [dwelling][place of business][motor vehicle] and

(3) the defendant knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry was occurring or had occurred,

you should [must] presume that the defendant held a reasonable belief that the use of force or violence was necessary to prevent unlawful entry thereto [or compel the intruder to leave the [premises]][motor vehicle].]

II. If you find that the defendant was not engaged in unlawful activity and was in a place where he [she] had a right to be, the defendant had not duty to retreat before using force or violence and had the right to stand his [her] ground and meet force with force.

III. If you find that the defendant used force or violence in defense of his [her] person or property, you shall not consider the possibility of retreat as a factor in determining whether or not the defendant had a reasonable belief that such force or violence was reasonably and apparently necessary to prevent the forcible offense or prevent the unlawful entry.

Updated: 7/12/2017

By | 2017-07-12T18:53:19+00:00 August 25th, 2015|Comments Off on LA § 6:18 Self-defense—Homicide