MA CPJI §2.4.2. Defense of Another.

MA CPJI §2.4.2. Defense of Another.

State:

MA Superior Court Criminal Practice Jury Instructions-Criminal (2nd Edition, 2013)

MA CPJI §2.4.2. Defense of Another.

A person is not guilty of any crime if he acted in proper defense of another. It is the Commonwealth’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in proper defense of another. The defendant does not have the burden to prove that he acted in proper defense of another. If the Commonwealth fails to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in proper defense of another, then you must find the defendant not guilt.

The Commonwealth may satisfy its burden of proving that the defendant did not act in proper defense of another by proving any of the following three propositions beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. The defendant did not actually believe that the other person was in immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm from which the other person could save himself only by using deadly force. You need not determine whether the other person actually believed himself to be in immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm; you must focus on whether the defendant actually had that belief.

2. A reasonable person in the circumstances known to the defendant would not have believed that the other person was in immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm from which the other person could save himself only by using deadly force. You need not determine whether a reasonable person in the circumstances known to the other person would have believed himself to be in immediate danger of death or serious bodily harm; you must focus instead on what a reasonable person in the circumstances known to the defendant would have believed.

3. A reasonable person in the circumstances known to the defendant would not have believed that the other person was justified in using deadly force to protect himself.

(a) Deadly or Nondeadly Force

Deadly force is force that is intended to or likely to cause death or serious bodily harm. Nondeadly force, by contrast, is force that is not intended to or likely to cause death or serious bodily harm. You must determine whether the Commonwealth has proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant used deadly force. If you have a reasonable doubt whether the defendant used deadly force but are convinced that he used some force, then you must consider whether the defendant used nondeadly force in self-defense. If the defendant had reasonable grounds to believe he was in immediate danger of harm from which he could save himself only by using nondeadly force, and had availed himself of all reasonable means to avoid physical combat before resorting to nondeadly force, the tne defendant had the right to use the nondeadly force reasonably necessary to avert the threatened harm, but he could use no more force than was reasonable and proper under the circumstances. You must consider the proportionality of the force used to the threat of immediate harm in assessing the reasonableness of nondeadly force.

By | 2014-11-16T13:41:23+00:00 November 16th, 2014|Comments Off on MA CPJI §2.4.2. Defense of Another.