MD CJI&C § 8.13(B). Self-Defense: Deadly Force & Duty to Retreat

MD CJI&C § 8.13(B). Self-Defense: Deadly Force & Duty to Retreat

State: Maryland

2 MD Criminal Jury Instructions and Commentary § 8.13(B)
Maryland Criminal Jury Instructions and Commentary, Third Edition
Chapter 8 DEFENSES
L. Self-Defense

CJI&C § 8.13(B). Self-Defense: Deadly Force & Duty to Retreat

Evidence has been presented that (insert name of defendant) acted in self-defense. Under certain circumstances, a person may use deadly force in self-defense. Deadly force means force that is reasonably calculated to cause serious bodily harm or death.

In order to justify (insert specific crime(s) to which the defense applies) on the basis of self-defense, all of the following four elements must exist: (insert name of defendant) must have:

(1) actually believed that [he] [she] was in imminent or immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death from [his] [her] assailant or potential assailant;

(2) had reasonable grounds for that belief;

(3) had not used any more force than was reasonably necessary to defend [himself] [herself] from the threatened or actual harm; and

(4) had not been the aggressor of the attack [unless (insert name of defendant) started the fight with non-deadly force and (insert name of victim) then escalated the fight to the deadly force level] [unless (insert name of defendant) was the aggressor using deadly force and withdrew from the confrontation and made [his] [her] withdrawal clear to (insert name of victim)].

[If you find that the defendant attacked (insert name of victim) using deadly force, but that the defendant then withdrew from the fight, and made [his] [her] withdrawal clear to (insert name of victim), and (insert name of victim) restarted the fight with the defendant, the defendant was not the aggressor, but rather was the defender and may still claim self-defense.]

[In addition, before using deadly force, the defendant is required to make a reasonable effort to retreat. You should consider all of the facts and circumstances in evidence in determining whether (insert name of defendant) made a reasonable effort to retreat as far as [he] [she] could with safety. [He] [She] was not required to retreat if: [the avenue of retreat, although a possible means of escape, was not known to [him] [her]; [retreat was unsafe] [[he] [she] was in [his] [her] home at the time of being attacked] [ (insert name of victim) was attempting to rob (insert name of defendant)]; [ (insert name of defendant)] was lawfully attempting to arrest (insert name of victim)].]

[In determining whether the defendant was justified in using force and whether the amount of force used was reasonable, you should consider all of the facts and circumstances in evidence. A belief that may seem unreasonable at first glance may actually be reasonable given the circumstances that the defendant was under at the time [he] [she] used the force.]

[Even if (insert name of victim) is the aggressor, and (insert name of defendant) is justified using deadly force in self-defense, [he] [she] may not use greater force than [he] [she] actually and reasonably believed to be necessary under the circumstances. Deadly force is reasonable if the defendant actually had a reasonable belief that the aggressor’s force was or would be deadly and that the defendant needed a deadly force response.]

In order to convict (insert name of defendant), the burden of proof is on the State to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that self-defense does not apply in this case. Therefore, the State must prove to you beyond a reasonable doubt that one of the four elements of self-defense does not exist. This means the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (insert name of defendant): (1) did not believe [he] [she] was in imminent or immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death from the assailant or potential assailant; or (2) [his] [her] belief concerning whether [he] [she] was in imminent or immediate danger of serious bodily harm or death was unreasonable; or (3) [he] [she] used more force than was reasonably necessary to defend [himself] [herself] from the threatened or actual harm; or (4) [he] [she] was the aggressor of the attack using deadly force and did not withdraw from the fight.

By | 2018-04-06T07:17:28+00:00 April 6th, 2018|Comments Off on MD CJI&C § 8.13(B). Self-Defense: Deadly Force & Duty to Retreat