That Odd Duck, Ohio: Self-Defense as an Affirmative Defense (Kind Of)

Hey folks,
Of the 50 states in the US, 49 of them require the State to disprove a defendant’s claim of self-defense, beyond a reasonable doubt. Ohio, on the other hand, requires that the defendant prove self-defense by a preponderance of the evidence. Why is Ohio such an odd duck in its allocation of the burden of proof for self-defense? To understand this curiosity it is necessary to cover a little history and to really understand what is meant by the phrase “burden of proof.”

To see my usual lengthy discussion of the matter, take a look at my post over at Legal Insurrection:

That Odd Duck, Ohio: Self-Defense as an Affirmative Defense (Kind Of)

–Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew is currently in the process of planning his Fall 2013 Seminar Tours. The “Northern Tour” will run from Boston out to Ohio–two seminars, one in Columbus and the other in the Dayton/Cincinnati area are already filling up. The “Southern Tour” will run rom Boston, down the East coast, and then west to East Texas. For more information, and how to register, see Law of Self Defense Seminars/Webinars.

We are also launching a series of webinars, essentially identical to the seminars, but accessible over the internet. Anyone interested in hosting or attending a seminar anywhere along that route, or participating in a webinar, please see Law of Self Defense Seminars/Webinars to get more information.

Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense,, 2nd Edition” now available at and also at as either a hardcopy or in Kindle version.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter on @LawSelfDefense and using #LOSD2, on Facebook,, and at his blog, The Law of Self Defense.

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