California Criminal Jury Instructions (CALCRIM 2017) 

CA 507. Justifiable Homicide: By Public Officer

The defendant is not guilty of (murder/ [or] manslaughter/ attempted murder/ [or] attempted voluntary manslaughter) if (he/ she) (attempted to kill/killed) someone while (acting as a public officer/obeying a public officer’s command for aid and assistance). Such (a/an) [attempted] killing is justified, and therefore not unlawful, if:

1. The defendant was (a public officer/obeying a public officer’s command for aid and assistance);

2. The [attempted] killing was committed while (taking back into custody a convicted felon [or felons] who had escaped from prison or confinement[,]/ arresting a person [or persons] charged with a felony who (was/were) resisting arrest or fleeing from justice[,]/ overcoming actual resistance to some legal process[,]/ [or] while performing any [other] legal duty);

3. The [attempted] killing was necessary to accomplish (one of those/that) lawful purpose[s];


  1. The defendant had probable cause to believe that (
<insert name of decedent> posed a threat of death or great bodily injury, either to the defendant or to others/[or] that
<insert name of decedent> had committed ( <insert forcible and atrocious crime>/ <insert crime decedent was suspected of committing, e.g., burglary>), and that crime threatened the defendant or others with death or great bodily injury)]. <See Bench Note discussing this element.>

A person has probable cause to believe that someone poses a threat of death or great bodily injury when facts known to the person would persuade someone of reasonable caution that the other person is going to cause death or great bodily injury to another.

[An officer or employee of <insert name of state or local government agency that employs public offıcer> is a public officer.]

Great bodily injury means significant or substantial physical injury.

It is an injury that is greater than minor or moderate harm.

The People have the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the [attempted] killing was not justified. If the People have not met this burden, you must find the defendant not guilty of [attempted] (murder/ [or] manslaughter).

New January 2006; Revised April 2011, February 2012, August 2012