DC Instruction 9.503. SELF-DEFENSE—NO DUTY TO RETREAT BEFORE USING DEADLY FORCE
Criminal Jury instructions for the District of Columbia
Fifth Edition (2014)
Instruction 9.503. SELF-DEFENSE—NO DUTY TO RETREAT BEFORE USING DEADLY FORCE
The law does not require a person to retreat or consider retreating when s/he actually and reasonably believes that s/he is in danger of death or serious bodily harm and that deadly force is necessary to repel that danger. But the law does say that a person should take reasonable steps, such as stepping back or walking away, to avoid the necessity of taking a human life, so long as those steps are consistent with the person’s own safety. In deciding whether [name of defendant] acted reasonably, you should therefore consider whether s/he could have taken those steps, consistent with his/her own safety.