DELAWARE PATTERN CRIMINAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS
DE 5.9. JUSTIFICATION – PRIVATE CITIZEN’S: EXECUTION OF PUBLIC DUTY
The defendant has raised the defense of justification. In other words, the defendant claims that his conduct was justified.
The defense of justification is available in any one of the following three circumstances:
the defendant’s conduct was required or authorized by law or by court order; or
the defendant’s conduct was in the lawful execution of legal process, even where the court did not have authority to issue the legal process, or the legal process was defective; or
the defendant believed that the conduct was required or authorized to assist a public officer in the performance of the officer’s duties, even if the officer exceeded the officer’s legal authority.
With respect to assistance of a public officer, justification is a defense only if the defendant believed that the force used was required or authorized by a law or by court order. Therefore, the defense is available if the law defines a duty of a private citizen to assist public servants in the performance of certain of their functions, and the defendant believed that the conduct in question was required or authorized to assist a public officer in the performance of that officer’s duties. You may find the defendant guilty only if you are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not believe that the conduct used to assist a public officer was required or authorized by law.
If, after considering all the evidence tending to support this defense, you find that the evidence raises a reasonable doubt in your mind about the defendant’s guilt, you must find the defendant not guilty of the crimes charged. You must consider evidence of this defense along with all the other evidence in determining whether the State has satisfied its burden of proving the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.