GA  3.05.10 Justification; Threats, Menaces Causing Reasonable Beliefs of Danger

To justify a homicide, it is not essential that there should be an actual assault made upon the defendant.

Threats, accompanied by menaces, though the menaces do not amount to an actual assault, may, in some instances, be sufficient to arouse a reasonable belief that one’s life is in imminent danger or that one is in imminent danger of great bodily injury or that a forcible felony is about to be committed upon one’s person.

Provocation by threats or words alone will in no case justify the homicide (or be sufficient to free the accused from the crime of murder) (or to reduce it to manslaughter) when the killing is done solely in resentment of the provoking words.

Whether or not the killing, if there was a killing, was done under circumstances that would be justifiable (or was done solely as a result of, and in resentment of, threats or provoking words alone) is a matter for you, the jury, to determine.

If you believe that the defendant was justified (under the instructions that the court has given you), then it would be your duty to acquit the defendant.


Facisonv. State, 152 Ga. App. 645(1) (1979)

Moore v. State, 228 Ga. 662, 663(1) (1972)

Green v. State, 195 Ga. 759(2) (1943) Smith v. State, 268 Ga. 196 (1997)