C.J.I.2d 7.21 – Defense of others

(1) The defendant claims that [he/she] acted lawfully to defend __________. A person has the right to use force or even take a life to defend someone else under certain circumstances. If a person acts in lawful defense of another, [his/her] actions are excused and [he/she] is not guilty of any crime.

(2) You should consider all the evidence and use the following rules to decide whether the defendant acted in lawful defense of another. Remember to judge the defendant’s conduct according to how the circumstances appeared to [him/her] at the time [he/she] acted.

(3) First, when [he/she] acted, the defendant must have honestly and reasonably believed that __________ was in danger of being [killed/seriously injured/forcibly sexually penetrated]. If [his/her] belief was honest and reasonable, [he/she] could act at once to defend __________, even if it turns out later that the defendant was wrong about how much danger __________was in.

(4) Second, if the defendant was only afraid that __________ would receive a minor injury, then [he/she] was not justified in killing or seriously injuring the attacker. The defendant must have been afraid that __________ would be killed/seriously physically injured/forcibly sexually penetrated]. When you decide if [he/she] was so afraid, you should consider all the circumstances: [the conditions of the people involved, including their relative strength/whether the other person was armed with a dangerous weapon or had some other means of injuring __________/the nature of the other person’s attack or threat/whether the defendant knew about any previous violent acts or threats made by the attacker].

(5) Third, at the time [he/she] acted, the defendant must have honestly and reasonably believed that what [he/she] did was immediately necessary. Under the law, a person may only use as much force as [he/she] thinks is needed at the time to protect the other person. When you decide whether the force used appeared to be necessary, you may consider whether the defendant knew about any other ways of protecting __________, but you may also consider how the excitement of the moment affected the choice the defendant made.

(6) The defendant does not have to prove that [he/she] acted in defense of __________. Instead, the prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in defense of __________.