Vermont Jury Instructions


The issue of defense of another is presented, as justification for the killing of (victim)_______________.  The State bears the burden of proving that the killing was unlawful.  A killing committed in lawful defense of another is lawful, and not a crime.  Here the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that (Def)_______________ did not act in defense of another.  (Def)_______________ has no burden of proof on this issue.

A person may lawfully use deadly force in the just and necessary defense of the life of [his] [her] [wife] [husband] [parent] [child] [brother] [sister] [master] [mistress] [servant] [guardian] [ward].  If the necessary relationship exists, (Def)_______________’s acts in defense of (third person)_______________ were justified, if (third person)_______________ was in danger of being killed, or of receiving great bodily harm, or if (third person)_______________ reasonably appeared to be in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.

(Def)_______________’s actions in killing (victim)_______________ were legally justified by defense of (third person)_______________ if:

(1)  (Third person)_______________ was (Def)_______________’s [wife] [husband] [parent] [child] [brother] [sister] [master] [mistress] [servant] [guardian] [ward]; and

(2)  (Def)_______________ reasonably believed that [his] [her] use of force was necessary for the defense of (third person)_______________; and

(3)  Under the circumstances, as they were reasonably perceived by (Def)_______________, (third person)_______________ would have had the right to use deadly force to protect [himself] [herself].

 Once the issue of defense of another appears in the case, the burden is on the State to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that (Def)_______________’s actions were not justified by the defense of (third person)_______________.  (Def)_______________ bears no burden of proof on this issue.