Wisconsin Jury Instruction Criminal (WJIC)
805 Privilege: Self-Defense: Force Intended or Likely to Cause Death or Great Bodily Harm — § 939.48
[INSERT THE FOLLOWING AFTER THE ELEMENTS OF THE CRIME ARE DEFINED BUT BEFORE THE CONCLUDING PARAGRAPHS.]
Self-defense is an issue in this case. The law of self-defense allows the defendant to threaten or intentionally use force against another only if:
· the defendant believed that there was an actual or imminent unlawful interference1 with the defendant’s person; and
· the defendant believed that the amount of force the defendant used or threatened to use was necessary to prevent or terminate the interference; and
· the defendant’s beliefs were reasonable.
The defendant may intentionally use force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if the defendant reasonably believed that the force used was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to (himself) (herself).
Determining Whether Beliefs Were Reasonable
A belief may be reasonable even though mistaken. In determining whether the defendant’s beliefs were reasonable, the standard is what a person of ordinary intelligence and prudence would have believed in the defendant’s position under the circumstances that existed at the time of the alleged offense. The reasonableness of the defendant’s beliefs must be determined from the standpoint of the defendant at the time of the defendant’s acts and not from the viewpoint of the jury now.
[IF RETREAT IS AN ISSUE, ADD APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTION HERE — SEE WIS JI CRIMINAL 810.]
[IF THERE IS EVIDENCE THAT THE DEFENDANT PROVOKED THE ATTACK, ADD APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTION HERE — SEE WIS JI CRIMINAL 815.]
State’s Burden of Proof
The State must prove by evidence which satisfies you beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act lawfully in self-defense.
If you are satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that all elements of [the crime charged] have been proved and that the defendant did not act lawfully in self defense, you should find the defendant guilty.
If you are not so satisfied, you must find the defendant not guilty.
[Checked December 2017]