News: “A Rare Mostly Accurate News Report on Self-Defense Law”

This article about a deadly-force self-defense trial in Alabama had a very rare instance of a journalist actually getting a description of self-defense law almost exactly right.  

It’s such a rare occurrence, I feel obliged to recognize the journalist, Jessica Barnett, for a job almost perfectly done.

In describing Alabama self-defense law in the context of deadly force, Ms. Barnett writes:

Alabama law says a person is justified in using deadly physical force to defend themselves against someone if they did not provoke the attack and they believe the person is about to use unlawful deadly physical force. They are also justified in using force if they started the encounter but effectively communicated their intent to withdraw, and the other person continues or threatens to continue the use of unlawful physical force.

The only thing I’d change in the first sentence would be to add the word “reasonably” immediately prior to the word “believe.”  The second sentence accurately described the law of regaining innocence via withdrawal and communication. 

Nice job, Jessica!


Attorney Andrew F. Branca
Law of Self Defense LLC

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