Uniform Jury Instructions — Criminal

Chapter 51. Justification and Defense

Part I.  Justifiable Homicide

NM NMRA 14-5174. Justifiable homicide; aiding public official.1 

Evidence has been presented that the killing of ________________________ (name of victim) was justifiable homicide by a person aiding a public officer or public employee if:

1.  At the time of the killing, ________________________ (name of defendant) was acting at the command and in the aid or assistance of a public officer or employee;

2.  The killing was committed while2

[overcoming the actual resistance of ________________________ (victim) to the execution of ________________________3]

[overcoming the actual resistance of ________________________ (victim) to the discharge of ________________________4]

[retaking [______________________________ (name of victim)] [a person], who committed ________________________ and who had [been rescued]5 [escaped__

[arresting [______________________________ (name of victim)] [a person] who committed ________________________6 and was fleeing from justice]

[attempting to prevent the escape from ______________________________7 of [______________________________ (name of victim)] [a person], who committed ________________________6]; and

3.  A reasonable person in the same circumstances as ________________________ (name of defendant) would have reasonably believed that ________________________ (name of victim) posed a threat of death or great bodily harm to ________________________ (name of public officer or public employee) or another person.

The burden is on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the killing was not justifiable. If you have a reasonable doubt as to whether the killing was justifiable, you must find the defendant not guilty.


1.  For use when the defense is based on Section 30-2-6 NMSA 1978. If this instruction is given, add to the essential elements instruction for the offense charged, “The killing was not justifiable homicide by a public officer or employee”.

2.  Use only the applicable bracketed phrase.

3.  Insert description of legal process being executed.

4.  Insert description of legal duty.

5.  Use only applicable parenthetical alternative.

6.  Insert name of felony.

7.  Describe circumstances and place of lawful custody or confinement.

[See also New Mexico Uniform Jury Instruction (U.J.I.) 14-5174.]