What is it “Reasonable” to Fear in Terms of Death or Grave Bodily Harm?

Gun Culture 2.0

The law of self-defense holds that individuals can justifiably use lethal force in self-defense when they reasonably fear death or grave bodily harm/injury. Reasonableness here will of course be determined in the legal system, by a prosecutor, a grand jury, a judge, or if it goes that far, a jury.

Those who know — Massad Ayoob, Andrew Branca, Marty Hayes — stress the importance of being able to articulate why it was reasonable to fear death or grave bodily harm in a particular circumstance. The Ability-Opportunity-Jeopardy (AOJ) Triad is frequently invoked as a framework for understanding this reasonableness (I have mentioned it here and here and here).

Photo montage courtesy of BNPS.CO.UK Photo montage courtesy of BNPS.CO.UK

I was reminded of how broad the “ability” criterion is this morning when I read that another soccer referee in the United States has died from being punched. I immediately recalled the case of the 17…

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