Chapter Three


                          Study Guide




As you read this assigned chapter, answer the following questions:


A.   Justification


1.   Defendant receives a phone call while at home from someone that tells him his son is at a tavern, is drunk and is preparing to ride his motorcycle home.  Defendant admits he had four beers himself preceding the call.  Defendant drives to the tavern.  He has two beers while talking to his son. His son refuses to leave.  Defendant on the way home is arrested for DUI and also was found to be a persistent offender (sentenced as a felon).  Should Defendant be able to use justification for a defense?





2.   S accuses victim of making advances to S's spouse. V raises his arm to strike S who, fearing the blow, strikes first.  V sustains minor injuries.  Does S have a defense to an assault charge?



(a)  Would S have a defense to an assault charge if it were proven that the victim only raised his hand to scratch his head?




(b)  Assume that instead of striking victim, S shot and killed him.  Would S have a defense to a murder charge?




3.   Daniel and his brother Robert are not on friendly terms.  Robert had threatened to kill Daniel previously and just prior to this incident had threatened to shoot Daniel.  One evening the brothers began arguing and fighting inside of Daniel's home.  Daniel orders Robert to leave.  Robert refused and a friend of Daniel's pushes Robert out the door.  Robert then ran to his car, reached under the seat and turned to go back to the trailer.  Daniel runs toward Robert and they meet about 15 feet from the house.  Robert swings at Daniel and Daniel stabs Robert with a bayonet.  Answer the following questions.


(a)  Does Daniel have a defense to the murder of Robert?




(b)  Would it make a difference if Robert were trying to reenter the house?




(c)  Would it matter if Robert had a gas can and lighter in his hand?




4.   Donald's automobile has been stolen.  Three days later he sees it on the street with Vance sitting inside the vehicle.  Donald tries to retake the car but Vance resists.  In overcoming the resistance, Donald strikes and injures Vance.  Answer the following questions.


(a)  Does Donald have a defense to a charge of assault on Vance?



(b)  Suppose Donald argued he was arresting Vance for larceny and then used force to overcome Vance's resistance.  Would Donald have a defense to assault?  Would it matter than Vance purchased the car from what he thought was a reputable dealer only a few hours before?




B.   Use of Force


1.   Explain the degree of force a person may use when defending himself or herself or a third person from an attacker.









(a)  If a person is the initial aggressor, then that person can never be justified in using force to defend himself or herself.


True ____   False  ____



(b)  If your answer to (a) above different if A is a law enforcement officer?




2.   Explain when a person may use deadly force in defending themselves, their property or others.







3.   Explain the degree of force a law enforcement officer may use in making an arrest.







4.   Policemen H and W are dispatched on a "prowler inside" call.  H went behind the house, heard a door slam and saw someone run across the back yard.  The fleeing suspect stops at a 6' chain link fence at the back of the yard.  With a flashlight, H was able to see that the suspect was not holding a weapon.  H called out, "Halt, Police!"  The suspect begins climbing the fence and H shot him in the back of the head.  Answer the following questions.


(a)  Was this a justifiable use of force?




(b)  Would your answer be different if H had captured the suspect and had place him in a police car when suddenly the suspect bolts from the car, and the suspect is shot by Officer H.  What if the officer used non-deadly physical force to recapture the suspect?