V went to rear of D's house to remove the windshield wipers from D's wrecked car.
D came out of the house to protest. After a verbal exchange, D went back into the house, got a gun, and returned to the backyard.
By the time D came back, V was back in his car. D shouted that he would shoot V if he moved. V got out of his car, got a lug wrench, and started walking towards D.
D shot V in the face, killing him. D charged with second-degree murder (manslaughter, lesser included offense).
Trial court found D guilty of manslaughter.
US COA DC affirmed.
Is the right to use deadly force in self-defense available to one who provokes a conflict or is the aggressor in it?
The right to use deadly force in self-defense is not available to one who provokes a conflict or is the aggressor in it.
The right of self-defense arises only when there is necessity; when deadly force is used in defense, the necessity must be insanely high.
Conditions in which the law allows killing in self-defense…
There must have been a threat, actual or apparent, of the use of deadly force against the defender.
The threat must have been unlawful and immediate.
The defender must have believed that he was in imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury, and that his response was necessary to save himself.
These beliefs must not only have been honestly entertained, but also objectively reasonable in light of the surrounding circumstances.
One cannot support a claim of self-defense by a self-generated necessity to kill. One who is the aggressor in a conflict culminating in death cannot invoke self-defense.
A defensive killing is unnecessary if the occasion for it could have been averted by the actor.
V was leaving the scene when D came out with his gun.
An affirmative unlawful act reasonably calculated to produce an altercation foreboding serious consequences is an aggression which, unless renounced, nullifies the right to homicidal self-defense.
The common law retreat requirement is "retreat to the wall," i.e., forbids the use of deadly force by one to whom an avenue for safe retreat was open. This rule is not without exceptions. It never requires a faultless victim to increase his assailant's safety at the expense of his own.
The castle doctrine says that one who through no fault of his own is attacked in his home is under no duty to retreat. Some courts extend this rule to apply to the entirety of the defender's property, even outside the dwelling.
This cannot apply in this case because D was not blameless.