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Response to BainsBane (Reply #94)

Fri Jul 12, 2013, 11:27 AM

112. What sort of killing is legal?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justifiable_homicide

It's called Justifiable Homicide

United States

A non-criminal homicide, usually committed in self-defense or in defense of another, may be called in some cases in the United States. A homicide may be considered justified if it is done to prevent a very serious crime, such as rape, armed robbery, manslaughter or murder. The assailant's intent to commit a serious crime must be clear at the time. A homicide performed out of vengeance, or retribution for action in the past, would largely not be considered justifiable.

In many states, given a case of self-defense, the defendant is expected to obey a duty to retreat if it is possible to do so. In the states of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Washington, Wyoming and other Castle Doctrine states, there is no duty to retreat in certain situations (depending on the state, this may apply to one's home, business, or vehicle, or to any public place where a person is lawfully present). Preemptive self-defense, cases in which one kills another on suspicion that the victim might eventually become dangerous, is considered criminal, no matter how likely it is that one was right. Justifiable homicide is a legal gray area, and there is no clear legal standard for a homicide to be considered justifiable. The circumstances under which homicide is justified are usually considered to be that the defendant had no alternative method of self-defense or defense of another than to kill the attacker.

In the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of District of Columbia v Heller, the majority held that the Constitution protected the right to the possession of firearms for the purpose of self-defense "and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home".

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