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Both Juries Got It Right

The law in North Carolina is clear and Georgia law is very similar. Persons are not justified in using deadly force to defend themselves if they

  • Instigated the conflict

  • Used excessive force

  • Used deadly force to protect property

  • Attempted to stop or detain a suspected criminal

According to what I have read and heard, the men who were convicted in Georgia described their actions in exactly those terms. They thought the man they killed was a thief so they tried to detain him, thereby initiating the conflict. They used excessive force against an unarmed man. This is something we discuss extensively in concealed carry class. A person's life must be in danger to be justified in using deadly force in self defense.

In the Wisconsin trial, witnesses (even witnesses for the prosecution) as well as video of the incident, indicated the defendant's life was in danger. Whether it was wise for the defendant to be where he was at the time, in the vicinity of a violent protest, has nothing to do with the case. He was not charged with being foolish.


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