Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Objectively Reasonable Standard is a website with a lot of excellent information. An article entitled "Understanding the Objectively Reasonable Standard - Self Defense" describes an incident where an emotionally disturbed woman was fatally shot by a police officer. She ran at him with a large knife in close quarters. The author says the following about self defense:
Then there is the well-settled issue of self defense . Every person has an absolute right to self-defense. In the case at hand, the two police officers had not surrendered their individual right to self defense as a consequence of their professional occupation. The rules of self defense are clear:

1. One need not be harmed before acting.
2. One need not calculate and prioritize a hierarchy of alternatives.
3. One need not determine the underlying intent, apparent motivation or potential impairment of the attacker.
4. And if you are a law enforcement officer engaged in legitimate police activities, you need not retreat from your duty or endure unreasonable risks to your safety.
Sounds absolutely reasonable, doesn't it? Dare we hope the same standards will be applied to us if we have to use deadly force to defend our lives?

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