JUSTIFICATIONS AS DEFENSES
Research the case of Tennessee v. Garner, 471 U.S. 1 (1985). Provide the factual background of the case, the procedural history, and the issues and analysis confronted by the court in dealing with the issue of when a law enforcement officer may use deadly force. Are the guidelines set by the court clear, or do they provide a less than bright-line standard that a law enforcement officer must decide upon in a split second?
1. Insanity Defense
A local business owner has been arrested for the nonfatal shooting of a competitor, who he said taunted him and destroyed his business reputation. The defendant is from a culture in which people who commit social wrongs make public apologies; in some cases, they commit suicide to show remorse. The defendant stated that his competitor slandered him to vendors and to customers. In addition, he refused to apologize when confronted and only laughed at the defendant. The defendant said that he was “out of his mind” with rage when he pulled the trigger. Answer the following questions:
a. Can the defendant use any affirmative defenses? Why, or why not?
b. Should the defendant be charged with any crime? Why, or why not? What crime?
You are a police detective investigating a homicide case in which the defendant shot and killed a man who had broken into her apartment and threatened to rape her. He was eight inches taller and 60 pounds heavier than she is, and she stated that she feared for her life. Answer the following questions:
a. In such a case, is lethal force justified for self-defense? Why, or why not?
b. What other factors would you consider in a case such as this?
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