Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Eugene Volokh has a post on this topic at The Volokh Conspiracy:
This is an interesting and complicated question, which Prof. Alafair Burke (Huffington Post)discusses in some detail; I thought I’d also discuss it, with some overlap with Prof. Burke’s analysis.
. . .
But what if D does something that’s noncriminal, but nonetheless foreseeably triggers a violent reaction by V, and then D uses deadly force to protect himself against that reaction?
. . .
The general answer in most states, as best I can tell, is that the law tends to conclude that D loses his right to lethal self-defense on grounds of provocation only if he had the specific purpose of provoking V into threatening D with death or serious bodily injury, so that D would have an opportunity to kill or seriously injure V. If D simply knew that it was very likely that V would react violently, that is not enough.