Reasonably necessary? Hmm…
“One punch thrown by a drunk outside a bowling alley in San Diego was enough to knock a 31-year-old former Marine unconscious in February 2003. He fell to the ground and his head hit the pavement. Two days later he died.”
“In February 2012, a 10-year-old girl in California died from injuries sustained in a fist-fight with an 11-year-old girl.”
I fear your examples, while hitting one point, are missing another important one: the proximity clause. Yes, while a single punch -could- knock you to the ground, where you could split your head open and you could die, it is not nowhere near consistent enough to occur in every day life.
The second point is another failure to meet the proximity clause; from skimming the article you linked (and then skimming the proper article, which was in a second link further in), it stated the girl suffered a blood clot to her brain several hours after the fight. Again, yes, a fist fight -could- cause this to happen, but it’s unrealistic to believe it -would- happen.
Luke reacted with far too much force for this situation, with what information the pages conveyed.
With all the news stories about it, he may have a reasonable fear of it happening, though. /devil’s advocate
The problem there is that while such things can happen, they’re so rare that no reasonable person would expect that to be a likely result of being punched once. If the guy then sat on him and repeatedly pounded his head into the ground, on the other hand…
What if you are a 90-lbs weakling with no hope to defend yourself against a guy 2-3 times your size? What if you shot him in the leg or foot? What if you just threatened him (I noticed that that was a sticky issue before)?
“Disparity of force” is a reason to believe you would suffer great bodily harm (i.e., you’re an old lady against a strapping young fella, or you’re a strapping young fella being threatened by a group of thugs).
Shooting someone in any part of their body, or even intending to (and missing) is considered “use of deadly force”, meaning there’s no such thing as a ‘warning shot’, or ‘shoot to wound’.
Threatening deadly force is only justifiable if the use of said force is also justifiable.
The above statements are “usually”, local laws vary, I’m not a lawyer, etcetera etcetera.
Paraphrase from my state’s laws (YMMV):
You are never allowed to use lethal force JUST to save yourself a bare-hands assault, UNLESS:
1- You are under justifiable fear of death, maimage, or permanent bodily harm;
2- You are a woman and under justifiable fear of sexual assault;
3- The assailant attempts to take your gun.
In short- if Billy Bob the Big Bad Biker swings a bare fist at my face, I can dodge or use nonlethal self-defense (E.G. Butudahed, Mace, taser) or- and better yet- run like a bunny; if he pins me down and starts pounding my head against the concrete (creating a justifiable fear of permanent physical injury) or if he sees my CCW and tries to grab it from its holster, or if my name was Donna instead of Dave and he commences to tear my clothes off, the rules change and B5-even though he’s still barehanded- might just have made a mistake.
Disparity of force cases are a little more iffy and frankly depend a lot on which state you’re in and if the DA is up for reelection but out on the extremes (say, B5 beating up on my 85-year-old wheelchair-bound father rather then myself) there’s a little more benefit of the doubt.
Does it really specify that only a woman may use force to defend against rape?
Probably not but a lot of juries are likely to think so, so it might as well.
Another problem is that the would-be assailant has said too much: he said he’s a wanted criminal, and he’s offered a beating pretty much just because he damn well feels like it. Thus, a reasonable person could worry that he might not stop kicking you when you’re down, so to speak.
That’s the one that I worry about. I basically have to bet my life that the person attacking me is going to stop when I go down. I am not comfortable making that bet. I suppose a “reasonable person” would be.
That’s what’s called an “over-reaction”. Most of the time, someone punching you is not trying to kill you – if you want to kill someone, you use a weapon. If someone is just punching you, then using non-lethal force to stop them isn’t usually considered to be an unreasonable risk. If you fail and he starts stomping on you, then can you shoot him, I think.
If only Luke had allowed his assailant to finish that quote.
Darren Wilson et al beg to differ…
Maybe he’d hang in whatever time period this is set in, but nowadays, I don’t believe any state would give the death penalty for this (surely only second-degree murder, since there’s no premeditation element).
If I was on the jury, there would be no conviction. This is clearly self defense. “Bare knuckles” is only a matter of degree, a credible threat of grievous bodily harm was made and was immediately acted on. Luke had milliseconds to act and the law does not require him to accept his beating just because he *might* not be killed from it.