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Transcript of Defenses
Excuses and Justifications
Ignorance or mistake as to a matter of fact or law is a defense if: (1) the ignorance or mistake negatives the purpose, knowledge, belief, recklessness or negligence required to establish a material element of the offense.
Although ignorance or mistake would otherwise afford a defense to the offense charged, the defense is not available if the defendant would be guilty of another defense had the situation been as he supposed. (Reduction of grade and degree)
It is an affirmative defense that the actor engaged in the conduct charged to constitute an offense because he was coerced to do so by the use of, or a threat to use, unlawful force against his person or the person of another, that a person of reasonable firmness in his situation would have been unable to resist. (ACTIVITY - Should dures be allowed as a defense to murder?)
The duress defense is unavailable if the actor recklessly placed himself in a situation in which it was probable that he would be subjected to duress.
A defense puts the burden of production on the defendant.
The burden of persuasion may be added for an affirmative defense.
An affirmative defense is classically something like self-defense.
The actor accepts that they are in fact guilty, however they are not blameworthy.
Yes, I shot and killed him, but he was shooting at me first.
An excuse is just that. We excuse the actor. We find the actor's conduct morally blameworthy, however, the actor is not.
A justification is where we find the actor's conduct to be morally praiseworthy.
Except as provided below, intoxication of the actor is not a defense unless it negatives an element of the offense.
Intoxication that is (1) not self-induced or (2) is pathological is an affirmative defense if by reason of such intoxication the actor at the time of his conduct lacks substantial capacity either to appreciate its criminality [wrongfulness] or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law.
"Pathological intoxication" means intoxication grossly excessive in degree, given the amount of the intoxicant, to which the actor does not know he is susceptible.
The use of force upon or toward another person is justifiable when the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.
Deadly force is not justifiable unless the actor believes it necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily harm, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat; nor is it justifiable if:
(1) the actor provoked force; (2) the actor could retreat with complete safety (if not at dwelling or work).
I know you're all wondering where it is. For insanity, we'll turn to the common law. Common law is the guide to most courses in legal education. The old law.