Self-Defense Instruction Was Due

An instruction is due on request when substantial evidence supports it even where there is contrary evidence. Statutes allowed appellant to use deadly force if appellant “reasonably believe[d] that such deadly force [was] necessary to protect himself … against … any forcible felony[.]” An instruction that allowed self-defense for burglary, but not arson, deprived the jury of ruling on self-defense on the record in the light most favorable to the requested instruction. “It is all well and good to analyze the evidence on a moment by moment basis and claim the ability to parse these two individuals’ purposes and beliefs across each indivisible instant of time. Reality, however, is much different.”

State of Missouri, Respondent, vs. Samuel Jerry Whitaker, Appellant.       
(Overview Summary)       
Supreme Court of Missouri – SC98856

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