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Criminal Law Conversations$
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Paul H. Robinson, Stephen Garvey, and Kimberly Kessler Ferzan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199861279

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199861279.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 January 2020

Self-Defense and the Psychotic Aggressor

Self-Defense and the Psychotic Aggressor

Chapter:
(p.364) (p.365) 17. Self-Defense and the Psychotic Aggressor
Source:
Criminal Law Conversations
Author(s):

George P. Fletcher

Luis E. Chiesa

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199861279.003.0017

This chapter presents an authoritative overview of self-defense against the psychotic aggressor. More specifically, it examines whether one can justifiably kill a faultless, insane assailant to save himself or another from imminent and serious harm. It considers the disagreement among scholars as to whether the defensive response should be considered justified or merely excused, or whether the specific ground of acquittal should be self-defense or necessity. The chapter includes comments by some of the nation's top legal scholars from the field of criminal law, tackling topics such as proportionality, self-defense against wrongful attack, justification of homicide against innocent aggressors without denying their innocence, and problems with the autonomy theory of self-defense.

Keywords:   self-defense, psychotic aggressor, necessity, criminal law, proportionality, wrongful attack, justification, homicide, innocence, autonomy theory

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