5 levels of proof:
- Mere suspicion. Belief not founded in authenticable fact. Never act, much less use force, based on mere suspicion.
- Articulable suspicion. Means you can explain why you suspected.
- Probably cause. More than suspicion, less than certainty. Arrests are allowed based on probable cause in order to gather evidence.
- Preponderance of evidance. More than 50% sure. This is the standard applied for the burden of proof in cases of an affirmative defense.
- Beyond a reasonable doubt. A reasonable person would have no doubt about this proof.
- Beyond all doubt. This is never achieved.
Mere suspicion corresponds to condition white, articulable suspicion to yellow, probable cause to orange, and so on.
The answer to “did you shoot to kill” is always “no.” You shoot to stop the threat. Not to wound, not to kill, but to stop the evil that this man intended to do. Better than he live. Better still that he never bring more harm to others.
“Sorry” has contextual meaning. It may connote guilt if the judge is a dictionary. Don’t say you’re sorry, that you regret or that you feel remorse. It’s more complicated than that. You feel compassion, sadness, but you are not sorry to be alive. You do not regret that you will see your hypothetical grandchildren. You do not feel remorse that your wife is not a widow.
Fear: articulate the fear that prompted the shot. Absent reasonable fear there can be no justifiable use of force. Not terror, which is unreasoning. Reasonable fear. Great fear. Not panic, not terror.
The only time you can be restricted to “yes” or “no” answers is if you are treated as a hostile witness.
“Do you still beat your wife?” “Your honor, I cannot give a straight answer to a trick question, may I explain?”
“Counsel, I am well aware that I am under oath. I am equally aware that you are not.”
“Why did you threaten him?” “Counsel, I performed my duty to warn.”
Duty to warn does exist. Badguy threatens. Good people warn. That’s why it’s “DON’T MOVE” and not “Go ahead, make my day.” Clint Eastwood characters don’t have to answer to courts because they’re movie characters.
In a self-defense shooting you are always the victim. Establish that right away. Call the police immediately before the attacker can do so.