As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

Any Lawyers?

GuffreyGuffrey Registered User regular
edited November 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
I am doing a speech over "Make My Day" laws. For those who don't know, Make My Day laws give homeowners the right to use deadly force against any unlawful intrusion into their home. I learned about these laws in my Criminal Law class, and am using it as the topic of a speech for Speech Communication.

There is one part I do not understand though. For the homeowner, the law makes them immune from civil charges brought against them. I understand this just fine. But it also says it creates an "affirmative criminal defense" for them. Is this an advantage? If so, why? I understand an affirmative criminal defense is when the defendant admits what they did was wrong, but that doesn't really make sense in this situation. Thank you.

Guffrey on

Posts

  • Options
    imperial6imperial6 Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    "Affirmative defenses operate to limit or excuse or avoid a defendant's criminal culpability or civil liability, even if the factual allegations of plaintiff's claim are admitted or proven."

    "Because an affirmative defense requires an assertion of facts beyond those claimed by the plaintiff, generally the party making an affirmative defense bears the burden of proof. The burden of proof is typically lower than beyond a reasonable doubt. It can either be proof by clear and convincing evidence or a preponderance of the evidence."

    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affirmative_defense

    imperial6 on
  • Options
    CrossBusterCrossBuster Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    An affirmative defense is not necessarily an admission of wrongdoing. It is an admission that all of the elements of a crime or tort have been committed by the defendant, but notwithstanding that, the defendant is not guilty or liable.

    There are 2 basic types of affirmative defenses: justification and excuse.

    A justification defense is essentially the defendant saying "yes, I did what you said I did, but it was not wrong. In fact, my conduct, under the circumstances, should be encouraged." That is, the harm that he caused was less than the harm that he prevented. Self-defense is a perfect example of justification. Other examples are defense of others, arrest, defense of property, and necessity.

    So, in the case of justification, your understanding of the meaning of an affirmative defense is slightly off. It is an admission that the defendant engaged in the conduct that would ordinarily constitute a crime, but it is not an admission that what he did was wrong.

    The other category of affirmative defenses, excuse, usually include an admission of wrongdoing. Essentially, this is the defendant saying "yes, I did what you say I did, and yes, no good came of my conduct, but for some reason, I should not be blamed." Some examples are insanity and duress.

    CrossBuster on
    penguins.png
  • Options
    GuffreyGuffrey Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Thank you very much for your help. The only information I could seem to find had to do with excuse, not justification. Thanks again, this can be locked.

    Guffrey on
This discussion has been closed.