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Old January 24, 2010, 07:28 PM   #52
C Philip
Senior Member
Join Date: January 9, 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 784
That makes sense. Thanks for explaining it.
If you claim self defense, the prosecution doesn't have to prove, at all, that you were there, that you shot the decedent or that you intended to shoot the decedent, because you will have admitted each of those element of the crime of manslaughter. If you are claiming self defense you necessarily must admit that you (1) you were there; (2) you shot the decedent; and (3) you intended to shoot the decedent. You have made a prima facie case against yourself for the prosecutor, and he doesn't have to prove any of the things he ordinarily would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. You have admitted it all.
Saying this makes it sound like it might be better not to claim self defense, leading to the question posed in this thread. Might it be better not to claim self defense and make the prosecution prove everything?
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