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Old October 6, 2012, 12:57 PM   #10
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 8,701
Originally Posted by Aguila Blanca
...But in reading the law in my state, it is fairly clearly stated that the use of deadly force in defense of the self is justified and, if someone is arrested and tried for homicide in a purported self-defense situation, it is the state's responsibility to prove to the jury that your use of deadly force was NOT reasonable and that your fear for your life was NOT reasonable....
Do you have a citation?

The way it usually works in States in which the defendant does not have the burden to prove justification, he at least has the burden of producing evidence to support the inference that all elements necessary for justification are present (i. e., a prima facie case), and only then would he be entitled to a jury instruction on self defense and would the prosecution thus have the burden of disproving justification. And as a practical matter, the less convincing the defendant's self defense story is, the easier it will be for the prosecution to overcome it.

And in my cursory research of Connecticut law, it appears the in Connecticut the defendant does have the burden of producing evidence of justification. In State v. Skelly, 124 Conn.App. 161 (Conn. App., 2010), the court notes (at pg. 166, emphasis added):
... a defendant has no burden of persuasion for a claim of self-defense; he has only a burden of production....
But again, that might not be much of a practical difference. The less persuasive the defendant is, the easier it will be for the prosecution to meet its burden of persuasion.
"It is long been a principle of ours that one is no more armed because he has possession of a firearm than he is a musician because he owns a piano. There is no point in having a gun if you are not capable of using it skillfully." -- Jeff Cooper
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