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Old October 18, 2012, 10:31 AM   #49
Brian Pfleuger
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Join Date: June 25, 2008
Location: Western Colorado, finally.
Posts: 19,118
Originally Posted by dstryr
So where is the line drawn between using deadly force if the victim has a fat lip and a broken nose versus the broken eye socket and pulverized face.
There isn't a line when it's happening. That's why the law says that a person must have a "reasonable belief" of "grievous bodily harm or death".

The actual future end-result is not relevent. You can't know if the person is going to throw one punch and walk away (which could actually be fatal by itself) or if he's going to flatten your head and kill your wife.

If a reasonable person would have cause to fear grievous injury or death, deadly force is generally authorized in defense of self or others.

There are other qualifiers also but in context of your question and this scenario, that would be the standard in almost all places in the US.
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