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Old March 23, 2014, 02:29 PM   #21
Frank Ettin
Join Date: November 23, 2005
Location: California - San Francisco
Posts: 9,300
Originally Posted by TimSr Ohio's castle law. Used to be you got charged with homicide, because you killed somebody, and you had to defend yourself by proving it was justifiable. Now the burden of proof is upon the state to prove it was NOT justifiable.
Have you got some legal authority for that? According to this article that was not the case as of July of 2013:
Of the 50 states in the US, 49 of them require the State to disprove a defendant’s claim of self-defense, beyond a reasonable doubt. Ohio, on the other hand, requires that the defendant prove self-defense by a preponderance of the evidence....
Also, as I have commented previously even in those States in which it's the prosecution's burden to prove a use of force was not justified self defense, the defendant still has the burden to first produce evidence making a prima facie case of self defense. Only then would the prosecution have to prove a lack of justification.

The defendant claiming self defense will not get a self defense jury instruction unless he has made a prima facie case of self defense. And even if the defendant claiming self defense doesn't have the burden of proof (only the burden of producing evidence), the less convincing he is the easier it will be for the prosecution to overcome the claim of justification.
"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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