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Old October 1, 2018, 11:04 PM   #9
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Join Date: January 27, 2008
Posts: 1,889
This is not legal advice:

Generally, most states have laws that allow the defense of 3rd parties, and most states allow the use of deadly force to prevent death or grievous bodily injury. Some states have a "duty to retreat" that, in simplified terms, means one should not use force if they can reasonably avoid it.

All that said, if you see multiple people severely beating another, that person is arguably in danger of death or severe injury. As such, it can be argued that force (including lethal) would be justified to end such an unprovoked attack (this is a sticking point in defense of others...sometimes you don't know who the innocent party is). As such, you would probably (but not definitely) be justified in using force to stop the attack. If no other option existed, you may be justified in using lethal force to stop the attack on the 3rd party.
***Of course, at the end of the day, you don't get to decide if what you did was legally justified. The police, DA, or jury gets to decide that!

If you do use lethal force, there is a high probability that it will incur months of legal work and tens of thousands of dollars in expenses, even if you were justified.
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