The Line between Reasonable and Unreasonable Force



The main argument would be that he/ she used more than reasonable force, but when we look at it in terms of punches and kicks, how is one supposed to tell how much force will stun someone, or kill another person. From this, one cannot help but notice how sketch an equivocal the definitions can be. A real-life example of this is also seen in George Zimmerman’s case he was arraigned for murder because he shot to death a youth who was beating him up. According to his lawyer, he will not go for the stand your ground law defense as many expected which states that: “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity, and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony”. Despite this law being more recent than the retrospective self-defense one, it still falls short in representing my hypothetical killer, as well as Zimmerman. This is because the use of the term reasonable assumes the participants will be in a position or will have time to reason. In most cases, it comes down to the initial victim’s perception which is often “my life or theirs”. It also does not protect one from the bias that often results based on the age, reputation an often the race of the final victim.