Disparity of force and use of deadly force in GA

Discussion in 'General GWL Questions' started by chp5, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. chp5

    chp5 Member

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    To be justified in the use of deadly force in GA, one must have a reasonable expectation of death or serious bodily harm. Let’s take some examples.

    Feel free to disagree, comment, etc. My intent is to discuss the concept of “disparity of force†under GA law. I know there are no bright lines when it comes to “disparity of force†– and that’s why conversation is important.

    Example 1. So, it’s only you and me – one on one. We are approximately the same age and size. I punch you in the face and have no weapon. You are not justified in drawing or shooting. In fact, even though I am the aggressor, you can have potential liability for escalating the violence.

    Example 2. Same as Example 1, but I am 20 and huge. You are 70. “Disparity of force†is likely and you may be justified in using deadly force if, based on that “disparity of forceâ€, you have a reasonable expectation of serious bodily harm.

    Example 3. Same as Example 2, but you are a 110 pound female. We likely have “disparity of forceâ€.

    Example 4. [This is the example I’m most interested in] You are in public with your wife and young children. Two thugs come up to you and your family and begin demanding money and acting like they are about to get physical. Running/retreating is not an option. One of the thugs initiates an attack without weapons on you. “Disparity of force�

    Example 5. Same as example 4, except you’re alone.


    I’ve not researched the case law on “disparity of fore†in GA, but would love to hear any insight.
     
  2. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    I always find this topic interesting too. The kicker here IMO is the absence of weapons. I would assume it would really depend on witnesses, the particular DA, etc. If I were punched in the face once and I drew my weapon then that would be vengeance after the fact. If the attack continued, then see the following specific responses.......

    Ex 1 - Take your lumps like a man. Don't draw unless you plan to shoot and I wouldn't think you would be justified unless the attacker had a weapon, was repeatedly delivering blows to the head, banging your head on the ground, etc. IMO it would be hard to convince a DA and/or jury you were justified for drawing a weapon and/or shooting as a result of a H2H fight where both parties were even reasonably similar in stature.

    Ex 2 & 3 - I would say DRAW & SHOOT the attacker, if necessary, then deal with the potential consequences.

    Ex 4 - DRAW immediately, without question. SHOOT if necessary. This is my family we are talking about. I will take my chances in court, if necessary.

    Ex 5 - Same as Ex 4. Since there are two attackers I would feel justified. I would bet there would be a rock or brick laying somewhere very near where the attacker falls.
     

  3. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    These would be darn good questions to raise on November 17.

    :wink:
     
  4. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    You did not leave any option for "pistol whip." :lol:
     
  5. Sharky

    Sharky Active Member

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    Yes absolutely for the lunch!!!!!!! I am betting we will be surprised on some of the answers we will be hearing.
     
  6. LonelyMachines

    LonelyMachines Guest

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    Not sure about this one. People can (and have) died from single blows to the head. Personally, I'm not doing anything to encourage or justify someone attacking me like that, so if it were to happen, the person would be highly agitated and/or under the influence. Any decent attorney would bring this up if it went to court.

    I'm not sure Georgia has a "disparity of force" rule, in fact. My understanding from talking to police over the years is that, if I feel my life is in danger, I'm justified in shooting. That would certainly include someone directly attacking me physically.

    Now, threatening gestures, harsh words and the like aren't justification, but if you're getting hurt and you've done nothing to elicit this, then I don't see that you'd be escalating.
     
  7. chp5

    chp5 Member

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    Has anyone researched the GA case law (if any exists) on disparity of force?
     
  8. jason1

    jason1 New Member

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    I myself would need more reason then someone punched me.
    They would need a knife,blackjack,baseball bat before I draw on them. But if they punch me with brass knuckles then I have a reason. I follow the deadly
    weapons code on the back of my GFL and Stand Your Ground Law.
     
  9. zxd9

    zxd9 Active Member

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    Funny, I was just thinking about this yesterday.

    Scenario #1. Looks to be an even fight right. You don't know this guy at all. What if he is a black belt in JuRateFu? After he smacks you once it may be all over. If you wait until he gets on top of you and bangs your head on the cement a few times isn't it a little too late to say, "Hey, ya'all there is a disparity of force here. Where's my gun?"?

    I'm probably wrong on this one, but any physical threat to me or my family will be taken as life threatening. I don't know the guy or what he is capable of. Do I really have to wait and find out?

    Also, the threat needs to be real. If he's 20 feet away and verbally assaults me, I'm not going to worry, but if he rushes me that's a different story.
     
  10. zxd9

    zxd9 Active Member

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    I'm not sure similar stature should play into this. It boils down to personal experience. The BG may be a seasoned street fighter and I'm a keyboard jockey. I don't have a chance. I really may need my gun to even the playing field. Like I said earlier, what you don't know may wind up hurting you and it may only take one punch.
     
  11. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

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    This is not as clear cut as it sounds. People have died from a single punch to the face. Are there witness? If there are witnesses that saw you attack me without provocation, I may draw on you to de-escalate the situation. Will I it work? Maybe maybe not, but normally an unarmed aggressor will back down from fighting an armed man.

    No witnesses to say you attacked me? I'll keep it holstered unless things turn south and I can't escape.

    Also, situational awareness comes in to play here. Always be aware of your surroundings and what people arounds are doing? IF someone is acting odd, don't let them get close enough to punch you. Avoiding a potential threat is far better than meeting one face to face.

    Draw and fire.

    Draw and fire

    Draw and be prepared to fire. My family will ALWAYS come first.


    Two on one and they attack? Draw and in they don't immediately leave, fire
     
  12. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

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    Nothing about disparity of force in GA
     
  13. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

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  14. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Example 1. So, it’s only you and me – one on one. We are approximately the same age and size. I punch you in the face and have no weapon. You are not justified in drawing or shooting. In fact, even though I am the aggressor, you can have potential liability for escalating the violence.

    Pistol whip. "Take that!"

    Example 2. Same as Example 1, but I am 20 and huge. You are 70. “Disparity of force†is likely and you may be justified in using deadly force if, based on that “disparity of forceâ€, you have a reasonable expectation of serious bodily harm.

    Pistol whip. "Take that, whippersnapper!"

    Example 3. Same as Example 2, but you are a 110 pound female. We likely have “disparity of forceâ€.

    Pistol whip. "Take that, you brute!"

    Example 4. [This is the example I’m most interested in] You are in public with your wife and young children. Two thugs come up to you and your family and begin demanding money and acting like they are about to get physical. Running/retreating is not an option. One of the thugs initiates an attack without weapons on you. “Disparity of force�

    Pistol whip. Pistol whip. "Take that, you two thugs."

    Example 5. Same as example 4, except you’re alone.

    Pistol whip. Pistol whip. "Take that M__ F___s!"
     
  15. jason1

    jason1 New Member

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    Is their some way to get the Attorney General's opinion on Stand Your Ground and using this example before us with the AG.
     
  16. commodore_dude

    commodore_dude Active Member

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    I don't intend to let it come to blows. If someone is seriously threatening me, I don't know what kinda of weapons or fighting skills they may have. The gun will be produced, and if they don't back off I'll shoot. I'm not going to take one single hit, I don't feel any need to.
     
  17. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

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    You can try to write, but at best you will get an "unofficial opinion".
     
  18. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    No, I would not waste time with that. The AG cannot respond to such requests.
     
  19. Sharky

    Sharky Active Member

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    yeah I'm not sure if MP is on his sarcastic trip again and being a smartypants but in my opinion...... and only an opinion.

    I reallllllly try to avoid confrontation. :whistle: :drink:
    1- cost too much in the long run (lawyers, missed work, loss of job) :evil:
    2- I'm to old to argue with strangers about crap that means nothing 5 minutes later! :oldtimer: I'm gonna be right in the argument, and they will feel they are right. No point in arguing. Now 5 or 10 years ago before I had a GFL I may have had a different answer for ya, :boxing: but it is amazing how much maturing happens around late 20' and early 30's. Now mid 30's I just want to make a buck, and ......... Oh you get the point. :lol:

    However in the event I have no warning time, screaming "I am being attacked" louder than a 13 year old girl at a Hanson concert will be followed with a defensive stance while reaching for my sidearm. As mentioned I have no clue what they have in their pockets or any training they may have in martial arts or fighting in general. :Nunchaku:

    I am not gonna try and pistol whip (althought I believe that was a wisecrack answer) or go hand to hand with somebody I have never met. Even as a previous bouncer downtown ATL :boxing: (yes when I was way younger and a bit thinner) I am not engaging in hand to hand. Thats just opening more opportunity for them to take my weapon and use against me.

    But thats one of the subject that I am sure will be brought up in the lunch that EVERYBODY should attend.
     
  20. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

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    That's what I was afraid of.