Justifiable Homicide Essay

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Dan was the proprietor of a small retail grocery store. One day while Dan was alone in the store, John a stranger to Dan, entered the store, suddenly drew a revolver, pointed it at Dan and ordered him to the rear of the store to open the safe. Dan, believing John’s revolver to be loaded, made as if to obey. After taking several paces, Dan whirled suddenly, drew a revolver from under his coat and fired twice in rapid succession at John. One of the bullets killed John, and the other missing John, killed Xavier, a passerby who walking along the street in front of the store. In fact, Dan was carrying his revolver in violation of a state statute making it a misdemeanor for any person to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. A subsequent examination …show more content…
This is because John’s death was in self-defense through justifiable homicide and Xavier was an excusable homicide. However, Dan is guilty of the misdemeanor for the possession of the revolver without a permit. To first understand why Dan is not guilty of both homicides, it is important to understand what justifiable homicide and excusable homicide is. Justifiable homicide is considered “the necessary killing of another in the performance of a legal duty, or the exercise of a legal right when the slayer was not at fault” (Chamelin & Thomas, 2012, p. 105). In the case of John, he invaded Dan’s small grocery store with the intent of robbing him and used a gun as a means of to startle Dan to do so without protest or interference. However, even though the gun was not loaded Dan did not know this, he only saw that he was being held at gun point and his life was being threaten. This also a common trend for many justifiable homicides involving guns, in fact, according to the Violence Policy Center, “in 2012, across the nation there were 259 justifiable homicides involving private citizen using a firearm” (Violence Policy Center, 2015, pg. 1). Therefore, like many others in the U.S., Dan’s instinctual action is to use self-defense and shoot and kill John. This then makes for a justifiable homicide because Dan killed John on the bases of preserving his own life and there is no penalty because he was not at

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