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Reid G. Fontaine

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An Attack On Self-Defense, Reid G. Fontaine Jan 2009

An Attack On Self-Defense, Reid G. Fontaine

Reid G. Fontaine

Debate about the distinction between justification and excuse in criminal law theory has been lively during the last thirty years. Questions as to the nature and structure of various affirmative defenses continue to be raised, and the doctrine of self-defense has been at the center of much discussion. Three main articulations have been advanced: a purely objective theory, a purely subjective theory, and an objective/subjective hybrid. In the present Article, I support a hybrid model and propose a three-requirement framework that delineates the criteria that must be met to satisfy self-defense as a legitimate justification. Because this three-requirement framework raises …