Topic: Self-Defense – Use of Deadly Force
Assume that Katz is a passenger on the downtown express subway train in New York City. He is carrying a
loaded .38 caliber pistol inside his coat, in violation of the prohibition against possession of unlicensed
weapons. Katz had been mugged on a prior occasion on the streets of the city, and this is why he carries
the pistol. When Katz enters the subway car, he notices four noisy and boisterous youths, who are sitting
together at one end of the car. The other 20 passengers are sitting at the other end. Two of the youths are
carrying screwdrivers inside their coats so that they can break into video game coin boxes. Not seeing the
screwdrivers. Katz sits down near the four youths. Two of the youths stand up and approach Katz, and one
youth asks for five dollars. Katz asks him to repeat his question. This time the youth demands, “Give me
five dollars.” Katz responds by taking out his gun and shooting each of the 4 youths. Though none are
killed, Katz is charged with four counts of attempted murder.
Thread: You represent Katz and must draft well-reasoned legal arguments to support his claim of selfdefense for each of the following scenarios. Make sure to successfully address possible arguments that
may be made by the prosecutor against the claims of self-defense. Also, articulate and integrate at least 1
biblical principle that supports the justification of self-defense for Katz.
a. Assume that before Katz fired any shots, he said, “I have no money.” Then the two youths turned their
backs to Katz and moved a few feet away from him, which is as far as they could move because they were
at the end of the car already. Katz takes aim at each youth and fires at their backs.
b. Assume that instead of firing any shots, Katz shows the handle of the gun to the four youths, and that he
“flashes” it in a threatening manner that suggests that he will use it if he is not left alone. Assume that one
of the youths does have a gun concealed in his jacket, and that in response to Katz “flashing” of the gun,
the youth pulls out his weapon and points it at Katz. Katz immediately draws and fires at this youth.
Joshua Dressler, Understanding Criminal Law (8th ed. 2018). ISBN: 9781531007911.
CHAPTER 18, 22.
Russell L. Weaver, John M. Burkoff, and Catherine Hancock. Criminal Law: A Contemporary Approach—
With Access (3rd ed. 2018). ISBN: 9781683289470
You must support your assertions with at least
4 scholarly citations in current Bluebook format with footnotes.
Acceptable sources include the
• the Bible
• law reviews
• case decisions
• and other scholarly publications.