DEFENSE OF PERSON - RIGHT TO STAND YOUR GROUND
A person has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his/her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he/she is not engaged in an unlawful activity and is attacked in any place where he/she has a right to be, if he/she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent (death/(great bodily harm) to himself/herself/ another)/(the commission of a forcible felony).
Statutory Authority: 21 O.S. 2011, § 1289.25 (D), (F).
Notes on Use
This Instruction is a type of self-defense instruction, but it includes justification for the use of deadly force to prevent death or great bodily harm to another or the commission of a forcible felony. See also the self-defense instructions in OUJI-CR 8-45 to 8-56, infra. It should be used only if the attack occurred outside of a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle. For instructions if the attack occurred inside a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, see OUJI-CR 8-14 and 8-15, supra.
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals discussed the "stand your ground" law in Dawkins v. State, 2011 OK CR 1, ¶ 11, 252 P.3d 214, 218. The Court decided that the Legislature intended the law to exclude from the law’s benefit persons who were actively committing a crime, but not persons who had or may have committed a crime in the past. The Court of Criminal Appeals gave the following examples as crimes where the perpetrators would not be allowed to rely on this defense while they were engaged in committing them:"use of an illegal weapon in commission of the homicide, possession of illegal drugs on the premises, or an ongoing assault by the defendant against another person in the residence." Id. The Court of Criminal Appeals also ruled that the Legislature did not intend to prohibit persons who may have committed minor infractions of the law from using the benefit of the right of defense. It gave the following examples of such minor infractions: "persons who are illegally parked or have outdated vehicle registration, have outstanding warrants for minor offenses, or are in arrears with child support payments. We give these examples as a guide to trial courts in exercising their discretion, and are confident that this interpretation of the law implements the Legislature's stated intent." Id.