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WPIC 2.04.01 Great Personal Injury—Justifiable Homicide—Justifiable Deadly Force in Self-Defens...

11 WAPRAC WPIC 2.04.01Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Criminal

11 Wash. Prac., Pattern Jury Instr. Crim. WPIC 2.04.01 (5th Ed)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Criminal
December 2021 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part I. General Instructions
WPIC CHAPTER 2. Definitions
WPIC 2.04.01 Great Personal Injury—Justifiable Homicide—Justifiable Deadly Force in Self-Defense—Definition
Great personal injury means an injury that the slayer reasonably believed, in light of all the facts and circumstances known at the time, would produce severe pain and suffering, if it were inflicted upon either the slayer or another person.
Use this instruction with WPIC 16.02 (Justifiable Homicide—Defense of Self and Others) or WPIC 17.02 (Lawful Force—Defense of Self, Others, Property).
Justifiable homicide. RCW 9A.16.050 provides in part that homicide is justifiable when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to do some “great personal injury.”
This instruction incorporates both the subjective and objective requirements of self-defense. As stated in State v. Read, 147 Wn.2d 238, 242, 53 P.3d 26 (2002):
To determine whether a defendant is entitled to an instruction on self-defense or entitled to have a judge consider it in a bench trial, the trial court must view the evidence from the standpoint of a reasonably prudent person who knows all the defendant knows and sees all the defendant sees.
Accord, State v. Walker, 136 Wn.2d 767, 966 P.2d 883 (1998).
Use of deadly force in self-defense. In State v. Walden, 131 Wn.2d 469, 932 P.2d 1237 (1997), the court explicitly approved the use of this instruction and the term “great personal injury” in the context of a claim of self-defense in an assault case in which the defendant had brandished a deadly weapon. The court cited the Comment to this instruction in affirming the proposition that the preferable term for cases involving the use of deadly force in self-defense is “great personal injury.” State v. Walden, 131 Wn.2d at 475 n. 3. See also State v. Corn, 95 Wn.App. 41, 53–54, 975 P.2d 520 (1999).
Caution. In light of the discussion above, courts should carefully distinguish between the terms “great personal injury” and “great bodily harm.” More generally, caution is advised throughout this area of the law due to the existence of distinct statutory definitions for a number of similar-sounding terms. See the Notes on Use and Comments for WPIC 2.03 through WPIC 2.04.
[Current as of November 2018.]
End of Document