BROWN V. UNITED STATES, 256 U. S. 335 (1921)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Brown v. United States, 256 U.S. 335 (1921)

Brown v. United States

No. 103

Argued November 19, 1920

Decided May 16, 1921

256 U.S. 335


1. The right of a man to stand his ground and defend himself when attacked with a deadly weapon, even to the extent of taking his assailant's life, depends upon whether he reasonably believes that he is in immediate danger of death or grievous bodily harm from his assailant, and not upon the detached test whether a man of reasonable prudence, so situated, might not think it possible to fly with safety or to disable his assailant, rather than kill him. P. 256 U. S. 343. Beard v. United States, 158 U. S. 550.

2. So held of a homicide committed on a post office site by one who was there in discharge of his duty. P. 256 U. S. 344.

3. In a prosecution for murder, it appeared that the defendant shot the deceased several times and again when the deceased had fallen and was lying on the ground. Held that evidence of self-defense

Page 256 U. S. 336

was for the jury, and that, if they disbelieved the defendant's testimony that the last shot was an accident, they might still have acquitted him if, though intentional, it followed close upon the others in the heat of the conflict and while he believed he was fighting for his life. P. 256 U. S. 344.

257 F. 46 reversed.

Certiorari to review a judgment of the circuit court of appeals affirming a judgment of the district court upon a conviction of murder in the second degree. The facts are given in the opinion, post, 256 U. S. 341.

Page 256 U. S. 341

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