Remember that the bar for self defense is not whether an individual truly believed that they were in danger, or that they were met with unlawful force, but instead whether a reasonable person would believe that. Would a reasonable person believe that someone didn't have the right to self defense in this situation? Personally, if I were in that situation, I would expect that the person I was chasing may act in self defense. Recall that the shooter grabbed a gun before chasing the victim. That certainly implies that they thought that the victim might try to act in self-defense. They knew they were putting someone in a situation where they might feel they have to fight back.
I understand what you are saying, but I do think there is some relevant room to make determinations here and that was largely what I was getting at with my original post.
When we look at criminal code, there are certain natural questions that are brought up. Sometimes the answers to these questions may be obvious. You may believe it is obvious that the shooter had a reasonable belief that Arbery was acting unlawfully, but it is still a fact of the case which needs to be proven, and I don't think it is that black and white. Similarly, I think the answer to the other questions I posed in that original post are fairly obvious, but they still need to be proven in court.
Its like a series of conditions that need to be met. I'd say in this case there are roughly 10 of them that I've outlined so far. If all of the conditions are met, the individual is innocent. If not, the individual is guilty. As the prosecution, I wouldn't stake my case on refuting this point ("The shooter has a claim to self-defense because a reasonable person would believe that the victim was acting unlawfully in his use of force") however, it is still a relevant condition. The others that you've highlighted are much more likely to be pivotal to the case though.
It actually doesn't need to be proven that the shooter had a reasonable he was in danger. With that type of defense, if it is claimed, the burden of proof is on the prosecutor, who has to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt (in some jurisdictions). All the killer has to say is "I acted in self-defense", and then the prosecution has to prove otherwise. Based on the facts I don't see how that can possibly be refuted.Last edited by JWeinCom - on 15 May 2020