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Defenses – Imperfect Self-Defense, Generally

State v. Thomas G. Kramer, 2006 WI App 133, PFR filed 7/10
For Kramer: Timothy A. Provis


¶23      At trial, Kramer asserted he acted in self-defense, and the jury was instructed on imperfect self-defense. A successful defense based on imperfect self-defense reduces first-degree intentional homicide to second-degree intentional homicide. [12] The test is subjective; a defendant must present “evidence of actual beliefs that [he] was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that the force [he] used was necessary to defend [himself].”State v. Head, 2002 WI 99, ¶124, 255 Wis.  2d 194, 648 N.W.2d 413; see also Wis. Stat. § 940.01(2)(b). [13] A defendant may use what is referred to asMcMorris [14] evidence to establish a factual basis to support an imperfect self-defense claim. Head, 255 Wis.  2d 194, ¶122. This evidence may be relevant to a defendant’s state of mind and whether the defendant actually believed that he was in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, “or that [he] needed to use a given amount of defensive force to prevent or terminate the unlawful interference.” Id., ¶123.


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