5.04 Self-Defense

Evidence has been presented that [defendant] acted in self-defense. Use of force is justified when a person reasonably believes that it is necessary for the defense of oneself or another against the immediate use of unlawful force. However, a person must use no more force than appears reasonably necessary in the circumstances.

The government has the burden of proving that [defendant] did not act in self-defense.


The instruction is modeled on Sixth Circuit Instruction 6.06. A defendant is entitled to a self-defense instruction if he/she produces sufficient evidence to require the consideration of a reasonable doubt as to the justification for the homicide. DeGroot v. United States, 78 F.2d 244, 251 (9th Cir. 1935); see also United States v. Morton, 999 F.2d 435, 437 (9th Cir. 1993).