CRIMINAL LAW: SELF DEFENSE
Kidd v. State of Alabama
April 27, 2012
COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS DEFINES LAW GOVERNING SELF-DEFENSE.
In this case, the party of Kidd was tried and convicted of murder. However, there were unclear testimonies regarding the events dealing with the actual shooting of the victim, William Hampton. It was found that both parties had pistols on his person. Kidd stated that he felt as if his life was endangered, because of Hampton’s violent past. He also stated, Hampton had suddenly pointed his gun at him, and Kidd felt he had no other choice, but to shoot. However, Kidd admitted he was a felon and was therefore violating the law by having a pistol on his person. Kidd appealed the courts decision claiming, the ruling was contradictory of Alabama’s self defense statute.
Decision: Affirmed. Alabama law states that a person is justified in applying deadly physical force upon another individual if he or she feels threatened by an impending deadly physical act against them. Also, this individual has this right as long as they are not “engaged in an unlawful activity.” Kidd, was in violation of Alabama law by carrying a gun on his person after being convicted as a felon. Kidd then claimed that the “unlawful activity” the statute mentioned, only applied to those acts listed. The court ruled that since this issue was not mentioned at trial, it was not eligible for appeal. The court found that Kidd was not free from fault because of his decision to have a weapon on his person. Therefore, according to the court, the Alabama statute regarding self defense was applied properly.