Emory Law Journal


This Comment offers a new way for subjective characteristics to influence the criminal law of self-defense. Specifically, this Comment proposes a higher standard of self-defense for martial artists who kill their opponents outside competition settings, by denying the martial artists, as a matter of law, the ability to claim two distinct partial defenses: imperfect self-defense and provocation. For a martial artist, a proportional use of force should rarely require killing the aggressor because martial artists possess special fighting skills that are designed to subdue opponents without killing them. Courts should allow juries to judge a martial artist¿s culpability for homicidal violence by considering his skills according to what this Comment introduces as the ¿martial sufficiency test.¿