During a week in which seven people died in New Orleans violence, police say three of the killings were likely justified because the assailants were acting in self-defense. There have been four deaths, plus a police involved shooting, in the first three months of the year that could be cleared without criminal charges, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. That’s up from the three justifiable homicides the city recorded in all of 2013.
The string of justifiable homicides is unusual. Self-defense claims are strongly protected under Louisiana law, said Loyola University law Prof. Dane Ciolino. “Louisiana is a very self-defense friendly jurisdiction,” Ciolino said, citing the state’s “stand your ground” laws, which allow people to claim they killed in self-defense, even if they do not try to retreat before using deadly force. Other states have laws imposing a duty to retreat, meaning a person is required to retreat from the threat if there is an opportunity to do so before responding with any type of force.