A look at Hawaii's self-defense lawsUPDATED 10:30 PM HST Jul 08, 2013Video Transcript
Key points in both of those trials are the claims of self- defense and the use of deadly force. What exactly is allowed in Hawaii when it comes to those issues? KITV4's Paul Drewes continues our team coverage with a closer look at the law. Self-defense is a common defense in many murder trials. from 8/11/08 jimenez file 27:20 I WAS JUST SCARED THAT HE HAD ONE BAT THAT HE WAS GOING TO BASH MY HEAD IN.. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN? A defendant claims the person they killed was the aggressor. from joel allen file 11/23/09 3:57" SHE SAID, GIVE ME THE MONEY OR I'LL KILL YOU" But in both of those cases, a street fight that turned deadly and a transvestite stabbed nearly two dozen times - the defendants were convicted of murder. In Hawaii - deadly force is only allowed when a person believes it is the only way to prevent death, serious injury, kidnapping or rape. 3:24-3:30 "if you can retreat - you don't have the right to use deadly force" In Hawaii, you are not required to safely retreat -- when you are threatened in your home or workplace. 3:42-3:53 "if someone breaks into your home in the middle of the night and you don't know what they have in their hands, and becomes an agressor - in that situation you may be entitled to use deadly force." file from Kuraoka on 3/26/07 Self-defense with deadly force has been successfully used for cases of home invasions. Keith Kuraoka was not charged after shooting and killing one of five armed intruders who started shooting inside his Waianae home. In a number of assault cases, self-defense will be claimed by one or even both sides. But Hawaii law does not gives self- defense protection for those who are responsible for the violence. :50-1:00 "you can't be the aggressor in that situation - when someone is trying to assault you - commit a crime against you and you feel the immediate need to protect yourself" Harrison also says a person doesn't have to wait until an aggressor attacks in order to defend himself. So a person can claim self- defense even if they hit first? Yes, if for example someone were aggressively threatening me, then cornered me, and I felt like that person was going to seriously injury me even though they hadn't quite yet. Harrison says I may be justified in taking pre-emptive action to protect myself.