Stand Your Ground or Retreat?

A reminder from a letter in the July 30, 2013 edition of the Albuquerque Journal

The New Mexico Supreme Court held in 1953 that there is no duty to retreat in the face of a threat of force. That common law principle is codified in an instruction which is given to juries in self defense cases. Jury instruction 14-5190 has for many years provided;

“a person who is threatened with an attack need not retreat. In the exercise of his right of self defense, he may stand his ground and defend himself.”

However, retreating (if only to cover), as long as it can be done safely, is generally the wisest course of action.

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