Durham v. State Case Brief

Summary of Durham v. State, Supreme Court of Indiana

Defendant: Durham; the defendant was a deputy game warden and he tried to arrest a person by the name of Long for illegal fishing. Long tried to resist and while he was beating the defendant over the head with an ore, the defendant shot Long on the arm. The jury convicted the defendant for assault and battery. Now the defendant appeals and challenges the jury instructions.

Issue: Was the defendant justified in using deadly force under the given facts?

Holding: Yes

Legal Reasoning: The court ruled that an officer can use deadly force in arresting felons if the felon resists arrest. The court further ruled that since illegal fishing is a misdemeanor, the defendant did not intially have the right to use deadly force to arrest Long, but once Long started resisting and then strated fighting the defendant, the defendant had the right to use any means possible to bring long under control. The court reasoned that to rule that an officer can not use deadly force if a person resists in an arrest for misdemeanor, it would give all the misdemeanants the incentive to flee and resist arrest without any fear. The conviction was reversed.

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