Senate Bill 147
151st General Assembly (Present)
Becomes effective upon date of signature of the Governor or upon date specified
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 11 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO USE OF FORCE.
This Act codifies a reasonableness requirement for the use of force, both non-lethal and lethal. This is important when the state of mind is an issue in a criminal trial, such as when the judge or jury must decide as to what someone believed, knew, or intended at a given time. The justification law as currently written uses the term “defendant believes” throughout its several sections. This Act makes it clear that the determination of one’s state of mind is an objective standard —that is, what a reasonable person would have believed, rather than what the defendant believed. Additionally, this Act makes clear that deadly force includes the use of a chokehold.