New Hampshire v. FurgalAnnotate this Case
Defendant Cory Furgal appealed his conviction of second-degree murder. At trial, outside the presence of the jury, defense counsel asked the trial court to instruct the jury that defendant was entitled to use deadly force against the victim for self-defense. The State objected, arguing that the language of "the statute" and case law did not support the defendant's requested instruction. Defendant objected to the instructions the trial court ultimately used, outside the presence of the jury. But the trial court explained that it did not include defendant's "in-concert" instruction because it was not consistent with the language of "the statute." The Supreme Court was not satisfied that defendant's request was inconsistent with statutory law. However, based on the entirety of the instruction, the Court concluded that a reasonable juror would have understood whether the victim, acting alone or in concert with others, was about to use unlawful deadly force against defendant.