May Someone Who Is Resisting Arrest Claim Self-Defense ?
In People v. English, 287 Ill. App. 3d 1043, 679 N.E.2d 494, 223 Ill. Dec. 309 (1997), the appellate court held that it was reversible error to instruct the jury that a self-defense claim is unavailable to one who is resisting arrest, where the defendant was only charged with burglary and aggravated battery, and not resisting arrest. Also, the alleged aggravated battery occurred well after the defendant had been arrested. English, 287 Ill. App. 3d at 1047, 679 N.E.2d at 497.
In reversing the defendant's conviction in English, the appellate court stated, "The natural result of giving an instruction based on an uncharged crime is prejudice to the defendant. English, 287 Ill. App. 3d at 1047, 679 N.E.2d at 497, citing McCauley, 2 Ill. App. 3d at 736, 277 N.E.2d at 542.
In People v. McCauley, 2 Ill. App. 3d 734, 277 N.E.2d 541 (1972), the appellate court found reversible error where the defendant, charged with battery of a police officer, was not charged with resisting arrest, but the jury was instructed on a police officer's right to use force to prevent an arrestee from escaping. McCauley, 2 Ill. App. 3d at 736, 277 N.E.2d at 542.
In People v. Mohr, 228 Ill. 2d 53, 885 N.E.2d 1019, 319 Ill. Dec. 339 (2008), a second degree murder conviction was reversed where the jury was also instructed on provocation, after the prosecutor stated that the State "conceded" provocation.
However, there was no evidence of such provocation presented during trial.
The supreme court held that this prejudiced the defendant, since he claimed that he had not committed the killing. Mohr, 228 Ill. 2d at 67-68, 885 N.E.2d at 1027.