Choice of Evils Defense In Kentucky
The pertinent statute regarding a choice of evils defense reads as follows:
Unless inconsistent with the ensuing sections of this code defining justifiable use of physical force or with some other provisions of law, conduct which would otherwise constitute an offense is justifiable when the defendant believes it to be necessary to avoid an imminent public or private injury greater than the injury which is sought to be prevented by the statute defining the offense charged, except that no justification can exist under this section for an intentional homicide.
KRS 503.030(1). a defendant bears the burden of proving a choice of evils defense, and justifiable conduct is conditioned upon at least the following four different contingencies:
(1) that the person believes the necessity of his action is mandated by his subjective value judgment (this must be weighed by the reasonableness standard);
(2) that such action must be contemporaneous with the danger of injury sought to be avoided. See Duvall v. Commonwealth, Ky. App., 593 S.W.2d 884 (1980);
(3) that the injury is imminent, requiring an immediate choice if to be avoided; and(4) that the danger or injury sought to be avoided must be greater than the penalty or offending charge occasioned by the action chosen by the party.
Beasley v. Commonwealth, Ky. App., 618 S.W.2d 179, 180 (1981).