Imperfect Self Defense Doctrine

In People v. Kemp, 202 Mich App 318, 322; 508 NW2d 184 (1993), the Court discussed the doctrine of imperfect self-defense, explaining: Imperfect self-defense is a qualified defense that can mitigate second-degree murder to voluntary manslaughter. Where imperfect self-defense is applicable, it serves as a method of negating the element of malice in a murder charge. Although the Michigan Supreme Court has not yet considered the viability of the theory of imperfect self-defense, panels of this Court have recognized the doctrine where a defendant would have been entitled to invoke the theory of self-defense had he not been the initial aggressor. We believe that the inquiry regarding the applicability of the doctrine of imperfect self-defense requires more than just a determination whether defendant was the initial aggressor. In determining whether an initial aggressor is entitled to a claim of imperfect self-defense, the focus in on "the intent with which the accused brought on the quarrel or difficulty." State v. Partlow, 90 Mo 608, 617; 4 SW 14 (1887). Defendant . . . is not entitled to invoke the doctrine of imperfect self defense to mitigate his crime to manslaughter if the circumstances surrounding the incident indicate that he initiated the confrontation between himself and the victim with the intent to kill or to do great bodily harm.