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United States v. Charette

ELR Citation: 48 ELR 20106
Nos. 9:16-cr-0032-DLC-1, (9th Cir., 06/26/2018)

The Ninth Circuit vacated a lower court's conviction of a man in Montana for killing a threatened grizzly bear in violation of the ESA. The man claimed that he was acting in self-defense when he killed the bear behind his home in May 2014. Applying an "objectively reasonable" standard to the man's evidence of self-defense, the lower court convicted him of violating the ESA. On appeal, the man asserted that the lower court should have instead applied a "subjectively reasonable" standard. The appellate court agreed, ruling that a self-defense claim can be raised if a person committed an offense based on a subjective, not objective, good-faith belief in the need to protect himself. Because the lower court's error was not harmless, the appellate court vacated the man's conviction and remanded the case.