Ruling: Defense against excessive force by police is viable

New Mexico

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A court ruling says New Mexico criminal defendants may be allowed to argue that they were trying to defend another person from excessive force by an officer.

The state Court of Appeals decision in a case from Curry County overturns Sarita Jones’ convictions for battery upon a peace officer and resisting or abusing a peace officer and grants her a new trial.

The decision said the Clovis woman was entitled to seek a “defense of another” jury instruction because her case involved alleged excessive force directed by police at her son.

The appeals court said a trial judge erroneously ruled that defendants claiming to have been defending another person couldn’t cite allegedly excessive force by police. 

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