Prof. Lerner on self-defense
I blogged a presentation of hers years ago, now she has her paper online. By "proportionality" she means self defense law that implicitly treats the life of the defender as equal to the life of the attacker. If the defender can only use lethal force if his or her own life is on the line, then the law treats the two lives as of equal value. But, as she points out, the vast majority of people (and not only in the US) do not consider the life of a violent criminal as equal to that of his potential victim. Sometimes, indeed, the European laws do a better job of reflecting this. For example, should the victim use force out of anger rather than fear, they allow a defense or partial defense (reduction of charges) on the basis that the attacker should bear responsibility for having created that anger.