State v. Hanton
Supreme Court of Washington
614 P.2d 1280 (1980)
While driving his vehicle, Solomon Hanton (defendant) swerved in front of another car and cut the driver off, causing the driver to apply his brakes to avoid a collision. The other man became quite angry and closely followed Hanton until they reached a stoplight. After both cars stopped, the other man got out of his car, went to Hanton’s car and opened the driver’s side door and attempted to pull Hanton out of the vehicle. Hanton then drew a pistol and shot the man who died several days later. Hanton was charged with first-degree manslaughter while armed with a deadly weapon. At the close of the evidence the trial court instructed the jury “[w]hen a defendant claims he killed another in defense of his person or property, the burden is upon that defendant only to produce some evidence tending to prove that the homicide was done in self-defense. It is not necessary for the defendant to prove this to you beyond a reasonable doubt, nor by a preponderance of the evidence. The defendant sustains this burden of proof, if from a consideration of the evidence in the case you have a reasonable doubt as to whether or not the killing was done in self-defense.” Hanton was found guilty and he appealed. The court of appeals affirmed the conviction and the Supreme Court of Washington granted review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Williams, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 166,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.