In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Cliff Booth defends himself and his friends from intruders Tex, Sadie and Katie (the Manson Family killers).

First, Tex fails to shoot Cliff as Cliff's dog takes Tex down. As Cliff then sets the dog on Sadie, Tex gets up and attempts to stab Cliff with a knife, but Cliff successfully re-routes the knife into Tex'es torso. Now, Tex lies down the door entrance, still alive but barely moving. Cliff finishes him by breaking his neck:

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Then, Katie stabs Cliff into his hip. While she stands watching him in surprise that he is calm, he takes his time to inspect the injury. Then he grabs her by hair and methodically crashes her face against various surfaces about a dozen times until she has neither face nor life in her anymore:

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Should this all happen for real and the court saw the footage (taken by hidden cameras or whatever), would Cliff be convicted of any crimes: 1) in 1969? 2) in 2020?

At quick glance, California self-defense laws only allow the use of deadly force if the attack target is in imminent danger and the use of such force is reasonably necessary.

To me it appears that both conditions were not met in both situations above. Tex was lying on the floor and not posing immediate danger anymore. He could be immobilized rather than killed. Same with Katie: she no longer had the knife in her hand and was just standing and watching. Like Tex, she also could be neutralized without killing. Would this analysis stand in court and lead to conviction for Cliff?


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