Did Selina Kyle Commit Murder or Act in Self Defense?

Oh, the future Catwoman. What does she do on Gotham when a heroin addict, who was in the British military, threatens to tell a ruthless corporate criminal on she and Bruce? Push the addict out the window while he is trying to retrieve his drugs.

Is pushing an unarmed man out a window, with his back to you, self-defense? Or is that murder?

New Jersey defines murder as when 1) someone “purposely causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death;” or 2) when someone “knowingly causes death or serious bodily injury resulting in death.” N.J. Stat. § 2C:11-3(a)(1) and (2). Furthermore, a juvenile tried and convicted as an adult can be sentenced to at least 30 years without parole, or sentenced to a time between 30 years and life imprisonment, with parole eligibility in 30 years. N.J. Stat. § 2C:11-3(b)(5); (b)(1).

Pushing an unarmed man out the window of a multistory building is both a purposeful act and Kyle knew it would cause the victim’s death.

A person can use force to protect him or herself if they “reasonably believe that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.” N.J. Stat. § 2C:3-4(a).

A drug addicted verbally threatened Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne that “I am going to tell on you.” The drug addict was not armed. The victim’s threat was that a third-party would cause them harm once the youth had been identified to the third-party. These facts do not show the victim was using any unlawful force to physically threaten Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne. As such, Kyle’s actions look like murder and not self-defense.

Selina Kyle’s age would be to her advantage as a defense. In only one decision was a 14-year old tried as an adult and convicted for murder, felony murder, first degree kidnapping, second degree kidnapping, conspiracy to commit first degree robbery, first degree robbery, second degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, third degree unlawful possession of a handgun, and second degree sexual assault. State v. Jones (Super.Ct.App.Div. 1998) 308 N.J.Super. 174, 178, fn. 1.

The facts of the case from 1998 are extremely dissimilar than Kyle pushing someone out a window. Could she be tried as an adult? Highly unlikely.