Suppose your not-so-good neighbor — who once before stabbed you and left you in the hospital for two days — is standing in your apartment doorway (again) with a knife (again), and shouting “I will kill you” (again). Do you have a right to defend yourself?
New York’s highest court says “No.” Why? According to them, the right to defend yourself applies only in your home, and your apartment doorway is “a hybrid private-public space in which a person doesn’t have the same reasonable expectation of seclusion as in a home.a hybrid private-public space in which a person doesn’t have the same reasonable expectation of seclusion as in a home.”
In other words, even if you you are in your home, as long as the attacker stays inches ouside, you can’t legally do anything to protect yourself. Thus, New York’s highest course has unanimously upheld the conviction of the victim, who hit his attacker with a lead pipe, killing him. The court said the victim has a “duty to retreat” even though he is already in his own home.
Clayton Cramer has extensive details and analysis.
Moral of the story: If you live in New York, feel free to stab your neighbors whenever they are standing in, or walking through, their doorways. The courts will protect you from anything they might do in self-defense.