I don't know if Lee understands the legal standards involving "reasonableness" and the use of force. She continual refers to "reasonable belief of death or great bodily injury" as if it is so amorphous that it cannot and in cases where racial stereotypes are involved is not reasonably applied. There are a number of factors that a jury is instructed to use when evaluating a use of deadly force incident that are 100% objective in determining the legality or illegality of it. Factors such as age differences between the two parties, prior knowledge of violent behavior on behalf of the assailant, physical size differences, if the defender was outnumbered, are both parties armed (and it doesn't have to be with a conventional weapon), are some of the considerations used to determine if there was a "reasonable belief of death or great bodily injury". Its not as fuzzy or gray as Lee is arguing as most states have these requirements on use of force either in the criminal law code or in some common law precedent; its almost as if this book is 40 years out of date.
If anything, this book makes a good case for the restriction of non-defined or "novel" affirmative defenses like "gay rage" and the Twinkie defense.
I was also bothered by Lee's interpretation of the Goetz case. She seems to believe that Goetz's defense, while not specifically bringing in the race question, was none the less guilt of racial stereotyping by describing the assailants as "vultures" and "animals". And although Lee castigates Goetz's defense for this (arguably accurate) depiction, she continually refers to the assailants as the "boys"; an equally loaded word itself designed to invoke sympathy in the reader. She fails to mention that these "boys" were all 18 and 19 years old. Two of the "boys" continued on their pattern of predation a short time later. James Ramseur was convicted of raping, beating and robbing a pregnant 19 year old woman in the Bronx, while the other "boy", Barry Allen, was convicted of two felony counts of armed robbery shortly after he was released from the hospital.