Janich: My secondary target is the brachial nerve. The nerve gives the arm directions from the brain and is sending information from the hand back to the brain. The more you harm the nerve, the more you disrupt the mechanical function of the arm because you take away that connection through the nerve, and it literally loses communication. If you cut the biceps and cut the brachial nerve, basically that arm is crippled and probably is never going to be the same, but that does not necessarily have to be a life-threatening injury.

eJournal: Shouldn’t we worry about bleeding from the brachial artery?

Janich: With the brachial artery only being 10% of the blood flow, can somebody bleed to death from that? Sure, people have, but limbs have been severed, and they’ve survived, too. Applying a tourniquet, applying Quick Clot, rendering first aid if the artery is cut, can certainly make it survivable. And, in my opinion, that is automatically evidence of exercising restraint.

eJournal: What problems are in play when someone who defended him- or herself using a knife has to explain those actions in court?

Janich: The biggest problem in the application of the knife in this way is that it is very rare. The court system more frequently sees people who used knives feloniously in the commission of a crime, and if knives ARE used in self defense, they are typically not used well.

eJournal: If you defend yourself with a knife, what information is important to give, starting with your first contact with police, detectives, and up into the courtroom?

Janich: “I was in fear for my life. I was forced to defend myself. I used the knife to defend myself and I used it to stop the other person.”

These are all the same things you will say if you defend yourself with a firearm.

eJournal: What if they ask, “How many times did you cut him?”

Janich: “I cut him here; I cut him here, and here. I cut him to try to make him drop the weapon and to stop him.” It is a whole lot harder for them to establish intent to kill if I purposely cut his arm. If you stick the knife in his gut, the investigators say, “We don’t know what happened here but it looks like you were both involved, but YOU stuck the knife in him, and HE died.”

eJournal: It looks like mutual combat and since you are alive, you are blamed for the death.

Janich: Unlike if I say, “I cut him here, and here,” [pointing at his biceps] though they may argue that those are defensive wounds. The turning point for me was a case in which a guy was attacked by his employer with a knife. He deflected the knife, but the employer threw him down and started choking him. The guy grabbed the knife and started stabbing his employer. They fought for five minutes; it was horrible. He was stabbed over 50 times and finally his throat was cut. He grabbed the knife back from the guy who was attacking him and they wrestled over it. The employer had a couple of little cuts on his fingers from when he was choking the guy, when the victim brought the knife up between them to try to get the hands off of him. The coroner’s conclusion was that the wounds on the employer’s fingers were defensive wounds.

eJournal: I don’t know how you could establish a timeline to show when cuts happened during the exchange of the knife between the two.