|Boxers are required to register their hands as "lethal weapons." = Not true.
Research has failed to reveal any statutory, regulatory or other requirement that boxers -- or anyone skilled in martial arts -- "register" their hands or any other body part as "lethal weapons" in the U.S., UKoGBaNI, Canada, or any other common law nation. However, a criminal defendant's experience in boxing, karate, or other forms of hand-to-hand combat may be relevant to determining various legal issues.
First, in the United States at least, the question of whether hands (or other body parts) of a boxer, martial artist or any other person even qualifies as a "deadly" or "lethal" weapon depends largely upon how "deadly weapon," "lethal weapon," or "deadly force" is defined (usually by statute, which is then interpreted by the courts). _See,_ _e.g.,_ Vitauts M. Gulbis, "Parts of the Human Body, Other Than Feet, as Deadly or Dangerous Weapons for Purposes of Statutes Aggravating Offenses Such as Assault and Robbery," 8 A.L.R.4th 1268 (1981 and supplements); Christpher Vaeth, "Kicking as Aggravated Assault, or Assault With Dangerous or Deadly Weapon," 19 A.L.R.5th 823 (1995 and supplements). Most statutes have been interpreted to require an object external to the human body before a "deadly weapon" element can be met. For example, in _Minnesota v. Bastin_, 572 N.W.2d 281 (Minn. 1997), the Minnesota Supreme Court overruled the trial court's conclusion that the left fist of the defendant, a former licensed professional prize fighter, was a "deadly weapon."
Some courts in the United States have concluded, however, that a criminal defendant's experience in boxing or martial arts should be considered when deciding whether s/he possessed a required intent to cause harm. For instance, in _Trujillo v. State_, 750 P.2d 1334 (Wyo. 1988), the Wyoming Supreme Court found that there was sufficient evidence to support the defendant's conviction for aggravated assault after he punched someone in the head. His history as a trained boxer was one bit of evidence supporting the jury's findings on his mental state. Likewise, in _In the Matter of the Welfare of D.S.F._, 416 N.W.2d 772 (Minn. App. 1988), the Minnesota Court of Appeals held that there was sufficient evidence to conclude that the actions of the defendant, who had "substantial experience in karate," were sufficient to demonstrate his knowledge that he was hitting the victim with sufficient force to break the victim's jaw.
Similarly, a criminal defendant's boxing or martial arts experience may be relevant to determining the validity of a self-defense claim. For instance, in _Idaho v. Babbit_, 120 Idaho 337, 815 P.2d 1077 (Idaho App. 1991), the defendant shot the victim and claimed self-defense. The trial court admitted evidence regarding the defendant's past training and experience as a boxer, concluding that it was relevant to a determination of whether the defendant truly believed it was necessary to shoot the victim in order to protect himself and others. The Idaho Court of Appeals affirmed.
Documented: A criminal defendant's experience in boxing or the martial arts may be relevant to deciding whether the elements of a criminal offense have been proven.