'Stand Your Ground' Laws Linked to Rise in Homicides
Posted in the Minneapolis Forum
#1 Aug 16, 2014
‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws Linked to Rise in Homicides, Extreme Racial Bias: Study
States that have enacted “Stand Your Ground” laws have seen an increase in homicide rates and problems in law enforcement, a task force with the American Bar Association said last Friday when they released a study (PDF) conducted on the controversial law.
Stand Your Ground, which removes the “duty to retreat” from the justification of fighting back in self-defense, also has no deterrent effect on crime and disproportionately affects minorities, the task force said.
“We’ve heard nothing good about stand-your-ground laws,” said Jack Middleton, co-chair of the task force.“In fact, the more you look at them, the more problems you find.”
The laws currently exist in some form in 33 states. Apart from removing the duty to retreat, they also legalize deadly use of force, allowing individuals to kill someone they perceive as an attacker — even if they have the means to escape a confrontation — without being found criminally liable. In some states, people who use Stand Your Grand may receive civil immunity. The notorious case of George Zimmerman, a Florida man who shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin and claimed a Stand Your Ground defense, turned a spotlight on the law when he was acquitted of murder in 2013.
Stand Your Ground has not given rights back to law-abiding civilians, as many supporters claim, the report says; instead, it has “dramatically altered the landscape of self-defense.”
ABA’s report largely corroborates the numerous critiques of Stand Your Ground laws, particularly in the ways they endanger young black men and encourage a “shoot first, ask questions later mentality.” The authors cited a 2012 Texas A&M study by Mark Hoesktra and Cheng Cheng which found that Stand Your Ground states had seen an eight percent spike in homicides since enacting the law.
Saint Paul, MN
#2 Aug 16, 2014
Zimmerman did not use SYG as a defense.
#3 Aug 16, 2014
It is also known as thinning the herd.
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