Stand Your Ground Law

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Excerpt From: Flip a Coin: Heads, Stand Your Ground is Good Law…Tails, Stand Your Ground is Bad Law I. INTRODUCTION Batman and Spiderman are fictional characters that have been idolized by many people in this country for decades. We dress ourselves and our children as these characters for Halloween. Millions of dollars was made in movies that document and celebrate the “heroic actions” of these characters as vigilantes “fighting crime” with street justice. It is only fitting that state legislatures adopt a law that advocates this type of “heroic action” that is coveted by many, right? The “Stand Your Ground” law was first adopted in the state of florida in 2005. This law did not gain national attention until the shooting death of unarmed teenager, Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, florida, where the shooter, George Zimmerman used the “Stand Your Ground” law as his basis for defending himself against Trayvon Martin to the Sanford Police Department. However, George Zimmerman’s legal defense team did not utilize the law to argue his innocence during his trial. But the damage had been done because soon after other cases in florida began to sprout up with “Stand Your Ground” as the driving force. For example, in Jacksonville, Florida, Jordan Davis, another unarmed teenager was killed by Michael Dunn. Davis and other teenagers were riding in a SUV with music blasting from the vehicle, when Dunn pulled up alongside of them and asked them to turn the music down . Words was exchanging between the two parties, and Dunn fired 8 to 9 shots into the SUV where he fatally shot Davis. Dunn was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Dunn claimed he fired in self-defense and invoked the “Stand Your Ground law” as his defense. ... ... middle of paper ... ...he fear of prosecution. The problem with “Stand Your Ground” is that it “provides a rock-solid defense to paranoid trigger happy bigot cowboys armed with deadly force.” I am the mother of two African-American boys. There is a part of me that is terrified that someone has the privilege of causing serious harm or even killing them because they believed them to be something they are not or because they are playing their music too loud at a traffic light . This person could be granted immunity from criminal or civil prucidings or no charges being brought just because a jury might identify with the defender instead of the victim. But the alternative that somewhat eases my mind, is that if someone is attempting to cause serious harm to my sons; they may defend their lives without fear of prosecution…maybe because keep in mind they are African-American.

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