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Who Benefits from Stand Your Ground?

Clayton Cramer highlights an article in The Daily Caller that would seem to show that Blacks benefit disproportionally from Stand Your Ground in Florida. This does not surprise me either. Blacks are statistically more likely to encounter situations where they may need to use deadly force in self-defense, less likely to get the benefit of doubt in the legal system, and less likely to be able to afford a good defense attorney, the last of which prosecutors are going to weigh when thinking about bringing charges. Prosecutors generally don’t want to bring cases where they aren’t sure they can get a conviction.

I’ve wondered how much of the negative reaction to the Zimmerman case was driven by the idea that Blacks would never get such easy treatment in similar circumstances. In that case, the fact that Zimmerman was walking the streets and not looking at a trial inflamed their sense of injustice. I think they have a point about that, to be honest. But I don’t see how stacking the deck back in favor of the prosecution is going to do anything except make it objectively worse for Black defendants who find themselves arguing self-defense in equally marginal situations.

3 Responses to “Who Benefits from Stand Your Ground?”

  1. ctd says:

    Methinks the real point of SYG is forcing the state to recognize that if you’re justified in shooting someone, retreat was NOT a viable option. Fleeing is not reasonable if circumstances make it more dangerous than “standing your ground”, and the SYG law is in response to jurisdictions that expect you to dive-roll under one car, jump & slide over another, and smash thru a window to get away from someone about to kill you.

  2. Matthew Carberry says:

    The response to that article was that blacks only seem to get a benefit, but the reason they get off is they are usually killing other blacks and juries are prejudiced against black people.

    That take of course ties back into the claim that whites who kill blacks are more successful in SYG states than blacks who claim self-defense.

    The lying with statistics and internal contradictions of the argument astonish me. Critical theory is the opposite of critical thinking.

  3. KM says:

    @ctd: if you’re justified in shooting someone, retreat was NOT a viable option

    If I’m reading it correctly, (IANAL) retreat is taken off the table. Even in ‘must retreat’ states if the ability isn’t there, it isn’t required.
    SYG means that if you are legally where you are, you aren’t required to retreat, ie., the force used against you, in a ‘reasonable persons mind’, is enough for you to use force to stop it.
    I understand your point, retreat should be used anytime you can use it.
    By far the best gunfight is the one you don’t get into.

    SYG shifts the burden onto the prosecution to prove you didn’t need to use force rather than you proving you did have to.

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