January 5, 2013

Report: States With Stand Your Ground Laws See More Homicides | ThinkProgress

Report: States With Stand Your Ground Laws See More Homicides | ThinkProgress

I have no idea if the study is well done or not.  Just interesting.


steves said...

Stand your ground laws actually did almost nothing in terms of changing the actual laws in most states, so I am going to be somewhat skeptical. I am familiar with studies that show the opposite or show that allowing more concealed carry lowers crime. IMO, there are just to many variables to show that this is true.

Stand your ground just makes what was already case law into statutory law and makes some procedural changes. It doesn't really allow you to do something that you couldn't do before (at least in the jurisdictions I am familiar with).

I also disagree with what Mark Hoekstra said. In most places, if you are in a fistfight, you do have a duty to retreat before using lethal force.

Streak said...

I don't think that is true for Florida. I think they explicitly said that you didn't have to retreat.

steves said...

Most states, including Florida, never had a duty to retreat. The duty to retreat, IIRC, only existed in less than 10 states.

I can only really speak about Michigan law with any degree of expertise, but it appears that Florida's statute is similar to Michigan. There was apost on Volokh that pointed out a duty to retreat in Florida if the person is involved in a mutual affray (fistfight).

Another thing to consider is that any use of force, must be "reasonable" and "necessary", under the circumstances. A jury will look at the actions of the person claiming self-defense and apply the reasonable person standard. If a reasonable person would have fled or not acted they way the person on trial did, then their claim of self-defense will not fly.

There is case law out there (in more than a few states) that says a jury may consider if the person should have retreated even though there is no duty to retreat.

Smitty said...

We've spoken a lot on this blog and our blog (AtK) about deterrence, and how stiffer criminal penalties only deter once set of people: the kind who are probably not going to do that illegal thing anyway.

But I wonder if Stand Your Ground laws have an opposite effect. I'd be interested to see what there is on this concept. Here's what I mean: most gun owners are law-abiding citizens, not predisposed to breaking laws. Thus...I/we/they may *not* shoot in certain circumstances because we A) have no knowledge, generally, of case law, and thus B) think it's probably illegal to shoot, so I/we/they don't.

But then Stand Your Ground passes, and despite the fact that it codifies case law (which again, John and Jane Q are probably unaware of), the message is clearer: it is *not* illegal. And so now, far less undeterred because I'm not worried about a felony, maybe I/we/they *do* shoot.

steves said...

19 Smitty, that is a good question. I honestly don't know.