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Stand Your Ground

I believe that all citizens should be allowed the “Stand Your Ground” law for self-defense from harmful threats around the U. S. Crime rates in the U. S. have been rising over the last couple of years. Many people do not know how to protect themselves from a threat. Many are too scared to as they could get in serious trouble if the threat is not posing a threat to them. State legislative bodies have been pushing to expand self-defense laws in the U. S. In recent years this law has only applied to citizens who were defending themselves against threats.

Now, Legislators have been discussing the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law and it has now been put into the law books in almost half of the states, and have even been discussed in European nations. This law has been posting a threat on crime rate over the recent years. This law has prevented many crimes around the U. S. This law’s effect on crime rates is disputed between supporters and critics of the laws. Homicides have been found to have increased by 8 percent in states with “Stand Your Ground” laws. Studies have shown that this law has reduced murder rates by 9 percent and violent crime by 11 percent.

One study found that the addition of “Stand Your Ground” laws caused a increase in the homicide rate. This law has provided the good and the bad. It has provided many different loopholes for murderers. Murderers have been using this law in their defense to become free from the crime. In court they say that the person that they had killed was posting a threat to them and had to take action before they were harmed. Self-defense laws are rooted back in early English common law, which was stated that if a person is being threatened to try to escape the threat.

Also, the law states that if the threat continues, the individual being threatened could use aggressive action. The individual being threatened should also find safety in his or hers home. This has been known as the “castle doctrine” which was based on the saying, “a man’s home is his castle”, which was put in early English common law in 1628 by Edmund Coke (“Stand”). In 1895 the Supreme Court Case Beard v. United States overturned the manslaughter charge on Mr. Babe Beard, after Mr. Beard had shot and killed Will Jones after a disagreement with Will and his two brothers on Mr. Beard’s property.

Before the shooting there has been threats from the Jones brothers on Mr. Beard, soon after the threats Jones walked onto Beard’s property with an angry manner with a concealed knife in his hand. Beard had warned Jones to stop coming closer and further onto his property but Jones had ignored him, thus led to Beard protecting himself by shooting Jones. In 1921 a well provided case on self-defense was introduced. In Brown v. United States a man was found guilty for a murder on his co-worker. The defendant was standing at a desk working as the co-worker approached him slowing holding a knife in their hand.

The defendant had retreated to his desk for safety as the co-worker was still in pursuit. Knowing he had kept a gun in his desk for reasons other than something like this. , the defendant grabbed his gun and in self-defense shot the attacker. The Supreme Court stated that the defendant did not have a safe place to retreat to. This is what the “Stand Your Ground” law is based off of. When a person is confronted with a possible threat to his or her safety in a public place, the person must retreat as much as possible before using deadly force in self-defense.

Florida’s shoot first law departs from traditional laws, providing that a person who reasonably believes that deadly force is necessary to prevent death or bodily harm has no duty to retreat from a threat outside the home before using deadly force. “Stand Your Ground” laws are commonly know as “shoot first” laws. Thus meaning that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you are you could be posed as a threat when you feel like the other individual is a threat. The states that have passed this law are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida.

Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia. Other states are the “Duty To Retreat” states, which means that you cannot resort to deadly force if you are being threatened. You have to find a way to escape or run. If none of those options are available then you may be allowed to use deadly force to free yourself.

These states include: Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. A man by the name of George Zimmerman shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. From the start, Zimmerman claimed that he had acted in self-defense, and the Sanford police initially accepted that account. Calls by Martin’s family for further investigation around the case, which resulted in second-degree murder and manslaughter charges against Zimmerman.

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