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  •  The Deadly Impact of “Shoot First” Laws (0+ / 0-)

    Excerpt from the Law Center for Prevention of Gun Violence

    The Deadly Impact of “Shoot First” Laws

    In Florida, a 2010 investigation by the Tampa Bay Times found that the law had been invoked in at least 93 criminal cases involving 65 deaths, including “deadly neighbor arguments, bar brawls, road rage — even a gang shoot-out — that just as easily might have ended with someone walking away.” A follow-up investigation in 2012 increased the total number of cases in Florida to 130, over 70 percent of which involved a death. The Tampa Bay Times found that, “[i]n the majority of the cases, the person who plunged the knife or swung the bat or pulled the trigger did not face a trial. In 50 of the cases, the person who used force was never charged with a crime.”  The Tampa Bay Times continues to evaluate “Shoot First” cases.  As of July 3, 2013, the newspaper had found over 200 such cases.  Of those cases involving a fatality, 40 have resulted in convictions, while 72 deaths have been found to be justified.

    Additionally, many states, including Florida, that have adopted “Shoot First” laws have seen significant increases in the occurrence of “justifiable homicides” committed by private citizens. According to a review of FBI data by the Washington Post, “[i]n the five years before the law’s passage, Florida prosecutors declared ‘justifiable’ an average of 12 killings by private citizens each year…But in the five years after the law passed, that number spiked to an average of 36 justifiable killings per year.”

    "They did not succeed in taking away our voice" - Angelique Kidjo - Opening the Lightning In a Bottle concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City - 2003

    by LilithGardener on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:20:19 AM PDT

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