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View Diary: Achilles Heel in Stand Your Ground (44 comments)

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  •  There is long standing federal legislation that is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, a2nite

    written to protect the CIVIL RIGHTS of every American citizen. If it can be proven that the deceased was a hate victim then it is the responsibility of the DOJ to bring the killer into federal court to face charges of depriving the victim of his or her civil rights.

    •  If you're NOT bringing race into this, as (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, VClib

      you assert below, then the civil rights statutes are even less relevant to the issue. Almost all civil rights violation prosecutions require some state action (no, killers like Dunn aren't magically turned into state actors imposing cruel and unusual punishment -- they're just killers). The major exception that would apply to the victims you discuss in the diary would be race-based hate crimes (other kinds of hate crimes generally require an interstate commerce or other special jurisdictional hook). So I'm confused about whether you do or do not want to address race in the discussion.

      More to the point, though -- self defense would still be a defense to the hate crime charge, and self defense already rested on reasonable belief. ALEC/SYG didn't introduce that concept -- it gutted the duty to retreat. "Reasonable belief" is an objective standard (not, as you claim, limited to what the defendant claims to believe), but one that's virtually impossible to apply objectively. (It took forever just to move off the "reasonable man" standard in other areas of law such as sexual harassment.) That's an argument for diverse juries, or bench trials depending on who/where you are, but beyond that, what's the alternative? Are you arguing against self defense ever being a defense?

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