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stand your ground laws
Last week the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights voted to investigate the controversial "stand your ground" law for evidence for racial bias. The laws, now on the books in 31 states, came to broad public attention last year after George Zimmerman shot and killed unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin in the central Florida city of Sanford in February. Zimmerman, who goes on trial for second-degree murder next week, was initially not arrested by authorities who gave as an excuse the state's stand your ground statute. It allows a person to use lethal force in self-defense outside his or her home, with no obligation to retreat:
The push for an investigation was led by Democratic Commissioner Michael Yaki.

"This is something the commission has not done in decades—a full-blown field investigation of an issue with potential civil rights ramifications," Yaki told The Huffington Post, explaining that much of their work in recent years has focused instead on briefings and receiving testimony.

Just how mind-bendingly outrageous some applications of the law in some jurisdictions have been was demonstrated again in Florida last Thursday when, after just two hours of deliberation, jurors acquitted 70-year-old former Army Lt. Col. Ralph Wald in the slaying of 32-year-old Walter Conley. Wald had awakened in the middle of the night on March 10 to find Conley having sex with his wife, Johanna Flores, on the living room floor. He told the court he shot the man because he thought Conley, his next door neighbor and wife's former lover, was raping her. In fact, the sex was consensual and Wald never mentioned "rape" in his 911 call.

Wald said on the stand: “If the same thing happened again, I would do the same thing. I didn’t think I did anything wrong. I had a problem, I found someone raping my wife. I took care of it. I got a gun and I shot him.”

The Tampa Bay Times investigated some 200 stand your ground cases last year and found egregious abuse of the law, including the killing of two unarmed people, of a man as he lay on the ground, of victims shot in back—sometimes while leaving the scene and presenting no threat. In nearly a third of the cases the Times analyzed, defendants started the confrontation, shot an unarmed person or pursued their victim. And yet they went free. In some cases, the defendants left the scene, armed themselves and returned to the fight. They too were let off.

The Times also discovered a racial component: people who killed a black person went free 73 percent of the time; people who killed a white person went free 59 percent of the time.

The Civil Rights Commission will likely focus its investigation on Michigan and South Carolina in addition to Florida.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 08:37 AM PDT.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA, Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Trial Watch, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  don't you know... (8+ / 0-)

    ...according to the RKBA group gun ownership is a civil right.

    We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

    by delver rootnose on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 08:50:56 AM PDT

    •  gun ownership, perhaps (8+ / 0-)

      gun use, less so...

      Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

      by a gilas girl on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 09:33:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What a silly comment! (2+ / 0-)

      Of course it's a civil right...per the SCOTUS Heller ruling specifically. Do you know what 'civil right' means?

      And 2nd, it being a civil right has nothing to do with Stand Your Ground!

      So silly.

      I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

      by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 03:48:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It might help if just once, the gunners would... (5+ / 0-)

      ...admit that their guns place them in a position of privilege.

      I mean, how many of us have the power to simply eliminate from this world somebody with whom we have a disagreement with a mere twitch of a trigger finger?

      When somebody has such power, and is in such a position of privilege, they really ought to admit it at the very least.

      The real measure of their sense of entitlement and privilege here comes from their not having to even think about or admit their position of privilege with respect to the rest of society.

      To them, their position of privilege seems quite unremarkable, and they often in fact seem to view themselves paradoxically as victims.

      •  I find thier entitlement... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dream weaver

        ...is best shown by their belief that they can enter a persons home while concealed carrying without telling the homeowner and that they feel it is the duty of the homeowner to post sighs to the contrary rather than the gun carrier having the duty to inform the homeowner.

        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

        by delver rootnose on Wed Jun 05, 2013 at 06:50:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I call it the RKBA Castle Doctrine. (0+ / 0-)

          Under their version of the castle doctrine, your castle is presumed by default to be their castle.

          •  we no longer have shared experiences (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            oldpunk

            When The Draft ended, the common shared hardship which forged a common background for low and moderate income Americans, ended with it.

            The Draft admittedly exempted many rich kids (and those who, like Bill Clinton, sought overseas education) - so we have our current ruling-class easily defined.  Persons with a disconnect to the "little people" who do the dirty work.

            The upside to The Draft was that many social and racial barriers fell when your life depended on a person who didn't look, sound, or act like you.  Children of dedicated racists, came back from their stint and accepted integration as necessary.  Children who were raised to follow dad into a good position in a closed shop, bunked with children of another dad, locked-out of anything better than menial labor - and became activists for equal opportunity.

            This lack of common experience, feeds this belief that my values can be put-upon your home, without your consent.
            It works both ways - and it's brought about by a polarization encouraged by those who make money from that polarization.  By US against THEM.  Regardless of who, or what, the us and them are.

            The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them.” ~ Joseph Heller, Catch-22

            by 43north on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 11:43:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not sure what the draft has to do with this. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              delver rootnose

              But if you bring a gun into my castle without my permission, I'm quite within my rights to confiscate your gun and kick you out or my castle.

              Once you are gone, I'll call the cops to come and pick up your gun and return it to you, possible in two pieces if I have a hacksaw handy.

              If you don't like it, sue me.

              Better to be judged by 12 than to be carried by 6.

      •  I think it's both burden and privilege. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        not4morewars, oldpunk

        If you're armed and responsible, you can't let every minor trespass or affront get under your skin.

        The loud, rude, foul-mouthed guy one booth over has to be dealt-with by management.  You may have to endure worse remarks after complaining to management.

        "What, are you such a skirt you had to talk to the manager, and not to my face?"
        Now the ice is flying over the booth.

        On that particular day, the deputy sheriff's wife and children left, and he and I stood up.  Both in our BDU pants, and plain polo shirts.  He wearing a Glock Duty Rig, me wearing a SIG.  We were at lunch on training day.

        "...oh fuck"
        I think the point was made.  

        If I, all 12 stone of me (160 pounds), got in this guy's face - he'd normally want to fight, having a 60 pound advantage.
        That particular day, his penis was smaller than my penis.
        Better-yet, I didn't even have to whip it, out for that message to be driven home.

        Maybe a lesson was learned:  When looking to make a man feel inadequate in-front-of his family, choose wisely.

        The country was in peril; he was jeopardizing his traditional rights of freedom and independence by daring to exercise them.” ~ Joseph Heller, Catch-22

        by 43north on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 11:32:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Everyone does, as long as you can actually (5+ / 0-)

        pull the trigger.

        I mean, how many of us have the power to simply eliminate from this world somebody with whom we have a disagreement with a mere twitch of a trigger finger?
        Whether you chose to avail yourself of that option is something else entirely. First, you have the choice to have a firearm. Then, you have a choice to use it (wisely or not).

        The only living things I've shot have been pest animals. I'd rather walk away from a confrontation than risk getting involved in an altercation.

        Most concealed carry permit holders are like that.

        The 'position of privilege' as you put it, isn't one that's ingrained in the person (like me being a white male is). You're missing out on a 'privilege' you say?

        Go buy a gun. I'd suggest training to go along with it.

        Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

        by KVoimakas on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 11:42:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Genuine question (16+ / 0-)

    Is the home invasion rate in the US so extreme that these kinds of laws are even warranted?

    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 09:34:24 AM PDT

    •  Unlikely (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avila, Mark Mywurtz

      But it would be nice if someone who knew what to look for could find something factual.

      •  heres data for my area... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        coffeetalk, Texas Lefty

        http://e-rockford.com/...

        88 home invasions around Rockford a year.  Home invasions are not the same as burglaries.  A home invasion involves breaking and entering with the intent to commit violence.  They know you're home, and they either don't care, or they want you to be home.

        If you don't see that as a problem, I don't know what to say.

        •  I live not so far from Rockford... (5+ / 0-)

          ...to know that of those 88 home invasions a year I would be most of them are domestic related incidents or where the person invading the home knows the homeowner.

          You must be frightened of your own shadow if you try to make Rockford sound like the south side of Chicago.

          We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

          by delver rootnose on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 11:31:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  there's the fear talking point again... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GoGoGoEverton, Texas Lefty

            Illinois citizens and our lawmakers think it's ok to defend ourselves in our homes, so we must be afraid...

            Nah, I don't buy the reasoning.

            •  and I am grossly dissapointed in... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Glen The Plumber

              ...our lawmakers especially Lisa Madigan for not appealing Madigan vs Moore to the Supreme Court.  One of many reasons that she is unfit for her current position or any other as she hopes.

              But don't kid yourself it wasn't the people of Illinois that pushed CC and the current gun laws through.  It was the NRA and its subordinate groups that forced them through with those activists judges.

              And don't kid yourself.  If you didn't fear home invasions you wouldn't see them as a threat needing a gun to 'prevent' them with.

              We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

              by delver rootnose on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 12:05:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  inorder to claim self defense (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                a2nite

                as an affirmative defense to homicide, you need to reasonably show you were in fear of your life.

                That much of the fear talking point is true.  And yes, castle law shifts the burden of proving that fear was reasonable to the State. Thats about where fear begins and ends in this discussion.

                By the way, this discussion isn't about concealed carry.  Are you trying to continue an argument from another diary?

              •  I have absolutely (5+ / 0-)

                no fear of a home invasion whatsoever.  Never have.  So it isn't something I can comprehend, even though my mother was a victim of a home invasion when I was a small child.  She taught me how to handle a situation like that, and her lesson did not involve a gun.  

                I have had my home burgled before, while that is an incredibly invasive (and also a genuine pain in the ass to clean up afterwards), it still isn't something that has led me to fear it.

                Still, 88 a year in a community as densely populated as Rockford does not strike me as an inordinately large number.  Certainly not out of proportion with the population density.  In fact, it seems rather low and pretty safe, to me.  That's less than 2/week on the average.

                 

                Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

                by a gilas girl on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 12:56:20 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  It Wouldn't Make Sense to Appeal (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                a2nite

                if the legislature passed a CCW law.  The controversy would then be moot and the Supreme Court would have nothing to rule on.  She is ready to appeal if necessary, but with a law passed, there is nothing to appeal.  

                She even sought an extension to be able to appeal in mid-May.  She now has gotten an extension for implementation of 30 days though. If Quinn vetoes the bill, she will likely appeal.  If Quinn doesn't veto, there is nothing to appeal.  

                •  they passed the... (0+ / 0-)

                  ..the law because she and her father decided not press the issue with the courts. She didn't want to take the risk and imperil her chance at governor or senator.  Because of this, and other things, I will never vote for her again.

                  We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                  by delver rootnose on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 05:07:21 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This Doesn't Make Sense (0+ / 0-)

                    First, it's not clear it does help her election prospects.  In the swing voters of female suburbanites, this is an unpopular bill

                    Second, Madigan doesn't control the Senate which also voted for it-in fact he has a bad relationship right now with Cullerton.

                    There was already a majority for a CCW bill in the House on top of all of this.  The Senate was a different story.  

                    There are no conspiracies here.  

            •  Of Course You're Afraid (6+ / 0-)

              If you're right about the significant threat of home invasions in Rockford, enough to want a gun to shoot someone with, of course you're afraid. You're right to be afraid.

              But you're so afraid that you're afraid to admit it. And since the 88 home invasions among 339,178 people in the metro Rockford area is about 0.02% (one for every 50,000 people), the risk is pretty low. The chances of arson in the same area are about 35 times as high - does anyone even buy a single extra fire extinguisher to address that risk? No.

              And those are the "home invasions" investigated by police, so reported, but not convicted, so not necessarily even home invasions. You and your neighbors have probably got 70 times as much chance of arson or more, but you're not afraid of it. Because that risk, though far higher, isn't worth buying an extra fire extinguisher. Because that fear isn't blown out of proportion.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 12:13:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  actually I have two fire extinguishers... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Texas Lefty, Dogs are fuzzy

                one in the kitchen, one in the garage.  I'm not afraid of fire.  It's not a law here to require fire extinguisers, but it's a good idea to have them, and handy to have if a small fire breaks out and I can lessen the impact.

                I have a home alarm system too.  Like you said, home fires are more common.  Medical conditions are common too, and neither are easily predicted correct?  I dont' think having an alarm and monitoring service when you're not very close to fire/ambulance service is imprudent.  I dont' think it makes my a hypochondriac either.

                I started shooting when I started hunting and shooting clays.  No fear of birds here, I assure you.  I later joined the military, do you think all soldiers are jingoists?  I don't think so. I kept shooting after the military because I enjoy it.  I usually shoot paper when I'm not hunting to shooting clays.  I'm not afraid of paper.

                I have a fire extinguisher because it's the best tool to handle a small fire.  I have an alarm service because thats the best tool to handle a big fire.  I have a shotgun because I can't run, fly, or throw rocks well enough to drop a pheasant otherwise.

                And yes, in the event somebody broke in, and I
                had to defend myself or my family, I could use my softball bat.  But since I happen to own firearms, and am well-trained in their use, I'm going to use the best tool I have after calling 911.

                Do you consider me afraid for calling 911 if the door gets kicked in, and the alarm goes off?

                If I spent my whole life without guns, then suddenly bought one, with no training or experience and thought it was somehow my savior, you might have a point, but then again, thats not me.

                •  Arson (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  amsterdam

                  You have an extra fire extinguisher, but not because of the chances of arson. Which are the chances of home invasion. So if you say you have a gun because of the chances of home invasion, you're wrong. It's something else.

                  If someone kicked the door in, and you weren't afraid, whether or not you had a gun, you'd be wrong.

                  Of course, "you" aren't who we're talking about here. We're talking about the whole population around Rockford. Few of whom have your military experience, so your military experience is irrelevant to what we're talking about here. Which is not whether you own a gun or not, but whether actual facts justify it. Or whether it's right to be afraid when there is a significant threat, which home invasion in Rockford is not.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 08:30:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  wouldn't that be one.. (4+ / 0-)

                ...for every 5000?

                We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

                by delver rootnose on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 12:54:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  In my area, saddly, yes. (5+ / 0-)

      I live in Northern Illinois.  Google "Winnebago county home invasions" for a glimpse of what my morning paper looks like.

      A lot of the break ins involve the beatings or death of the occupants, this is not simple burglary.  The reasons are based on income disparity, Rockford's state-leading unemployment, a regional drug problem (meth), and rockfords transplanted gang problem.

      I live in a small town away from the action.  Things are more calm in my particular town, but the action is happening a few miles away.

      As far as, is castle doctrine warranted? Do you want somebody breaking down your door, killing your dog, then coming for you and your kids, and then be forced to prove you tried to flee before you can defend your family?

      •  oh and to add.... (4+ / 0-)

        ...stand your ground and the castle doctrine are quite different sets of laws.

        We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

        by delver rootnose on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 11:32:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  look at the map... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NormAl1792

          Illinois does not have a stand your ground law.  

          It has castle law.  It affirms your right to self defense. There we are, on the map!

          MB's diary talks about stand your ground, a lot of it talks about Florida.  The map conflates stand your ground, with castle doctrine.  They all involve duty to retreat, and it's a fine line, but whomever made the graphic either didn't know the difference, or is really taking solely about duty to retreat, and using the more emotionally charged 'stand your ground' headline.

      •  Hey, I live in a small town (5+ / 0-)

        ...not far from Rockford (though closer to DeKalb) as well.  

        (Just an observation, not really part of the discussion.)

        I find these "Stand your ground" laws a bit redundant; the right to use lethal force in self-defense has been established for centuries, and I would say the inconsistent application of it has, as well.  All you have to do is convince a jury that you had reason to feel in danger, and if your victim assailant was a big, scary-looking black guy, sometimes that's all it takes.

        GOP Agenda: Repeal 20th Century.

        by NormAl1792 on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 12:47:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I would tend to agree. (6+ / 0-)

          So would most people.

          Stand your ground laws came about, because zealous prosecutors were charging folks who defended themselves, not on the theory that the act of self defense wasn't justified, but that they first didn't try hard enough to flee.

          "A stand your ground" law is worded such that no person defending themselves is under any duty to retreat, and this grants them a form of immunity from prosecution.  It's not merely the absence of duty to retreat in some laws (like Illinois).

          The unintended consequences of stand your ground is that it's applied wrong.  In 'stand your ground' states like Florida, a person can invoke STG, and win immunity from prosecution! So prosecutors and police seem to be more reluctant to press or pursue charges.

          Personally, I find that a bit fucked up.  It's one thing to not have a duty to retreat in your existing laws.  It's another to have a law written that since you dont' have a duty to retreat, you somehow get immunity from having to prove a legitimate fear for your life!

      •  In those instances, I'd call the police (5+ / 0-)

        and flee.  I wouldn't have any trouble proving the "attempt to flee".  

        Actually, I'd like to live in a society where everyone who uses violence needs to have the choice to use violence examined, so yes, I do want the "be forced to prove that the violence was necessary part" even for me.  But no, I don't want somebody breaking down my door, etc. etc. etc.  (When did you stop beating your wife Mr. Mayor...)

        Since I don't have a dog to kill and if someone broke down my door, I'd grab my kid and get out immediately (we have a plan for that, btw, part of "being prepared"), your scenario is a bit over the top for me to do any imagining about what I might do, especially since I live in an apartment building where said door being broken down would be both witnessed by many (thus highly unlikely) and manifestly more difficult than in a free standing house, perhaps the answer is to do away with castles and make sure all of us live in far safer multi-family dwellings, since this threat to castles is so great?

        /snark

        Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

        by a gilas girl on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 01:05:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  my house is a little small for a castle... (3+ / 0-)

          Bigger then a bread box, smaller then a McMansion.  Less expensive too.

          There's no doors on the top floor (though the wife wants to put french doors leading to a balcony on the master bedroom, mind you we have no balcony back there either, so it's not exactly a weekend project) and due to the slope of the land, our second story bedroom is more like a third story drop to the back yard.

          While I was air assault in the army, that was a long, long time ago and I'd rather call the cops and barricade the (only) egress to the top level while I wait instead of trying to find rope and carabiners and remember how to tie Swiss seats, then teach the family how to repel on a moments notice to flee.  Call me lazy, but it is what it is.

          There was a time and a place for me in life where my better half and I loved living the highrise lifestyle.  That time was before we had kids and before we wanted to grow our own food, and the place was, of course, Chicago.  Now we life out in the countryside, have a big garden, a pond to fish in, traffic is non-existant, and it's cheaper then city living to boot.  No offense intended, becuase our lifestyle is not your lifestyle, but in our situation it was clearly a trade-up.

          I agree, the part where they killed the dog before beating and shooting the older couple was a bit much, nobody out here liked those facts either, so now that they caught the three responsible, it's not going to be easy to find an impartial jury either.

          •  How will you get out in a fire? (0+ / 0-)

            You need two usable exits from the bedroom.

            Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

            by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 06:02:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'll take broken legs for my $500 deductable Alex. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mildly Unsuccessful Lurker

              Maybe a bead sheet rope.  Perhaps wetting the towels and stuffing them around the door.

              Yeah, none of those are ideal.  The other egresses are on the ground floor.  Come to think of it, all my neighbors are equally screwed, to.  I only know of one home out here where they have a secondary escape route on the upper levels (they built themsleves a balcony with french doors, guess where she got the idea from?)

              Maybe it's time to head over to the township office for a building permit?

    •  Mad max world, need automatic weapons (4+ / 0-)

      in every mother's typical day, according to a woman who testified in congress

    •  Teevee America is a damn scary place (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      a2nite, Mark Mywurtz

      Watch the "news" and the dramas enough, and you'll start thinking that the average house gets robbed every other week and anybody getting safely home from the grocery store is some kind of miracle.

      Real-life America's mostly okay. In any given month, I can't recall more than zero or so nights when I find a stranger downstairs going through my things. I'm not a scary looking guy, and we don't live in a gated community or anything. Maybe it's just my twenty year old television, my thirty year old radio/tape player and my general lack of stuff worth taking that keeps the burglar traffic down in my house. But, even if crime were more frequent, I still think I'd feel better leaving the shootouts to the professionals.

      Unfortunately, it's not the real-life America that many people have in mind when they vote.

      Why is there a Confederate Flag flying in Afghanistan?

      by chimpy on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 04:34:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  These laws apply outside the home (2+ / 0-)

      As for crime in the home, reflect on America's dismal rate of domestic violence. An ex banging on or crashing through the door shouting threats is something a neighbor of mine and also a friend of mine have experienced.

      Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

      by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 05:59:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yeah, but they're doing it wrong. (0+ / 0-)

        Removing the duty to retreat would have solved the original problem.  

        Structuring the law so that if the option to not retreat is taken, then you're immune from prosecution regardless of the rest of the fact pattern, makes no sense.

        All they did was set the system up for future litigation and greif, pardon my snark, but I can't imagine that was unintentional.

  •  Good deal, I hope all the hard work done on this.. (14+ / 0-)

    ..is used.

    In the most comprehensive effort of its kind, the Tampa Bay Times has identified nearly 200 "stand your ground'' cases and their outcomes. The Times identified cases through media reports, court records and dozens of interviews with prosecutors and defense attorneys across the state.
    Florida's "stand your ground" law has been extremely successful for people who kill and claim self-defense. Nearly 70 percent of those accused went free (36 cases are pending).
    case outcomes Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

    All of the many cases that make it plain. Stand your ground law is bad law.

    My opinion (which doesn't really matter to those who lost their lives) is that the law's purpose as "sold" had little to do with the real reason NRA/gun manufacturers pushed so hard for it.
    So it's really good news that Trayvon Martins killing and all the other victims of crime has spurred a closer look at this stinker law.

    Thx MB

  •  US CEO Romney would abolish the Civil Rights (7+ / 0-)

    commission...just to remind everyone

  •  It's about time. (5+ / 0-)

    Post Racial America - not!  These laws just handed bigots a legal shield.  

    The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

    by AnnieR on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 12:14:14 PM PDT

  •  how about this... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dogs are fuzzy, Avila

    You see a guy walking down the street.  Don't like his looks, whatever.  You call 911, tell them; they roll their eyes and tell you to stay put.  At that point, you jump in your vehicle and CHASE HIM DOWN.  Then you kill him.  How is this standing "your" ground?  That's a gangster move- it's murder.

    the best lack all conviction while the worst are full of passionate intensity

    by mailman27 on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 03:43:01 PM PDT

  •  What does the Conley case have to do with SYG? (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, it's disturbing, but I don't see how SYG even applies here; wouldn't that fall under the castle doctrine?

    We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

    by Samer on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 03:45:18 PM PDT

    •  Jake, it's... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Avila

      ...Chinatown Florida.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 04:21:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it wouldn't even fall under castle doctorine. (0+ / 0-)

      You're a reasonable person, right?  Did you conclude, after reading the case that a rape was in progress?  Nope, I didn't conclude that either.

      Without SYG, the Conley case is more like the Arias case, except he had the decency to admit it.

      •  *clarification* Castle doctorine: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Samer, llywrch

        These are laws that, in the event somebody defends themselves in their own home, they have somewhat a reduced burden of proof in terms of justifying their actions.

        -typically states with castle doctorine include language that there is no duty to retreat from your home.  weak castle doctorine states leave it there.

        -stronger castle doctrine states also include language that if the act of self defense is due to a violent, or tumultuous entry (i.e there's signs of forced entry) the homeowner's burden of proof is automatically met.

        -some states go even farther then that, limiting liability for the homeowner  from civil suits if no criminal conviction against the homeowner can be secured.

        Without castle doctrine, you have to prove that you had a reasonable fear for your life if you didn't immediately respond with deadly force, and that you were unable to retreat, leaving you no choice but to defend yourself.  With castle doctrine, the State relieves you of some of that burden of proof by transfering it to themselves.

        It's not cart blanche to kill in your own home.  Thats what SYG is for...

      •  OTOH, remember that burden on proof is on (0+ / 0-)

        the prosecution.

        All the defense has to establish is reasonable doubt in the mind of one juror, and there's no guilty verdict.

        We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

        by Samer on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 07:10:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  stand your ground laws are part of the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Glen The Plumber, Avila

    "cold race-war" before the actual race-war.  It's just frightened white people crapping their plaid pants over a black president.

    No more, no less.


    "So I'm at the wailing wall, standing there like a moron, with my harpoon." - Emo Philips

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 03:54:47 PM PDT

  •  This is important; no law should favor (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, Avila

    one race or another, especially one that involves the potential use of a firearm.

    I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

    by GoGoGoEverton on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 03:57:45 PM PDT

  •  Oh, man, but that's where all the concealed and... (3+ / 0-)

    ... open carry guys get to play hero!

    C'mon, Civil Rights Commission! Why are you picking on the guys who feel more manly packing heat? What about the civil rights of those guys?

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 04:01:19 PM PDT

  •  Yoshihiro Hattori (5+ / 0-)

    In 1975 Yoshihiro Hattori was a 15 year-old high school exchange student from Japan, spending a year in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was invited to a Hallowe'en party that had been arranged for the exchange students. He was costumed as John Travolta (in a tuxedo) and in that disguise was executing dance steps when he accidentally arrived at the wrong house and went up on the front porch. Later in court the man who shot him admitted that Yoshihiro had not even tried the front door but retreated to the car that had brought him. He was standing by the car when the elderly homeowner emerged from the garage and shot him. He slowly bled to death from the lungs.  The killer returned to his home in a panic and did not call for emergency assistance for about half an hour. He was acquitted by a Louisiana court that agreed---having a Japanese jumping around on your porch would reasonably be perceived as a threat---it was reasonable to assume that Yoshihiro was a home invader.

    •  I don't know if SYG applies here as much as (0+ / 0-)

      the venerable way of thinking, "If my good-ol-boy neighbor says the foreigner he killed deserved killing, then that's good enough for me."

      (Not saying this way of thinking is unique to, say, Louisiana. Pick almost any state in the US at random & you'll find parts of it where that is the unwritten law.)

  •  I would not want to shoot a home invader, but (0+ / 0-)

    If I did so, it wouldn't be about property, but life. I guess it's moot since I don't have bullets, but the principle remains. I actually don't even have my gun, but it's something I think about because were having a lot of non invasion theft.

    “liberals are the people who think that cruelty is the worst thing that we do” --Richard Rorty Also, I moved from NYC, so my username is inaccurate.

    by jeff in nyc on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 04:18:06 PM PDT

  •  There's a problem that duty to retreat won't solve (3+ / 0-)

    Those cases, as described, don't sound like any kind of self-defense.

    If cases are being decided contrary to the law anyway, then changing the law won't help.

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 06:12:57 PM PDT

  •  About Time and Boycott TALKLEFT>COM (0+ / 0-)

    Apparently few have lived in the South and are not aware of what still goes on.  
    With that subject in mind everyone on this site should boycott TALKLEFT.COM.  Merritt is off the deep end and actually has a posting suggesting that people contribute to the legal defense fund of Zimmerman. Is this the type of thing that we progressive should be doing?????
    Beyond the fact that she controls divergent opinion as well as Nancy Grace and Sarah Palin- by simply blocking people she does not agree with- she had the audacity when I suggested the South was still with us by saying that was the 60's and not the world today.

    I would love to hear the comments from others, but we should not be supporting a supposed liberal or progressive site when they are suggesting people contribute to the legal defense fund of a racist like Zimmerman. I grew up in Memphis and was part of the movement surrounding the sanitation strike and the death of KING. The South is not that changed and all we have to see is the fight we have in Texas everyday of every year.

  •  "Unarmed" conceivably still a deadly threat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Texas Lefty

    If three or four racists decide to jump someone and drag him to death behind their truck, they don't need guns or knives in order to kill.

    If a heavyweight boxer wanted to kill someone barehanded, it would only take him a few seconds.

    If the intended victim is disabled, again an unarmed attacker with deadly intent is a deadly threat.

    Not that I'm betting the cases mentioned in the diary are that justifiable. Just a reminder that there are times when "unarmed" does not mean "safe".

    Freedom isn't free. Patriots pay taxes.

    by Dogs are fuzzy on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 06:21:07 PM PDT

    •  ?? (0+ / 0-)

      I will agree with your theory- however can you point out a any evidence that T. Martin represented a threat vs. defending himself against a violent racist. Further, I have never carried or owned a weapon (gun) and never encountered a situation where one was necessary and I have been around many nutty acting individuals. Are you still living with the idea of the "scary" black man as he is black???

      Of course if you are a Republican then any person that is not upper class and white male is a threat. Ho-hum- quite old and boring.

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