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Tue Apr 3, 2012, 10:11 PM

SYG laws in a vacuum are not the only problem.

Last edited Tue Apr 3, 2012, 11:34 PM - Edit history (1)

I see many folks here arguing that the Trayvon Martin case only illustrates the absurdity of Stand Your Ground laws, without race being part of that picture.

But the statistics on "justifiable homicides," which is how SYG killings are categorized, tell a different story and reflect a clear race-based imbalance in their application.

According to the ABA Journal:

"Justifiable homicides are increasing, especially in states with “stand your ground” laws, even as the overall U.S. homicide rate is falling.

From 2000 to 2010, justifiable homicides rose from 176 to 326, an 85 percent increase, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. The category includes killings categorized as justifiable by police and prosecutors, and those in which defendants win at trial based on the claim.

Among all homicides, when races differ, the victim is more often white. In justifiable homicides, when races differ, the victim is more often black."

http://www.abajournal.com/mobile/article/justifiable_homicides_rise_especially_in_states_with_stand_your_ground_laws/

Part of the problem here, clearly, is the SYG laws themselves. But, as in every other aspect of the criminal justice system, how those laws are applied reflects racist attitudes that are still far too prevalent in our society. And that is a legitimate and germane part of this conversation.

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply SYG laws in a vacuum are not the only problem. (Original post)
stranger81 Apr 2012 OP
pipoman Apr 2012 #1
stranger81 Apr 2012 #4
Hoyt Apr 2012 #2
FreakinDJ Apr 2012 #3
stranger81 Apr 2012 #5
stranger81 Apr 2012 #6
ProgressiveProfessor Apr 2012 #7

Response to stranger81 (Original post)

Tue Apr 3, 2012, 10:29 PM

1. In years gone by

 

people who defended themselves have almost always been charged with some crime. People have been jailed for their response to attack, without the attack the person would have never been accused or convicted of any crime. People have, through the unlawful acts of others, been forced into defending themselves a second time against criminal and civil legal actions costing them everything they had worked their life to gain and in some cases even costing them their freedom. Maybe, if we are going to be set on charging every person who defends themselves, the state should pay damages, and all legal expenses of those cleared by a jury?

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Response to pipoman (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 3, 2012, 11:01 PM

4. I think that's an excellent idea. [nt]

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Response to stranger81 (Original post)

Tue Apr 3, 2012, 10:35 PM

2. Thanks for pointing out who these laws protect in reality.

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Response to stranger81 (Original post)

Tue Apr 3, 2012, 10:40 PM

3. How is SYG Law different from Battered Woman's Syndrome defense

 

I read some absolutely horrendous applications of that defense that completely defy common sense

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Response to FreakinDJ (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 3, 2012, 11:06 PM

5. In this respect - the racial factor involved in who gets to successfully assert it - they may not be

I don't know the statistics showing, by race, how many defendants are allowed to present that defense, whether there are disparities among women of different races in terms of how often it is successfully asserted, etc.

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Response to FreakinDJ (Reply #3)

Tue Apr 3, 2012, 11:33 PM

6. OK you inspired me to look this up

And the same racial disparity is evident in the application of the Battered Women's Defense.

Sarah Buel, a University of Texas (Austin) law professor and longtime battered women's advocate, discusses this in a 2003 Harvard Women's Law Journal article available here:

http://www.abajournal.com/mobile/article/justifiable_homicides_rise_especially_in_states_with_stand_your_ground_laws/

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Response to stranger81 (Original post)

Tue Apr 3, 2012, 11:52 PM

7. Castle Doctrine figures in here more than SYG

SYG did not have a presumption of imminent GBI or death, but Castle Doctrine does. That means that Castle Doctrine laws are also causing more cases to be treated as justified. For incidents away from the residence, the requirements for reasonable fear of imminent GBI or death apply.

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