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Mon Jul 15, 2013, 12:41 PM

“Stand Your Ground” Increases Racial Bias





Yesterday a jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of second-degree murder in the killing of teenager Trayvon Martin. The decision was based on a law colloquially called “stand your ground” (SYG) which allows people to use proportionate force in the face of an attack without first trying to retreat or escape. More than 20 states have such laws.
At MetroTrends Blog, John Roman and Mitchell Downey report their analysis of 4,650 FBI records of homicides in which a person killed a stranger with a handgun. They conclude that stand your ground “tilts the odds in favor of the shooter.” In SYG states, 13.6 percent of homicides were ruled justifiable; in non-SYG states, only 7.2 percent were deemed such. This is strong evidence that rulings of justifiable homicide are more likely under stand your ground.
But which homicides?
The very kind decided in the Zimmerman trial. A finding of “justifiable homicide” is much more common in the case of a white-on-black killing than any other kind including a white and a black person. At PBS’s request, Roman compared the likelihood of a favorable finding for the defendant in SYG and non SYG cases, consider the races of the people involved. The data is clear, compared to white-on-white crimes: Stand your ground decreases the likelihood of conviction, but only when a white person is accused of killing a black person.

It’s simple: SYG laws increase the chances that a homicide will be considered justifiable because it gives the jurors more leeway to give defendants the benefit of the doubt. But, jurors will likely give that benefit of the doubt to certain kinds of defendants and not others. Stand your ground may or may not be a good law in theory, but in practice it increases racial bias in legal outcomes.



http://msmagazine.com/blog/2013/07/14/stand-your-ground-increases-racial-bias/

6 replies, 1347 views

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Reply “Stand Your Ground” Increases Racial Bias (Original post)
ismnotwasm Jul 2013 OP
BainsBane Jul 2013 #1
ismnotwasm Jul 2013 #2
BainsBane Jul 2013 #3
hlthe2b Jul 2013 #4
hack89 Jul 2013 #5
LanternWaste Jul 2013 #6

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 02:13 PM

1. Fortunately the Office for Civil Rights has opened an investigation into SYG laws.

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 02:35 PM

2. That is Awesome

Thank you; Saw this a few days ago, I really think the graphic is a good one.

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Response to ismnotwasm (Reply #2)

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 03:37 PM

3. Check out this thread

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #1)

Mon Jul 15, 2013, 07:57 PM

4. THAT is heartening..

I can only hope this gets pushed back without delay

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Jul 17, 2013, 05:13 PM

5. SYG favors the shooter regardless of race.

What you are seeing is the distorting effect of small samples. Murder is primarily an intra-racial phenomena - whites kill whites, blacks kill blacks.

So you are comparing a large sample (white / white) against a very small one (white / black). Basic statistics tells you that small samples are more likely to produce extremes.

Using Florida as an example, to date there have been 61 white on white SYG cases. There have been 11 white on black, 10 black on white and 26 black on black cases.

The results:

For white on white: 32 justified, 25 convicted, 4 pending

For white on black: 6 justified, 1 convicted, 4 pending

For black on white: 4 justified, 2 convicted, 4 pending

For black on black: 16 justified, 6 convicted, 4 pending


It would appear that at least in Florida, the true impact is that all races get the benefit of the doubt in SYG cases. The proper lesson is that SYG favors the shooter regardless of race.

http://www.tampabay.com/stand-your-ground-law/fatal-cases

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Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Thu Jul 18, 2013, 03:21 PM

6. And of course, the same tired group of idiots will rationalize this

And of course, the same tired group of idiots will rationalize this as acceptable through the distorted lens of privilege.

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