Stand-your-ground law

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Reign-Mack, Aug 16, 2006.

  1. Reign-Mack

    Reign-Mack
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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand-your-ground_law
    "Stand Your Ground" laws, sometimes called shoot-first laws by their critics, are statutes that allow the use of deadly force to defend against forcible unlawful entry or attack. These bills significantly expand the boundaries of legal self-defense by eliminating a person's duty to retreat from an invader or assailant in certain cases before resorting to the use of "defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another." [1]

    The state of Florida in the United States became the first to enact such a law on October 1, 2005. The Florida statute allows the use of deadly force when a person reasonably believes it necessary to prevent the commission of a "forcible felony." Under the statute, forcible felonies include "treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual."[1]

    The Florida law authorizes the use of defensive force by anyone "who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be." Furthermore, under the law, such a person "has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony." The statute also grants civil and criminal immunity to anyone found to have had such a reasonable belief.[1]

    Many supporters of the legislation, including the National Rifle Association, have dubbed the Florida statute a "Stand Your Ground" law, since it allows people to 'stand their ground' in defense of themselves and their property when attacked without fear of prosecution or civil lawsuits. Wayne LaPierre, the CEO of the NRA has said, "For someone attacked by criminals to be victimized a second time by a second-guessing legal system is wrong."[2]

    Critics of the legistation, however, fear that laws like this will lead to a rise in gun-related deaths by encouraging vigilantism and pre-emptive shootings. Zach Ragbourn, a spokesperson for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, has said that laws like Florida's "are more accurately called 'Shoot First' laws. They allow a person who just feels something bad is going to happen to open fire in public."[2]

    Since the enactment of the Florida legislation, South Dakota, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Michigan, and Indiana have adopted similar statutes, and other states (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Washington and Wyoming) are currently considering "Stand Your Ground" laws of their own.[2]

    Some of the states that have passed or are considering "stand your ground" legislation already are considered "stand your ground" in their case law. These states include: Washington State (per State v. Reynaldo Redmond), Indiana, and Georgia. Though stand your ground is already caselaw in these states, these states still passed "stand your ground" into statute due to possible concerns of the caselaw being replaced by "duty to retreat" by future court rulings. Also, these states did not have civil immunity for self defense in their previous self defense statutes.

    *NY Times quote removed
     
  2. Silver Arrow

    Silver Arrow
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    Hell of a post for discussion!

    Having watched some of the Michael Moor films, particularly Shooting for Columbine, I can't believe these States are going down this route.#

    Surely the correct path is to remove the reason for the crime in the first place.
     
  3. Reign-Mack

    Reign-Mack
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    here is bit more from the NY times its a long articile so I have only posted part of it
    Read The Rest
     
  4. drskhaled

    drskhaled
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    I'm no fan of American gun laws and I'm glad we dont allow most people here to own guns, but theres something that makes my blood boil about someone invading your property with the intent of harm. i'm not sure what i'd do if an intruder threatened me or my family but if i had a weapon i'd probably use it. However logic dictates that if you have a weapon so will your assaillant, and he'll not hesitate to use it to protect himself. As most ordinary people in this country dont have guns neither do petty criminals. Even if the criminals do have guns they'll be less likely to use it as they wont be in fear of their life.

    So allowing these kind of laws will increase the number of deaths both of innocent and guilty.
     
  5. Steve.EX

    Steve.EX
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    Americans and Carte Blanche springs to mind.
     
  6. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Not sure what the point of this thread is. In the UK you are allowed to use reasonable force against anyone you genuinely percieve as being a threat to you . Reasonable force means doing the minimum amount necessary to prevent injury to yourself or others , this could range from pushing someone up to sticking an axe in their head depending on circumstance.

    One thing is for sure a member of the public finding themselves in said situation is highly likley to find themselves the subject of a major investigation or court case regardless of the suitability of their actions.

    Happened to me , although the eventual outcome was that the wounded party injured themselves through reckless endangerment whilst in the process of attacking me rather than any intentful act of self defence on my part , even had to change my plea from one of self defence to not guilty at the behest of the judge.

    Huge waste of time and money ,huge amount of additional stress for me , felt like I had been attacked once and then the judicial sytem had given the bloke another free go.

    As for the no expectation for retreat , in this country if you don't retreat when there was no reasonable prevention to do so "reasonable force" itself is regarded as being difficult to prove. You are expected to retreat rather than resort to force if possible in all circumstances. Although you are allowed to instigate a forceful reaction if you feel the threat is sufficient from the other party even though they themselves have not yet used force ( think this is called the "guardsman's perogative") .
     
  7. GBDG1

    GBDG1
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    Freudian slip?
     
  8. Reiner

    Reiner
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    I dunno what else it takes for Americans to realize their relaxed gun laws and easy access to guns is a big part of the problem (shooting people that is) - but then again I don't really care as long as I don't have to live there.
    But hey, the argument that they need weapons, lot's of them and automatic ones of course, for self-defense is hard to beat. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Steven

    Steven
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    So all that has merely happended is a re-confirmation to Americans that they can resolve every argument with a gun?
     
  10. Reign-Mack

    Reign-Mack
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    And in contrast to that...
    Source
     

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