TheProblem with Stand on your Ground Law
Standon your ground law claims that people may use force with no duty toretreat in case they face a reasonable threat (The 2014 FloridaStatures, 2014). This law expands on the notion of castle doctrinewhere people are allowed by the law to use any kind of force wheninvaded. It gives people the rights to defend themselves from threatsthat can cause their lives. In some circumstances, a person isallowed to kill if he or she feels that his or her life is threatenedby another (Find Law, 2014). However, the nature of this law isusually controversial and attracts a number of commentators. The factthat people are allowed to use lethal force in self defense iscreating much problems in the law that consequently attract critics.People kill each other and turn to the stand on your ground law forprotection.
Severaldeaths have been committed in the name of stand on your ground law.According to critics, this law seems to have given people the rightsto shoot and kill. It makes it hard to prosecute people who killothers as they claim it was in self defense. A person may killanother and claim that he or she felt threatened. In this case,people say that they had the right to defend themselves. Having inmind that in most cases there are no witnesses, people may kill andgo scot free if they claim that they only killed to protectthemselves as they felt threatened by the deceased. Obliviously, thislaw gives murderers an excuse to commit murder and escapeimprisonment (McClellan & Tekin, 2012).
Standon your ground law is dangerous and may be regarded as unnecessary inmost cases. This is because it promotes killings without consequencesas killers can defend themselves by stating that they feltthreatened. Such an act is worse when there were no witnesses in thecrime scene other than the deceased. This makes it extremelydifficult to prove whether a person killed in self defense or not.The controversy of this law heightened with the shooting of Martin inFlorida. Zimmerman was an armed watch man who killed an unarmedvictim, but was released by the law on the basis of self defense. Thefact that Zimmerman was armed gives an impression that his victim wasnot a threat. However, since the law allows people to commit murderand claim that it was in self defense, Zimmerman was found innocent.People were not convinced that indeed martin was a threat toZimmerman hence, the rise in the controversy pointing at stand onyour ground law (Yancy & Jones, 2013).
Onthe other hand, stand on your ground may be useful in self defense.It is undeniable that some people may kill others in self defenseespecially in situations where one is attacked. In such a case, themurder is justifiable because one has the rights to protect his orher life. The law recognizes that when confronted with a situationwhere either of the parties has to die, self defense is acceptable.Many people have been able to escape death when attacked because thelaw allows them to kill first before they are killed a strategyreferred to as self defense. However, people have taken advantage ofthe law to the point where they kill others even when it is notnecessary, and claim that it was in self defense. This situation isexacerbated by the fact that in most cases there is no proof thatindeed the murder was intentional (Wible, 2012).
Thelaw on stand on your ground is insufficient as it seems to createmore killers who are later on proved innocent. Therefore, it is theduty of law makers to repeal this law in order to reduce the cases ofdeaths allegedly caused in the name of self defense. In response tothis, some states have removed the duty to retreat so as to make itmore effective. This means that when a person is invaded, he or sheshould escape the situation and only kill when cornered completelyand as the last resort. Omission of duty to retreat by all states canhelp greatly in resolving the problem expressed by the law even ifnot fully (McClellan & Tekin, 2012).
Theexistence of the stand on your ground promotes killings of or givespeople a license to kill. Laws are supposed to solve problems, butnot create them. Therefore, this law can be termed as failure (InWilson, 2013). This is because rather than solving a law problem, itseems to attract serious crimes. People are killing each otherbecause they are aware that the stand on your ground law will rescuethem when need be. Law makers should come up with up with measures toimprove this law so that people will not abuse the law and kill eachother. The law should be made in such a way that it protects peopleand not vice versa.
FindLaw. (2014). States that have Stand your Grounds Laws. Retrieved fromhttp://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-law-basics/states-that-have-stand-your-ground-laws.html
InWilson, J. (2013). Americanlaw yearbook 2012: A guide to the year`s major legal cases anddevelopments.Detroit, Mich: Gale.Wible, D. S. (2012). Halftimein america: The challenge years.S.l.: Iuniverse Com.
McClellan,C. B., & Tekin, E. (2012). StandYour Ground Laws and Homicides.Cambridge, Mass: National Bureau of Economic Research.
The2014 Florida Statures (2014). Justifiable Use of Force. Retrievedfromhttp://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.013.html
Yancy,G., & Jones, J. (2013). PursuingTrayvon Martin: Historical contexts and contemporary manifestationsof racial dynamics.Lanham: Lexington Boos.