Stand Your Ground Law: The Trayvon Martin Case

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Stand Your Ground Law

The Trayvon Martin case. This automatically should ring a bell in the mind of millions. This case sparked a deep debate about the systematic racism that is embedded within our government, and how legislation that are passed can continue to allow this to happen. Legislation such as the Stand Your Ground law, which is the defense that George Zimmerman used in his prosecution of the murder of young teen Trayvon Martin In the 2013 case of Florida v. Zimmerman ( Kessler) The Stand Your Ground Law is a highly controversial topic. The Stand Your Ground Law is a “self defense” law that allows someone to use specific or “deadly” force when they believe their life is in immediate danger. The law has been highly debated
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(Tappan) In the Supreme Court's case of 1921 Brown v. United States, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote in the 7-2 majority opinion, "If a man reasonably believes that he is in imminent danger of death or grievous bodily injury from his assailant, he may stand his ground and that if he kills him he has not exceeded the bounds of lawful self-defense." With the high profile cases that this law has been associated with, typically being cases that have a high racial impact, the Stand Your Ground Law has been criticized as another law that allows for systematic racism to occur within the United states. “The American legal system's handling of violent self-defense has long favored white, property-owning men. Nonwhite, female,and poor or gender-nonconforming people have always been more likely to be punished for defending themselves and less likely to see the courts come to their aid when they are harmed”…show more content…
This logic is agreeable and understandable. The everyday american should be allowed to defend themselves from danger if needed, the police are not always around and do not act as one's personal bodyguard, so of course if it is needed, a person is allowed to with deadly force, but only if the threat is also coming at one with the use of deadly force. It is also said that the stand your ground laws have increased homicide rates and allowed for “free-for-all” shootings to occur, that's not the case. There is infact a sort of order in this law. “Although the number of justifiable homicides in Florida has more than doubled since "stand your ground" was passed in 2005, the rate of violent crime in the state deceased by 23% from 2005 to 2010, according to FBI statistics.” (Contributor) This is not to say that the "stand your ground" law in itself caused the decrease, but it certainly was a factor.In simple terms we need SYG laws because too often prosecutors in self-defense cases ended up doing exactly what Justice Holmes warns against, using their own detached reflection outside the presence of that uplifted knife to judge the legitimacy of the actions of another
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