Earlier this year, an interesting study was published in the University of Miami Law Review by Zachary Weaver. Entitled “Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law: The Actual Effects and the Need for Clarification,” it raises some serious questions about the expanding parameters for the use of lethal force in our country.To me, that's a sick law which is indicative of the sickness that is taking over America. When state after state is abandoning the common sense of using "every reasonable means available to retreat prior to using deadly force," we're heading in the wrong direction. When laws are enacted which encourage people in their macho, never-back-down confrontative attitudes, we're moving away from civilization not towards it.
On April 26, 2005, Florida Governor Jeb Bush signed “Stand Your Ground” (aka “Shoot First”) legislation into law.
The law eliminated the state’s common law duty to use every reasonable means available to retreat prior to using deadly force, which the Florida Supreme Court had legitimized by explaining, “human life is precious, and deadly combat should be avoided if at all possible when imminent danger to oneself can be avoided.”
The law states that any individual who is in a place where he/she has a legal right to be, and who is “not engaged in an unlawful activity ... 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.” Individuals using lethal force in this manner are immune from criminal prosecution and civil lawsuits.
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