Monday, October 8, 2012

Is Georgia's Stand Your Ground Only for Whites?

 USA Today reports
Georgia has a so-called stand your ground law on the books that allows people to use deadly force if their lives are in danger. But John McNeil was charged anyway, nine months after the shooting. The case has since prompted calls from the NAACP and other groups for such laws to apply to all citizens, regardless of race. McNeil is black, and the man he shot was white. But white neighbors also testified about being intimidated by the man, who built their houses.

A Georgia judge ruled last month in favor of a request to release John McNeil, who's serving a life sentence for the 2005 killing of Brian Epp, who had built what the McNeils believed was their dream home.

John McNeil, now 46, wasn't charged immediately. Police said he was defending himself, his home and his son, La'Ron, who called his father after seeing Epp in the backyard. The Cobb County prosecutor eventually pursued charges, leading to McNeil's conviction.

McNeil never denied shooting Epp. He told police in Kennesaw, Ga., that Epp was belligerent and had threatened his son with a knife just before the shooting. A witness testified that Epp came onto McNeil's driveway, ignored a warning shot and charged at McNeil, who then fired a fatal shot. McNeil's attorney says the men were so close at that point that Epp's body touched McNeil's as he fell.
Threatening one's son with a knife is a crime that the police should be allowed to handle, so is trespassing. The concept of "stand your ground" encourages people to aggressively attempt to handle these things themselves. That's where it often goes wrong.

The funny part is of course that in Georgia they're so racist that they charged and convicted this guy. Now they look like the redneck, hypocrites that they are.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.


  1. All this show is what we have been telling you all along. Self-defense laws have very specific criteria that have to be met for it to be justified. The law does not create a set of magic words (“I felt threatened”) that let you get away with murder, as Japete et al. have been telling us. The fact that it took 9 months to press charges indicates it is more complicated than the one paragraph blurp from this reporter with an agenda (and remember the outrage by week 2 of the Zimmerman shooting). I don’t know all the details of the case to form an opinion myself, but it sounds like he is getting his chance though the appeal process.

  2. The details of this specific case sound like something that should have been considered a legitimate defensive gun use--belligerent man with a knife threatening good citizens. But your larger point is valid. The law must apply equally to all. I don't care what skin color the good citizen is. That includes recognizing the legitimacy of the act when a black man who uses a gun to defend himself and his family from a thug.

    And you've wondered if I'm a racist in the past, Mikeb.

    1. Many times, despite my repeated demonstrations to the contrary and despite your racism.

  3. mikeb, you quite conflicted on this SYG and Castle Doctrine. You don't support it for white people, or people who the media labels white. If a white man claims self defense, the law needs to change, if a black man claims self defense, the law should be enforced as written.

    Also, I though that if one claims that he felt threatened, he could claim SYG and get off without so much as an investigation.