Saturday, June 16, 2012

Stand Your Ground Laws to Be Federally Investigated for Racism

Dehumanizing target,
clearly of a black person
from the hands, but no
face; an attempt to justify
fear of a group, an illustration
of racial profiling and bigotry
Not surprising, the Shoot First Laws appear to have racial overtones, given this in the news.  It is worth noting here that the Trayvon Martin shooting exemplified the problems with the laws - they have a flawed concept and are a typical more gun selling right wing solution in search of a problem.  Right wing solutions, with or without an actual problem tend to be more punitive and restrictive, and consistently less fair than egalitarian and inclusive actual solutions to properly defined problems where the public good is genuinely served, not special interests.

So the following announcement should not come as a surprise; what surprises me is that the DoJ didn't beat them to it.

 It should also come as no surprise that the Florida Governor is not acting fairly in establishing a review of the law in Florida.  Want to bet he gets a lot of NRA money, directly or indirectly, and that he has participated in or benefited from ALEC?

And if you have any doubt that this is NRA driven legislation to sell more guns, the fact that the NRA is providing special insurance to help shooters get a free pass for killing people with the guns they help sell should be a tip off.

U.S. Commission On Civil Rights To Investigate ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws For Racial Bias
By Judd Legum on Jun 10, 2012 at 10:07 am

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights announced it will launch an inquiry into so-called “Stand Your Ground” legislation for racial bias. The laws, which gained notoriety after the shooting of Trayvon Martin, eliminated the duty to retreat from a confrontation that has existed as part of the common law for hundreds of years.
According to the Commission, there are “some indicators of racial bias” in how the laws have been implemented. From the release:
Data compiled by the Wall Street Journal shows a near-doubling of justifiable homicides from 2005-2011 in states where SYG [Stand Your Ground] has passed. Moreover, their data shows that while white killers of black victims comprises only 3.1% of all homicides, such cross-racial killing constitute 15.6% of justifiable homicides.
A separate study by the FBI found “34% of cases involving a white shooter killing a black person were deemed as a justifiable homicide. Meanwhile, in similar situations, when the shooter was black and the victim was white, the homicide was ruled justifiable only 3.3% of the time.” (my emphasis added - DG)

The committee plans to hold hearings and release the findings of their study within one year.
In the last 7 years, 23 states have adopted “Stand Your Ground” legislation at the urging of the right wing American Legislative Exchange Council.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has also convened a committee to study Stand Your Ground but has stacked the group with supporters of the law.

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