Study: 'Stand Your Ground' Inconsistently Applied

By: The News Service of Florida
By: The News Service of Florida

June 5, 2012 -

A Tampa Bay Times study of Florida's "stand your ground" law, seven years after its passage, reveals complex and often unintended consequences. By identifying nearly 200 cases in which the law was invoked – via media coverage, court records and interviews with prosecutors and public defenders – the Times found that nearly 70 percent of those who invoked the law went free. Some experts said the law is working well. But the report also found that parallel cases often had vastly different outcomes, usually depending on where they occurred. Some defendants who went free had initiated the confrontation and pursued their victims or shot them in the back. Others were in the midst of conducting a drug deal. As to the question of racial application of the law, which has figured so prominently in the Trayvon Martin killing in Sanford on Feb. 26, the findings were inconclusive. The study found that 73 percent of defendants who killed a black person went free, whereas 59 percent of defendants who killed a white person went free. But it also found that whites and blacks who invoked the law were both charged and convicted at the same rate. Former state Sen. Durell Peaden, R-Crestview and his chamber's sponsor of "stand your ground" in 2005, told the Times that the law was never intended to protect those who put themselves in a potentially dangerous situation before committing a violent act.


You must be logged in to post comments.

Username:
Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 6, 2012 at 04:29 AM
    This is a useless study. If you take any law and follow accused through arrest,charges and court you will find the same variance in conviction and sentence.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 6, 2012 at 07:13 AM in reply to
      It is highly useful -- just attach a misleading headline, and presto! -- a politically useful false impression is created in the minds of countless people who happen to notice it while on their way to the sports/entertainment pages.
  • by Surprise Location: leon county on Jun 6, 2012 at 02:27 AM
    IMO the 13% thats doing 85% of all crime and of course the Gunaphobes aka those who have problems with We the Peoples Bill of Rights wont's this good law changed. .... Sorta spains things don't it. (wink)
  • by Surprise Location: leon county on Jun 6, 2012 at 02:27 AM
    IMO the 13% thats doing 85% of all crime and of course the Gunaphobes aka those who have problems with We the Peoples Bill of Rights wont's this good law changed. .... Sorta spains things don't it. (wink)
  • by Bolillo Location: Wakulla on Jun 6, 2012 at 02:19 AM
    Soon, I'll be leaving the state on a vacation with more cash than I usually carry and my wife, aka, "female anatomy." Should I break down along side the highway or make a wrong turn on the way, I'll have my carry permit, a snub nose .38 with hollow point slugs, and the law on my side. It'll make the trip more enjoyable and safe. Hotel sleeping will come easier as well.
  • by Jess on Jun 5, 2012 at 09:32 PM
    If a judge applies the law to a criminal activity, the judge should be disbarred because it clearly states that in the law that it can't be used as a defense for criminal activity.
  • by Jones on Jun 5, 2012 at 06:11 PM
    All gun owners should be rounded up and jailed.
    • reply
      by Smith on Jun 5, 2012 at 08:59 PM in reply to Jones
      .... and Wesson.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 5, 2012 at 11:09 PM in reply to Jones
      Most periods of history demonstrate that governments become increasingly controlling when they remove arms from their citizens. The Scots had their arms removed by the English. Dictatorships remove arms from the population to prevent people from fighting back. We have a second amendment that permits us to have arms. Given the number of people who do use guns to assault and rob along with the time frame of how long it takes our overworked police to arrive at a scene-let us keep our guns to defend our lives and families. The people who should be rounded up are those who restrict the activities of law abiding citizens...Oh, that would include you Jones.
    • reply
      by Mike on Jun 6, 2012 at 06:17 AM in reply to Jones
      I'll give up my guns as soon as crime is eliminated.
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jun 7, 2012 at 07:19 AM in reply to Mike
        I won't.
  • by Anonymous Location: near Larry on Jun 5, 2012 at 05:42 PM
    Good Job WTCV! I enjoyed reading the report. Keep it up, please! Ps. 9 million, by what count. Making up numbers. Shame on you.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Jun 6, 2012 at 05:38 AM in reply to
      Read the study, not the report about the study... it ain't hard to find, or very long.
  • by Thank you on Jun 5, 2012 at 11:03 AM
    WCTV than you for making it crystal clear that the problem is NOT the SYG law. It is government representatives not acting in accordance to it. That means we need to change personnel, not a good solid law that protects law abiding citizens right to self defense without having to wait until they are being killed or maimed at the hands of violent criminals. Again, may thanks to you for this story.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 5, 2012 at 09:01 AM
    The headline is an ethical violation -- the study found that application was remarkably even, likely way more even than under the old law. There have been a small number of outrageous misapplications by judges who apparently think that (e.g.) engaging in a high-speed car chase to facilitate a gunfight is a "lawful activity" that allows a self-defense claim by the pursuer when the victim is caught -- but all in all, it has worked well to protect the innocent from unjust incarceration, unconscionable legal fees, and persecution in civil court. Surprisingly well, considering the politicized environment and large number of people who want it to fail. Gangsters, prosecutors and people who have a lot of criminals in their families tend to hate it, and for the last time -- SYG has little or no bearing on the Trayvon Martin case -- not that you can expect journaliars to pass up a chance to promote a race war these days.
  • by common sense on Jun 5, 2012 at 08:34 AM
    go figure....
    • reply
      by notawctvemployee on Jun 5, 2012 at 09:17 AM in reply to common sense
      Or you could actually read the study, and find that these "news" stories written about the study are slanted to create the impression that it found the discrimination those who conducted it apparently hoped to find, but did not...
      • reply
        by common sense on Jun 5, 2012 at 10:02 AM in reply to notawctvemployee
        Idiot I did read the story, my only comment was "Go figure". You and your inbred thoughts shouldn't assume. Whoever taught you how to write should be shot also.
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jun 5, 2012 at 11:52 AM in reply to common sense
          Then what exactly did you mean by "Go figure"? Or did you just post an ambiguous comment looking for an opportunity to insult anyone who responded, not to mention threaten someone (my mom, in this case)? And what, exactly, is an "inbred thought"? Aren't you just a leftist tool, who being "educated" to the standards of the time, is in a state of constant irritation because the world is not working as you think it should?
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jun 5, 2012 at 01:37 PM in reply to common sense
          He said, "read the study", idiot. Not "story".
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Jun 5, 2012 at 07:35 PM in reply to common sense
          Hey idiot, he said "read the study", not "read the story that was written about the story".
    • reply
      by The numbers on Jun 5, 2012 at 11:05 AM in reply to common sense
      Over 9 MILLION people with guns killed no one yesterday, and will do it again today. Try and keep perspective. No matter how bad it conflicts with what you want to believe.
  • Page:
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 157214965 - wctv.tv/a?a=157214965
Gray Television, Inc.