Trayvon Martin's Killing Is Now A Murder Case. Should "Stand Your Ground" Laws Be Repealed ?
Trayvon Martin's Killing Is Now A Murder Case. Should The "Stand Your Ground" Law Be Repealed ?
Stand Your Ground laws should be repealed because:
1. They require “law enforcement officials to prove that a suspect did not act in self-defense. [NYT] ” This burden of proof is a bridge too far on the presumption of innocence continuum. You cannot prove motive with confidence on the basis of circumstantial evidence when the other guy happens to be dead.
2. They protect shooters from civil suits, where the burden of proof for a civil judgement is lower. This means that when the state doesn’t charge no civil options remain to the victim’s family.
3. Many of the victims have been unarmed (12 of 13 studied in a recent Orlando Sentinel investigation).
4. Police chiefs do not understand the laws, and thus abrogate their duty to investigate fully in the first crucial hours following an incident, allowing vital forensic evidence to be destroyed.
5. Clueless gun owners, like George Zimmerman, who are inclined to ignore or misunderstand policies and regulations regarding use of a firearm, will falsely believe they have rights that they do not, in reality, possess.
6. They encourage vigilantism by codifying a set of assumptions that magnifies the real degree of threat posed by “suspicious” persons possessed of unknown intent. This effect is exacerbated by racial profiling, as well as outright racism, and further fueled by the now well-known “hoodie effect.”
7. They represent an attempt to “normalize” the use of firearms in situations where the standard of proof is that of “feeling threatened,” a standard that is not codified with objective criteria under the laws.
8. People under investigation for having committed a crime involving the use of a firearm already possess a presumption of innocence.
9. They serve to reinforce the brutality of American society, driven by a paranoid sense of threat experienced by some armed civilians.
10. They represent a license to kill. And, as I have said before, it’s not gun nuts who bother me, it’s nuts with guns. I agree with Chattanooga, Tennessee gun enthusiast Sally Peterson who told WRCB TV,"You can't approach a person and draw your gun. I just think there are too many wannabe cops.”
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