Over the past two years, Florida has been in the spot light for it’s shocking verdicts on “Stand Your Ground Law”. Many states have implemented this law, however Florida is the stand out state for its apparent unfair rulings, and jury verdicts on judicial decisions.
The Michael Dunn verdict on Saturday – where the white, 47-year-old software engineer was found guilty on attempted murder charges, but not on a first-degree murder charge for killing a 17-year-old black youth, Jordan Davis of Atlanta – has once again put the issue of armed self-defense firmly in society’s crosshairs.
The hung jury on the main murder charge came seven months after George Zimmerman, a half-Caucasian, half-Hispanic neighborhood watch captain was found not guilty in a murder trial for killing Trayvon Martin, another black 17-year-old who, like, Jordan Davis, was not armed. Social media was outraged with the recent verdict, as a second African american male was not given justice. A recent interview on CNN Anchor Don Lemon with Holly Hughes shed some light on the comparison in the law…
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In both the Dunn and Zimmerman trial, their defense lawyers did not invoke Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law in their criminal trials, but his “justifiable use” of deadly force, as defined by state courts, which likely played a role in the jurors’ decision not to convict on the specific murder charges presented by the prosecution.
This same defense has been utilized in African Americans, which often result in a 25 year sentence. A former U.S. airman is currently sitting in a Florida prison for what his supporters argue was a simple act of self-defense.
In the spring of 2010, 26-year-old Michael Giles was on active duty with the Unites States Air Force and stationed in Tampa. The married father of three had recently finished two tours in the Middle East and was looking forward to a career in the military, says his family. One night in February, a friend invited Giles to party at a Tallahassee nightclub. Shorty after arriving, a fight broke out among members of fraternities from nearby Florida A&M University.
According to court documents, an argument quickly escalated into a brawl involving 30 to 40 young men.
Giles reportedly was not involved in the melee but, separated from his friends, went outside to the car where he had a gun, for which he had a concealed carry permit. Giles put the weapon in his pants pocket and searched the crowd for his friends. Suddenly, he says, someone from the crowd punched him. Knocked to the ground and in fear for his life, Giles says he pulled out the gun and fired one shot into the leg of his alleged attacker.
Three men were injured, wounded by bullet fragments. Giles was immediately arrested and charged with second-degree attempted murder.
IS THE LAW WORKING?
Raw story reported:Republican Florida state Rep. Matt Gaetz told CNN on Monday that his state’s so-called Stand Your Ground law was working for African-Americans even though he thought it had been wrongly used to find Michael Dunn not guilty of murdering 17-year-old Jordan Davis.
“I don’t think anyone is going to nominate George Zimmerman or Michael Dunn for person of the year,” Gaetz explained to CNN host Carol Costello. “But I think, overall, the Stand Your Ground law has worked for the state of Florida. If you look at the five years preceding Stand Your Ground’s passage, the murder rate was on the rise Florida every year. Since we passed Stand Your Ground, the murder rate had declined every year.”-
Are there other states that have the “Stand the Ground Law”?
The Huffington Post recently reported about the growing number of states which have implemented the “Stand Your Ground Law”. The law is growing as violence, and home invasion have increased over the past decade.
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