Thursday, June 7, 2012

Reason #209: Petitions

The task force that Florida has convened to re-examine the Stand Your Ground law will be meeting for the first time this Tuesday. Trayvon Martin's parents will be present for the meeting, and are expected to deliver a 340-thousand-signature petition calling on the task force to either amend or repeal the law outright.

Meanwhile, the Tampa Bay Times has been investigating almost 200 separate criminal cases where Stand Your Ground was involved, and its findings run the gamut from shocking to not-very-shocking to outright ridiculous.

For example, nearly seventy percent of cases where the defendant invokes Stand Your Ground have resulted in an acquittal. If you break that number down further, you will find that fifty-nine percent of cases involving a white victim ended with acquittal, while that was true of seventy-three percent of cases involving a black victim. In other words, juries are at least fourteen percent more likely to acquit you if you claim to have felt threatened by a black person.

And if you think that's bad, wait until you hear about the guy who tried to use the law to get away with shooting a bear.

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