PURSUASIVE RESEARCH PAPER
Posted by Winniem on January 14th, 2019
Florida enacted the Stand Your Ground Law almost a decade ago to provide faster, simpler and cheaper path in the legal process for those defending themselves from a various accusation that relate to deadly force. Though this simple path is still in existence, it is less frequently used by defendants and is less successful when being used.
I have picked a very touchy topic at this time that it mainly under scrutiny. I have my personal feelings towards the “stand your ground Law” because I believe that this law needs repealing. I know my close friend who is personally affected by this law and she had to face up to 20 years in jail. This persuasive research paper brings close attention to this law to the readers and calls for the removal of the Stand Your Ground Law. The reasons I propose for the removal of this law are. The laws allow the law enforcers and other people to kill with impunity. Second is that the laws combine with race bias, stereotypes and fear and that the laws are ubiquitous and misleading to the members of the public.
Personal connection or stake in the issue
One evening, as I was walking towards my house from a grocery store nearby, I heard gunfire. I quickly ran into my house for cover up. While, inside the house, I waited quietly in the dark living room scared waiting to hear anything from outside. After about 5 minutes, I heard screams and shouting from by neighbor Mrs. Merissa Alexander, she was screaming at the top of her voice, “never touch me again or I will shoot you!’” She screamed on top of her lungs. Her three children were screaming for help. Suddenly I heard the screeching of her husband’s car and peeped through the window. I saw Mr. Alexander telling her his children to get into the car, and he drove off speedily driving away leaving white smoke behind. I had known Mrs. Alexander for two years now, and I can say that the last few months have not been her best time ever. She is always in constant quarrels with her husband, and I remember one day she in a hospital for admission after being badly beaten by her husband.
From this incident, Alexander was convicted of three accounts in the use of the deadly weapon for firing into the wall. According to Alexander, she maintained that her intention was not to hurt anyone. She insisted that she was standing her ground against her husband who in the course the years had choked and punched her to the ground on several occasions. Alexander believes that on that her goal was to self-protect as per the Stand Your Ground Law that provides people like her the discretion of using a weapon for self-defense. Therefore the “Stand Your Ground Law “is currently one of the most controversial laws in the nation today that has been under scrutiny since the George Zimmerman case. This law needs repealing since it continues to bring about many confrontations leading to a death of victims and jailing of innocent victims.
The Stand Your Ground Law should have a repeal because it makes people kill without impunity. Records indicate that since the implementation of the Stand Your Ground Law, there have been more than 63 cases that have been to the Duvall County. The cases show how the defendants have charges on felonies for the requests for a hearing or the claim of self-defense. The law can be used by a self-interested, and intelligent observer who aims to kill with impunity should have a way out. The castle doctrine laws provide citizens a right to use deadly force as the self-defense mechanism and for property protection under their home confines (Expanding the 'castle doctrine, 2011). Many of such laws have been revising, and now the citizens can now use deadly force outside their home confinement. However, there is the abuse of these laws on the ground of Stand Your Ground leading the laws to promote vigilantism and violence (Gross, 2012). Therefore, the underlying issues concerning these laws are based on individual’s interpretations as to what a person defines it as a threat or believe that their life is in danger. Therefore, the law is extremely helpful for those who kill and later claim it in self-defense. About 70% of the accused have been set free. Therefore the stand your ground law need repealing.
The case of Alexander is scenario showing that the law is not applicable to all people equally, and it is on racial stereotypes and other forms of discrimination. If a law enforcer can kill an innocent boy simply for walking in the neighborhood with a hooded jumper later and night yet unarmed. Like the Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin case. Zimmerman is now a free man because of the law; it shows something is wrong. For Alexander, a black woman had to face also twenty years of jail yet she did not kill anyone. The case of Alexander has gained scrutiny and national attention because of her not being treated the same as Zimmerman under the Stand your Ground law of Florida. Therefore, the case of Zimmerman greatly helped in propelling the situation that Alexander was facing. It is a case that acts as an example of how the state statutes are not equally applicable to all defendants who initially claimed for immunity under this law (United States Census Bureau, 2015).
The same judge Corey prosecuted both Alexander and Zimmerman. The law was applied differently because of the defendant’s characteristics; Alexander was a victim of domestic violence and a black woman whose use of a deadly weapon did not hurt anyone. Alexander case also points out that the law does not app equally apply especially to women of color. Though the domestic violence survivor’s advocates were pleased with the release of Alexander, they will continue to push of the amenity of the stand your ground law so as to protect women from domestic violence.
The Stand Your Ground law is an ambitious law. Lucia Macbeth and Ron Davis heard a lot about the stand your ground laws while waiting for the trial of their son Jordan Davis a 17-year-old. The couple argued that the stand your ground law allowed the trial of Dunn, their son’s killer even with no hearing about the law, therefore, McBath and Davis are blaming the jury’s deadlocking of the law in considering whether Dunn was guiding of murdering their son. By the end of the trial, the jurors came to believe that Dunn was culpable for the death of Davis, but they were not sure if to convict him because they were not sure if Jordan had a gun and was acting in self-defense (Morthland, 2014).
Therefore, Ron Davis had to ask for a second trial to ask the prosecutors to provide an explanation of an imagined fear and a real fear. It is because one can imagine that the other had a gun than can justify a person action in killing another. By the end of the second appeal, Dunn was sentenced to live in prison. From this experience, it is clear that the Stand Your Ground law is ambitious and need repealing. This law dilutes the self-defense law traditions. also with the gun control issue on Gun Safety, the Stand Your Ground laws is ambitious and it makes it difficult for the members of the public to know what should be allowed and what is not. It is also clear that most of the self-defense cases have the sugar coating of the Stand Your Ground cases (Zalewski, 2012).
The lack of a clear picture of this law has made it possible in expanding public imaginations beyond what this law stipulated. The case of Zimmerman and Dun asked for a hearing on Stand Your Ground law even when they both initially claimed for self-defense. Also, the case of Alexander clearly shows how the public misunderstand the law since it does not give a right to advance. By flying to the garage and coming back to the house with a gun is an 'advancing' which the Stand Your Ground laws should clarify to members of the public. The basis of Alexander shooting was not out of fear but anger.
Gross, D. (2012).'Stand Your ground' laws promote vigilante mentality. U.S.News & World Report, 1. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1008646206?accountid=458
Expanding the 'castle doctrine'. (2011,). Intelligencer Journal / Lancaster New Era, p. A11. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/862862435?accountid=458
Morthland, R. (2014). 'Stand your ground' laws protect the innocent. U.S.News & World Report,
United States Census Bureau. (2015). Law Enforcement, Courts, & Prisons: Crimes and Crime Rates, 308.
Zalewski, M. (2012). 'Stand your ground' makes one person judge, jury, and executioner. U.S.News & World Report, 1.
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