Prof. O’Meara on Stand Your Ground

With the Trayvon Martin case drawing national attention to self-defense law, our own Professor O’Meara has a New York Times op-ed on Stand Your Ground laws.  He argues that the laws are unnecessary because traditional self-defense law provides ample protection for defenders who use lethal force appropriately.  He observes:

In my home state of Wisconsin, a large group of criminal prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges could come up with only one case in which any homeowner was prosecuted when he shot someone who entered his home illegally. That conviction was later overturned.

Stand Your Ground laws may thus add little to the protection of individuals who act reasonably, but they risk impeding the prosecution of others who are too quick to resort to deadly force.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. sean samis

    Perhaps I’ve missed something, but in the case of Trayvon Williams, his killer pursued him; does any State’s Stand Your Ground law protect someone who pursues and kills?

  2. Paul Crawford

    An interesting fact about the Florida version of the law: the person is immune from even arrest if they allege they were acting under the reasonable use of force laws. See, Florida Stats. Secs. 776.013 and 776.032.

    To arrest, the officer needs probable cause to believe that the force used was unlawful. 776.032(2)

  3. sean samis

    Paul, as you read it, does the Florida law mean that Trayvon Martin could have killed his pursuer and also escape arrest?

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