Tuesday, March 27, 2012

'Stand your ground' expanding rapidly

The law known as 'stand your ground' is growing at a rapid pace.  Thirty-two states have some form of legislation that eliminates the requirement to retreat. At least nine more states are considering some variation of the statute right now.

Under Florida law, a person who is attacked in any place where he or she has a right to be “has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force” if he or she reasonably believes force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm.

According to Legal Community Against Violence, 25 states — including every Southern state except Arkansas — have laws that generally allow the use of deadly force outside the home with no duty to retreat. Seven other states, including Pennsylvania, have laws allowing deadly force in specific locations away from home.

According to the Arkansas News, Arkansas law allows a person to use deadly force in self-defense without the duty to retreat only in the person’s home or on the curtilage, defined as the land immediately surrounding the home.
Away from the home and curtilage, a person in Arkansas “may not use deadly physical force in self defense if he or she knows that he or she can avoid the necessity of using deadly physical force with complete safety.”

In 2012, legislation is or was pending in six states (Alaska, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York) that would eliminate the duty to retreat outside of the home. The Iowa bill has already been passed by the House of Representatives; the Minnesota bill was vetoed.

Three additional states (Indiana, New Jersey, and Oklahoma) considered related legislation this year. The Indiana legislation, which has been signed into law, allows the use of force to resist law enforcement’s entry into one’s home.

To read more: http://www.lcav.org/communications/recentdevelopments.asp

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