Florida legislators sold "stand your ground" as a legal protection for law-abiding Floridians who were forced, through no fault of their own, to defend their family and property.
A Tampa Bay Times analysis of "stand your ground" cases found that it has been used mostly by people with records of crime and violence. A review of arrest records for those involved in more than 100 fatal "stand your ground" cases shows:
• Nearly 60 percent of those who claimed self-defense had been arrested at least once before the day they killed someone.
• More than 30 of those defendants, about one in three, had been accused of violent crimes, including assault, battery or robbery. Dozens had drug offenses on their records.
• Killers have invoked "stand your ground" even after repeated run-ins with the law. Forty percent had three arrests or more. Dozens had at least four arrests.
• More than a third of the defendants had previously been in trouble for threatening someone with a gun or illegally carrying a weapon.
• In dozens of cases, both the defendant and the victim had criminal records, sometimes related to long-running feuds or criminal enterprises. Of the victims that could be identified in state records, 64 percent had at least one arrest. Several had 20 or more arrests.
All together 119 people are known to have killed someone and invoked "stand your ground." Those people have been arrested 327 times in incidents involving violence, property crimes, drugs, weapons or probation violations. That does not include more than 100 traffic violations and other minor arrests not considered in the analysis, reported the Times.
To read more: http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/criminal/many-killers-who-go-free-with-florida-stand-your-ground-law-have-history/1241378
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