The shooting fueled an ongoing debate over a new breed of self-defense laws, adopted in nearly half of all US states, which make it easier for armed individuals to kill in self-defense in public places.
Florida was the first state to make that change in 2005, and the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012 was the most famous test of that law. The unarmed teenager was shot and killed after being pursued in the dark by a neighborhood watch captain named George Zimmerman. In that case, the judge instructed the jury that, under the law, someone who reasonably believes their life is at stake doesn’t have to retreat from a situation before retaliating with deadly force.Judge Healey cited Florida’s stand your ground law in his sentencing Friday, saying the measure has been misunderstood and suggesting that Dunn’s actions “exemplifies that our society seems to have lost its way. … We should remember that there’s nothing wrong with retreating and deescalating the situation.”
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