Recent reports have propelled the Stand-Your-Ground law to the top of news sites and Twitter feeds. Only a number of states possess this law, though other states possess laws with similarities.
The Stand-Your-Ground Law Defined
The Stand-Your-Ground law is comparable to the Castle Doctrine. Enforced in about half of the US, the Castle Doctrine states that a person has no duty to retreat and can use deadly force when their home is attacked. In other words, it allows the right to remain and defend one’s “castle.”
The Stand-Your-Ground law takes the Castle Doctrine one step further by stating that a person has no duty to retreat and can use deadly force when attacked in any area where they are legally allowed to be. This may include, but is not limited to, a place of work, a public street, a mall parking lot, or a vehicle. The deadly force must be justified (the defender must believe in good faith that he or she is in danger) and it must be legal (if a gun is used as the weapon of defense – for instance – it must be legally registered).
Some states have an unofficial Stand-Your-Ground law, essentially enforcing it on principle in many cases that involve some form of self-defense. Other states, however, have an official Stand-Your-Ground law on the books. These states include Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Wisconsin, and Utah.
Notable Stand-Your-Ground Cases
The states with Stand-Your-Ground laws are not immune to controversy, with many notable cases arguing both for and against it. The following are some of the more notable cases in recent years.
Greyston Garcia, Florida: In 2012, Greyston Garcia was acquitted of murder under the Stand-Your-Ground law. After his car radio was stolen, Garcia chased the perpetrator for two blocks and stabbed him to death. It was ruled that the perpetrator swung a bag of stolen radios at Garcia, giving him reason to believe his life was in danger. According to CBS Miami, Garcia was killed in a gang related shooting just a few months after his acquittal.
Adam Kind, Wisconsin: Also in 2012, Adam Kind was acquitted in the shooting death of Bo Morrison. Bo Morrison had been attending a party near Adam Kind’s house. When police broke up the gathering, Morrison ran because he was underage. He hid in Kind’s enclosed porch. Kind saw him, and believing he was attempting to break in, shot him.
Young Father, Texas: In a well-publicized 2012 case, authorities in Texas declined to press charges against a young father who found a man molesting his four-year-old daughter and beat him to death behind a barn. According to the Lavaca County DA’s office, it was ruled that the father was well within his rights to use deadly force.
Cordell Jude, Arizona: Cordell Jude claimed justification under the Stand-Your-Ground law in the shooting death of Daniel Adkins, Jr. Adkins had walked in front of Jude’s car at a Taco Bell drive thru wielding what Jude thought was a metal pipe (it was later revealed to be a dog leash). Jude shot the mentally-handicapped Adkins in the chest. In July, Jude was indicted for murder.
This article was contributed together with Robert Tritter, an aspiring lawyer who looks forward to sharing more of his knowledge with you! They write this on behalf of Hinkle, Jachimowicz, Pointer, and Emanuel, lawyers with over 20 years of experience for Criminal Defense. Check out their website today and see what they can do for you!