The Stand Your Ground Laws are becoming a hot topic in today’s news. Headlines are flooded with stories about cases around the country. These laws surround everyone from your everyday citizens to prominent sports figures and entertainers. The Stand Your Ground laws provide individuals with certain rights to protect themselves in events where they may feel threatened. It is also known as the Castle Rule, most of the United States have adopted some form of this law to protect its’ residents who may feel the need to use self-defense in situations where they may feel threatened. These laws spread quickly around the country since Florida passed the first laws in 2005. The law in most states would suggest that a person attempt to retreat
Ken Padowitz said, “I think it’s malpractice for a criminal defense lawyer not to use the stand your ground law in every single case where there’s a charge of a violent crime, such as aggravated assault or an aggravated battery”(Whitaker). Giving murders immunity is giving them a free way for murder. For example, no parent wants their kid around sex offenders, would they want their kids around murderers? No, even though there are people looking to do harm around the world, why would more of them be put into freedom. Individuals that are pro Stand Your Ground Laws might say that no murderer is offered immunity because the individual who killed did it in an act of self defense. Is it an act of self defense even of the person “attacking” was not attacking, but rather just seemed threatening? No, and that is why the common law worked just fine because it separated true acts of self defense from just claims.
Patrol officers spend numerous hours a day patrolling the streets; many of these hours are used executing the Stop and Frisk Policy. The Stop and Frisk Policy has caused a lot of controversy nationwide. Recently there have been many cases where the Stop and Frisk Policy has resulted in the death of an unarmed individual, typically an African American male. On July 17, 2014, Eric Gardner died while being arrested for selling individual cigarettes. The police used the Stop and Frisk Policy because they had reasonable suspicion. While police were arresting Garner an officer placed him in a choke hold, while three other man were attempting to take him down as well. The officer that had him in the choke hold ended his life. This incident was caught on camera and caused a lot of controversy because the officer that had him in the choke hold was found innocent by the grand jury (Mathias, 2014, p. 1). Although it has been proven that the Stop and Frisk Policy has prevented some crime, the communities’ reaction to it demonstrates that the policy creates a negative impact in communities where this policy is implemented. Many individuals feel that this policy is a violation of the Fourth Amendment right, is typically only used on minorities, and is very ineffective.
The "Stand Your Ground" statute states that “a person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony” (Sherman). Many people will say that the “Stand your Ground” law is a great law that has diminished the crime rate, made people feel safer in their neighborhood and has given the people back the power to protect themselves and their loved ones from fatal danger. I would have to
In today’s hot topic news there is constant issues with the Stand Your Ground Law. The headlines, television, and social media are overflowing with cases about shootings all around the country. The Stand Your Ground Law creates immunity for an individual who uses deadly force under the belief that he or she is threatened by another person. This law is also called the Castle Rule. Most of the states in the U.S. have adopted some type of form of this law to protect its residents who may feel the need to use self defense in situations where they may feel threatened. This has mainly became a race issue between white police officers and African American citizens. A solution that we can use to help solve a lot of the crimes that associates with the
1983 for violations of Garner's constitutional rights. He stated that the shooting violated the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments. (http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/471/1.html) He was not particular when it came to the blame for this action, holding the Police Department, it’s Director, Officer Hymon, and the Mayor of Memphis city accountable. After a three-day bench trial, the District Court dismissed the charges against The Mayor and the city of Memphis due to a lack of sufficient evidence. Officer Hymon’s charges were dismissed the charges on the grounds that his actions were constitutional and were sanctioned by the Tennessee statute. The main question this case posed was: Does a statute authorizing use of deadly force to prevent the escape of any fleeing suspected felon violate the Fourth Amendment? Eventually, they decided it wasn’t, though this decision was not unanimous, representing a 6-3 split in the Supreme Court Justices. The three justices who were not in agreement were following the statement made by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor that “the majority went too far in invalidating long-standing common law and police practices contrary to the holding.”
In the Miranda v. Arizona case, the Supreme Court ruled on four separate cases that involved custodial interrogations. In each circumstance the defendant was interrogated by law enforcement investigators. In all of these cases, the interrogation took place in a secluded room that was totally closed off from the outside world. During all of these interrogations the suspects were never provided any form of notification about their right to counsel or their right to remain silent. As a result of these interrogations, three verbal admissions and one signed written admission were secured and admitted at their individual trials. In all of these cases the Supreme Court affirmed one case and reversed the three other case rulings. As a result, the Supreme Court rule that being told that you have the right to remain silent before an interrogation is an absolute right. They also ruled having legal counsel present before interrogation is an absolute right. This watershed Supreme Court decision changed the practice of law enforcement interrogation in very specific and positive ways.
Personally, I strongly disagree with the Stand Your Ground Law and believe that the Stand Your Ground law is widely controversial for a plethora of reasons: it promotes violence, it causes major racial issues, it acts as a justifiable excuse for taking another human beings life, and it makes the offender who committed the murder or violent offense feel justified for their wrongdoings. As of late many cases have occurred involving the Stand Your Ground law; however, none have been more controversial, more compelling, or illustrate my views better than the Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman case (State of Florida v. George Zimmerman) and the Marissa Alexander v. The State of Florida case.
On the night of October 3, 1974 at 10:45pm Memphis police officer was dispatched to answer a burglary call. The call was from next door, and the police officers that answered the call was Leslie Wright and Elton Hymon. Officer Hymon went behind the house as the other officer radioed back to the station. The officer witness someone running across the yard. Edward Garner was the fleeing suspect. Garner stopped at the fence. Hymon used a flashlight, and he saw Hymon face, and hands. Hymon was sure that Garner was unarmed.The police testified that Garner was 17 or 18, but he was only in fact 15. Garner begin to climb the fence even though police had told him to stop. Hymon shot Garner because he believed Garner would flee if he did not. Garner was shot in the back and he died. The only thing he took was ten dollars and a purse, I think he would have took more if he had time to find more. Deadly force against a fleeing suspect is authorized under Tennessee State Statute
Stop and frisk was created and is still enforced by Minnesota, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and Los Angeles metropolitan police departments. The Stop and Frisk policy gives officers the jurisdiction to stop and search any individual that may infer any suspicious characteristics. Each person can be questioned via the suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon, regards of their whereabouts, searched for illicit drugs, and other contraband that may harm community members. Moreover, "the officers must point out and specifically articulate what led them to conclude that criminal activity may be afoot" (Richardson 2011). Any citizen can be stopped for whatever reason an officer believes is “reasonably suspicious". What is reasonably suspicious is also determined by the court of law when a suspect is reprimanded and turned into their respective justice department. This policy was meant to enforce weapon and drug possession laws in the event that criminal activity is to be suspected. Contemporary statistics show that the stop and frisk policy is ineffective, targeting mostly people of color (POC).
Zimmerman then called 9-1-1 and reported him to the police he then told the police he was following him the officer on the call responded by telling Zimmerman “we don’t need you to do that” but, Zimmerman continued his pursuit. Nevertheless, victim Martin was on the phone with a friend during this time knowing the man had been following him as Zimmerman continued to follow him Martin took off running like any other human being would who was being followed by a strange unknown person. Zimmerman chased after Martin where Martin was caught by Zimmerman and an argument broke out as to why he was following him, which lead to a scuffle according to Zimmerman where he then took his gun out and fired a shot into the 17-year-old killing him. In chapter IV and V hill points on the phrase “stand your ground” on several pages and points out William Blackstone, who provides us with legal thinker parses the crime three categories: justifiable, excusable, and felonious. Justifiable is a murder committed by the order of the state, excusable is an act of murder committed without intent. There is a “stand your grown” law that allows you to enact in ways needed to protect yourself if needed
The George Zimmerman trial and Trayvon Martin case was probably one of the controversial and confusing cases in Florida history. One of the key elements used in the case was that of the Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law. The Stand Your Ground Law states that “if reasonable you believe that you face imminent death, serious bodily injury, rape, kidnapping or (in most states) robbery, you can use deadly force against the assailant even if you have a perfectly safe avenue or retreat,”
On September 8th, 2016 Keely Meagan, a 55-year old woman from Oregon, parked on the edge of Interstate 5 to because she saw that police officers had stopped a black driver. She claims that she was concerned about the driver’s safety due to the violence police officers have employed towards black people nationwide. She parked very close to an exit and was compromising the safety of everyone, but she refused orders to leave. On February 9th, she went to trial and was convicted for interfering with a police officer nevertheless, she was not charged with any punishments. The judge ruled that he didn’t consider her actions a case of civil disobedience, but praised the activist for her empathy.
In 2012, Marissa Alexander went to trial for firing a warning shot against her abusive boyfriend. A year later, George Zimmerman went to trial for the murder of Trayvon Martin. Both Alexander and Zimmerman violated the “Stand Your Ground” law and they both were prosecuted by Angela Corey. Although Alexander did not kill anyone, she was found guilty and served three of her sixty-year sentence, while Zimmerman walked free. Was there racial discrimination in the ruling of these cases? It can be determined that race played a role in the ruling of these cases.
Jones should not have been allowed to be used against him in his trial. Allowing the entry of his statements is a direct violation of his Constitutional rights. Mr. Jones was compelled to make the statements he made to Officer Booker. He would not have made them on his own free will. If an attorney had been present, as requested, his right to not incriminate himself would have been enforced.