Justifiable Homicides Up 200 Percent in Florida Post-Stand Your Ground


Justifiable homicides increased by an average of 53-percent since 2005 in the 22 states that have passed stand-your-ground laws—while falling in the rest of the country—according to a new report from the National Urban League* and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a pro-gun-control organization helmed by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. In Florida, where the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman first thrust the laws into the national spotlight last spring, the increase in justifiable homicides was even higher—200 percent.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

The report was released on Monday, in advance of Tuesday’s Senate judiciary committee hearing on stand your ground laws. Martin’s mother, Sabrina Fulton, is scheduled to testify at the hearing.

The report also highlights stark racial disparities. In instances where an older white man shot a younger black man, a court was likely to rule the case a justifiable homicide 49 percent of the time. When an older black man shot a younger white man, there was just an 8-percent chance it would be ruled justifiable.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

This isn’t the first time Florida’s racial disparities have been brought to light. After the Martin shooting, Republican Gov. Rick Scott created a special panel to put study the effects of the law. Despite abundant evidence to the contrary, it reported back that the law was working—a finding the state government seems more than happy to abide by.

*Correction: This post originally identified the report as being produced by the Urban Institute.

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