Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Do you say homicides are bothering you, bunky?
If you live in one of the states that have enacted one of the NRA's brilliantly witless "Stand Your Ground" laws you should ask them to repeal it. As the Republicans have made it illegal for the medical profession to compile statistics on homicides among the states, the legal profession stepped up to fill the need.
States that desire to combat violent crime or reduce overall homicide rates should either repeal or refuse to enact so-called “stand your ground” legislation, according to a recent report issued by a taskforce commissioned by the American Bar Association [PDF].No wonder the NRA and their running dogs in the legislatures sought to stifle research about this law. Sadly, the Stupid is so strong with this law, there is no way to hide it.
The National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws, convened in 2013, conducted a comprehensive and multidisciplinary review of the impact of “stand your ground” legislation on public safety, individual liberties, and the criminal justice system.
The 62-page report, issued on Friday, found that “stand your ground” laws, which vary from state to state, obstruct law enforcement, confuse law enforcement personnel, and disproportionately affect minorities.
“Stand your ground” legislation has failed to deter crime, and, in fact, has led to an increase in homicides, the report said. States with “stand your ground” laws experienced an 8 percent increase in the number of homicides compared to states without such laws.
Dr. Jerry Ratcliffe, Professor and Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice, Temple University, saw the report’s conclusions as unequivocal. “If our aim is to increase criminal justice system costs, increase medical costs, increase racial tension, maintain our high adolescent death rate and put police officers at greater risk, then this is good legislation,” Ratcliffe said. “There is no reliable and credible evidence to support laws that encourage ‘stand your ground.’”...
A former military officer cited in the report pointed to the absurdity of encouraging deadly force in public spaces. “Stand your ground” laws, he said, provide a more lenient rule for a civilians’ use of a firearm than is available to a police officer or even a soldier at war.
“It is troubling that under Stand Your Ground, there are less restrictions imposed on U.S. service members using deadly force when they return to the United States, than when they are deployed in a combat environment,” Christopher Jenks, an assistant professor of law at Southern Methodist University and director of the school’s Criminal Justice Clinic, said in the report.
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