7 Existing Laws That Can Cripple the Lives of Black People Around the World

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Trayvon martin Stand_your_groundStand Your Ground

Stand Your Ground, Line in the Sand or No Duty to Retreat laws remove a duty to retreat from existing self-defense statutes. Under such laws, there is no duty to attempt to escape an assailant’s attack, as long as the defender has a legal right to be there.

Forty-six states in the United States have adopted the castle doctrine, declaring that a person has no duty to retreat when his or her home is attacked. But twenty-two states such as Florida, Georgia and California, go a step further and remove the duty to retreat from other locations.

While the effect of these statutes on crime rates is debatable, it’s clear that race plays a role in how this policy is implemented. According to the Urban Institute, in Stand Your Ground states, white-on-black homicides are 354 percent more likely to be ruled justified than white-on-white homicides. In cases with Black or Hispanic victims, the killings were found justified by the Stand Your Ground law 78 percent of the time, compared to 56 percent in cases with white victims.    

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