Justifiable Homicides Spike in Georgia in Wake of 'Stand Your Ground' Law

"Stand your ground" laws have been under scrutiny in recent months due to the Trayvon Martin shooting.

The yearly number of justifiable homicides in Georgia has almost doubled since 2006, when the controversial "stand your ground" self-defense law was passed, the Associated Press reports.

According to the AP, Georgia averaged seven justifiable homicides per year in the three years before the law took effect. Between 2007 and 2011, it averaged 13 per year.

Most self-defense laws state that when citizens feel their lives are in danger, they have a duty to retreat if possible before responding with deadly force. "Stand your ground" laws eliminate or reduce the duty to retreat.

"Stand your ground" laws have been under national scrutiny in recent months after the . Florida's "stand your ground" law was initially given as a reason not to charge Martin's shooter, George Zimmerman, for killing the unarmed teenager. Zimmerman has since been charged with second-degree murder.

Many law enforcement officials are reluctant to tie Georgia's spike in justifiable homicides to the law, the AP reported. However, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter told the AP he thought the increase could be linked because citizens might be more confident about using their guns when they perceive a threat.

Should "stand your ground" laws be repealed? 

Karsten Torch May 10, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I don't know about anybody else, but I'm a big fan of this idea. It's about time that law-abiding citizens can stand up to criminals. I've always found Duty to Retreat rules to be stupid. Especially in the home, which the Stand Your Ground version of becomes Castle Doctrine. If you keep pushing the idea of needing to retreat, you eventually get to the point they're getting to now in England, where now they can't have fire extinguishers inside buildings. Why? Because somebody may stay to try to fight a fire, instead of getting out to safety. And the Stand Your Ground law does not give people free reign to shoot whoever they want to. They still have to show they were actually threatened, or had good reason to feel that way. The rules really don't change a lot, other than removing a requirement to give criminals the rights to do as they please.


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