Georgia’s “stand your ground” law faces court test

Because it could happen here. By the way, a Georgia man who’s been arrested and charged with malice murder is claiming he should be set free under Georgia’s “stand your ground” law.  Police disagree.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

A federal lawsuit was filed Monday asking that Georgia’s “stand your ground law” be struck down because it’s vague and could result in a disproportionate number of minorities being shot.

Markel Hutchins said in his suit that Georgia’s law  does not specify what circumstances justify deadly force being used in cases of self defense.

“It is not clear what actions would create ‘reasonable belief’ that deadly force is necessary,” said the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. “An individual seeking to stand their ground and assert self-defense has no way of knowing if their ‘reasonable belief’ comports with the standards protected by the law and [they] want to ensure that they do not subject themselves to criminal penalties.”

According to the suit, some courts have “accepted the race of a victim as evidence to establish the reasonableness of an individual’s fear in cases of justifiable homicide.” Hutchins said in those circumstances the law does not equally protect him and other African Americans.

Read more.

Also, here’s some background on Georgia’s “stand your ground” law, which was codified in 2006. The principle has been around a lot longer, of course, dating back to more than a century, when it was known as the “True Man” rule.


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