"Stand Your Ground" Laws Increase Homicides, Don't Deter Crime, Study Says

Categories: Crime
zimmermanmug200.jpg
George Zimmerman
Among the many stark questions at the heart of the Trayvon Martin case is one simple query with huge implications: Does Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law encourage guys like George Zimmerman to take justice into their own hands? Or, as Florida Republicans argue, does it deter crime by ensuring anyone can kill in self-defense?

In fact, Florida's law -- which 22 other states have copied -- increases the homicide rate and fails to deter violent crime. That's the conclusion of a new study, at least.

The report comes from Texas A&M University, where economics professor Mark Hoekstra and research assistant Cheng Cheng looked at state level crime data from 2000 to 2009 in Florida and the 22 other states that have passed their own versions of Stand Your Ground.

Their results were conclusive, the pair says.

"The prospect of facing additional self-defense does not deter crime," they write. "We find no evidence of deterrence effects on burglary, robbery, or aggravated assault ... In contrast, we find significant evidence that the laws increase homicides."

The murder increase in states with Stand Your Ground isn't subtle, either. The pair found that after passing the law, states saw a 7 to 9 percent jump in murders and non-negligent manslaughters.

Surprisingly, they also found that the jump doesn't come from the increase in people claiming justifiable homicides under the new laws. Their research found only 50 such cases across the whole country per year since the laws have been passed; that number doesn't come close to explaining the jump in murders -- an additional 500 to 700 per year -- in Stand Your Ground states.

"It is clear that the primary impact of these laws, beyond giving potential victims additional scope to protect themselves, is to increase the loss of human life," the authors write.

The full report is available through Texas A&M's website.

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6 comments
blackracist
blackracist

Free Zimmerman give him back his 9mm and apologise to him for his arrest .This man did what any hard working man would have done .You work hard to pay your bills you dont want some thug trying to break in to your home .he was attacked and he defended himself from a taller thicker individual and he pulled the trigger and killed the demon Trayvon. But blacks would not know anything about hardwork and owning your own property  and having to defend it .section 8 and foodstamps and govt assistance defeats the purpose of you people working .Trayvon you were lucky i would not have shot you i would have dragged  you  with my car and driven from Sanford Till Miami !!!!!!

Lie-Catcher
Lie-Catcher

Yeah Yeah Yeah, Blah Blah BLAH! I guess you’re a coward who feels like people of color are bad and gangbangers. Zimmerman protected no one! Zimmerman has no neighborhood to protect! He's a coward who called 911 on a 9yr old awhile back saying he was suspicious..... What a pillar to society! He killed Trayvon in cold blood, Zimmerman couldn't beat-up a teenager, he had to pull a gun in a fight he started! I got to hand it to you blackracist, at least you are true to your name......  RACIST!! If this was the other way around Black killed teenage white/Hispanic/Chinese/whatever race the shooter would still be guilty to me based on the facts that has been presented. Not the lies that Zimmerman keeps getting caught in. What a sleaze bag and low life! He has no regard for anyone not even his wife who should have never been involved which was recently arrested. He needs an increase in his mood swing medication! 

blackracist
blackracist

Trayvon who didnot live in Sanford brought his miami "imma a gangsta " attitude and got shot dead by a man who legally owned a gun and was protecting his neighborhood and his personal property.Zimmerman is a hero a patriot a protector .trayvon is where he belongs in hell gangbanged by all the demons.FREE ZIMMERMAN !!!!!!

Sir Sausage
Sir Sausage

He started beating up Martin? Do you have a source for this bit of info?

seep
seep

criminals are more likely to kill you if they believe you're armed.  BUT! a skilled individual is probably more likely to survive an attack if they're armed.  Skilled.

Juan R. Pollo
Juan R. Pollo

The third edition of More Guns, Less Crime (University of Chicago Press, 2010) by John Lott provides the only published, refereed academic study on these laws.[5] The research shows that states adopting “Stand Your Ground”/"Castle doctrine" laws reduced murder rates by 9 percent and overall violent crime by 11 percent, and that occurs even after accounting for a range of other factors such as national crime trends, law enforcement variables (arrest, execution, and imprisonment rates), income and poverty measures (poverty and unemployment rates, per capita real income, as well as income maintenance, retirement, and unemployment payments), demographic changes (broken down by race, gender and age), and the national average changes in crime rates from year-to-year and average differences across states (the fixed year and state effects). So there.

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