Tallahassee – Today, the Florida Senate debated and passed Senate Bill 128, the ‘Stand Your Ground Self-Defense Immunity’ bill. The bill is designed to shift the burden of proof from the person claiming self-defense to the prosecutor who would have to prove self-defense wasn’t warranted.
” ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws are unnecessary additions to existing law that shield killers from prosecution for their crimes,” said Adora Obi Nweze, President of the Florida State Conference of NAACP Branches. “Shifting the burden of proof to prosecutors increases the potential of denying justice to victims and their families. These laws are often applied in a racially biased manner, they do not deter crime, and the bottom line is that they make it easier for people to murder other human beings and not face any legal consequence.”
A study by the Urban Institute determined that in “Stand Your Ground” states, when white shooters kill black victims, 34% of the resulting homicides are deemed justifiable. When black shooters kill white victims, only 3% of the deaths are ruled justifiable.
Another national study by Texas A&M University revealed that homicide rates actually increased by 7 – 9% in states that have passed some form of “Stand Your Ground” Laws.
Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law has been associated with a 32% increase in firearm homicides and a tripling of the number of homicides considered justified. The “Stand Your Ground” defense has been used in more than 26 homicides where the victim was a child.
The Florida State Conference of NAACP Branches is among the state’s oldest civil rights organizations. Its members are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, conducting voter mobilization and monitoring equal opportunity in the public and private sectors.