“The stand your ground laws dont make a lot of sense to me. Anyone can say they felt threatened. Self-defense is a more objective standard.”
Prior to the ‘stand your ground’ law in Florida you had a requirement to retreat when faced with a threat. Unless you were at home.
So if someone approached you with a gun drawn you had to prove you could not run away. If you didn’t run away then they could charge you with homocide.
Good answer. There is a lot of confusion about the “stand your ground “ laws. They merely modify by statute the common law of self defense, which had a “duty to retreat”, if feasible. Stand your ground eliminates that duty from those claiming self defense.
There is also a procedural difference, at least in Florida. While self defense is an affirmative defense whcih must be assereted and proved at trial, stand your ground appears to be resolved in Florida by a pretrial hearing.
A little noticed news story in the Trayvon Martin case had Zimmerman’s lawyer stating that stand your ground is not applicable to the Martin/Zimmerman case, and I believe he’s right. Zimmerman’s testimony is that he was lying on the ground with Martin on top of him when he fired the shot, so he obviously had no opportunity to retreat.
So all the fuss about stand your ground was posturing and race-baiting by Jackson , Sharpton et al.