Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Stand your ground laws. Who do they help more?

Some black lawmakers and other activists move to overturn or otherwise abolish stand your ground laws in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting.

The AJC reports Georgia is one of the states where the law is now being challenged:
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.
The suit was filed by Markel Hutchins, an Atlanta minister and civil rights activist.

Does Hutchins base his disproportion claims on overall population stats? Has he even bothered to consider proportional numbers of those who are most often crime victims? Becoming a murder victim is already a disproportionately black experience in America, according to a 2007 U.S. Department of Justice report. And most one-on-one murders are intraracial, according to the DOJ study. 

The Detroit News reported a 75-year-old African-American man recently used lethal force to repel three home invaders. Actually, there's been a wave of self-defense killings in Detroit. I suspect more than a few of them have been in defense of  black citizens and their families. Would Hutchins see justice in putting people like these on shakier legal standing by stripping away Stand Your Ground protections? 

Seems to me, Hutchins' argument about disproportion backfires big time. Stand Your Ground laws disproportionately benefit law-abiding black Americans as they are disproportionately targets of murder and other violent crime. 

Update: It has been brought to my attention that it was widely reported in the Atlanta media last year that Markel Hutchins anticipated big bucks for his activist role in helping the family of a elderly woman who was killed standing her ground in a botched police raid, and that Hutchins filed a lawsuit against the woman's estate seeking nearly half a million dollars when the family didn't pay up.

Is it customary for civil rights activists to negotiate compensation deals when orchestrating their crusades for justice?

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