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No, Blacks Don't 'Benefit' from Florida's Stand Your Ground Law

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Posted by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 8:30 PM
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No, Blacks Don't 'Benefit' from Florida's Stand Your Ground Law

AP

It is not the case, as the conservative blog The Daily Caller argues, that Florida blacks "benefit" from the state's "stand your ground" law. The site's article—"Blacks benefit from Florida 'Stand Your Ground' law at disproportionate rate"—masks the reality: That killings by black perpetrators are more likely to be found justified under the law in part because their victims also are black.

The Daily Caller used a Tampa Bay Times database for its analysis, finding:

Black Floridians have made about a third of the state’s total “Stand Your Ground” claims in homicide cases, a rate nearly double the black percentage of Florida’s population. The majority of those claims have been successful, a success rate that exceeds that for Florida whites.

Nonetheless, prominent African Americans including Holder and “Ebony and Ivory” singer Stevie Wonder, who has vowed not to perform in the Sunshine State until the law is revoked, have made “Stand Your Ground” a central part of the Trayvon Martin controversy.

It's clearly not the case that the law, which allows those who fear for their lives to use deadly force in response, is at the center of the Trayvon Martin case due to Holder and Wonder's post hoc comments. But the more egregious error is in the first paragraph.

It's true that almost a third of the successful claims have been from black killers (and we're only talking about incidents which resulted in a fatality here). Specifically: 31 percent of the cases. (Unlike the Daily Caller, we've excluded pending cases from our data, since they could go either way.) And it's true that the rate at which incidents involving black killers are found to be justified exceeds that of whites. Or, in graph form:

Accused, by raceJustifedCompleted casesWhiteBlackHispanicAll0.00%20.00%40.00%60.00%80.00%0306090120percent justifiednumber of completed cases


But something interesting happens when you look at the reverse: how often killings are considered justified when you look at the race of the victim.

Victim, by raceJustifedCompleted casesWhiteBlackHispanicAll0.00%20.00%40.00%60.00%80.00%0306090120percent justifiedcompleted cases


In this case, there is a very clear dichotomy. For killings involving victims of color—black or Hispani—78 percent of the time the death was considered justified. For killings involving white victims, that rate sinks to 56 percent.

This becomes important when you look at the racial relationship between killer and victim. In raw numbers, here's what the Tampa Bay Times suggests that looks like.

Victim/killer relationshipWhite victimBlack victimHispanic victimWhite killerBlack killerHispanic killer015304560


Eighty-two percent of white killers' victims were also white. Seventy-five percent of black killers' victims, also black. Which therefore makes the second graph above significant. If black killers were much more likely to kill black victims, and black victims' deaths were more likely to be considered justified, you get that remarkable datapoint around which the Daily Caller built its article.

Or, in graph form:

Frequency found justifiedWhite killerBlack killerHispanic killerWhite victimBlack victimHispanic victim0.00%25.00%50.00%75.00%100.00%


There's one specific situation in which blacks "benefited" from the "stand your ground" law, if you will. Killings of whites by blacks were slightly more likely to be found justified than killings of whites by whites. But otherwise, the law has been less than helpful to the state's black community. Nearly four-in-five killings of black people where it has been invoked have resulted in the killer being freed. It's hard to see the benefit in that.

by on Jul. 31, 2013 at 8:30 PM
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Replies (1-7):
-Celestial-
by Platinum Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 8:49 PM
Yup
pvtjokerus
by Gold Member on Jul. 31, 2013 at 8:53 PM
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I think the person writing this post is not taking into account the high crime areas. 

JoJoBean8
by Silver Member on Aug. 1, 2013 at 4:47 PM
Quoting pvtjokerus:

I think the person writing this post is not taking into account the high crime areas. 

imagirlgeek
by Bronze Member on Aug. 1, 2013 at 6:28 PM
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Please correct me if I'm reading this wrong, but is this article saying that black people don't really benefit from SYG because they are mostly defending themselves from other black people?  I don't understand the logic.  

That last paragraph is disturbing to me.  Is the author saying that it's only beneficial when a black person uses deadly force to stop an attack from a white person?  

I think this wording is backward, and that is what is messing me up.  They are referring to the person who used deadly force to defend their life from an attacker as the 'killer', and the person who died as a result of attacking someone who was able to use deadly force to stop the attack as the 'victim'.  I find this to be extremely twisted thinking.

__________________________

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. - Thomas Jefferson

SallyMJ
by Ruby Member on Aug. 5, 2013 at 10:24 PM

This is circular reasoning. It says you really can't look at the information on black shooters, you have to look at black fatalities of SYG.

But remember the law is written to protect the person trying to defend themselves, ie, the shooter. So you MUST look at the percentage of times the shooter ends up being justified. I agree, throw out the pending cases, so you only have justified and unjustified. The justified rate for black and Hispanic shooters is higher than for whites. Which means blacks and Hispanics benefit the most from Stand Your Ground.

See the link below for a user friendly database of SYG data.


http://www.tampabay.com/stand-your-ground-law/fatal-cases

29again
by Platinum Member on Aug. 5, 2013 at 11:15 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting imagirlgeek:

Please correct me if I'm reading this wrong, but is this article saying that black people don't really benefit from SYG because they are mostly defending themselves from other black people?  I don't understand the logic.  

That last paragraph is disturbing to me.  Is the author saying that it's only beneficial when a black person uses deadly force to stop an attack from a white person?  

I think this wording is backward, and that is what is messing me up.  They are referring to the person who used deadly force to defend their life from an attacker as the 'killer', and the person who died as a result of attacking someone who was able to use deadly force to stop the attack as the 'victim'.  I find this to be extremely twisted thinking.

Ah, but twisted thinking is the hallmark of addicting info dot com...

imagirlgeek
by Bronze Member on Aug. 5, 2013 at 11:29 PM
1 mom liked this


Quoting 29again:


Quoting imagirlgeek:

Please correct me if I'm reading this wrong, but is this article saying that black people don't really benefit from SYG because they are mostly defending themselves from other black people?  I don't understand the logic.  

That last paragraph is disturbing to me.  Is the author saying that it's only beneficial when a black person uses deadly force to stop an attack from a white person?  

I think this wording is backward, and that is what is messing me up.  They are referring to the person who used deadly force to defend their life from an attacker as the 'killer', and the person who died as a result of attacking someone who was able to use deadly force to stop the attack as the 'victim'.  I find this to be extremely twisted thinking.

Ah, but twisted thinking is the hallmark of addicting info dot com...

No kidding!!  I'm all about looking at things from another perspective, but dang...this is just weird.  It's like they think the SYG law is like, a loophole or something.  Or maybe they think you can just show up in court and say, "I invoke Stand Your Ground...seeee yaaa!!" 

__________________________

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government. - Thomas Jefferson

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