LI: Social Sciences Study of Stand-Your-Ground Strikes Out


This is my third (and hopefully final) post on a recently published social sciences paper: “Race, law, and health: Examination of ‘Stand Your Ground’ (SYG) and defendant convictions in Florida” (Social Science & Medicine, Volume 142, October 2015, pages 194-201; pay-walled ) The paper applied a Public Health Critical Theory Methodology to the question of whether Florida’s SYG law has a quantifiable racial bias. The key finding of the paper is that a“defendant is two times … more likely to be convicted in a case that involves White victims compared to those involving non-White victims” in the context of Florida’s SYG law.

In my first post on “Race, law, and health” I debunked the paper’s key finding on the basis that the large majority of the criminal cases in their data set did not involve “Stand-Your-Ground, ” meaning the Florida statute that relieves one of a duty to retreat before acting in self-defense, and that allows a defender to “stand his or her ground.” This “Stand-Your-Ground” can be found at §776.012 and elsewhere in Florida statutes.

To read the whole thing, click over to Legal Insurrection.