because 'florida'

Stand Your Ground Totally Not Adversely Affecting Black People

Sorry blahsGood news everyone! Well, good news and bad news — a mixed bag of news. First, we bring you the bad news: turns out, Florida’s Stand Your Ground law has allowed drug dealers, gang members, killers, animal abusers, and violent attackers to walk free. But now for the good news! Floridians are extra creative when it comes to this law, using it in cases that lawmakers never envisioned. Talk about thinking outside the box!

Via the Tampa Bay Times, which did a comprehensive analysis on Stand Your Ground:

The number of [Stand Your Ground] cases is increasing, largely because defense attorneys are using “stand your ground” in ways state legislators never envisioned. The defense has been invoked in dozens of cases with minor or no injuries. It has also been used by a self-described “vampire” in Pinellas County, a Miami man arrested with a single marijuana cigarette, a Fort Myers homeowner who shot a bear and a West Palm Beach jogger who beat a Jack Russell terrier.

To be fair, Jack Russell terriers can be pretty vicious. I mean, we’ve all seen The Mask, right? Oh and also, you’re never going to believe this, but outcomes depend on whether or not the victim is black or white:

Defendants claiming “stand your ground” are more likely to prevail if the victim is black. Seventy-three percent of those who killed a black person faced no penalty compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white.

According to Florida lawmakers, this is no biggie. No need to panic, let’s just all calm down and take a deep breath, think a little about what we’re trying to accomplish. So some violent criminals here and there walk free. Maybe a few people are shot, and maybe they’re black, but in the grand scheme of things, isn’t the law accomplishing so many other positive things that these things are just minuscule in comparison?

Rep. Dennis Baxley, an Ocala Republican who sponsored the law, said Monday that it is “premature” to suggest changes are needed. “I think there’s more data to come about the positive aspects of the statute as it exists,” Baxley said, noting that the law has helped people who were legitimately defending themselves. “It’s hard to do with a fairly small universe of cases to make a lot of judgments about what’s there….I think we just need to be cautious about jumping to a policy shift before we’re clear about what it is we’re trying to accomplish.”

Surely there are positive aspects to this racially disparate impact in the law’s application, especially since it can’t, of course, actually be racism — didn’t Dr Martin Luther King Jr fix racism everywhere, and for everyone? Of course he did! So, black people of Florida, rest assured that your chances of being shot and never seeing justice may or may not factor into whether or not the law is accomplishing its stated goals.

[Tampa Bay]

About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

View all articles by Kris E. Benson
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    1. TribecaMike

      If there's any justice in the world, he'll soon be hearing the Ka-Chang! of a prison door slamming.

  1. mavenmaven

    As long as the law makes it easier to kill people of color (and presumably liberals, democrats, etc) it will not be overturned. That's today's reality.

    1. CivicHoliday

      Unless those people of color are still in somebody's uterus, in which case, SAVE THEM AT ALL COSTS

  2. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Stand Your Ground: Brought to you by Koch Industries. Koch Industries, Screwing America So We Can Make More Money For Over Half a Century.

    1. finallyhappy

      so we are supposed to be all cheery at NMNH because Koch gave 35 mil for the new dinosaur hall.

      1. HuddledMass

        Oh hush yer mouth – I have to walk past the "David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research" every day. And spit. And hope he dies of prostate cancer, the asshole…

  3. el_donaldo

    Basically there's a white guy guy pointing a gun at someone else, forever. Who that other is depends on what point in history and where we're talking about.

  4. dopper0189

    If your black in Florida is suicide now legal, because your standing your ground against an armed person, who just happens to be you (and your black)?

  5. edgydrifter

    They haven't killed all the blacks in Florida yet, so it's obviously too soon to reconsider this law.

  6. fartknocker

    I love animals but I have had a few times where I would have enjoyed drop kicking my crazy neighbor's spastic Jack Russell terrier. I'm just trying to figure out how beating a dog = Stand Your Ground. Must be a Florida thing.

    1. Baconzgood

      Ex-Mrs. Baconz's man friend has one of those. The little fucker needs K-9 quaaludes. Give me a lazy dog like a basset or bulldog any day.

      1. MittBorg

        Greyhounds can be real couch potatoes. Problem is, they have a strong prey drive, and you just can't allow them in a space where there's a lot of cats commenting all the time.

          1. Baconzgood

            I change my tagline randomly. And don't think that the recent lovin' has gone unappreciated.

    2. PubOption

      "I thought I was in imminent danger of being bitten; and so, rather than retreat, I kicked/hit the dog"

      1. MittBorg

        Well, in all fairness, a sure way to get bitten by a bitey dog is attempting to flee. They can't help it, their prey drive takes over. But it's *less* dangerous, in my experience, to stand one's ground WITHOUT kicking/hitting the dog. A human's greater height is somewhat intimidating to an aggressive dog, and it's best not to get one's limbs within reach of any aggressive dog's impressively powerful teeth and jaws. A stick or stone makes a fine distance weapon, and most dogs usually back off when threatened. (Not Jack Russells. They're insane.)

    3. PsycWench

      My dad and stepmom have four Jack Russell terriers. Each dog has a Facebook page and all four pages are regularly maintained. I hope the DSM-5 will have a category of "Too Much Time on Your Hands Disorder". and yeah, dropkicking has some appeal, but the damn dog would post video of it.

  7. Giveusabob

    Ah, so Rep. Baxley feels more folks need to be killed/shot/defended against/whatevs for there to be a statistically significant sample size appropriate for passing judgement, eh? And I read a vampire has used this law successfully, too? Not perchance one and the same person, are they?

      1. MittBorg

        I know there's a lot of talk on the Wonketz about overused phrases, but I just want you to know that I think this was a perfect use of this particular phrase.

  8. nounverb911

    The Paultards are going to have an absolute field day at the Tampa convention.

    1. weejee

      You thinking that the Mittenatti need to be thinking about brain buckets and Kevlar™ vests an more important health measures than SP14 slather and condoms?

      1. MittBorg

        You know the Paultards will be carrying. And chances are, it'll be concealed carry. The first Republican who tries to ignore them from the podium, BLAM! It's ON, suckers.

        1. Crank_Tango

          I wonder if firecrackers are legal there? Not that I want to see any set off in a crowded convention hall or anything…

  9. Baconzgood

    I think we just need to be cautious about jumping to a policy shift before we’re clear about what it is we’re trying to accomplish.

    What does that mean? I'm not, what you would call uneducated, but that….Was the policy to sell more guns? Yes it was. Was the policy to kill browner people? Yes it was? Is it a shitty policy? Yes it is. So change it. What isn't clear about it? I think that we can ALL agree more guns more dead people doesn't make the world safer. Just sayin.

    1. George Skullfry

      The way I read it is that he's not sure yet about what the intent of the law is, which would be a pretty amazing thing for a sane person to say.

      1. emmelemm

        "We advocated for it and passed it [because ALEC told us to], but we have no fucking idea why."

  10. smashedinhat

    To be fair, a Jack Russell terriers grasp of political discourse leaves me feeling weak and despondent.

  11. SoBeach

    "I think we just need to be cautious about jumping to a policy shift before we’re clear about what it is we’re trying to accomplish…"

    Instead of, say, rushing to pass a stupid yeehaw shoot-em-up law designed specifically to pander to the bubba vote.

    No need to be cautious when it comes to jumping to that kind of "policy shift". Heavens no.

  12. Come here a minute

    The Stand Your Ground is the very model of equality. Everybody is allowed to stand their ground, whether they are shooting blahs in the back on their suburban ground or lying six feet under it.

  13. Chick-Fil-Atheist™

    Let's just leave killin' up to the state. And Texas will be the state.

  14. steamynachos

    Could "Stand Your Ground" be the new roundabout way for Florida to "disenfranchise" voters of color since their Voter ID scheme failed?

  15. TribecaMike

    “I think there’s more data to come about the positive aspects…" And they've been saying that about Jesus for how many millenia now?

  16. FlownOver

    Has anyone considered the confluence of this law and the newly-energized Paultards coming to Tampa?

    "Officer, he was attacking my deeply-held belief in the gold standard. I had no choice."

    1. MittBorg

      Every day now for weeks. Usually accompanied by much drinking and alternating between laughing hilariously and sobbing into my booze.

    2. mrpuma2u

      Hey if a Paultard takes out a Neocon, or vice versa, is that really a bad thing? Needz moar ekstreeemis gunz battelz!!!!

    3. Negropolis

      "He assaulted my person, officer! With words! I feared for my argument's life."

  17. James Michael Curley

    The more we learn about how Stand Your Ground Laws are being used the more we want to go all Stand Your Ground on those who created the Stand Your Ground Laws.

  18. SayItWithWookies

    So Dennis Baxley, the idiot who basically took the ALEC model legislation, then copied-and-replaced "Your State Here" with "Florida," probably without even reading the damn bill, doesn't think we should just go willy-nilly changing policy without careful examination? Sounds like someone needs to get one of those "Black Like Me" injections and get stranded in a gated community at night.

        1. Butch_Wagstaff

          She could probably beat me at arm rasslin'. Then she would tell me to eat my veggies. And I would. Gladly.

  19. elviouslyqueer

    “I think there’s more data to come about the positive aspects of the statute as it exists,”

    True. There is positively a disproportionate number of persons getting off scot-free after using "Stand Your Ground" as an excuse to kill black people.

  20. Mittens Howell, III

    It's all part of Florida's "Get the fuck outta here, this shit is gonna blow!! " summer tourist campaign.

  21. Ryy

    Interesting that the righty blogs that were all over Zimmerman and Trayvon, redstate, patterico, etc… have completely ignored his recent lying/perjury/bond revocation….. almost like it never happened….

    1. MittBorg

      As they always do. They leap in screaming without discovering the details because they want to put a left-right political spin on something, then the details leak out, making them look like the idiots they've always been, and then … nothing. Silence. It never happened. Nope. We have ALWAYS been at war with Eastasia.

  22. chascates

    I'm going to go to Florida dressed as a vampire, smoke a marijuana cigarette, and beat a bear with a Jack Russell terrier. To hell with Disneyworld!!!

      1. chascates

        Only in my dreams, my friend. I spent today loading, hauling, and then stacking 120 bales of hay. In addition to a break for picking blackeyed peas and green beans. My actual wild life consists of a weekly visit to town to buy groceries and use whatever Jack-in-the-Box coupon I have left.

        1. MittBorg

          IF — and it's a big if — I ever find myself with enough money to buy a nice piece of farming land, I will write you and ask you if you'd like to have it. Because you seem to love the earth like few people I know.

  23. Jeri 2.0

    At the convention, if a Paultard walks up to you and sprays you with Krylon™ Mahogany Brown, run for your life. Otherwise it's just a bunch of white guys breaking each other's hips and running over each other with their Rascals, and no harm, no foul.

  24. OneYieldRegular

    If Harvey Milk and George Moscone had been killed in Florida, Dan White could have claimed that he was just "standing his ground" by forcing open a ground floor window and stalking the two politicians to their deaths. He'd probably be Florida Governor by now.

  25. owhatever

    I'm standing my ground, you vampire mutha.
    No, I'm standing my ground, you smartass dog.
    Bang. Bang. Everybody wins.

    1. emmelemm

      Wow… that's an interesting site (or feature of a site, I guess) on Stand Your Ground.

  26. coolhandnuke

    … Seventy-three percent of those who killed a black person faced no penalty compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white…

    Those scores are still a little too close for the GOP/Racists to rest easy. It's a bit like a third quarter score Miami Heat 73 Boston Celtics 59 and the home fans want a rout but there is a slight chance of an upset. But with the GOP Circus of Fear and Hate coming to Tampa, I'm confident (and sickened) that with a few darkies dying the home team will increase the score.

  27. fuflans

    It’s hard to do with a fairly small universe of cases to make a lot of judgments about what’s there….I think we just need to be cautious about jumping to a policy shift before we’re clear about what it is we’re trying to accomplish.

    yeah and i bet you were all so cautious and clear and had a statistically valid universe of test cases before you INSTITUTED the law right?

  28. Callyson

    “I think there’s more data to come about the positive aspects of the statute as it exists,” Baxley said

    Ignore that man behind the curtain–I think there really is a wizard just around the corner…


  29. Jukesgrrl

    I was attacked by a Jack Russell terrier once, totally unprovoked. I think it was trained by Blackwater. Not only did he injure me, he ripped the pocket off my favorite black leather jacket, to me an even worse crime than my gashes and bruises. If I thought Jack Russells were roaming loose in Tucson, I'd be one of the millions of Arizonans packing heat and invoking SYG.

    1. M. Szyslak

      That was a "Law biting citizen". Actually, Picture Rocks is over-run with dumb ass loud barking Rottweilers.

  30. TribecaMike

    I just felt a Charlie Horse coming on, so I blew my leg off with a triple-aught. Call me crazy, but dammit I stood my ground.

  31. Chet Kincaid

    The article breaks out stats on conviction/acquittal based on the race of the victim (shoot-ee), but not on the race of the defendant (shooter). Seems like a pretty obvious oversight.

  32. BaldarTFlagass

    "Seventy-three percent of those who killed a black person faced no penalty compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white."

    What's the percentage of black people who faced no penalty after they Stood Their Ground and killed a white person? Just curious.

  33. ttommyunger

    Guns don't kill people, lawfully empowered morons and homicidal sociopaths kill people.

  34. starfanglednut

    I think we just need to be cautious about jumping to shift a policy of killing black people before we’re clear about how many black people we've killed..

  35. zombiehunter101

    I think we just need to be cautious about jumping to shift a policy of killing black people before we’re clear about how many black people…there are left to kill..WTF.

  36. DahBoner

    If they wanted this law to protect Black people, they would have called it the They Call That Dancing??? law…

  37. comrad_darkness

    At the end of the day you've got to ask yourself . . . why are you visiting fucking Florida?

  38. Susan1946

    I think the 'stand your ground' legislation will have to be looked at some time in the future. But also, if more folk of color are negatively impacted by it than white folk, that suggests the judicial system needs to be examined, too. I'm not sure it is possible to write a law that it is invulnerable to misuse in the courts.

    The other thing this whole incident brought my attention to – screening for neighborhood watch participants. Might we need a bit more attention there, too?


    1. sati_demise

      Think Zimmie would have made a good cop? 'cause that was his career path. so many like him, too!

  39. Puffperney

    Thinking out of the box a bit… Couldn't "stand your ground" also be used creatively to re-institute dueling? Now that would be interesting. Not as interesting as a straight-up authorization of dueling, but, it could work. Like: "Hey, I'm going to be on foot heading north from 36th and Main at 1:00 this afternoon and I'll be packing."

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