Florida, Black Victims and Stand Your Ground

The "kill at will" legislation seems to work best for defendants whose victims are black. 

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Ever since Trayvon Martin's death and the news that Florida's "Stand your ground" law could protect his shooter, there's been speculation about the relationship between race and the "kill at will" legislation. Colorlines is reporting Tuesday on a Tampa Bay Times analysis of almost 200 cases. The conclusion: People who killed a black person walked free 73 percent of the time, while those who killed a white person went free 59 percent of the time.

The study found that regardless of what race the killer was, if the victim was black, they were more likely to walk free

"I don't think judges or prosecutors or whoever works in the field of criminal justice is consciously saying black life is worth less than that of other ethnicities," Kareem Jordan, a criminologist at the University of Central Florida told the Times. "But at the end of the day, it could be something that’s subconscious going on if you look at how the media depicts black life."

Others say "Kill at Will" laws are nothing new and they’re now just allowing ordinary citizens to do something police officers have no done fore years.

"Stand your ground laws shouldn’t be called that," Victor Rios, a sociologist at the University of California at Santa Barbara, told Colorlines.com in March. "It's essentially giving citizens permission to do what cops have been doing forever to black and brown men: shoot first."

Read more at ColorLines.

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