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

Investigation: June 3, 2012

Uneven application, shocking outcomes

Tampa Bay Times investigation has found that Florida’s “stand your ground” law is being used in ways never imagined — to free gang members involved in shootouts, drug dealers beefing with clients and people who shot their victims in the back.

Who goes free sometimes depend more on where a case is heard than its merits.  Read the story

Case study: June 3, 2012

Shooter is free but not proud

The fight started over a barbecue grill. It ended on Christmas Eve with a man dead. Read the story

The fight started over a barbecue grill. It ended on Christmas Eve with a man dead. Read the story

Case study: June 3, 2012

When the law cuts both ways

In Clearwater, a self-defense case could be made for each man trading punches and then gunshots.  Read the story

Investigation: April 15, 2012

When death is distorted

Lawmakers spun the truth when they used a 2004 tragedy to justify expanding Florida’s self-defense law.

Investigation: June 4, 2012

Race’s complex role

A Tampa Bay Times analysis shows that people who claimed self-defense after killing a black victim were more likely to go free than those who killed a white victim.

Follow up: June 5, 2012

Law may see changes

Florida will use the Tampa Bay Times‘ analysis for a review of the “stand your ground” law.

Investigation: June 17, 2012

Drug dealer kills twice, no charges

Twice he claimed self defense, twice he was set free.

Investigation: July 22, 2012

Rough crowd benefits from law

Stand your ground most often invoked by killers with a criminal past

Investigation: October 7, 2012

Some failing to use law

The outcome of your self-defense case can hinge on what your attorney knows about “stand your ground.”

Jenkins
Sherdavia Jenkins
Black female
Age at time: 9
Weapon: unarmed
Martin
Trayvon Martin
Black male
Age at time: 17
Weapon: unarmed
Victim photo: Trayvon Martin at 17 years old. Photo courtesy of the Martin family
Acquitted
Zimmerman
George Zimmerman
Hispanic male
Age at time: 28
Weapon: gun
gun
Jordan Russell Davis Black male Age at time: 17 Weapon: unarmed
Jordan Russell Davis
Black male
Age at time: 17
Weapon: unarmed

What the data shows

Florida’s “stand your ground” law has been extremely successful for people who kill and claim self-defense. Nearly 70 percent of those accused went free (36 cases are pending).

graphic

Weighing the circumstances

Trayvon Martin’s death became controversial because circumstances leading up to the shooting cast doubt on who was to blame. The Tampa Bay Times reviewed other “stand your ground” cases for similar circumstances. The Timesrelied on available information, some of which may not tell the whole story. When the situation was unclear, that was noted.

Yes No Unclear/
disputed
Did the victim initiate the confrontation?

104

cases

48

cases

85

cases

Was the victim armed?

75

cases

160

cases

21

cases

Was the victim committing a crime that led to the confrontation?

51

cases

190

cases

21

cases

Did the defendant pursue the victim?

70

cases

119

cases

48

cases

Could the defendant have retreated to avoid the conflict?

135

cases

36

cases

66

cases

Was the defendant on his or her property?

69

cases

168

cases

0

cases

Did someone witness the attack?

154

cases

58

cases

25

cases

Was there physical evidence?

127

cases

13

cases

97

cases

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