“Stand your ground” laws are once again a national topic of conversation now that the Michael Dunn verdict has been handed down.
Dunn, a middle-aged white man, shot and killed unarmed, black 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a Florida convenience store parking lot in November 2012. He reportedly opened fire on the SUV that Davis and his friends were in after an argument broke out about loud music coming from the car.
In court, Dunn claimed self-defence and said he saw a gun in the car and that his life was threatened. No weapon was recovered from Davis or his friends.
Dunn was found guilty of three counts of second-degree attempted murder for firing at the car, for which he faces 60 years of prison time. But those charges don’t relate to Davis’ killing. The jury was hung on the first-degree murder charge, and the judge declared a mistrial for that count. He will likely be retried on that charge.
The case has drawn comparisons to the George Zimmerman trial and reignited a debate about controversial “stand your ground” laws, which justify using deadly force and don’t require people to run away if they think they’re in danger.
Reuters has published this map illustrating which states have these provisions:
Most northeastern states don’t have a “shoot first” provision, while many southern states permit the use of deadly force in public with no duty to retreat.
In states without stand your ground provisions, people must usually attempt to flee before using deadly force. These states are known as “duty to retreat” states.
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