Florida’s notorious Stand Your Ground law is being used in ways lawmakers never intended.The Florida lawmaker who initially sponsored Stand Your Ground said the law was never meant to protect people who put themselves in danger, according to a Sunday report in the Tampa Bay Times.
But Stand Your Ground has gotten people off the hook for deadly fights they started, and even for shooting people in the back, according to the paper’s analysis of 200 cases.
Almost 70 per cent of those who have used the law as a defence have gone free, that analysis found.
In one case, Omar Bonilla beat Demarro Battle at a house party before going inside and getting his gun. He would have had time to flee if he feared for his life, the Tampa Bay Times reported, but he returned to shoot Bonilla in the back.
Even drug dealer Anthony Gonzalez Jr. used the law as a defence when he chased someone and shot him after a drug deal went bad, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
The Sunshine State’s Stand Your Ground law first gained national attention when George Zimmerman used the law as a defence for shooting unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was black.
The Tampa Bay Times’ analysis also found that Floridians were more successful at using Stand Your Ground if the victim was black.