Opinion

To ensure justice, law needs change

Many states have their own interpretations of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law. These laws are in place essentially to allow people to defend themselves when endangered by means that would otherwise be deemed illegal.

In addition to allowing people to use force to defend themselves, “Stand Your Ground” can be used as immunity from civil or criminal law suits.

While people should be able to defend themselves from attack without fear of punishment, this law can make administering justice very difficult. In the statute it says that a person may use force if they reasonably believe it’s needed. When people are overcome with strong emotions, the decisions they make may seem reasonable or rational in the moment. In actuality, many people choose the wrong course of action. People can wrongfully invoke self defense.

The Trayvon Martin case is a perfect example of when the “Stand Your Ground” law was wrongfully used. George Zimmerman shot and killed Martin but claimed that it was in self defense.

There are three sides to every story: side A, side B, and the truth. It is harder to discern the truth if side B is dead, as in this particular case. Zimmerman called the police and was instructed not to take any action. Knowing this fact, when does “Stand Your Ground” turn from self defense to vigilante “justice”?

In one news report, a police officer said that many investigators have a hard time understanding the law. The police are in charge of understanding and enforcing the laws set up by local, state and national government. If the police can’t even interpret this one, how can the average citizen correctly interpret the law? Laws need to be straightforward with no gray areas. In some cases self defense is necessary, but the law needs to be modified to ensure that justice is being served.

 

Taylor Duckett is a freshman majoring in political science. 

April 5, 2012

Reporters

Taylor Duckett


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

View photos as Miami Hurricanes Coach Jim Morris ends 41-year career on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at M ...

The sullen, charcoal sky opened with a vengeance Saturday afternoon at Mark Light Field in Coral Gab ...

Hurricanes football aficionados: How does another College GameDay at the University of Miami campus ...

Get out your calendars once again, UM football fans. The Atlantic Coast Conference has announced the ...

Lonnie Walker IV, so eager to begin his professional basketball career that he left the University o ...

A snapshot guide to the start of summer in and around UM. ...

Former investment banker Charmel Maynard leads UM’s investments and treasury functions. ...

Over his more than two decades at the U, the dean of students from 1976-1989 always put students fir ...

The final Sea Secrets lecture at the Rosenstiel School examines the biofluorescence of marine organi ...

Maintenance mechanic Milton Davis has kept UM housing humming for decades. ...

No. 7 seed Miami opens its run at the 2018 ACC Baseball Championship Tuesday, May 22 against No. 11 ...

After 25 years, head coach Jim Morris had just one request for the pregame festivities for his final ...

In honor of Jim Morris' final regular season game as head coach at Miami on Saturday, May 19, t ...

Sophomore righthander Evan McKendry struck out 11 to help lead the Hurricanes to their 10thstraight ...

Check out over 60 of the top pictures from the Miami women's tennis team's matchup with to ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.