This is an excerpt from a publication by the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA) entitled “Expansions to the Castle Doctrine: Implications For Policy And Practice“. The implication of [stand your ground] is inserted here into their synopsis to emphasize where and how SYG laws apply:
“The following is an illustration of the potentially serious problems posed by changes [stand your ground] in no-retreat laws. Imagine that a nine-year-old girl is playing with her dolls outside her home.
In the house next door, a known drug-dealer, Red Rock, is selling drugs when he notices a rival drug-dealer, Yellow Man, with whom he had an earlier confrontation, coming down the street. Red Rock retrieves a semiautomatic assault rifle to defend himself.
Shots are exchanged, and in the aftermath, the little girl, once playing innocently, lies dead. Both Red Rock and Yellow Man claim selfdefense through the unprecedented changes [stand your ground] in the Castle Doctrine law.
Although Red Rock was a criminal, a “prohibited person” can possess a firearm for short periods of time in matters of self-defense. So long as Red Rock did not own the firearm nor live in the residence where the firearm was located, he could invoke a legal defense under the expanded [stand your ground] Castle Doctrine.
If law enforcement cannot prove that Red Rock was engaged in an unlawful activity and that his fear of imminent bodily harm was unreasonable, he could claim self-defense.
Likewise, assuming Yellow Man could legally possess a weapon, he would be justified in using a firearm in self-defense. This eliminates any legal recourse, civil or criminal, for the violent death of an innocent nine-year-old girl.
Because the legislature provided blanket immunity[stand your ground] for “self-defense,” courts are faced with situations in which a deadly defense may be legally justified, even if negligently or recklessly executed.
On the other hand, if the Castle Doctrine had not been expanded [stand your ground], Red Rock would have been required to retreat to an area — such as his home — that was safe. If he had done so, then innocent bystanders would have been spared even if the confrontation had occurred.
Would this shooting have been avoided if the Castle Doctrine were not expanded? Perhaps not, but the family of the victim would have legal remedies, and the two perpetrators could be held responsible for their actions rather than using the Castle Doctrine as a shield from the criminal and civil justice systems.
Sadly, this scenario is not fictional. It is based on a 2006 homicide case in Miami-Dade County.”
The NDAA has given us a clear picture of why we must eliminate stand your ground laws. Using stand your ground law, the killer claimed self-defense, and was able to receive a lesser charge of manslaughter resulting in 50 years instead of a life or a death sentence.
Contrary to what some people believe, if stand your ground is repealed, gun owners will still have all the rights they have always had under the ages-old Castle Doctrine. We must end stand your ground laws now.
(The full publication can be found in .pdf at ndaa.org)