The Racial Disparities in ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws

Timothy Welbeck SAVE THIS


“I have a son. And I care as much for my son as y’all care for y’all’s. But my son does not walk the same path as yours does!” state Senator Stephanie Flowers argued during an impassioned floor debate on gun legislation at the Arkansas State Capitol in March of this year. Senator Flowers decried proposed legislation sponsored by Republican colleagues, which would remove “a duty to retreat” in self-defense cases. She denounced the bill and the state Judiciary Committee’s efforts to limit debate on its merits. She referenced the killing of Trayvon Martin, and the failure of Florida courts to hold George Zimmerman accountable for his tragic death. In so doing, she made a case for why stand your ground laws are dangerous for people of color.

While her efforts stalled the passage of stand your ground legislation in Arkansas, they also brought renewed attention to the…

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