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PBS Study Says "Stand Your Ground" Law Is Three Times More Likely to Protect Whites than Blacks

Stand Your Ground Law Study

According to a June 2012 study conducted for the PBS program Frontline, white people who kill other non-white people are more than 300% more likely to be legally justified in a “self-defense” case than in a case where a white person kills another white person. This conclusion was made from a thorough FBI examination of homicide data collected from the years 2005 to 2009.

The study was conducted by John Roman, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center in Washington, DC. During the study, his team sought to find patterns of racial inequality in the more than 43,000 homicides that were recorded by the FBI. The sample size was then minimized to 5,000 homicides, which occurred during the same time frame between 2005 and 2009.

In each of these homicides, there was a single shooter and a single victim who did not know one another. All the homicides defined as "justified," that is, a shooting by a citizen that kills a felon who is in the process of committing a felony, were analyzed. From this, Roman found that whites that killed blacks were much more likely to be cleared of any charges than blacks who killed whites.

The data to support such findings was overwhelming. Frontline then asked Roman to analyze the data again to look for racial inequalities in comparing the states with “Stand Your Ground” laws to the states without them.

Roman used the 43,500-case sample size to compare the data. He found that whites who kill blacks in states without “Stand Your Ground” laws are 250 percent more likely to be found justified than a white person who kills another white person. However, in the ”Stand Your Ground” states, that figure soars to 354 percent.

For more details about the study, visit:http://blog.metrotrends.org/2012/03/stand-ground-laws-miscarriages-justice/

For more details about PBS Frontline, visit:www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/

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