US “Stand Your Ground” Laws Do Not Cut Crime but Risk Public Health and Safety


Stand Your Ground laws, intended to protect citizens defending themselves from crime, have been enacted in many states. However, a recent study with PISC External Advisory Board member David Humphreys, PhD, and PISC Executive Committee member Douglas Wiebe, PhD, questions the effectiveness of these laws. Their work has been highlighted in a Medical Xpress article.


Previous studies examining self-defense cases within the United States were analyzed. Results indicated that Stand Your Ground laws have not reduced crime. In many states, violence has increased significantly since these laws have been put into place. Racial bias has proved to be a significant factor in deciding the outcome of self-defense cases, as cases in which Black citizens were injured more likely to be justified than those of their white counterparts. Wiebe concludes, “The accumulated evidence is remarkably consistent and suggests that these laws are both harmful and inequitable.” These findings are crucial for lawmakers to understand and

respond.


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