[The Zimmerman Outrage]
Since 2005, the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, has been inappropriately and often fatally extended to apply to any situation where a person believes they are being attacked by an assailant.
Today, finally, the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder spoke out, and called for the 30 States that uphold this law to repeal it immediately on the grounds that it contributed to the failure of our justice system this weekend in the failed retribution of Trayvon Martin.
From 2005 to 2011 in Florida alone we have lost the lives of 214 people due to this draconian law based on the Castle Doctrine. Moreover this law clearly creates racial biases in the courtroom where White shooters are 12 times more likely to be acquitted then Black shooters.
This becomes clear in looking directly at instances where the victim and the shooter are of different races. Black shooters of White victims are acquitted only 1.4% of the time where as White shooters of Black victims are acquitted 16.9% of the time.
We simply cannot allow this to continue. While New York is not one of the States that utilizes ‘Stand Your Ground’ we have not one but two abhorrently discriminatory practices, Stop and Frisk and Secure Communities. While the Federal Government works to repeal their disproportionately discriminatory and archaic law here in New York we must continue the fight to repeal ours so that never again will our community suffer the loss of an innocent child.
Bertha Lewis is President of The Black Institute