Spate of Florida ‘Stand Your Ground’ Shootings Reported

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The so-called Castle Doctrine has become a quaint image in South Florida the past few weeks as residents have taken to defending themselves in and out of their homes, the Miami Herald reports. Since the week after Thanksgiving, residents have shot intruders they have perceived as threats at least four times. Only one of the shooting victims was inside a home. Two men were killed. Two others were severely wounded. Two of the men who were shot had guns. None of the shooters has been charged with a crime. “I don’t know if it’s the holidays. I don’t know if it’s a full moon,” said Michael Grieco, a former state prosecutor and Miami Beach Commissioner.  “But apparently every one of those folks that fired apparently did so within the confines of Florida law.”

Grieco has been hired by Warren Cespedes, who shot twice through his front door and badly wounded a man he said was trying to break into his home. In 2005, Florida enacted a law that greatly expanded the Castle Doctrine, the right to defend yourself in your home if retreating was no longer an option. The Stand Your Ground law permits Floridians who believe they are in imminent danger of bodily harm to defend themselves and others in or outside the home. The law eliminated one’s duty to retreat.  Grieco, who won a high-profile Stand Your Ground case a year ago, said he doubted the spate of shootings had anything to do with the gun culture feeling unshackled after the November election, and that more than likely it’s just people purchasing more weapons. “It could just be an anomaly,” he said. “We need more of a sample size than just a few weeks.” The acquittal of George Zimmerman in the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin may be the highest profile case of its kind in a nation besieged by guns.

 

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