Georgia Lawsuit Challenges “Stand Your Ground” Law


A federal lawsuit asks that Georgia’s “stand your ground” law be struck down because it’s vague and could result in a disproportionate number of minorities being shot, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Markel Hutchins said in his suit that Georgia’s law does not specify what circumstances justify deadly force being used in cases of self defense. “It is not clear what actions would create 'reasonable belief’ that deadly force is necessary,” said the suit. “An individual seeking to stand their ground and assert self-defense has no way of knowing if their 'reasonable belief’ comports with the standards protected by the law and [they] want to ensure that they do not subject themselves to criminal penalties.”

The suit says that some courts have “accepted the race of a victim as evidence to establish the reasonableness of an individual's fear in cases of justifiable homicide.” Hutchins said in those circumstances the law does not equally protect him and other African Americans. For more than a century, courts nationwide have said people have a right to “stand their ground” and use deadly force in certain circumstances.

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