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Stand Your Ground laws Challenged at the UN

This month, the United Nation’s Committee on Human Rights (CHR) will be considering a report submitted by the Dream Defenders, the NAACP, and the Community Justice Project of Florida Legal Services. Dream Defender Ahmad Abuznaid will travel to Geneva to meet with the CHR. The report alleges that the U.S. is in violation of its treaty obligations under the “International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” (ICCPR). Specifically, stand your ground laws, (SYG), violate America’s obligation to protect the lives of its citizens. They also allege that juries apply these laws in a racially discriminatory fashion, although this doesn’t appear to be the formal charge levied against the United States.

The reports states, “These laws make it easier for people to murder other human beings and without facing legal consequences. They essentially eviscerate any deterrent to gun related homicides, and provide a road map to getting out of jail with blanket immunity.” To support this claim the report cites a study conducted at the University of Texas A&M. The study alleges that Stand Your Ground laws cause 500-700 additional homicides in the states that have adopted them. They also cite additional data showing that in SYG states homicides are more likely to be ruled justifiable. According to the report, this violates America’s sworn commitment not to arbitrarily deprive Americans of their lives.

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