Florida’s Stand Your Ground Reason For Recent Spike In Murder?

Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ Linked To Homicide Increases

In 2005, Florida lawmakers made a decision that would affect how Floridians would live and affected their self-defense. The law, more commonly known as “Stand Your Ground” has since seen a controversial history as people such as George Zimmerman used it as his defense after shooting Trayvon Martin back in 2012. Zimmerman’s attorney successfully got his client acquitted thanks to the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law in 2013.

In 2013, Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s team found that a majority of Floridians supported the law.


“All persons who are conducting themselves in a lawful manner have a fundamental right to stand their ground and defend themselves from attack with proportionate force in every place they have a lawful right to be,” Scott’s team reported back in 2013.

However, there is new evidence that is linking the increase in homicides to the controversial law. The monthly homicide rate has increased by 24.4 percent and the homicide by firearm rate is up to 31.6 percent according to the study done by the Journal of the American Medical Association. The report was just published this week. While the numbers are up, there isn’t an exact point in time that links directly to ‘Stand Your Ground.’

“This doesn’t rule out the possibility that there might have been something else that happened that we don’t know about,” David Humphreys, a professor of social policy and one of the co-writers of the report, said to Time Magazine. “But the magnitude of the effect led us to believe that the only thing that could plausibly lead to that effect is ‘Stand Your Ground.’”

The results back up a similar finding that was found in 2013, the same year that Zimmerman was acquitted. Those results done by Texas A&M found that there was an 8 percent increase across all states who have ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws. Mark Hoekstra, who was on that study, said that the numbers he has been tracking match up to Florida as well.

“These laws lower the cost of using lethal force,” Hoekstra said. “Our study finds that, as a result, you get more of it.”

information used from Time.com and CNN.

Thomas Fernandez is the managing editor for Sports Talk Florida and News Talk Florida. He started his career in media by covering the NHL and the Tampa Bay Lightning. After covering the NHL for two years, he hopped on board the news cycle and has been covering both sports and news for the last year. He has covered major sporting events as well as politics which affects the Florida audience. Thomas is a Tampa native and graduate of the University of South Florida with a bachelor of arts in Public Relations.