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Sample Thesis Paper on Are Stand Your Ground Laws the Reason for High Justifiable Homicide Rates in US

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Sample Thesis Paper on Are Stand Your Ground Laws the Reason for High Justifiable Homicide Rates in US

Introduction

The stand-your-ground law or what is commonly referred to as self-defense law defines a type of law that offers individuals with the right to employ fatal force in self-defense without requiring evasion or draw back from dangerous circumstances. This type of law has increasingly been adopted in most jurisdictions within the United States where is has been integrated with the statutory or common-law standards. Under such standards, individuals have been bestowed the right to use fatal force in particular circumstances where the stand-your-ground law would then act as source of defense or immunity that would protect a person involved from facing criminal charges (Megale, 2009). According to Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (2013), a huge proportion of US states have adopted a common doctrine generated from the stand-your-ground law which states that a person should not retreat in case his/her home is attacked. Other states within the region take a step further to prohibit any aspect of retreat among individuals that may be attacked outside their home.

Prohibitions derived from the Stand-your-ground law thus indicate that a person does not have any right to retreat or abandon an environment that he/she has a right to be in, or give up his/her place of assailant. Under these laws, it is obvious that people do not have any grounds for retreat or abandonment of places where they legally ought to be. As explained by Gerney & Parsons (2013), stand-your-ground laws are usually adopted in United States case laws where the right to self-defense is usually distinguished from criminal homicides. The US Supreme court for example employed these laws to make ruling in the 1985 Beard V. US case. In this case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a man that had killed another man that had invaded his premises. According to the Supreme Court, the man that was on his homestead during the attack had not aggravated the assault, but he had reasonable grounds to believe that the deceased, who in this case had invaded his premises, intended to kill or cause him great bodily harm. On this note, the Supreme Court was convinced that the man did not have any reasonable grounds to retreat but he had the right to stand his ground (McClellan & Tekin, 2012).

Background of the study

            The laws advocating for various features that exhibit various aspects of “stand your ground” in United States can trace their roots from the time when most state legal bodies started to adopt the English Common Law including the Act of Parliament of 2 ED. III and the Forcible Act of 1381. The English law endorsed criminal sanctions that sought to dishearten the resort to self-defense by demanding that a threatened party should evade dangerous grounds in situations where property would be involved and resolve the issues using legal means. Certain local districts in United States however resolved to adopt the old common law principles that prevailed prior to dawn of thirteenth century (Megale, 2009). While these principles allowed threatened parties to use force in self-defense, they were employed as the new American way to perpetuate self-help. In 1877, an Indiana Court handling a case involving Runyon V. State gave a statement while making a court ruling, which exhibited the fact that state courts were beginning to advocate for the stand your ground laws.

 According to the Indiana court, the propensity of the American mind seemed to be campaigning strongly against the implementation of any law that required an individual to retreat when assailed, in order to avoid being reprimanded or even save his own life. On this note, the court advocated to the fact that legal systems should implement a modern aspect of authority that establishes a new principle stating that when someone, being without mistakes and in an environment where he rightfully ought to be, is brutally assaulted, should not retreat but should fend off force by force. The court further stated that such a person would be justifiable for taking any action in self-defense irrespective of whether such actions would attribute to the killing of the involved assailant (McClellan & Tekin, 2012).

            Close to one hundred years ago, Illinois Supreme Court during a case involving Reeder V. Purdy recognized that the statutory policy seeking to inhibit self-help was incongruent and that there was a dire need to advocate for judicial policy that would encourage the use force in self-defense. The court advocated the opinion stating that the various statutes perpetuating forcible arrest and detainment of threatened individuals that used force in self-defense were supposed to be repealed as they took away the previous rights that were advocated by the common law (Gerney & Parsons, 2013). The court thus ruled out that forcible arrests following actions of self-help should be termed as illegal hence non-applicable in a modern court system. In 1889, the US Supreme Court had made yet another ruling in favor of a threatened party that had shot dead an assailant on basis of self-defense. This established a bench mark upon which courts’ reasoning in later years were founded as pertains to issues of execution and self-defense. Five years after Associate Justice Stephen Field, who had been involved in the 1889-left office, Justice Oliver ruled in support for self defense in case filed under Brown v. United States 1921 where he stated that individuals were not obliged to retreat in situations where an uplifted knife was present. Subsequent cases were resolved in favor of self-defense and these mainly invoked the “no obligation to retreat” argument among various individuals that made court ruling in subsequent years (National Urban league, 2013).

            Different states within the United States then started to integrate the SYG laws within their judicial systems. Florida was the first one to enact these laws in 2005 and it has employed them in close to 200 cases where offenders have been offered immunity or pardon is situations where they claimed to have committed murder in self-defense. other states followed suit during the subsequent years where they adopted similar laws even though they exhibited certain variations pertaining to specifications on how involved parties needed to defend themselves. Such specifications included the mandates stating that a threaten party needed to be in his/her premises or car while others extended to include specific streets (National Black Law Students Association, 2012).

Statement of the problem

            The use of SYG laws has significantly affected crime statistics as justifiable homicide cases continue identifying a firm ground upon which they can multiply. According to Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (2013), five years after the first SYG laws were enacted saw a significant increase in the number of justifiable homicides undertaken by civilians through the use of firearms. Research has shown that increase in homicide rates has not been perpetuated by increased classification of most homicides under the “justifiable” category, but an increase in firearm-related killings in states adopting the SYG laws. While these laws have been given different interpretations that mean different things to different people, most judicial systems in United States have proven to defend individuals that have managed to convince them that their actions were perpetuated by reasonable fear that their lives were in danger and that they used force in self-defense. The legal mess that has been perpetuated by the integration of SYG laws within varying judicial systems in different US states is that interesting statistics that indicate the type of stories that juries handling certain cases tend to believe have increasingly emerged (National Urban league, 2013). A report filed by National Black Law Students Association (2012) showed that juries tend to provide immunity and protection to offenders when homicide committed involves a white offender and a black victim rather when the offender is a black person and a white victim.

            As explained by Gerney & Parsons (2013), states that have adopted the SYG laws have seen a 53% increase in justifiable homicides while states without the laws have indicated a 5% decrease in the rates justifiable homicides. Florida for example saw an increase in justifiable homicides by 200% when it first executed the SYG laws. The rate of justifiable homicides has particularly been dramatic among the African American community. Research has shown that the number of people within the black population that have been shot after the execution of these laws has more than doubled between 2005 and 2011, while on the other hand declining in states that have note executed the SYG laws. Research has further indicated that handgun homicides involving parties that are strange to each other have more than twice increased in states that have adopted the SYG laws within their judicial systems compared to states that have not. A study carried out by Roman (2013) has shown that only 7.2% of handgun homicides are ranked as justifiable in non-SYG states while 13.6% of similar homicides are ranked as justifiable in states adopting the SYG laws. Evidence has indicated that increase in homicide rates within states adopting the SYG laws have perpetuated significant decline in public safety as members of the public have continued to openly carry deadly weapons in the name of self-defense. The fact that these rates have proven to severely affect members of certain populations and not others has equally raised concern within judicial and civil systems (Roman, 2013). This exhibits the dire need to investigate whether the SYG laws are responsible for the increase homicide rates so as to make significant recommendations on whether states adopting these laws may or may not need to repeal them.

Justification of the study

            Varying critiques have been posed by different categories of individuals that seek to blame SYG laws for increased crime cases in United States. According to Roman (2013), arguments among law enforcement agencies as well as members of the public have claimed that implementation of SYG laws have perpetuated drug-related crimes as drug dealers have been able to use the self-defense excuses to avoid murder-related executions and walk free. These laws have as well been criticized on basis of the fact that they allow offenders to shoot first and then ask questions latter, which makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to prosecute individuals that commit murder in the name of self-defense. Conversely, the number of murder cases is equally increasing particularly because juries are increasingly adopting the SYG laws to make prosecutions in a manner that legislators throughout history have never envisioned. According to Jansen (2000), critiques have further indicated that SYG laws have seen individuals going free even though they may have been involved in cases that seem to mock the decisions that lawmakers may have intended.

Although efforts seeking to perpetuate the repeal or change of legislation related to these laws have extensively been carried out, lack of sufficient evidence that can prove the role of SYG laws in perpetuating justifiable homicides might implicate the attempt to repeal these laws (National Urban league, 2013). Although a wide range of studies have been carried out in the attempt to investigate various aspects of the SYG laws, there is no particular study that has sought to investigate the whether SYG laws are responsible for perpetuating justifiable homicide rates. Different studies have only sought to investigate how different states in United States have employed the SYG laws, how people have reacted to these laws as well as how homicide among other types of crimes have increased in SYG and non-SYG states. There is no specific study that has been carried out to investigate whether SYG laws are the main reason why homicide rates have increased in the United States. This indicates the dire need to undertake a study investigating whether these laws are responsible for the increasing homicide rates in United States in order to determine whether people should agree to these types of laws as well as whether they should be repealed.

Research topic

This study intends to investigate whether stand your ground laws are the reason for high justifiable homicide rates in United States in order to determine whether people should agree with them or they should be repealed.

Research objectives

This study intends to meet the following objectives:

  • To determine the various factors contributing to the execution of SYG laws in the US.
  • To establish whether there are cases of justifiable homicides in the US.
  • To determine how the rates of justifiable homicides have changed since the execution of SYG laws.
  • To determine the various effects that result from the execution of SYG laws in the US
  • To find out whether SYG laws are the reason for high justifiable homicide rates in United States.
  • To find out whether SYG laws are laws that people should agree with.
  • To establish whether the laws should or should not be repealed.
Research questions

In order to meet these objectives, this study will be guided by the following questions:

  • Have SYG laws been executed in this state?
  • What factors have contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States
  • Are there cases of justifiable homicides in your state?
  • How do you think the rates of justifiable homicides have changed since the execution of SYG laws?
  • Do you think SYG laws are the reason for the high justifiable homicide rates in the US?
  • Do you think SYG laws are laws that people should agree with?
  • What recommendations can you make in relation to SYG laws?

Research hypotheses

This study will be seeking to test the following hypotheses:

H1 there is a direct relationship between SYG laws and high justifiable homicide rates in United States

 

 

 

 

Conceptual framework

Independent variable                                                                                           dependent variable

 

SYG laws

 

 

High justifiable homicide rates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Literature review

            The issue of executing SYG laws in different states in the US has raised concern as different people have put forth critiques that tend to relate these laws with the rapidly increasing rates of justifiable homicides. The main purpose for this review is to establish what different scholars have documented in relation to the execution of SYG laws in United States in order to determine whether they have perpetuated the high justifiable homicide rates as well as determine whether people should agree with the laws or if they should be repealed. This review will thus undertake an extensive analysis of both the empirical and theoretical frameworks so as to establish whether there is a significant relationship between SYG laws and increasing justifiable homicide rates in United States.

Empirical framework

            Stand your ground laws, which can equally be defined as the castle doctrine traces their roots from the common law. Although the common law prohibited individuals from using force to repel force that threatened their lives, the ineffectiveness exhibited by judicial systems to address constant threats faced by individuals found within places where they were rightfully supposed to be led to proposals to change the provisions offered by the common law. Implementation of the proposed changes meant that individuals would no longer wait to resolve issues through the judicial system but use deadly weapons to repel force implied by assailants invading their premises. New laws that prohibited any act of retreat were thus introduced so as to enhance self-defense. With these laws being executed in judicial systems in most states in the US, they allow individuals to use deadly weapons to repel against force or threats exalted by people intruding environments that threatened individuals should rightfully be in. Over the past few decades, there have been constant movements within various state governments seeking to expand execution of the SYG laws. The new laws perpetuate individuals’ right to self-defense without abandoning or retreating from places where they rightfully ought to be. Such expansions have proven to perpetuate certain implications that may in return affect the normal functioning of civil and judicial systems (Jansen, 2000).

Factors contributing to the call for expansion of SYG laws in United States

            Research has indicated that several factors have contributed to the demand for the expansion of SYG laws in United States. Among the various factors contributing to this development include:

Declined sense of public safety

            Research has shown that members of the public in the US have significantly changed their perception as pertains to their safety following incidences of terrorist attacks in 2001. A study carried out by Dream Defenders (2013) showed that most US citizens exhibited heightened fear and anxiety after the 9/11 attacks, which perpetuated great concern on whether government agencies would be able to protect individual citizens at the height of every attack. This has thus contributed to the heightened desire to promote the expansion of the concept of self-defense to allow members of the public to take initiative in promoting their own defense thereby enabling them to defend themselves from possible attacks from different types of assailants that include terrorists. Although the right to defend oneself may have existed long before the September 11 attacks, most people may not have been aware of its existence until they realized how lethal such attacks could be.

The need to safeguard the vulnerable

            Another important factor that can be used to explain the dire need for expansion of SYG laws is the vulnerability exhibited by various categories of victims that include victims of family or intimate individuals’ violence. As explained by Cheng & Hoekstra (2012), the common type of protection offered by the judicial system in addressing cases involving vulnerable victims are usually founded on restraining order, and these can often be ignored thereby expiring without being reinstated. Experts particularly within the law enforcement agencies see the judicial systems addressing such cases failing to protect the vulnerable parties. On this note, parties seeking to enhance the protection of vulnerable victims can thus admit to the fact that members of the public should be able to acquire weapons so as to be able to safeguard their wellbeing if need be. This thus suggests that expansion of SYG laws would benefit various types of victims including those in abusive relationships.

Perceived biasness within the legal system

            Research has equally indicated that the judicial system has exhibited heightened inability to protect victims of different types of crime as prosecutors have proven to be more concerned about the rights of the offender and not the victim. A study carried out by Roman (2013) showed that most prosecutors and judges are usually concerned about how they can offer protection and immunity to offenders that might claim self-defense while forgetting about the rights of the victims. This shows that expanding the SYG laws would enable victims to play their parts in perpetuating their wellbeing (Dream Defenders, 2013).

Effects of expanding SYG laws in United States

            Research has equally shown that proposed expansion of the SYG laws in United States is bound to perpetuate adverse effects of members of the public as well as the law enforcement agencies. Among the various effects that this development is bound to perpetuate include:

Increased use of force by law enforcement officers          

            Law enforcement officers are often tied to strict standards that define the limits within which they can use force. They however do not share the provisions that provide immunity and protection to members of the public under the SYG doctrine as officers that tend use force while serving within their line of duty are usually subjected to strict scrutiny to establish whether their actions were necessary. This has perpetuated concerns pertaining to the safety of police officers particularly those serving under “no-knock” warrants. While the new doctrine states that entering premises without prior notice justifies deadly response by a person that may perceive his/her life as being in danger, police officers may as well respond by force when their safety is equally threatened (Roman, 2013).

Demands to meet operational and training needs

            Research has further indicates that the basic training that law enforcement officers receive does not address the complex issues that are bound to arise when the SYG laws are introduced. This indicates that police officers may find it challenging to establish whether new laws are correctly being invoked. A study carried out by Cook (2013) showed that police officers at various levels of law enforcement agencies might need to obtain extensive training on the new “suppositions of reasonableness” and investigative strategies that ought to be adopted under the new doctrine. Conversely, officers’ training would equally need to continually be updated, and this raises cost and other investigation-related burdens.

Theoretical framework

            Certain theories can equally explain why members of the public may desire to take initiative in protecting their wellbeing thereby demanding for the expansion of the SYG laws in the United States. Among the various theories that can be used to explain such development is the Marcus Felson’s routine activity theory. This theory was established in 1979, and it intended to describe the basic activities that individuals within any given society tend to follow. Such activities can prevail in individuals’ places of work, premises and schools. Such individuals may be influenced to adopt the various activities prevailing in these environments thereby contributing to pathological features of a given society (Cheng & Hoekstra, 2012). In relation to the current study, the routine activity theory can help us to understand the fact that most individuals in United States may have taken the initiative to enhance their safety by repelling force-by-force thereby using deadly force to face assailants invading their premises.

Summary and conclusion

            Evidence from a review of relevant literature indicates that various factors have contributed to the demand for expansion of SYG laws in United States. Such factors include declined sense of public safety, the need to protect vulnerable populations and perceived biasness within the judicial system. Various effects have however proven to emanate from the newly demanded development, and these include increased use of force by police officers as well as growing demand to meet operational and training needs that might come with the new establishment. A keen analysis of various theories has equally indicated that members of the public in the United States may have engaged in using force to repel force simply because other individuals within this region have increasingly adopted this activity thereby giving the US society a new pathological feature. There is however no particular study that has exhibited any type of relationship prevailing between increasing justifiable homicide rates and the SYG laws. This indicates that there is dire need to undertake a study that will investigate whether SYG laws are the reason for high justifiable homicide rates in United States in order to determine whether these are laws that people should agree with or if they should be repealed.   

Research methodology

            Homicide has been ranked as the second leading source of deaths among individuals aged between 15 and 34 years in United States. According to Cook (2013), homicide contributes to over 5% of annual potential life loss in United States, and it is the second leading cause for disparity in life expectancy between white and black American male citizens. While two thirds of the total homicides committed in United States are committed through the use of firearms, they contribute to more than 19.5 times the number of firearm-related homicides committed in other world’s high income nations. Arguments from different categories of people state that SYG laws are to blame for the high homicide rates in the United States. This is particularly because most perpetrators of homicide often have crime-related backgrounds that would inhibit them from possessing firearms, but justifications perpetuated by prevailing laws that include SYG laws employed in the United empower them to openly carry and use firearms when need arises (Roman, 2013). This study intends to investigate whether SYG laws are responsible for high homicide rates in order to determine whether these are type of laws that people should agree with or if they should be repealed. This chapter will thus introduce the research methodology employed in this study in the attempt to investigate into the various views and perceptions posed as pertains to the execution of SYG laws in different states in the US. This chapter will thus look into the research design, research paradigm, data collection procedures and methods of data analysis.

Research design

            This study will adopt a quantitative method of inquiry, which includes the adoption of statistical and numerical technique in order to create a mathematical model that can be used to interpret concepts related to a particular phenomenon. This methodology will especially include certain aspects of variable measurement so as to determine the crucial relationship that might prevail between one variable and the other. This will include a significant measurement of results derived from various variables so as to determine the fundamental relationship that might exist between the empirical observations made and the mathematical relationships that usually exist in quantitative expressions. A descriptive approach will then be adopted in the attempt to provide crucial information relating to the link that might prevail between the execution of SYG laws and the high homicide rates in the US. The researcher will mainly use questionnaires that have well structured open and close-ended questions to gather important data that can help to respond to various study questions. A regression analysis will as well be adopted in order to provide crucial information relating to the execution of SYG law in different US states as well as the significant changes that have been established since these laws were executed. This analysis will particularly include a keen analysis of important data compiled in state-level FBI reports. The various questions the researcher will be intending to respond to include:

  • To determine the various factors contributing to the execution of SYG laws in the US.
  • To establish whether there are cases of justifiable homicides in the US.
  • To determine how the rates of justifiable homicides have changed since the execution of SYG laws.
  • To determine the various effects that result from the execution of SYG laws in the US
  • To find out whether SYG laws are the reason for high justifiable homicide rates in United States.
  • To find out whether SYG laws are laws that people should agree with.
  • To establish whether the laws should or should not be repealed.

The population sample that will be engaged in this study will comprise of three hundred law enforcement officers that include FBIs, federal police officers, and prosecutors. Five states that have executed SYG laws will be chosen and five law enforcement agencies from each state picked at random. Four officers from each department will further be selected randomly, and these will be included in the study. A quantitative approach to will be adopted in analyzing the collected data and the results presented using descriptive statistics to summarize the research findings.

Research paradigm

The researcher will adopt the positivist paradigm in guiding this study, which defines a type of scientific philosophy that describes relevant information as that which can be generated from logical and mathematical viewpoints to provide a distinct source of scientific knowledge. Adopting this paradigm is important in this study as it will enable the researcher to obtain relevant results that can help to respond to the study questions. According to Cook (2013), the positivist paradigm assumes that the society is usually governed by certain natural laws that tend to control the physical world. Adopting this paradigm will enable the researcher to explain why results obtained from few states included in the study sample can be used to make conclusive assumptions relating to the execution of SYG laws in other parts of United States as well as the rest of the world. Adopting the positivist paradigm can as well ensure that validity of data is enhanced as introspective and insinuative responses would be eliminated so as to ensure that only responses that comply with the rule of nature are accepted.

Study population

            The population sample that will be involved in this study will be derived from five different states that include Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Michigan. These states were selected at random since data collection tools would be dispensed online hence convenience in terms of a state’s geographical location was not important. Five law enforcement agencies from each state would further be picked at random and four officers from the FBI unit, four from federal police and four from the prosecution department would further be picked at random and issued with the research questionnaires. Selection of states to be included in the study will be based on whether they have executed the SYG laws so as to ensure that the law enforcement officers included will have a better knowledge of various issues related to these laws. Similar states will further be included in the regression analysis, and this will include a keen analysis of the significant changes that these states have reported since the SYG laws were executed.

Data collection procedures

            The data collection process will begin by developing a study questionnaire that will first be handed over to a panel of experts where it will be tested for validity. The researcher will then send an email to the state-level authority in the five states in order to obtain permission to undertake the study. Participants of the study will then be contacted through email in order to establish their willingness to participate in the study. Upon agreeing to take part in the study, the study questionnaires will then dispersed along with an introductory letter within which the researcher will explain the purpose for undertaking the study. Confidentiality of the study will equally be confirmed through this letter so as to ensure that the study participants are able to provide as genuine information as possible. Respondents will be given a period of two weeks to go through the study questionnaires, respond to the questions and send them back to the researcher. All questionnaires will contain similar information as the researcher will have developed one file that will then be dispersed to all the participants. The researcher will then obtain FBI reports for each state in order to conduct a regression analysis relating to how homicide rates have changed over time as SYG laws have continually been expanded.

Data analysis procedure

            After all the data collection instruments have been obtained from the respondents, the researcher will read through the filled in questionnaires to confirm that the respondents were able to fill them in appropriately. The collected data will then be coded and analyzed using the SPSS computer software. Data presentation will then be done using descriptive statistics that include pie-charts, frequency tables, graphs and histograms. Results obtained from this analysis will then be used to make recommendation on the best alternative that can be adopted to address the issue in question.

Results

            The main aim for this section was to present the results of the findings generated from the responses provided by the study participants. The findings of the research can be presented as follows:

Study respondents

The data presented in this section was gathered from 300 hundred respondents that included 100 FBIs, 100 federal police officers and 100 prosecution agents. The respondents were randomly selected from five US states that have executed the SYG laws, and these included Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky and Michigan. The table below shows the various respondents that were included in the study

State

Specialization

 

FBI

Federal police

Prosecutor

Total

Florida

20 (6.67%)

20(6.67%)

20(6.67%)

60

Alabama

20(6.67%)

20(6.67%)

20(6.67%)

60

Georgia

20(6.67%)

20(6.67%)

20(6.67%)

60

Kentucky

20(6.67%)

20(6.67%)

20(6.67%)

60

Michigan

20(6.67%)

20(6.67%)

20(6.67%)

60

Total

100

100

100

300

 

Factors contributing to the execution of SYG laws in United States

            The main purpose for this section was to establish the various factors that have contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States. In order to achieve this objective, the researcher looked into the legal, social and political factors.

Social factors that have contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States

            The main aim for this section was to determine whether social factors have contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States. Findings of the research indicated that the following social factors have contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States.

Protection of vulnerable populations has contributed to the execution of SYG laws

            Findings of the study confirmed that the need to protect vulnerable populations has contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States. Out of 300 hundred respondents that were issued with questionnaires, 170 (56.7%) agreed that protection of vulnerable populations has contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States. 70 (23.3%) respondents were neutral about this issues while 25(8.3%) disagreed that this factor has contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States.  See the figure below.

Declining sense of public safety has contributed to the execution of SYG laws

Responses from the study indicated that declining sense of public safety has contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States. 160 out of 300 respondents that were issued with the study questionnaires agreed that this factor has contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States, 65 were neutral while 75 disagreed with the issue. Their responses constituted to 53.33%, 21.67% and 25% respectively.  See the figure below

Legal factors that have contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States

            This section was intended to establish whether legal factors have contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States. Among the legal factors that have contributed to the execution of SYG laws in the US include:

Perceived imbalance within the legal system has contributed to the execution of SYG laws

           Findings of the research further indicated that perceived imbalances within the legal system has contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States. Out of 300 hundred respondents that participated in the study, 184 (61.34%) agreed that perceived imbalances within the legal system has contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States, 50(16.67%) were neutral while 66(22%) disagreed with this issue. See the table below.

 

Perceived imbalances within the legal system

 

Frequency

Percent

 

strongly disagree

36

12

disagree

30

10.0

neutral

50

16.67

agree

104

34.67

strongly agree

80

26.67

Total

300

100.0

           

Constant decline in gun legislation has contributed to the execution of SYG laws 

            Findings of the research also indicated that decline in gun legislation has contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States. 180 out 300 respondents that were issued with questionnaires agreed that constant decline in gun legislation has contributed to the execution of SYG laws, 65 were neutral while 55 disagreed that this factor has contributed to the execution of the SYG laws. This constituted to 60%, 21.67% and 18.3% respectively. See the figure below.

 

Political factors that have contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States

            This section was intended to investigate whether political factors have contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States. Among the various political factors that have contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States include:

Execution of SYG laws by some states has contributed to the execution similar laws by others

            The findings of the research showed that execution of SYG laws by certain states has contributed to other states taking the same trend by executing these laws. Out of 300 respondents that were issued with questionnaires, 179 agreed that this factor has contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States, 66 were neutral while 55 disagreed with this issue. Their responses constituted to 59.67%, 22% and 18.33% respectively. See the table below.

Execution of SYG laws by certain states

 

Frequency

Percent

 

strongly disagree

4

1.33

disagree

51

17

neutral

66

22

agree

92

26.7

strongly agree

87

30.67

Total

300

100.0

 

Existence of justifiable homicides in the US

            All respondents that were involved in the study confirmed that there are cases of justifiable homicides in United States. Responses relating to how the homicide rates have changed since SYG laws were executed in various US states were however varied. Out of 300 respondents that were issued with questionnaires, 227 (75.67%) stated that homicide rates have significantly increased since the SYG laws were executed in United States, 66 (22%) stated that the rates have remained constant while 7 (2.3%) stated that the rates have decreased. 

Effects of executing SYG laws in United States

            The main aim for this section was to establish the various effects that have resulted from the execution of SGY laws in United States. In order to accomplish this objective, the researcher looked into legal and social effects.

Legal effects of executing SYG laws

            This section was intended to establish whether execution of SYG laws in United States has contributed to any legal effects. Among the various legal effects that were found to emanate from the execution of SYG laws include:

Increased investigation responsibilities

            A high proportion of respondents that were issued with the questionnaires confirmed that increased investigation responsibilities have resulted from the execution of SYG laws in United States. 178 out 300 respondents agreed to this issue, 86 were neutral and 36 disagreed. Their responses constituted to 59.33%, 28.67% and 12% respectively.

Rampant self-defense claims

            Most respondents that participated in this study stated that execution of SYG laws in United States has contributed to rampant claims of self-defense. Out of 300 respondents that were issued with questionnaires, 117 (56.67%) agreed that these laws have contributed to increased claims of self-defense, 40(13.33%) were neutral and 90 (30%) disagreed. See the figure below.

Social effects resulting from the execution of SYG laws in United States

            This section was intended to establish the various social effects that result from execution of SYG laws in United States.

Escalation of violence

Findings of the research showed that execution of SYG laws has contributed to escalation of violence in United States. 197 (65.67%) respondents agreed that violence has escalated since SYG laws were executed, 67 (22.33%) were neutral while 36(12%) disagreed with the issue.

Escalation of armed crime

            Participants of the study confirmed that escalation of armed conflict has resulted from the execution of SYG laws in United States. Out of 300 respondents that were issued with questionnaires, 204 agreed that crime has increased as a result of executing SYG laws in United States, 67 were neutral and 29 disagreed with the issue. Their responses constituted to 68%, 22.33% and 9.67% respectively. See the table below

Escalation of armed crime

 

Frequency

Percent

 

     

disagree

29

9.6

neutral

67

22.33

agree

126

42

strongly agree

68

22.67

Total

300

100.0

 

SYG laws are the reason for high homicide rates

            This section was intended to establish whether execution of SYG laws in United States has contributed to high homicide rates in United States. Findings of the research showed that most respondents that were issued with questionnaires were supportive of the fact that execution of SYG laws has contributed to high justifiable homicide rates in United States. 221 out of 300 respondents agreed that that SYG laws are to blame for high justifiable homicide rates, 62 were neutral and 17 disagreed. These attributed to 73.67%, 20.67% and 5.67% respectively. See the table below.

 

 

Frequency

Percent

 

     

disagree

17

5.67

neutral

62

20.67

agree

124

40

strongly agree

97

32.33

Total

300

100.0

 

SYG laws are laws that people should not agreed with

            Findings of the research showed that SYG laws are laws that people should not agree with. Out of 300 respondents that were issued with questionnaires, 178 (59.33%) stated that people should not agree with SYG laws and hence should be repealed, 67 (22.33%) were neutral and hence did not make any comments on whether the laws should be repealed or not and 55 (18.33%) stated that SYG laws are laws that people should agree with and hence should not be repealed.

Results from the regression analysis

            Findings from the regression analysis showed that homicide rates have increased at an average of 53% five years after they were executed in various states in the US. Conversely, states that did not have these laws reported a 5% constant decline in homicide rates within the same period. An average of 67% increase in violence has equally been reported in states that have SYG laws, as well as an average of 72% increase in self-defense claims. The analysis further indicated that the impact of SYG laws on justifiable homicides has particularly affected the African American population, hence the dire need for the state authorities to review them so as to determine the way they affect the population.

Discussion

            The findings of the research showed that political, legal and social factors have contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States. Most respondents that were involved in the study stated that protection of vulnerable populations and declining sense of public safety are the main social factors that have contributed to execution of SYG laws in United States. Among the legal factors that most respondents identified as having contributed to execution of SYG laws included perceived imbalance within the legal system and constant decline in gun legislation. Execution of SYG laws by certain states was founded to be the core political factor contributing to the execution of SYG laws in United States. Most respondents stated that there are cases of high justifiable homicide rates in United States. The results further indicated that various legal and social effects have emanated from the execution of SYG laws in United States. Most respondents indentified increased investigation responsibilities and rampant self-defense claims as the main legal effects that have resulted from execution of SYG laws in United States. Most respondents indentified escalation of violence and armed crime as the core social effects that have resulted from execution of SYG laws. Most respondents identified SYG laws as the reason for high homicide rates in United States. These further stated that SYG laws are laws that people should not agree with hence should be repealed. Evidence from the regression analysis further indicated that SYG laws have contributed to constantly high homicide rates in the countries that have executed them while portraying a constant decline in states that have not executed them. This analysis further indicated that SYG laws have contributed to increased cases of violence and self-defense claims.

Summary and conclusion

            Evidence from the research has shown that political, social and legal factors have contributed to the execution of SYG laws in United States. Evidence has equally shown that justifiable homicide rates are rampant in United States, and this attribute to adverse social and legal effects. SYG laws have equally proven to be the reason for high justifiable rates in Unites States. The laws have as well proven to be laws that people should not agree with, hence they should be repealed.

Hypotheses testing

There is a direct relationship between SYG laws and justifiable homicide rates. Evidence from the research has shown that the rates of justifiable homicides increase as SYG laws are expanded into different US states.

Recommendations
  • People should not agree with the expansion of SYG laws
  • Government authorities should repeal these laws to reduce claims of self-defense
  • Gun licensing should be intensified

 

 

 

 

 

References

Cheng, C. and Hoekstra, M. (2012). Does Strengthening Self-Defense Law Deter Crime or Escalate Violence: Evidence from Expansions to Castle Doctrine. 

Cook, P. J. (2013). Why Stand Your Ground Laws are Dangerous.

Dream Defenders. (2013). United States’ Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 

Gerney, A. and Parsons, C. (2013). License to Kill: How Lax Concealed Carry Laws Can Combine with Stand Your Grounds Laws to Produce Deadly Results. 

Jansen, S. (2000). Expansions to the Castle Doctrine: Implications for Policy and Practice, Journal of National District Attorneys Association, 795:1-24.

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. (2013). Stand Your Ground Laws: Civil Rights and Public Safety Implication of the Expanded Use of Deadly Force. 

McClellan, C. and Tekin, E. (2012). Stand Your Ground Laws and Homicides, 

Megale, E. B. (2009). Deadly Combinations: How Self-Defense Laws Pairing Immunity with a Presumption of Fear Allow Criminals to “Get Away with Murder”. 

National Black Law Students Association. (2012). Stand Your Ground: History, Development, and Significance of the Trayvon Martin Case. 

National Urban league, et al. (2013). Stand Your Ground Laws and Their Effect on Violent Crime and the Criminal Justice System. 

Roman, J. (2013). Stand Your Ground Laws: Civil Rights and Public Safety Implications of the Expanded Use of Deadly Force. 

Roman, J, K. (2013). Race, Justifiable Homicide, and Stand Your Grounds Laws: Analysis of FBI Supplementary Homicide Report Data.

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