Race's complex role
A Tampa Bay Times analysis shows that people who claimed self-defense after killing a black victim were more likely to go free than those who killed a white victim
People have had the right to defend themselves from a threat as far back as English common law. The key in Florida and many other states was that they could not use deadly force if it was reasonably possible to retreat.
That changed in 2005 when Gov. Jeb Bush signed into law Florida Statute 776.013. It says a person "has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground'' if he or she thinks deadly force is necessary to prevent death, great bodily harm or commission of a forcible felony like robbery.
"Kill minorities" might not have been an explicitly stated goal of this law, but I'll bet that the hypothetical attackers in the minds of the people who drafted this legislation had dark skin. This is of course, an impossible argument to prove, but we're also not exactly talking about a state with a remotely-good record on racial equality.
Another terrible day in Fooville. Citizen Josephina peered angrily through the blinds, scowling at the citizens who passed along the streets. Always asking her to support their projects, improve the city, help people. Her fingers reached for her flea-infested cat. "We don't need them, do we?" she asked, trying to work the knots out of his fur with her long nails. If only she could buy something! It was a point of pride with her. Citizen Josephina didn't care how many shopkeepers refused her, but no matter how many vegetables she could grow, she couldn't grow steel, or shape it to make scissors. Looking woefully over at her dresser, she sighed. "I guess I'll have to sacrifice another drawer to carve you a comb out of the wood again, Fluffles.."
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