Legal Issues

Murder Or Self-Defense?

Murder Or Self-Defense ReportU.S. Law Shield is offering a free e-book that covers a quick overview of Stand Your Ground laws, and how several states currently implement the important self-defense concept.

Entitled “Murder Or Self-Defense?, The Law of Stand Your Ground,” you can download the 6-page PDF from the website

You enter your e-mail address, and you will receive a confirmation  message at the e-mail address you provide. Then, you click the confirm link, and the law firm sends the download link for the PDF. You can then read the PDF in a browser or download it to your desktop.

One interesting question answered in the e-book: Where did the legal term “Stand Your Ground” come from? According to the pamphlet, “The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Beard v. U.S. in 1895 that a man who was ‘on his premises’ when he came under attack and ‘… did not provoke the assault, and had at the time reasonable grounds to believe, and in good faith believed, that the deceased intended to take his life, or do him great bodily harm…’ was not obliged to retreat, nor to consider whether he could safely retreat, but was entitled to stand his ground.” As well as a general discussion of “Stand Your Ground” and “Castle Doctrine” legalities, there are specific state guides for Texas and Florida that go into the topic in more detail. You can download these through links in the original “Murder Or Self-Defense” report.

What do you think about the Stand Your Ground laws? Tell us in the comment section.

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Comments (8)

  1. I was disappointed that there wasn’t a state guide for my state (WI), but I see that only two states were promised. The e-book was fairly legal-ish (read wishy-washy) with weak comments that promised nothing about what your state might have on their legal books. But for free, I didn’t expect much. I have to agree with many of the comments before mine. There really should be no reason that a person that has decided to violate my property should feel safe. You have come on to my property, and I SHOULD have more rights than you. I SHOULDN’T be expected to retreat (read get out of YOUR way) so you can commit further crimes against me. You have already made me a victim by being on my property unlawfully, the legal system shouldn’t add insult to this injury by saying I shouldn’t have/use a gun in the same manner that the police would- to protect myself and others.

  2. Another Point:

    The criterion for use of deadly force in self-defense is NOT whether or not the individual felt in danger of “imminent death or grave bodily harm.” A finding of justified use of deadly force requires that a “REASONABLE PERSON”, as determined by the jury, in the same situation would feel so threatened.

  3. A couple of observations:

    1. I know of no State, including “The People’s Republic of New York”, that requires one to retreat in one’s own home or on one’s own premises.

    2. In New York and other states that require one to retreat before using force including deadly force, the requirement to retreat applies only if one can do so “in perfect safety”. New York courts have ruled that when the attacker is armed safe retreat is impossible and, therefore, not required. Further, New York law does not require that one avoid going to any place that one has a legal right to be in order to avoid a possible confrontation.

    Given items 1 and 2 above, I fail to see that there is any practical difference between “stand your ground” and the lack of such law. Anyway, I think that whatever the law says, it is always a good idea to attempt to retreat or de-escalate a potentially deadly situation before resorting to deadly force. Using deadly force is as serious as it gets and it’s best for a person to know that they have done everything possible to avoid taking another’s life. Also, when the case winds up in court (as it inevitably will), “Your Honor, I tried to back away but he kept coming.” sounds so much better than, “I had a right to stand my ground”.

  4. I agree, why should I back away from MY home when I paid for it and all the stuff to make me comfortable from the rough life outside and let some SOB help himself to my hard earned stuff … Before CSI (in the old days) My father used to tell me “SHOOT THE BASTARD 1st. Then drag his body inside and put the biggest kitchen knife in his hand (after you stab yourself in the arm for the blood).

  5. As with most things involving humans, there will be those that abuse and misuse the intent of the law. In my opinion, those that abuse SYG, hiding behind it’s intent in order to justify their actions, should probably be prosecuted. Of course, dealing objectively with something as subjective as SYG is probably difficult at best. Who can say the individual who pulled the trigger didn’t actually feel they were in a life threatening situation? I live in a state where dispatching a criminal who invades your home, could land you in the sights of a prosecuting attorney, it they feel you should have been able to exit the home some other way. Of course, I don’t know why I should abandon my home to the criminal instead of defending it, but, I guess it is what it is.
    I say keep the SYG law. Deal harshly with those that are proven to have abused it.

  6. I currently live in Florida, and I am thankful for the “Stand Your Ground” law. Criminals currently have more rights than their victims, and anything that will help turn the tide in the victims’ favor is to be supported. Just because some have abused a law, does not mean that it is a bad law. We should have the right to stand our ground and resist evil.

  7. I believe that a person has the right to defend their self either on or in their property without having to retreat. Our fore fathers sure didn’t retreat and I don’t think anybody defending themselves from a criminal/robber/thief/etc, should have to worry about being charged with anything. How many of our fore fathers, considered criminals because they defend their life, family, and property.

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