Monday, July 22, 2013

Stand Your Ground - Not A New Concept

If you listened to the idiots in the media or to President Obama you'd think that "Stand Your Ground" laws were some kind of dangerous, new legal doctrine that came about in the past few years which help people get away with murder.  Here's a few old cases which I found informative.

"The defendant was where he had the right to be, when the deceased advanced upon him in a threatening manner and with a deadly weapon, and if the accused 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, he was not obliged to retreat nor to consider whether he could safely retreat, but was entitled to stand his ground and meet any attack made upon him with a deadly weapon in such way and with such force as, under all the circumstances, he at the moment, honestly believed, and had reasonable grounds to believe, were necessary to save his own life or to protect himself from great bodily injury."
- Justice John Marshall Harlan - Beard v. United States - May 27, 1895

Regardless of what anti-self-defense folks and our moron President believe, "Stand Your Ground" has been part of American jurisprudence for quite some time.

Beard is interesting because in this case Beard had gone out on his property, armed, intending to confront cow theives.   And then there's Brown v. United States (1921)
"if a man reasonably believes that he is in immediate danger of death or grievous bodily harm from his assailant, he may stand his ground, and that, if he kills him, he has not succeeded the bounds of lawful self-defense. That has been the decision of this Court.....Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife. Therefore, in this Court at least, it is not a condition of immunity that one in that situation should pause to consider whether a reasonable man might not think it possible to fly with safety or to disable his assailant, rather than to kill him."
-Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes - Brown v. United States - May 16, 1921
And also, Runyan v. State (1877) , as quoted in Beard.
"A very brief examination of the American authorities makes it evident that the ancient doctrine as to the duty of a person assailed to retreat as far as he can before he is justified in repelling force by o rce has been greatly modified in this country, and has with us a much narrower application than formerly. Indeed, the tendency of the American mind seems to be very strongly against the enforcement of any rule which  requires a person to flee when assailed, to avoid chastisement, or even to save human life; and that tendency is well illustrated by the recent decisions of our courts bearing on the general subject of the right of self-defense."


"When a person, being without fault, is in a place where he has a right to be, is violently assaulted, he may, without retreating, repel by force, and if, in the reasonable exercise of his right of self defense, his assailant is killed, he is justified.”

- Runyan v. State (1877)

So much for "Stand Your Ground" being a new concept, eh?  Then again, who bothers to look at Supreme Court cases.  "The Narrative" is that self-defense is bad and Stand Your Ground is a new evil, so don't expect journalists to do any research which might prove their narrative false.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The media and the Obama administration have tried to turn this case into a referendum on self-defense in general and stand-your-ground in particular. But lawyers for both the defense and prosecution said that SYG was irrelevant. Martin was on top of Zimmerman in a martial arts mount, so Zimmerman could not retreat. Also, only 19 states impose a duty to retreat, so 31 states have always had SYG, either by law or by default. And in states with a duty to retreat, the law requires retreat only when one can do so without endangering himself or others. As you say, the MSM have ignored facts that don't advance their agenda.