In 2005, Florida became the first state to pass the heavily National Rifle Association, NRA, supported â€œStand Your Groundâ€ law. The most notable components of the law were abolishing the duty to retreat for someone who is not engaged in lawful activity and is in a place where he has the right to be, granting civil and criminal immunity to those using lawful force, and presuming that a person who is attacked in his dwelling, residence, and occupied vehicle has a reasonable fear of death or great bodily harm. The law was subject to a substantial amount of criticism because it was a significant departure from Floridaâ€™s more than a century old common law principles regarding self-defense. Possibly due to Florida not having any precedents for these cases, Florida courts would have conflicting decisions in these matters and law enforcement agencies would enforce the law differently in similar incidents. Regardless of the issues faced by Florida, over twenty states would adopt their own versions. A significant number of these states are in the Southeastern region of the United States and are neighbors to Florida or border Floridaâ€™s neighbors, such as Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Louisiana. Because of this interesting pattern, the study examines the idea of southern culture playing a role in the passage of â€œStand Your Groundâ€ via the â€œCulture of Honorâ€ theory and the researcher decided to use these jurisdictions and Florida as this studyâ€™s sample. The researcher also wanted to include these jurisdictions because the existing â€œStand Your Groundâ€ literature mainly focuses on Florida and the researcher wanted to add something new to the discussion. The intent of this study to examine Floridaâ€™s influence on the other jurisdictions, note any commonalties between the statutes of the jurisdictions, compare justifiable homicide statistics for the jurisdictions that provided such data, predict the future of these laws, and explore the â€œCulture of Honorâ€ Theory as a possible explanation for â€œStand Your Groundâ€ laws in the states discussed. The study accomplished these goals by examining how each jurisdiction handled self-defense before â€œStand Your Ground,â€ looking at the motives behind the jurisdictions adopting â€œStand Your Ground,â€ comparing justifiable homicides in the four jurisdictions that provided them in the years immediate preceding the passage of â€œStand Your Groundâ€ to the subsequent years, and looking at amendments and proposals that were presented after the passage of â€œStand Your Ground.â€ The results uncovered that all the jurisdictions, except for Georgia and Tennessee, show a very strong Florida influence based on their similarities to Floridaâ€™s law and legislators in the jurisdictions clearly mentioning Florida as their inspiration for proposing their own versions. In the jurisdictions that provided justifiable homicides, all showed an increase in the number of justifiable homicides after the passage of â€œStand Your Ground.â€ The jurisdictions in this study have also shown a strong resistance to any amendments or the complete repeal of this law. Therefore, any drastic amendment or the complete repeal seems unlikely in the future. The â€œCulture of Honorâ€ Theory does explain why a few of the jurisdictions in the study adopted â€œStand Your Groundâ€ but Florida and the NRAâ€™s influence explain why others chose this course of action.
If this is your Honors thesis, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs; Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Glinton Jr., Vaughn, "Southern Honor: An Analysis of Stand Your Ground Law in Southern Jurisdictions" (2013). HIM 1990-2015. 1528.