Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Stand Your Ground & Justifiable Homicide Increase

I mentioned in my presentation the problems with the claims concerning a tripling of the Florida justifiable homicide statute.  John Lott's April 25, 2012 New York Daily News article presents another side of this:

  The media have also been busy painting a picture that an epidemic of justifiable homicides has erupted since these laws have passed. The Wall Street Journal ran a story suggesting that an increase in justifiable homicides nationwide from 176 in 2000 to 326 in 2010 arose from a “shoot first” mentality.
But part of that increase is just a trick of numbers; it occurs because the laws have reclassified what is considered “self-defense,” not because more people are being shot.
In addition, the numbers for 2000 (and 2005) are artificially low compared with other years because relatively few states actually reported justifiable homicides. Using the FBI Uniform Crime Report in 2000, justifiable homicides were counted by the FBI for 30 states. In 2010, the number of states counted was 35. And which states reported the numbers also changed.
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