STAND YOUR GROUND: FLORIDA’S CASTLE DOCTRINE FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Author: 

Christine Catalfamo

In October 2005, Florida, a notoriously violent state, codified its castle doctrine and doctrine of self-defense into a group of statutes known as the “Stand Your Ground” law. This new statutory scheme abrogates the duty to retreat before using deadly force and is built upon hard, bright-line rules and presumptions that appear to do away with some of the traditional considerations of necessity and proportionality. Florida has “all the ingredients for . . . disaster” with laws involving deadly force: it is a “high-crime state with heavy urbanization, a massively overcrowded prison system, and an extremely diverse (and often tense) racial population.” Critics of the law fear that it goes too far and will turn the state into a modern Wild West, rather than simply secure a person’s right to protect himself, his family, and his fortress against wrongful attack and intrusion. View More