Homicides Up 7% in 'Stand Your Ground' States
Analysis found no deterrence of crime
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2013 9:01 AM CST
A Texas A&M study says that "Stand Your Ground" laws actually increase homicides.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Whatever the merits of "Stand Your Ground" laws, they appear to increase homicides by at least 7%, reports NPR. It cites a Texas A&M study of the 23 states that have enacted "Stand Your Ground" laws since 2005. Researchers looked at the homicide rate in those states pre- and post-law, as well as the rates of non-Stand Your Ground states. It determined between 500 and 700 additional homicides take place annually as a result. "These laws lower the cost of using lethal force," says Mark Hoekstra, the economist behind the study. "Our study finds that, as a result, you get more of it. Homicides go up by 7% to 9% in states that pass the laws."

What the study didn't find was "evidence of any [crime] deterrence effect over that same time period." Hoekstra says his results don't necessarily prove that the law is a failure. "It could be that these are self-defense killings," he says. "On the other hand, the increase could be driven by an escalation of violence by criminals. Or it could be an escalation of violence in otherwise nonviolent situations." Because of the varying ways states classify shootings, analyzing whether, say, more criminals were appearing at the scene armed, proves tricky. But NPR concludes that "What Hoekstra's data suggest is that in real-life conflicts, both sides think of the other guy as the bad guy."

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Showing 3 of 129 comments
Jan 7, 2013 5:50 PM CST
Stand your ground and castle laws are the wet dream of the NRA and the gun lobby freaks and their warped interpretation of the second amendment.it's time for some adult supervision.
Jan 3, 2013 10:45 PM CST
Since 2005, eh? Interesting because the population of the US has risen roughly 20 million in that time. which is what? about 6.7%? Nice attempt at spin from a liberal-run news dump-site.
Jan 3, 2013 7:55 PM CST
Speaking of 'stand your ground', I know the wheels of justice turn slowly, but when is Zimmerman ever going to trial? I would think they've had ample time to prepare by now. Let's get this thing going, judge!