CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Sunday, July 13, 2014

"Should felons have a right to Stand Your Ground?"

The story is at the Sun-Sentinel:

This is the conflict the Florida Supreme Court recently agreed to examine in an unresolved Palm Beach County case. The justices will decide if felons are eligible for immunity from prosecution under the Stand Your Ground self-defense law.

. . .

What is in focus now is a portion of the Stand Your Ground law that says it doesn't apply to a person "engaged in an unlawful activity."

That clearly was meant to prevent a defendant from using Stand Your Ground, if, for example, he shot and killed someone while breaking into a house, Peaden explained.

But prosecutors also contend that felons using guns similarly would be restricted from adopting Stand Your Ground as a defense. This is because it's illegal for felons to possess guns — meaning the "unlawful activity" rule applies.

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What if I did not possess it? I picked it off the gun rack by the owner's barn door and shot the guy as he advanced on me with a machine gun.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Jul 14, 2014 8:42:26 AM

Until the system bothers to distinguish between Jeffrey Dahmer and some poor schmuck convicted of fudging the numbers on a mortgage-loan application (both of whom are viewed equally in the law as felons), none of these "felon in possession" issues will make much sense.

Posted by: John K | Jul 16, 2014 9:30:46 AM

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