Stand Whose Ground?

Or, who’s standing on what grounds?

AG Eric Holder says we should stand our ground against  “stand your ground” laws. Easier said than done, and this smacks of the same hollow lip service and pandering we are used to hearing from Republicrats and Demicans on just about anything but gay rights these days.

Thanks to the radical and systematic social engineering efforts of the far right designed to divide and rule our society and destroy democracy; assisted by billionaire-funded think tanks and industry-sponsored institutions like the NRA, the US Chamber of Commerce, and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC); ratified by sleazy politicians and corrupt  judges; and applauded by tens of millions of racist, paranoid, or belligerent Americans, some 25 states now have what are euphemistically called “stand your ground” laws.

The full, technical terminology for such laws, without which it is impossible to understand the bizarre logic of how they are applied in particular court cases, is this:

Angry white supremacist or racist vigilante males stand your ground–everybody else get the fuck down on the ground and we might not bust a cap in your ass law

That’s why Trayvon had no right to stand his ground, much less bust a cap (if he could have) in Zimmerman’s ass when Zimmerman assaulted him.

That’s why Marissa Alexander got a 20-year sentence for firing a warning shot while black and female, despite invoking ‘Stand Your Ground’:

…Alexander [fired] a shot… which lodged into the ceiling. She was charged with 3 counts of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon. Despite being offered a 3 year sentence and later a probational sentence with time served, Alexander chose to attempt a Stand Your Ground defense prior to trial but was unsuccessful. She was found guilty and according to Florida’s gun laws (where 10 years can be added for committing a crime while carrying a firearm, with an added 10 years for discharging a firearm during a crime) was sentenced to 20 years. (Wikipedia)

After the Alexander sentencing U.S. Rep. Corinne Brown commented “The Florida criminal justice system has sent two clear messages today…One is that if women who are victims of domestic violence try to protect themselves, the ‘Stand Your Ground Law’ will not apply to them. … The second message is that if you are black, the system will treat you differently.”

Summing up “stand your ground”: your self defense defense is most likely to hold up in court if (in order of importance):

  1. You are not black or female
  2. Your victim is black or female
  3. There are no surviving eye-witnesses (audio evidence is not prejudicial)
  4. The jury is stacked with bigots and/or idiots
  5. The prosecutor and judge are incompetent


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