Start Submission Become a Reviewer

Reading: Hate, Conflict, and Public Space: Stand Your Ground Laws and Potential Immunity for Hate Crimes

Download

A- A+
Alt. Display

Articles

Hate, Conflict, and Public Space: Stand Your Ground Laws and Potential Immunity for Hate Crimes

Author:

Jennifer N. Grimes

Indiana State University, US
About Jennifer
Jennifer N. Grimes is an Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Indiana State University, where she is also an affiliate faculty member in the Multidisciplinary Studies department. Her work has appeared in the Journal of Crime and Justice and The Sociological Quarterly.
X close

Abstract

Statistics reveal that hate crimes in the United States have increased for the past two years in a row.  From 2014 to 2016, the number of reported hate crimes has increased from 5,479 in 2014, to 5,850 in 2015, to 6,121 in 2016.  These numbers do not include crimes that were not shared with the FBI by local law enforcement, or crimes that were not reported to the police at all. Early indicators reveal that the number of hate crimes in 2017 is expected to further continue this upward trend.  The current social and political climate has raised much concern regarding the reported increase in hate crimes, and the safety of persons who may be the targets of bias-motivated crime. One concern that has not received much attention in the scholarly literature or otherwise is the intersection of hate crimes and Stand Your Ground laws.  Stand Your Ground laws remove the “duty to retreat” requirement in claims of self-defense, and permit a person to use any force necessary to protect oneself when in a public place that the person has a right to occupy.  Empirical research on Stand Your Ground laws indicates that these laws contributed to an increase in homicide rates in states that offer Stand Your Ground as a legal defense, and that these laws have an implicit racial bias that affects the outcome of Stand Your Ground criminal cases. As written, these laws offer much subjectivity to the person employing the Stand Your Ground defense.  This study examines the use of Stand Your Ground laws as a legal defense and suggests that, given the current social and political climate, these laws need to be modified to ensure that violence against others because of bias or prejudice cannot be translated into fear for one’s safety, and therefore, a justifiable defense for hate crimes.
How to Cite: Grimes, J.N., 2019. Hate, Conflict, and Public Space: Stand Your Ground Laws and Potential Immunity for Hate Crimes. Journal of Hate Studies, 15(1), pp.83–104. DOI: http://doi.org/10.33972/jhs.163
40
Views
18
Downloads
Published on 25 Sep 2019.

Downloads

  • PDF (EN)