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Study: Stand Your Ground Laws Increase Homicides

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"Study: Stand Your Ground Laws Increase Homicides"

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Additional legal protections for self-defense killings — including the controversial “stand your ground” laws (the subject of new a U.S. Civil Rights Commission Inquiry) — do not deter crime, according to a new study from Texas A&M University examining laws that “widen the scope for the justified use of deadly force in self-defense.” In fact, according to the study’s authors, the laws do the opposite, increasing the chances of murder or manslaughter “by lowering the expected costs associated with using lethal force,” according to the study. “[W]e find the laws increase murder and manslaughter by a statistically significant 7 to 9 percent, which translates into an additional 500 to 700 homicides per year nationally across the states that adopted” such laws, the authors wrote, noting that those could be cases “driven by the escalation of violence in situations that otherwise would not have ended in serious injury for either party.”

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