The acquittal of George Zimmerman has reignited the national conversation about so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws that authorize deadly force in self-defense anywhere a person has a legal right to be, without a duty to mitigate the harm by attempting retreat. The Trayvon Martin killing and many other fatal shootings are raising deeply troubling questions about what sort of civilian vigilantism, discrimination, and arbitrary judgment is authorized by laws that put discretion into the hands of civilians.
But the notorious Stand Your Ground provision is one of several that
give broad discretion to civilians to use inordinate force in
self-defense. Below are three other force-empowering provisions that are
just as, if not even more, expansive: