Has anyone else been paying attention to the Escalating number of people WalMart security guards have killed in the last several weeks for shoplifting offenses? There's another one in the news today, and it seems like there have been a dozen or so executed on the spot by WalMart security guards since Black Friday.
I see many folks here arguing that the Trayvon Martin case only illustrates the absurdity of Stand Your Ground laws, without race being part of that picture.
But the statistics on "justifiable homicides," which is how SYG killings are categorized, tell a different story and reflect a clear race-based imbalance in their application.
According to the ABA Journal:
"Justifiable homicides are increasing, especially in states with “stand your ground” laws, even as the overall U.S. homicide rate is falling.
From 2000 to 2010, justifiable homicides rose from 176 to 326, an 85 percent increase, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. The category includes killings categorized as justifiable by police and prosecutors, and those in which defendants win at trial based on the claim.
Among all homicides, when races differ, the victim is more often white. In justifiable homicides, when races differ, the victim is more often black."
Part of the problem here, clearly, is the SYG laws themselves. But, as in every other aspect of the criminal justice system, how those laws are applied reflects racist attitudes that are still far too prevalent in our society. And that is a legitimate and germane part of this conversation.