In the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, a group of Michigan legislators announced that they are seeking to repeal Michigan’s stand your ground legislation, adopted in 2006. Pursuant to MCL 780.974 (Michigan’s self defense act) it is legal to use lethal force in self -defense.
The legislators pushing for the repeal include Reps. Tim Bledsoe, D-Grosse Pointe, and Woodrow Stanley, D-Flint. At a Capitol news conference they commented that the Martin shooting “brought into sharp focus…some of the glaring flaws” of adopting a stand-your-ground approach to the use of justifiable force.
When the law was adopted in 2006, it eliminated the legal requirement that someone using deadly force against an attacker had the “duty to retreat” if it was possible to escape and created a defense to certain Michigan homicides where a person believes he is at risk of being subjected to deadly force, great bodily harm or rape.
Now, people around the country are questioning whether “stand your ground” laws promote violence. Rep. Maureen Stapleton, D-Detroit, said the current law “encourages action before thinking.” Repealing it would help stem the epidemic of gun violence in Michigan’s inner cities, she said. However, others believe that the law doesn’t promote violence or crime, but rather protects individuals from it.
Governor Jennifer Granholm supports the repeal, noting that the legislature would not disturb the “Castle Doctrine” that allows individuals to use deadly force in their own homes if they fear their life is in danger.
Despite receiving a lot of media attention, most sources believe that it is unlikely the bill will pass.
According to police statistics, since the stand your ground law passed, justifiable homicides in Michigan have gradually increased.
If you have questions about Michigan’s stand your ground law, contact an aggressive Michigan criminal defense lawyer at Grabel & Associates for an immediate consultation.