Attorney General Eric Holder took aim Tuesday at “Stand Your Ground”-style laws — such as the one that figured into the George Zimmerman case — saying they may encourage violence and “undermine public safety.”
“It’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods,” Holder said in a speech to the NAACP. “These laws try to fix something that was never broken.
“There has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if — and the ‘if’ is important — if no safe retreat is available. But we must examine laws that take this further by eliminating the common sense and age-old requirement that people who feel threatened have a duty to retreat, outside their home, if they can do so safely.
“By allowing — and perhaps encouraging — violent situations to escalate in public — such laws undermine public safety. The list of resulting tragedies is long and, unfortunately, has victimized too many who are innocent.
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