Is Every Self-Defense Claim a 'Stand Your Ground' Case Now?


I have noted several times that the focus on the right to "stand your ground" in the Trayvon Martin case is puzzling, since it does not seem to play any role in George Zimmerman's defense. Although Zimmerman did shoot Martin in a public place, if the fight unfolded as he claims he did not have an opportunity to retreat. Here is another case that supposedly involves the right to stand your ground but does not really: Shanterrica Madden is on trial in Tennessee for stabbing her roommate, Middle Tennessee State University basketball player Tina Stewart, to death last year in the apartment they shared, which she claims she did in self-defense. Under the USA Today headline ""Stand Your Ground' Law to Surface in Tenn. College Slaying," here is how the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal describes the context of the case:

Madden's claim of self-defense comes at a time of intense national debate over what are known as "stand your ground" self-defense laws, resulting from the fallout of the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman.

What those "stand your ground" laws do is extend the right for a person to protect himself or herself from the threat of imminent death or bodily harm to any place, public or private, where that person has the right to be, says MTSU criminal justice professor Lance Selva, an attorney.

"These laws are an extension of what is known as the castle doctrine, which gives one the right to defend oneself in the home without retreating," he said. "What these laws do is remove the duty to retreat even outside of the home."

What does that have to do with this case, where the fight occurred in a residence shared by the defendant and her alleged victim? The paper never says. Like Florida's statute, Tennessee's self-defense law, which was amended in 2007, does have a provision strengthening the castle doctrine that applies in the home, but it does not seem relevant to Madden's stabbing of Stewart. It says a person "is presumed to have held a reasonable belief of imminent death or serious bodily injury" when using deadly force against an intruder who "unlawfully and forcibly enters" his "residence, business, dwelling or vehicle." Since Stewart had a right to be in the apartment as a resident, it is hard to see how this provision could help Madden. In fact, the presumption explicitly does not apply to "a lawful resident," unless an order of protection has been issued against him. As The Daily News Journal implicitly concedes, that leaves questions of the sort that would have to be addressed in any case where someone claims his use of deadly force was justified by self-defense: 

The first issue is whether the person claiming self-defense had a "reasonable belief" that he or she was threatened….

The next issue is whether the person claiming self-defense did anything to place himself or herself in a situation that would have necessitated the use of deadly force….

Another issue in the cases is whether the kind of force used by the person claiming self-defense was appropriately applied. Was the use of force justified or excessive?…

In the Madden case, [Selva] said, "the jury will have to decide at some point if it believes it was necessary for Shanterrica Madden to use the knife to defend herself."

It is true that Florida has a "stand your ground" law, and it is true that George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in Florida. But that does not necessarily mean the shooting or the outcome of the criminal case against Zimmerman can be explained by new or unusual aspects of Florida's law. Likewise, not every self-defense case in Tennessee hinges on recent changes to its law. Unless The Daily News Journal omitted some crucial facts, the prosecution of Shanterrica Madden pretty plainly does not.

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  1. What does that have to do with this case, where the fight occurred in a residence shared by the defendant and her alleged victim?

    Nothing. It’s simply a talking point attempting to guide the narrative.

    1. Yup. Gotta forward the TEAM narrative, right? I mean, really, what matters more than that?


      Yes, I was referring to the Will Smith song.

  2. Is Every Self-Defense Claim a ‘Stand Your Ground’ Case Now?

    Yes, of course it is. Every properly re-educated individual knows that any act of self-defense is inherently wrong. You should sacrifice yourself to the greater good and leave clues for the police as your dying act. Any reinforcement of that right is an automatic abomination.

    1. Don’t forget that both the victim and the suspect are black, so race was obviously a factor here.

      1. One of the two was either acting white or not authentically black. Same thing, I think.

      2. There is no excuse for killing a NCAA Women’s College Basketball player.

      3. Now that you mention it, both victim and suspect in the Trayvon Martin case are black (Zimmerman’s apparently 1/4 black) but one is more black than the other. Liberals have perfected the art of racism to the point that one’s degree of blackness is deemed relevant to guilt or innocence.

    2. We call those “lie back and enjoy it” laws.

      Always remember, to the modern liberal, once a criminal act is undertaken, the criminal has a right to proceed with his act, unmolested, until licensed, badged law enforcement arrives

      1. best stick to attemped humor. ur ub-rahl memes need moar work before going public.

        1. Thanks for your input, Mary. By the way, you are the last person who should be lecturing Paul on humor.

          1. how true. mary shoulda said “alleged humor”

            1. I work very hard making allegedly funny jokes. Like you work hard writing allegedly comprehensible english.

  3. “”What these laws do is remove the duty to retreat even outside of the home.”
    I didn’t know you had a duty to run like a little bitch when someone’s attacking you. Plus, I’m not sure that’s even feasible.

    1. The duty to retreat only applies when a safe avenue of retreat is available. In Zimmerman’s case, Martin was (allegedly) on top of him so he had no available means of escape.

      And to quote Captain Picard, there’s no dishonor in a strategic retreat.

      1. You would quote Picard. How embarrassing.

        1. I’m more surprised that he didn’t go Janeway on us.

          1. I’m sure he wanted to. Maybe go a little Archer too. That’s Professor Pomeranian’s style.

            1. White.Ass.Daddy.

        2. If we’re going to be damned, let’s be damned for what we are.

      2. In Zimmerman’s case, Martin was (allegedly) on top of him so he had no available means of escape.

        I think it could be argued that Zimmerman crawled underneath him.

      3. Which would require, you know, turning your back to someone attacking you, which is the dumbest fucking thing you could do. Again, not feasible.

        1. You can retreat without turning your back… and if they come after you then you can argue you made an attempt to retreat and give the attacker everything you’ve got.

          Obviously if they have a gun, longbow, lawn dart, or other long-range weapon it’s not feasible to retreat at all.

          1. If you’re already under attack, no. Turning your back or walking backwards are not good options for ‘retreating’. You don’t need bullets to attack someone from behind. One good sucker punch to the back of the head and you’re screwed. I’m thoroughly convinced whoever conceived these laws was force fed that “deescalate the situation” and “report it to the authorities” bullshit.

      4. And to quote Captain Picard–

        Virginity at your age probably isn’t something you should brag about.

        1. Says the guy with the Big Lebowski in-joke in his handle.

          I mean, you may as well call yourself Frito Pendejo.

    2. In states that don’t have stand-your-ground laws, you typically cannot use deadly force to defend yourself if you’re not in your home and have a reasonable opporunity to safely retreat. Of course, if it’s not feasible to safely retreat, then you have no duty to retreat.

      1. gang members are now claiming SYG after gang shootouts

        1. Gang members aren’t allowed to defend themselves if attacked?

          1. prob is who’s “standing” & who’s “attacking”.

            1. Which is the same question asked in every syg case anyways. How is this relevant?

              1. gang shootouts how do it work?

                1. Fucking guilt by association how do it work?

      2. The entire concept of “a duty to retreat” is fatally flawed. Most commonly, it’s probably impossible to determine if retreating is safer than “standing your ground” when attacked. As somebody else phrased it, “running like a little bitch” may not be prudent. This is another case of the state overstepping its authority and weakening somebody’s basic right of self defense. The “stand your ground” laws would not be necessary in a fair and sensible legal system.

        1. Listen, as a matter of principle I would say that as soon as you attack someone in a way that is likely to cause severe injury, you forfeit your life. I would support deadly force against ANY attacker, whether one’s life was in danger or not.

          However, as a practical matter, you have to deal with the possibility that people will commit murder unprovoked and then falsely claim self-defense, AND the possibility that the self-defender would misjudge the severity of an attack. So you try to minimize the scope of self-defense to the bare minimum: only when there is NO other option but allowing oneself to be killed.

        2. Well, if you are in public and there is any chance that bystanders would get hurt by your use of deadly force, I think you have a moral obligation to retreat if using a gun woudl possibly endanger innocent people. But I agree that in most situations where you genuinely need to defend your life or bodily integrity, it doesn’t seem likely that retreating would be a possibility.

    3. The one chick from FL was in her own home. Castle Doctrine was already in effect at the time. SYG has nothing to do with lethal use of self-defense in your residence.

  4. I’m not sure if this is just simply sloppy thinking or intentional deception on the part of the press. I mean, these are the people who call an aggressive beagle a pit bull and a Ruger 10/22 with extended magazine an “assault rifle”.

    1. My guess is it’s 60-75% laziness. Reporter wants hook for self-defense story –> everyone’s talking about Zimmerman and SYG –> GO FOR IT!

      1. This… During the Monday Morning Meeting, the editor was demanding more trend stories. You gotta fill column-inches with the zeitgeist.

    2. “Tulpa the White”? Does being Grand Wizard of the Imperial Klans of America strike you as an appropriate gig for a monocle-wearing Reasonoid?

      1. I must be all things to all people that I might save some.

        1. Oh, I thought it was your reincarnation after defeating the balrog.

  5. Progressivist degeneracy knows no bounds. Literally. It’s fucking endless.

    Girl kills girls, circumstances of crime entirely unrelated to our fucktarded pet issues. Appropriate response = cry bloody murder over guns and the insurrectionists and how “hurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr they’re killing our children and feeding them to the hounds”.

    You know what, you statist fucks? Eat shit and die. Every fucking conversation, every speech, every single exertion of effort is an attempt to justify your position and salary by appealing to likeminded retards and totalitarian miscreants in your ceaseless quest for power. Burn in hell.

    1. I’m still trying to find the lesbian violence angle. Anyone?

      1. Women don’t commit domestic violence. Only men, being part of the patriarchy, are capable of such horrific acts.


        1. The dead one’s male friend once called Shanterrica a whore, or something, so this is a clearly justified response to the abominable misogynism of our time.

      2. Lesbian pornographic snuff videos, eh? What other sick things fill your day, child?

        1. Well, Hit & Run, obviously.

        2. “Reason: The category “Lesbian Pornographic Snuff” is filtered.”

          Damn you, Websense!

      3. Hit the “ANGLE” button on your DVD remote. Usually right above the arrow keys.

  6. Shanterrica? Does anybody else hear a mix of Panteruuuhhh and Metallica in that name?

    WTF US American of African Descent of Color of Not Being White community!

    1. I think it was selected because someone had already taken “Shatnerrica.”

    2. I kind of like it when people just make up names for their kids.

      1. If Superman tricks her into saying her own name backwards, she has to magically return to her home dimension.

      2. I vehemently hate it. People should name their children after awesome Irish, Norse, or applicable ancestral culture mythological figures. If their ancestral culture sucks they should not reproduce.

        1. A black woman naming her son “Thor” would be no less ridiculous.

          1. What about “Heimdall”…?

          2. I refer you to sentence two in my post you replied to, wherein I state people of inferior ancestral culture should not reproduce.

            If someone can refer me to something awesome or metal about non-Egyptian African cultures, I will stand corrected.

          3. Also I would never advocate naming a child Thor. A good rule of thumb for names based on mythos is your average regular jackoff should need to google it. If a nonenthusiast can be relied on to have a reasonable chance of being familiar with the name (Thor, Jesus, Mary) etc then it is too common for a given name.

            A great (I think) example is a buddy of mine’s given name Oisin. You can infer from the impossibility of guessing it’s correct pronunciation by reading alone that it is likely a gaelic based name, but unless you were abnormally interested in Irish epic poetry you would not know Oisin was a prominent poet figure in the Fenian cycle. OTOH, Oisin also has to explain to people constantly how to pronounce his name. For my taste that’s a worthy tradeoff for a sufficiently elitist and metal name.

  7. “Shanterrica.”





    1. best watch out cause she’ll shank u too

      1. Not if he does what guys like me and Epi do — carry. God bless 2A.

  8. Unless The Daily News Journal omitted some crucial facts, the prosecution of Shanterrica Madden pretty plainly does not.

    There were no facts in that article, besides “there was an altercations”. For all you know, Tina Stewart had a Glock to Shanterrica’s head.

    1. although the whole oops I changed my story is pretty damning (but as readers of the agitator know, not necessarily conclusive)

  9. The only “statist approved” method of self defense is to call the cops and cower in a corner and hope the cops get there before your assaillant kills you. Then hope the cops don’t shoot you too, because fuck you, that’s why.

    1. S T O P

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