The George Zimmerman verdict has stirred up debate over Florida's Stand Your Ground law. There is a very similar law on the books in Alabama.
Alabama's Stand Your Ground law was enacted back in 2006. It basically gives citizens the right to stand his or her ground and use deadly force if they feel their life is in jeopardy.
The dean of the Cumberland Law School, John Carroll, says before this law came into existence, people were expected to retreat if at all possible. Carroll says deadly force was supposed to be used as a last resort.
"In certain circumstances, the aggressor comes at you with a knife and he's far enough away from you, there is a reason for you to move back. There is reason for you to run in the house and lock the door. Under the old self defense laws, you would be required to do that. You're not required to do that or minimize the force under the stand your ground law," said Carroll.
There is a specific list of circumstances when you can stand your ground. For example, Alabama's law does not allow someone to be the aggressor and then claim self defense afterwards. Also, in the George Zimmerman trial, the stand your ground law was never invoked by the defense. However, it was the reason police originally did not arrest Zimmerman.
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