Supporters and opponents of a Missouri bill that would expand the state’s “stand your ground” laws testified in a state Senate committee hearing Tuesday during which one county prosecutor dubbed the bill the “Make Murder Legal Act.”
According to Newsweek, “Stand your ground” laws and alleged “self-defense” incidents have garnered significant public attention in recent months after the three men convicted of murdering Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia claimed they were acting in self-defense, while the “stand your ground” law in Kansas is likely to be re-evaluated after a district attorney said it would prevent him from charging employees of a juvenile intake center in the September death of 17-year-old Cedric Lofton. Self-defense cases citing “stand your ground” laws began to rise in national profile about 10 years ago following the February 2012 killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
This proposal, Senate Bill 666, sponsored by Republican Sen. Eric Burlison, would remove the burden from defendants who are required under current law to prove in court that they acted in self-defense, instead of providing them with a “presumption of reasonableness,” preventing charges from being filed until investigators can confirm that an individual acted unlawfully, the bill states. Continue Reading