Professor Elizabeth Schneider was a featured guest on MSNBC to discuss the “Stand Your Ground” law, which allows individuals in several states to use self-defense against an attacker without an obligation of retreat following the attack. While a growing number of people criticize “Stand Your Ground” as a response to the Trayvon Martin murder case, Professor Schneider sought to expose other problems with the law. In particular, she spoke about domestic violence disputes that led to the conviction of battered women instead of their abusers. Whereas Trayvon Martin’s killer will use “Stand Your Ground” as a defense in court, women such as Marissa Alexander, who fired a warning shot at her abusive husband and did not harm him, faces 20 years in prison for attempted murder.
Professor Schneider commented on what she sees as a double standard: “The kinds of understandings that judges and juries bring show a lack of understanding of the history of abuse, a lack of sensitivity to women who have experienced abuse, and a sense that these women cannot be reasonable, which is a critical facet of what the self-defense laws require.”
View video of the interview.
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