In the state of Louisiana, the code for self-defense is written as such that an individual has the right to use lethal or otherwise force to protect him- or herself from an aggressor without the obliged duty to retreat. The resulting issue of this law is that, according to the FBI, there has been in increase in justifiable homicides in the years since stand-your-ground has taken effect, which has a possible justification that the law has been used accommodate those who in all reality should not be able to legitimately claim self-defense. Scholarly research about the subject has revealed that stand-your-ground laws in multiple states do nothing to reduce the number of violent crimes and, in addition, present a racial bias in court rulings. Other states who have stand-your-ground in effect show similar results, whereas states with a duty-to-retreat policy have lower violent crime rates and more racially equal rulings, where cases will not be skewed against African-American defendants. Because of these factors, this brief suggests that the state of Louisiana adopt a duty-to-retreat policy that mandates the exhaustion of all non-lethal escape routes before the last resort to deadly force for one’s own protection.
Naasha Dotiwala, Sam Sergi and Nicholas Weirath
This report was written by undergraduate students at Loyola University New Orleans under the direction of Professor Peter F. Burns