Graduation Year

2015

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Second Department

Legal Studies

Reader 1

Roberto Pedace

Reader 2

Jennifer Groscup

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2015 Janine M Yim

Abstract

In 2012, the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin brought national attention to Florida’s Stand Your Ground (SYG) law. As of 2012, more than 20 states have enacted SYG laws. Previous studies suggest that these laws increase homicide, particularly justifiable homicide. However, these studies ignore race and/or gender. This study seeks to fill this gap in the literature by examining the effect of SYG laws on the number of homicide and justifiable homicide victims and offenders of a given race or gender. Using data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Supplementary Homicide Reports between 2000 and 2012, we create a generalized least squares model with random and fixed effects and controls for time-varying state effects and year fixed effects to empirically examine this impact. We find that while SYG laws have no effect on the number of homicide victims or offenders of any race or gender, they significantly increase the number of black and male justifiable homicide victims by 32 percent and 26 percent respectively and the number of white and female justifiable homicide offenders by 34 and 25 percent respectively. These findings suggest that, in terms of justifiable homicide, SYG laws differentially affect racial and gender groups.

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