'Stand Your Ground' and Self Defense

72 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2015 Last revised: 24 May 2016

Date Written: February 23, 2015


The Article examines the historical background of Stand Your Ground (“No Retreat”) rules in the U.S. and evaluates the various reasons which might explain their current embrace by more than half the country. Widespread adoption of a law doesn’t necessarily make that law right. But it does suggest that the law may be animated by strongly held moral intuitions which deserve exploration on their own merits. In identifying and examining the moral intuitions which have proliferated the law of Stand Your Ground, I hope not only to reach meaningful conclusions about the normative status of No-Retreat rules in the law of self-defense, but also to highlight a more general concern about the influence of political ideology on the content of the criminal law.

Keywords: Stand Your Ground, Self Defense, Law and Politics

Suggested Citation

Ward, Cynthia V., 'Stand Your Ground' and Self Defense (February 23, 2015). American Journal of Criminal Law, 42, 89 (Spring 2015) , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2545579 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2545579

Cynthia V. Ward (Contact Author)

William and Mary Law School ( email )

South Henry Street
P.O. Box 8795
Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795
United States

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics