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Law Professor Concerned ‘Stand Your Ground’ Laws Will Lead To More Violence

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Protesters demonstrate at a rally for slain teenager Trayvon Martin on March 22, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. Sanford Police Department Chief Bill Lee announced today he will temporarily step down following the killing of the black unarmed teenager by a white and Hispanic neighborhood watch captain. Rev. Al Sharpton organized today's rally. (credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Protesters demonstrate at a rally for slain teenager Trayvon Martin on March 22, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. Sanford Police Department Chief Bill Lee announced today he will temporarily step down following the killing of the black unarmed teenager by a white and Hispanic neighborhood watch captain. Rev. Al Sharpton organized today’s rally. (credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Mike Dougherty Mike Dougherty
Mike is a general assignment reporter and editor for KYW Newsradio...
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By Mike Dougherty

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Pennsylvania has a law similar to Florida’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law. A professor of criminal law in Philadelphia has concerns of more violence in light of the Trayvon Martin shooting death.

Under the “Stand Your Ground” law (Pennsylvania’s law is called the Castle Doctrine), you’re not required to retreat when faced with an imminent threat, which you believe is life-threatening.

READ: Gov. Corbett Signs Pa. Self-Defense, Lawsuit Liability Law Updates

READ: Schumer: DOJ must probe Stand Your Ground laws

READ: Philly Holds ‘Million Hoodie March’ Rally In Response To Trayvon Martin Case

Drexel law professor Donald Tibbs says this opens a dangerous legal can of worms.

“We have to be careful. We’re educating the public, right, we’re educating the public on how to use more violence.”

Professor Donald Tibbs thinks people who carry guns will now use this as an excuse to shoot first and ask questions later.

“I’m a little bit concerned about how the public is being educated and I’m hopeful that the states will reconsider passing these types of laws.”

He says, like in the Trayvon Martin case, the aggressor cannot claim self-defense if he gets into trouble, which is reportedly what happened with George Zimmerman.

“So, you can’t pick a fight, then be losing that fight and then claim you needed to use deadly force to defend yourself.”

He says when defending yourself, you have the right to use like and equal force, meaning bringing a gun to a knife fight is allowed, since both are deadly weapons. Not so for fists, unless it’s a David vs. Goliath matchup.

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