Cathy Young on Race and Self-Defense

An interesting Newsday column. A couple of excerpts:

Could there have been a white Trayvon Martin? Ask the parents of Christopher Cervini, also 17 when he was killed in Rochester, N.Y., in 2009. The shooter, Roderick Scott, said he saw three boys breaking into a car, went out with his (legal) handgun to stop them, and fired in self-defense after Cervini ran at him yelling a threat. Cervini’s family insisted that the teen, who had never been in trouble, was murdered in cold blood. Scott was tried for manslaughter and acquitted. He is black; Cervini was white….

As proof of pervasive bias, some cite a June 2012 Tampa Bay Times report based on a study of cases involving self-defense claims since 2005, when Florida passed its “stand your ground law”: 73 percent of defendants who killed blacks were cleared, compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white person. Yet, since most homicides were between people of the same race, this also suggests black defendants were more likely to win. Indeed, the study found that “black defendants went free 66 percent of the time in fatal cases compared to 61 percent for white defendants.” In mixed-race cases, “four of the five blacks who killed a white went free; five of the six whites who killed a black went free.” …

In any case, if you’re interested in the topic, read the whole thing.