USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Erica N. Beers

First Advisor

Nicole Stowell, J.D., Professor, College of Business


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available

May 2014

Publication Date


Date Issued

April 2014


"The law is never static; it is always changing, being interpreted or redefined, as regulators and judges strive, with varying degrees of success, to ensure that the law constantly reflects changes in society itself" Throughout the history of the United States, and even within the state of Florida, there have been numerous occasions where laws have been passed and controversy amongst society and the government has ensued. Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law has been criticized since its enactment. Since this law became effective in October of 2005, it would be hardly accurate to claim that this law made a clean and swift transition in terms of its application and acceptance. Despite this specific statute's lack of fluidity from paper to reality, it is not uncommon for laws to be amended, debated, and altered from their original form, even over periods spanning from months to years. This process of change is for the purpose that these laws better fit a permissible compromise between what the purpose of the law is to be and what the general consensus is of the law itself. The goal of this paper is not to determine one way or the other if this law should or should not be a part of Florida's statutes, and more specifically, it is not to support or suggest any single reform. The goal is to present a detailed and non-biased account of the law since its beginnings so as to develop a stronger understanding of its implications and future. There are many laws that have become generally accepted whose components are being unquestionably applied in the courtrooms and society. Stand Your Ground does not fall under this category. Stand Your Ground is being discussed in the state houses and committees, its controversy is making headlines across the state, as well as the nation, on a regular basis, and its application is being countered in the courtrooms all the time. This is a law that needs to be picked apart and thoroughly understood so that one can make their own unbiased and accurate perceptions of it as it appears in the media and around us.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

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