Public perceptions of castle doctrine and stand your ground cases

GVPedia Study Database

Public perceptions of castle doctrine and stand your ground cases

Category: Stand Your Ground & Castle Doctrine|Journal: Social Science Quarterly (full text)|Author: A Alexander, E Sower, H Klukoff|Year: 2023


Stand your ground (SYG) and castle doctrine (CD) laws are presently growing throughout the United States. The present study aims to better understand public perceptions of SYG and CD cases and demographic factors that influence judicial decision making.



Participants were 204 adults who were randomly assigned one of four vignettes that depicted a CD or SYG scenario and varied by defendant demographics. After reading the vignette, participants completed a questionnaire assessing whether they believed the defendant was guilty of the murder and whether the homicide was justified.



Results indicated participants were more likely to assign a guilty verdict to the SYG scenario, compared to the CD scenario. Additionally, participants assigned to the SYG vignette believed the male defendant was more justified in killing the victim, compared to participants assigned the female defendant.



Results from this study reveal how potential jurors may harbor sex/gender bias in determining justifiable homicide in stand your ground cases.

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