What Could Happen When We Repeal Stand Your Ground

It seems like every few months there is another story in the news about a politician or organization calling for the repeal of “Stand Your Ground” laws. A recent real-life situation demonstrates how precarious your right to self-defense can be without these essential protections.

Imagine a world where the decision to save your own life leads you to a prison sentence, even if the judge believes you acted in self-defense. A distance of a few feet, and a strict interpretation of the law, is all it took for one unfortunate Connecticut man.

Jeffery Sumpter was working as a clerk at a Dunkin’ Donuts when he was assaulted by three juvenile perpetrators. While the chaotic attack started in the store, it quickly spilled into the parking lot, where Jeffery stabbed one attacker in the leg. Little did Jeffery know that in this fateful moment, his act of self-defense would turn into a felony.

We all know self-defense laws vary from state to state, but on top of that, WHERE you defend yourself can be the difference between walking free or ending up behind bars. A minority of states, including Connecticut, impose a general duty to retreat in public before resorting to the use of deadly physical force. Thankfully, most states have what have been termed “Stand Your Ground” laws. These laws do not require an individual to retreat from a threat if they are in any place where they are legally allowed to be. The fact is, Sumpter did not get this protection because in Connecticut, the only two places where a person under attack does not have a duty to retreat are INSIDE of their home or place of work.

When Sumpter went outside of the store and into the parking lot, he was no longer in his place of work when he used deadly physical force in self-defense. In the eyes of the prosecutor, and ultimately the judge, Sumpter should have fled from his attackers. At the moment he stabbed one of his attackers, the tables turned, and he went from defender to defendant. He was charged, convicted, and sentenced to 18 months incarceration, followed by three years of probation.

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If you live in a state that is fortunate enough to have a Stand Your Ground law, be vigilant about it, because if it is ever repealed, this could happen to you.

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Comment section

10 comments on “What Could Happen When We Repeal Stand Your Ground

  1. Rule number one…Never live in connecticut, New York, New Jersey or actually anywhere but Florida, which happens to be the best state in America

  2. I guess that means that an old guy like me who could barely win a race against a turtle would have to get beat terribly and unable to defend myself. 3 against 1 and possibly unable to get away. These anti 2 states are really a sad place to live.

  3. You could not pay me enough to live in CT, CA, NJ or NY (or any other communist state in the U.S).

  4. This article contains wrong information and has omitted other facts. I’m all for Stand Your Ground Laws but lets make sure our facts are straight and our examples are model citizens.

    – His named is spelled Jeffrey, not Jeffery.
    – It doesn’t mention the fact that the 18 month sentence you are referring to was a result of him illegally carrying a “dangerous weapon” and failing to appear in court. (http://www.jud2.ct.gov/crdockets/CaseDetailDisp.aspx?source=Pending&Key=5ab5c7fe-93cf-4c73-90b6-12a2425675f7)
    – In regards to the actual assault he received “5 Years Jail, Execution Suspended After 18 Months, Probation 3 Year”
    – His public defender struck a deal where he pleaded guilty to assault and no longer had to serve the remainder of his jail time.
    – It’s not clear why the juvenile perpetrators attacked Jeffrey to begin with or whether or not they had a prior relationship.

  5. In reading the scenario above it sounds as if the Sumpter may have followed the minors out of the store or accepted an invitation to the parking lot. If the he could have remained in the store resulting in a deescalation of violence that would have been the better choice. If in the course of defending himself the fight continued through the doors uninterrupted then Sumpter would have been within his rights to protect himself. Without hearing the case, at least for me, it is impossible to determine if he was in the right or wrong. There is a fine line between being the victim and becoming the assailant. It is hard enough for trained professionals to distinguish this fine line more less a citizen with just a few hours of firearms training under their belt. Defend yourself, keep your mouth closed, and call US Law Shield.

  6. Why I live in and rarely leave Florida. It is amazing how some states prefer to protect criminals!

  7. The state of Florida is not a grand state to live in either. My husband is doing 15 years in prison for shooting two bullets into a radiator to stop the vehicle from running him over. The judge has no in put at all, it’s all about 10-20-life for this state. Which needs to change.

  8. And this is why I left one of those communist states ( Massachusetts )

  9. And this is why I left one of those communist states ( Massachusetts )

  10. Almost two years ago, one week after the pulse shooting In Orlando. I was at the outlet mall in Orlando with my wife at the Coach store. Around noon time 3 clear shots were fired outside the store in the food court. Pandemonium reign the next few Minutes. People ran, screamed, cried, hide trying to escape. I decided to protect my wife and other people at the store took a tactical position. Stood My Ground to protect, we were not going to be victims. The shooter never came in the store, local media dismissed the incident at first to calm people down but 911calls confirmed active shooter. The mall was swamp with cops and swat it was as locked down. Everyone was thankful and appreciative of a good guy with a gun . Point being if he would have decided to enter the store, I was ready. The guy was arrested and he indeed fired 3 shots. Thank God it didn’t evolve to the next level but if it did I was ready.

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