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Feed aggregator
Telling the News on Cowbird

CJR Daily - March 22, 2012 - 1:29pm

Artist and computer programmer Jonathan Harris made a name for himself with unique
projects documenting feelings and experiences. We Feel Fine scanned the world’s blog
entries for the words “I feel” or “I am feeling” and organized a visual interface based on
the subsequent words. I Want You To Want Me scanned online dating sites for...
Categories: Media

The 24 States That Have Sweeping Self-Defense Laws Just Like Florida’s

Pro Publica - March 22, 2012 - 1:05pm

by Cora Currier

March 26: This post has been updated to reflect the latest in the ongoing
investigation of the shooting, and corrected.

"Stand Your Ground," "Shoot First," "Make My Day" -- state laws asserting an
expansive right to self-defense -- have come into focus after last month's killing
of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.


In 2005, Florida became the first state to explicitly expand a person's right to
use deadly force for self-defense. Deadly force is justified if a person is gravely
threatened, in the home or "any other place where he or she has a right to be."

Most states have long allowed the use of reasonable force, sometimes
including deadly force, to protect oneself inside one's home -- the so-called
Castle Doctrine. Outside the home, people generally still have a "duty to
retreat" from an attacker, if possible, to avoid confrontation. In other words, if
you can get away and you shoot anyway, you can be prosecuted. In Florida,
there is no duty to retreat. You can "stand your ground" outside your home,
too.
If self-defense is invoked in Florida, the person is immune from criminal or civil
prosecution.

In the Martin case, the local police chief has said that they did not arrest the shooter,
George Zimmerman, because their initial investigation supported his self-defense claim,
and that they were therefore prohibited from making an arrest or prosecution. (The
police report on the shooting refers to it as an "unnecessary killing to prevent unlawful
act.")

The police chief has since temporarily stepped down, after a vote of no-confidence from
the city. The case is being investigated by the Department of Justice and a Florida state
attorney. A grand jury will convene on April 10 to decide whether charges can be
brought against Zimmerman.

Zimmerman's lawyer said in an interview with ABC News that Zimmerman will
be protected under Florida's self-defense law.


In Florida, a homicide case can be thrown out by a judge before trial because the
defendant successfully invokes self-defense. The burden is on the prosecution to
disprove the claim in order to bring charges, rather than do so in the trial. The Florida
state attorney leading the prosecution told ABC news that the self-defense law means it
is "more difficult than a normal criminal case" to bring charges.

Florida is not alone in its expansive definition of self-defense. Twenty-four other states
now allow people to stand their ground. Most of these laws were passed after Florida's.
(Some states never had a duty to retreat to begin with.)


Here's a rundown of the states with laws mirroring the one in Florida, where there's no
duty to retreat in public places and where, in most cases, self-defense claims have some
degree of immunity in court. (The specifics of what kind of immunity, and when the
burden of proof lies on the prosecution, vary from state to state.)

Many of the laws were originally advocated as a way to address domestic abuse cases
— how could a battered wife retreat if she was attacked in her own home? Such
legislation also has been recently pushed by the National Rifle Association and other
gun-rights groups.

Click on the state to see its law.

Alabama

Arizona

Georgia

Idaho
Illinois (The law does not include a duty to retreat, which courts have
interpreted as a right to expansive self-defense.)

Indiana

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Michigan

Mississippi

Montana

Nevada

New Hampshire

North Carolina

Oklahoma

Oregon (Also does not include a duty to retreat.)

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tennessee

Texas

Utah

Washington (Also does not include a duty to retreat.)

West Virginia

Sources: Legal Community Against Violence; National District Attorney’s Association;
Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.
Correction: This post has been corrected to include New Hampshire in the list of states
with laws that are similar to Florida's.

Categories: Media, Politics

The Etch-a-Sketch Press

CJR Daily - March 22, 2012 - 11:25am
NEW HAMPSHIRE — Yesterday, Etch-a-Sketch became the media’s favorite metaphor
for Mitt Romney’s ideological flexibility. But the iconic children’s toy is an equally good
representation of the media’s tendency to draw the picture it wants of our political
candidates. The kerfuffle began when Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom invoked the
popular toy during an interview with John Fugelsang...
Categories: Media

prwatch: Why Are State Newspapers Silent When It Comes to ALEC Ties to
Voter ID? http://t.co/Rw30Y4Cu #ALEC #ALECexposed #VoterID
#vottersuppression

PR Watch on Twitter - March 22, 2012 - 10:22am
prwatch: Why Are State Newspapers Silent When It Comes to ALEC Ties to Voter ID?
http://t.co/Rw30Y4Cu #ALEC #ALECexposed #VoterID #vottersuppression

prwatch: RT @MaximusShelby: Excellent question! MT @ALECexposed Why
Are State Newspapers Silent When It Comes to ALEC Ties to Voter ID? http://t.
...

PR Watch on Twitter - March 22, 2012 - 10:22am
prwatch: RT @MaximusShelby: Excellent question! MT @ALECexposed Why Are State
Newspapers Silent When It Comes to ALEC Ties to Voter ID? http://t. ...

Why Twitter Will Get More Annoying

CJR Daily - March 22, 2012 - 9:22am

Happy sixth birthday, Twitter! You’re the service which started off as a way for groups
of friends to keep in touch with each other via text messages, and you’ve grown into a
revolutionary platform for connecting and sharing with millions of people around the
world. And you’ve become more annoying, too. For most of its history, Twitter...
Categories: Media

prwatch: Bill that could protect #TrayvonMartin's killer was brought to #ALEC
by NRA lobbyist http://t.co/RA9Fl0iO #ALECexposed

PR Watch on Twitter - March 22, 2012 - 7:34am
prwatch: Bill that could protect #TrayvonMartin's killer was brought to #ALEC by NRA
lobbyist http://t.co/RA9Fl0iO #ALECexposed

The Auteurs' Caretaker

CJR Daily - March 22, 2012 - 6:00am
In 1968, New Yorker editor William Shawn decided to start taking the movies seriously.
Up to that point, the magazine’s film critics, men like Brendan Gill and John McNulty,
had always thought themselves better than their beat; their work evincing amused
detachment from the vulgar entertainments that sated the grubby masses. In a 1946
essay called...
Categories: Media

Audit Notes: Skynet News, Gawker's High-Low Strategy, Oil Speculators

CJR Daily - March 22, 2012 - 3:13am
Evgeny Morozov has a must-read piece at Slate on the rise of journalism bots, which
Forbes now employs to write basic stories like earnings reports (emphasis mine): Yet
the world of modern finance is increasingly dependent on automated trading, with
sophisticated computer algorithms finding and exploiting pricing irregularities that are
invisible to ordinary traders. Meanwhile, Forbes—one of financial...
Categories: Media

Gawker Misreads the WSJ on Vaccines and Immunity

CJR Daily - March 22, 2012 - 2:42am
Gawker totally misreads a Wall Street Journal story on numbskulls who don't vaccinate
their kids, writing that it means "Oregonian Religious Nuts Are Going to Give Us All
Measles." There is a certain percentage of the population that objects to giving their
kids vaccinations, because of stuff like Jesus, some book, Jenny McCarthy, whatever.
You know, crazy people....
Categories: Media


prwatch: RT @ALECexposed: #Walmart, biggest gun seller, co-chaired #ALEC
meeting ratifying FL bill that could protect #TrayvonMartin's shooter ht ...

PR Watch on Twitter - March 21, 2012 - 9:27pm
prwatch: RT @ALECexposed: #Walmart, biggest gun seller, co-chaired #ALEC meeting
ratifying FL bill that could protect #TrayvonMartin's shooter ht ...

prwatch: RT @maggie091711: RT @prwatch ALEC and NRA Behind Law That
May Protect Trayvon Martin's Killer | Center for Media an..
http://t.co/D3CfUN3U

PR Watch on Twitter - March 21, 2012 - 9:17pm
prwatch: RT @maggie091711: RT @prwatch ALEC and NRA Behind Law That May
Protect Trayvon Martin's Killer | Center for Media an.. http://t.co/D3CfUN3U



prwatch: RT @BeckiJayne: RT @prwatch ALEC and NRA Behind Law That May
Protect Trayvon Martin's Killer | Center for Media an.. http://t.co/yG9PorCb

PR Watch on Twitter - March 21, 2012 - 9:17pm
prwatch: RT @BeckiJayne: RT @prwatch ALEC and NRA Behind Law That May Protect
Trayvon Martin's Killer | Center for Media an.. http://t.co/yG9PorCb



prwatch: RT @Progress2day: Greta Van Susteren Falls for Walker’s Waterloo
Ballyhoo http://t.co/miZKRFSJ #wiunion #p2 #wiright #p2b #tcot #teapart ...

PR Watch on Twitter - March 21, 2012 - 9:17pm
prwatch: RT @Progress2day: Greta Van Susteren Falls for Walker’s Waterloo Ballyhoo
http://t.co/miZKRFSJ #wiunion #p2 #wiright #p2b #tcot #teapart ...



prwatch: RT @ALECexposed: Bill that could protect #TrayvonMartin's killer was
brought to #ALEC by NRA lobbyist http://t.co/wMEIzMOu #ALECexposed

PR Watch on Twitter - March 21, 2012 - 9:17pm
prwatch: RT @ALECexposed: Bill that could protect #TrayvonMartin's killer was brought
to #ALEC by NRA lobbyist http://t.co/wMEIzMOu #ALECexposed

prwatch: RT @litterof6: @ALECexposed: Bill that could protect
#TrayvonMartin's killer was brought to #ALEC by NRA lobbyist
http://t.co/FkoResXv # ...

PR Watch on Twitter - March 21, 2012 - 9:17pm
prwatch: RT @litterof6: @ALECexposed: Bill that could protect #TrayvonMartin's killer
was brought to #ALEC by NRA lobbyist http://t.co/FkoResXv # ...



prwatch: RT @DAOWENS44: ALEC and NRA Behind Law That May Protect
Trayvon Martin's Killer | Center for Media and Democracy http://t.co/7lVpKehr

PR Watch on Twitter - March 21, 2012 - 9:17pm
prwatch: RT @DAOWENS44: ALEC and NRA Behind Law That May Protect Trayvon
Martin's Killer | Center for Media and Democracy http://t.co/7lVpKehr

prwatch: RT @GottaLaff: Miss this? Guess who pushed the NRA’s “Stand Your
Ground” law: ALEC http://t.co/fEs4FJx7 #TPC
PR Watch on Twitter - March 21, 2012 - 9:16pm
prwatch: RT @GottaLaff: Miss this? Guess who pushed the NRA’s “Stand Your Ground”
law: ALEC http://t.co/fEs4FJx7 #TPC



prwatch: RT @NicholsUprising: How ALEC-backed "Castle Doctine," "Stand Your
Ground" laws get passed and bar prosecution in cases like Trayvon's h ...

PR Watch on Twitter - March 21, 2012 - 9:16pm
prwatch: RT @NicholsUprising: How ALEC-backed "Castle Doctine," "Stand Your
Ground" laws get passed and bar prosecution in cases like Trayvon's h ...



prwatch: RT @NicholsUprising: American Legislative Exchange Council (#ALEC)
has for years promoted legislation that bars prosecution in cases lik ...

PR Watch on Twitter - March 21, 2012 - 9:16pm
prwatch: RT @NicholsUprising: American Legislative Exchange Council (#ALEC) has for
years promoted legislation that bars prosecution in cases lik ...

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Inside Story: US 2012 - ALEC: Shaping US
politics behind the scenes

CMD Receives 2012 Izzy Award

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ALEC Pulls Back Support for "Stand Your
Ground" Laws
Center for Media and Democracy • 520 University Avenue, Suite 260 • Madison,
Wisconsin 53703
Phone: 608-260-9713 • Fax: 608-260-9714

				
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