A 46-year-old Texan, who used the Texas "Stand Your Ground" law as a defense for killing one of his neighbors, was recently convicted of murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison.
The case was regarding an altercation that occurred in 2010 when he confronted a neighbor about a loud party occurring at the neighbor's home.
During the videotaped argument, the man called 911 and claimed that his life was in danger and that he believed that the neighbor and his friends were going to try and kill him. Moments later he said, "I'm standing my ground here," and shot his neighbor. Two other men were also wounded during the incident.
Despite his "Stand Your Ground" defense, witnesses testified that he and his neighbor had disagreements before the shooting, and that the defendant had a history of abusive behavior - including, at one point, shooting a dog.
What Is the "Stand Your Ground" Law?
Since the recent killing of a teenager in Florida, "Stand Your Ground" laws have received a lot of media attention. These laws are nothing new and several states have had a variation of this measure for several years.
In Texas, the "Stand Your Ground" law states that citizens do not need to retreat before using deadly force, but only when it is justified. A permissible reason for using deadly force includes stopping a crime that is in progress, such as kidnapping, robbery, sexual assault or murder. Self-defense is also a valid reason for using deadly force under the law, so long as the person defending him or herself does not provoke the other party before exerting deadly force.
Source: Huffington Post, "Raul Rodriguez 'Stand Your Ground' Trial: Texas Man Faces Life Sentence For Fatal Shooting Over Loud Party," Juan A. Lozano, June 14, 2012.