And then theres Miamis Maurice Moorer.
FLASHING RED LIGHTS
In almost every way, Moorer was an unlikely candidate to claim stand your ground.
He shot an unarmed man. Witnesses disputed his version of events. His victim was dating his ex-wife, a woman he had been fighting with for years.
When police arrested Moorer on murder charges, he had just pumped 14 bullets into his victims car from 4 feet away in West Little River. He then ran inside to change clothes before calling 911.
Moorers criminal record raised further questions about the case. Arrest records in the two years leading up to the killing paint a portrait of a volatile husband willing to use violence and guns to intimidate his wife. But Moorer was never convicted of anything.
In October 2006, Moorers wife accused him of throwing her on a couch and punching her in the head. She refused treatment, and prosecutors abandoned the domestic battery charge against him.
A year later, the two were separated when Moorer asked his wife to come visit.
He answered the door, shotgun in hand. She told police that when she turned to leave, Moorer fired the gun and called out: Come stand in my yard and Ill blow youre a** away.
Officers arrested Moorer on an aggravated assault charge. In a police report, they noted a previous incident, where Moorer flashed a gun at his wife and told her: Dont mess with me. Ill use this on you. Prosecutors never went forward with the case.
Two months later, in December 2007, officers caught Moorer speeding and pulled him over. He seemed overly nervous as he assured officers he had no weapons on him, Miami-Dade police officers wrote in a report.
As he stepped out of the car, a semiautomatic pistol fell to the ground.
Prosecutors charged Moorer with carrying a concealed weapon and having ammunition while being the subject of a domestic violence injunction an injunction later lifted by a judge, records show. A few weeks later, prosecutors dropped the charge.
It was six months later that police were called to investigate a homicide outside Moorers home.
Moorer told investigators he had argued with Eddy Moore and that he feared the man was going to his car to get a gun, so he unloaded his pistol in self-defense.
Moore was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Police found a gun in Moores back seat under some laundry. And frustrated prosecutors ultimately dropped second-degree murder charges after saying they could not disprove Moorers self-defense claim.
The new law, prosecutors told The Miami Herald , cheapens human life.
There is no law that we can point to to say Moorer should have backed off, that he should have avoided this, Miami-Dade Assistant State Attorney Kathleen Hoague told the Herald.
Charlie Rose, a Stetson University law professor, said he remembers his students years ago predicting killers with long criminal histories would wind up benefiting from stand your ground.
He blames the laws vague wording. Right now it makes it available to everyone regardless of what you did to put yourself in the situation, he said. They did not put limitations on who could use it.
Times researchers Caryn Baird, Carolyn Edds and Natalie Watson contributed to this report.