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A Look into West Virginia's "Stand Your Ground" Law
Written by Lindsey Watson
Last updated on July 23, 2013 @ 6:56PM
Created on July 23, 2013 @ 6:37PM

West Virginia just happens to be one of twenty-one states that recognizes the "Stand Your Ground" law.

"West Virginia has always been what they call in common law, a no retreat state. Meaning that you do not have an obligation to retreat before evoking the right of self defense." said Marion County Chief Assistant Prosecutor, Jeff Freeman.

Having a law such as this removes a persons obligation to try and run in the face of danger.

"The law clearly states you don't have to retreat to the last position of defense before you have the right to defend yourself, or to defend someone else." said Freeman.

But once you make that decision, you can only use force equal to that being used by your attacker.

"We have to look at the circumstances surrounding the situation, whether they are mitigating or extenuating circumstances, and that's how we would have to base our decision as to whether or not it's a stand your ground type situation after a full investigation is completed." said Marion County Sheriff's Deputy David Forsyth.

Local law enforcement believes it's a law all residents should be aware of.

"If someone is attacking you with there hands, you can use your hands to defend yourself, or if they're using deadly force, then you're allowed to use deadly force. said Freeman.

"If your defending yourself, or someone else or your property, then you are justified to do that." said Deputy Forsyth.

Residents all seemed to have the same view when it came to their own measure of self defense.

"Every human has a right to protect themselves." said Logan Nine, a Marion County resident. Shayla Phillips also felt the same way about the law, but said she "defends herself no matter what."

Despite the protests and boycotts that have happened after the controversial Zimmerman verdict was handed down, states are very unlikely to change their self-defense laws.


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