Louisiana and the Stand Your Ground Law

On Thursday, May 3, Aaron Neames was convicted of attempted manslaughter by a jury in the state of Louisiana. Mr. Neames and his defense team were attempting to justify his actions in the case based on Louisiana’s Stand Your Ground law.

The Stand Your Ground Law states that a person has the right to defend himself with force if he is in a place that he is allowed to be. If another person approaches with forceful intent, a person may repulse the attack. This includes the use of deadly force if the person who is where he has the right to be believes that his life is in possible danger. The law also gives a person the right to use deadly force if that person believes that an attacker is going to inflict harm upon another person.

In the Neames case, the jury did not believe that the facts of the case met the requirements of the Stand Your Ground Law. Here is what happened.

In 2015, Benjamin Jarreau broke into the home of Mr. Neames in an attempt to get money. Jarreau stated that he had made a drug purchase at the Neames’ residence previously, so he believed that there would be plenty of cash on hand.

When Mr. Neames arrived at this house, he found Jarreau inside. Neames wrestled the gun away from Jarreau, and Jarreau ran to his vehicle to escape. While Jarreau was fleeing, Neames fired multiple shots into the vehicle striking but not killing Jarreau.

The conviction of Aaron Neames is seen as a tightening of the Stand Your Ground Law that exists in Louisiana and several other states. Prosecutors in this case wanted to emphasize the point that Stand Your Ground Law does not give members of the general public the right to take the law into their own hands.