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Florida saw a significant spike in murders after enacting a "Stand Your Ground" law allowing people to use lethal force in self-defense in public or on private property, international researchers said Monday.The southern state's 24 percent rise in homicide from 2005 to 2014 stood in sharp contrast to nationwide homicide rates, which have been declining since the 1990s, according to research published in a special issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine.Homicides linked to firearms rose 31 percent from 2005 to 2014, researchers found, compared to the previous sampling period from 1999-2004 .Overall, homicides in Florida for the decade after 2005 rose 24 percent, the study found.For comparison, researchers looked at homicide rates in four other states -- New York, New Jersey, Ohio and Virginia -- that had not enacted a Stand Your Ground law over the same period of time and found no increase in homicide rates.Suicide rates in Florida were also unchanged, suggesting that other events such as the global financial crisis of 2007-9 was not the major factor associated with the rise in homicides in Florida.
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