BY JOE PALAZZOLO AND ROB BARRY
At a time when the overall U.S. homicide rate is declining, more civilians are killing each other and claiming self-defenseâ€”a trend that is most pronounced in states with new “stand your ground” laws.
These laws, which grant people more leeway to attack and even kill someone who is threatening them, are attracting close scrutiny following February’s controversial killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida by a neighborhood watchman. Florida has one of the broadest self-defense laws of the 25 states with some version of a “stand your ground” principle.
So-called justifiable homicides nearly doubled from 2000 to 2010, the most …