Walter Olson writes on Overlawyered.com
Krugman, Brady, and Stand Your Ground laws, March 26, 2012
I mostly ignore the frothings of Paul Krugman in the New York Times, but his column today pursues a logic that’s insane even for him: in an attack on the right-of-center American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), he proposes that Stand Your Ground (SYG) laws tie into a trend of “growing incarceration” intended to line the coffers of private prison contractors. Earth to Krugman: SYG laws bolster criminal defendants’ rights, and your colleagues at the Times have been complaining that as a result it’s too hard for prosecutors to send people to prison for long terms. Next time, could you stop and think before hitting the send button? [More]
Olson is missing the point here.
First, when writing this kind of thing, Krugman doen’t think, he feels. He may be a Nobel-Prize winning economist, but when it comes to anything involving race, it's pure emotion.
Second, while Stand Your Ground laws do help criminal defendants, they harm actual criminals. Bernard Goetz was a criminal defendant, but not a criminal. The people he shot were criminals. And it’s the actual criminals that Krugman is agitating for.
The Krugman column Olson is linking to speaks of “exaggerated fear of racial minorities” as the source of laws that put criminals in prison, and require the police to have evidence a homicide was wrongful before they make an arrest.
The Florida voters who passed the Stand Your Ground law Krugman refers to as “ignorant yahoos.” [Lobbyists, Guns and Money, By Paul Krugman, March 25, 2012]
It's a straight racial issue—the victims of carjacking, home invasion, and muggings who are defending themselves are white (like Bernard Goetz in New York) and both their attackers and the inmates who are the presumed victims of the "penal-industrial" complex are black.
Krugman knows which side he favors.