However in 2006 Alabama became one of 21 states to enact so called "stand your ground" self defense laws. These laws did away with the duty to retreat and instead allowed you to stand your ground and kill your attacker rather than retreating.
But the law went further. It added that in alleged self defense situations it would be presumed that the use of deadly force against your attacker was justified.
It goes on to say that a person using deadly force against an attacker is immune from criminal or civil prosecution.
Finally it added this proviso which is in the fore of the Florida controversey " A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of deadly force, but the agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force used was unlawful"
This has made many law enforcement agencies reluctant to arrest people who claim to have acted in self defense until the case has been presented to a Grand Jury.
Florida had 43 cases of justified self defense homicide in 2005 before they changed their law to"stand your ground". In 2009,after the change, they had 105 such cases.