Trayvon Martin aside, ’stand your ground’ law is stupid

Let’s acknowledge from the beginning that there are no grounds to believe that Florida’s “stand your ground” law can be blamed for the events leading up to the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin.

George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch fanatic who shot Martin, may have had no idea that Florida even had such a law. And even if he did know, that knowledge might not have changed his behavior in any way. The only thing we know for certain is that Sanford police cited the law in explaining why they lacked probable cause to arrest Zimmerman.

So setting aside the Martin tragedy, what possible purpose does a “stand your ground” law serve in the first place? What good can it possibly achieve, particularly when implemented outside the home?

Dealing with an intruder inside the home is quite a different matter. And every person of course has the right to defend themselves and others from bodily harm. That right existed before passage of “stand your ground” laws around the country; it exists today in states that did not pass “stand your ground” laws.

We’re dealing instead with something very different than mere self-defense. “Stand your ground” laws state that if an armed person faces a choice between safely withdrawing from a scene or standing his or her ground and killing someone, that person “has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force,” as Florida law puts it.

That’s what I don’t get. I understand that there are macho fools out there who believe that backing down from a fight is a worse outcome than shooting and killing another person. I just don’t see why in a civilized country the law should validate and even encourage that mentality.

– Jay Bookman

905 comments Add your comment

Normal, Plain and Simple

March 27th, 2012
3:39 pm

Like I said below…may as well re-establish the dueling laws…

Common Sense isn't very Common

March 27th, 2012
3:40 pm

Jay is changing the subject from the thread down below :-)

Foghorn Dawghorn

March 27th, 2012
3:43 pm

Florida is not civilized.

Foghorn Dawghorn

March 27th, 2012
3:44 pm

It’s his blog. He can do whatever the hell he wants, DA.

JF McNamara

March 27th, 2012
3:44 pm

Agreed.

Basically, you’re within your rights to shoot someone in a night club if they are an aggressive drunk. If you get in a fight and are losing, even if you started it, you can stand your ground by shooting the other person and go free?

Zimmerman left his home to pursue the kid even though he told the 911 operator that he had his hand in his waistband. Who follows and confronts someone who they believes have a gun?

This law needs to be much clearer.

Paul

March 27th, 2012
3:47 pm

About the only example I can come up with (and on this blog I’ve learned, no matter how unlikely, far out or unrealistic an example is, if you’ve one example you should cite this as the One Truth That Overcomes ALL) would be if a person had reason to believe that the person in the house posed an ongoing threat to family and this was the chance to end that threat….

other than that, I’ll offer that the ‘running away is cowardice” mentality proves Darwin. Those people’ll be culled from the chain and the ones with the good sense towithdraw and preserve life will be the ones to pass on their genetic coding.

Brosephus™

March 27th, 2012
3:48 pm

Jay

I have to part ways with you on this one. Instead of labeling these laws as “Stand your ground”, they should be used to clarify where and when self-defense is justified outside the home. For example, if your wife is the victim of an attempted carjacking and she happens to mow the perpetrator down, she could avoid being charged with involuntary manslaughter if it’s determined that she ran him over as an attempt to defend herself or remove herself from that situation. In reference to guns, that’s where I personally think that anybody who wishes to carry concealed should go through training for those situations.

I think the problem with these laws is that they are written overly broad, Florida for example. I can understand the GOP’s principle in less governance, but for a law like this, they should be written as specific and targeted as possible and not left as some broad authority to “unleash the dogs”.

Common Sense isn't very Common

March 27th, 2012
3:48 pm

Foghorn Dawghorn

It’s his blog. He can do whatever the hell he wants, DA.
———————————————————

It was a joke son, I say a joke :-)

Rick in Grayson

March 27th, 2012
3:49 pm

I suppose that you would want thugs to control the streets while we retreat into our homes in hiding.

If you were on the street and one or more thugs approached, you would tell your wife and children to start running? You would hope the thugs wouldn’t pull out their guns to rob, rape and/or kill them. I’m quite sure that approach hasn’t always worked.

Not an Attorney

March 27th, 2012
3:49 pm

The Florida and Georgia law need to be re-examined. It is too confusing, not realistic and conflicts with current laws. I never understood the purpose why the law was implemented in Georgia????

JamVet

March 27th, 2012
3:50 pm

Jay, I believe it is because certain elements of our society are completely addicted to violence.

And to that point in your last sentence, I don’t either.

godless heathen©

March 27th, 2012
3:53 pm

I’m sure our local libbie legal eagles will swoop in shortly, but this is the kind of law that, IMO, doesn’t alter behavior one way or the other. It is used as an after the fact reason to charge someone with a crime or not. I can imagine a self-defense scenario where a Stand Your Ground Law could rightfully prevent someone from being charged with a crime. And it could be used as an excuse to not prosecute someone who should be. Whether or not it applies in the Martin Case, I have no idea.

Jay

March 27th, 2012
3:55 pm

Yes, Rick, if I could get them out safely without pulling a gun and blowing someone away, I would do so. And in the event that violence became my only option, the doctrine of self-defense would give me all the authority I would need to take whatever actions were necessary. Under those circumstances, this “stand your ground” nonsense would not apply.

ragnar danneskjold

March 27th, 2012
3:56 pm

I respectfully go the opposite direction. I would compel all to carry a gun at all times. Then we would not have to suffer more leftist whining about “bullies.”

hewhoasks

March 27th, 2012
3:56 pm

The flaw may more be a pernicious train of thought by the Sanford police. The law says someone who acts according to the law is not to be arrested absent probable cause, Zimmerman told a story that, if true, may have indicated he had acted under the previsions of the law. The police arrived and found Zimmerman bloodied, after he had called 911 saying there was a suspicious person he was tracking. The police may have assumed Zimmerman’s suspicions were grounded and that Martin was as dangerous/suspicious/criminal as Zimmerman seemed to think when he called. (None of that makes Zimmerman’s suspicions true.)

The law has specific provisions. To be protected the one claiming the law favors him had to be acting in response to overt criminal actions of another, the use of deadly force must be in response to a reasonable belief in imminent danger from criminal action of another. There are facts that are of substance for the law: was the victim acting illegally, was the person who committed the homicide not acting illegally, was there a reasonable belief of imminent danger. (”Reasonable” would seem to indicate that just claiming a belief of imminent danger is insufficient. In this event, had there been a knife or handgun belonging to Martin ear his body that wold be fairly strong evidence that there was a reasonable fear. It would not establish that Martin had been the one who acted illegally. It would seem that whether or not the Sanford police investigating the incident were eager to find that Zimmerman had acted appropriately there’s little to show otherwise. The dead party had no weapon. Questions to better ascertain the actual circumstances might have revealed inconsistencies in Zimmerman’s story. Those would be questions in a homicide investigation: if Zimmerman told a story not matched by physical facts he might be charged – which means he should have been read his Miranda rights. Was he? Or was the questioning more along the lines of getting Zimmerman’s account down straight?

The”self-defense” plea isn’t unique to Florida. “Self defense’ is commonly asserted by persons who have just committed a homicide. It may e an honest plea, it may not. It is the duty of the police to find out all they can. Was Martin’s phone found? Where? Where did key events occur? It has been reported Martin’s body was about 210 feet from where he had been headed. If Martin “doubled back” wouldn’t that mean he was closer than 210 feet to where he was headed?

Perhaps the police conducted a more thorough investigation than can be seen – but the material someone in that department is seeing fit to leak is on matters hugely unconnected to the homicide itself. What does that mean, if anything?

JohnnyReb

March 27th, 2012
3:56 pm

“Castle” laws give the right to homeowners to defend themselves with deadly force in their home instead of running for cover.

“Stand Your Ground” laws give people outside their home the right to defend themselves with letal force. The law is a natural progression of Concealed Carry laws.

stands for decibels

March 27th, 2012
3:57 pm

I suppose that you would want thugs to control the streets while we retreat into our homes in hiding.

only after you’ve been forced to have a gay abortion.

arnold

March 27th, 2012
3:58 pm

Society is becomming less civilized. Just look at all the gun laws being passed to allow the gun lovers to carry where they want. I guess they get sexual pleasure fondling a gun. They seem to lack something.

Rick in Grayson

March 27th, 2012
3:59 pm

I’d like to see a blog on why the PRESS seems to bias all these events.
Why did the PRESS use a picture that was 5 years old (maybe to make the victim less threatening)?
Why did the PRESS not report that Martin approached Zimmerman from behind after Zimmerman lost sight of Martin?
Why did the PRESS not report that Martin decked Zimmerman and was on top of him, punching him and banging Zimmerman’s head on the pavement?
Why can’t the PRESS not get the facts right?
Why can’t the PRESS wait to get the facts?
Why can the PRESS make Zimmerman out to be the bad guy while the Black Panthers put out a bounty on Zimmerman? Does the PRESS have ANY ETHICS?

JF McNamara

March 27th, 2012
3:59 pm

@Rick in Grayson at 3:49,

What are you talking about?

Self defense is different than stand your ground. Self defense has and always will be legal. You are confusing the two concepts.

Zimmerman was the aggressor in the fact that he pursued Martin. Had he minded his own business or called the police, this never would have happened.

If one or more thugs attempts to rob you and your family, then it is, and always has been, legal for you to defend yourself. If you and your family left home looking for a gang to confront, that’s not self defense. There should be no law that provide cover for doing this, and Stand Your Ground apparantly provides that leeway.

If not, Zimmerman would be in jail right now.

Jay

March 27th, 2012
4:00 pm

No, Johnny.

The doctrine of self-defense already gives you the right to defend yourself; “stand your ground” adds nothing to that right.

godless heathen©

March 27th, 2012
4:01 pm

“ou would tell your wife and children to start running? You would hope the thugs wouldn’t pull out their guns to rob, rape and/or kill them. I’m quite sure that approach hasn’t always worked..”

Like the old joke where two hikers encounter a grizzly on the trail They stand frozen until one of the hikers says under his breath, “On a count of three, we start running.”

Hiker2: “We can’t out run that bear.”

Hiker1: “I know, but I can out run you.”

Lord Help Us

March 27th, 2012
4:03 pm

‘ I would compel all to carry a gun at all times. Then we would not have to suffer more leftist whining about “bullies.”’

Or, the converse. If Mr. Zimmerman were unarmed, he and the Mr. Martin would be in very different circumstances today.

Take the gun out of the equation and everybody is fine…

Ron

March 27th, 2012
4:03 pm

stand your ground if thats the law the kid stood his ground nieghborhood watch people are not police and should not be caring guns but to let him walk on stand your ground he folowed that boy and the boy ended up dead color does not play a part in that stupidity does

Aquagirl

March 27th, 2012
4:04 pm

The law is a natural progression of Concealed Carry laws.

Soon to be followed by the Preemptive Firebombing laws, where flinging molotov cocktails at inattentive drivers is legal.

Come to think of it, I’d like this brave new world.

Logical Dude - slut and ho

March 27th, 2012
4:04 pm

I have this odd need to survive, so I would try to remove myself from the situation first. (flee!)

I don’t have a gun, so standing my ground as a last resort means that I will use a rather large blade (or two) Machetes can be intimidating if the suspect can see it. A should of “get out of my house, I have a weapon” may work in some cases, but not sure how effective that is in a real situation.

It may work on a thief, but for a rapist / home invader intent on more personal damage, then they’ll have to deal with flying blades and my rapier wit. (pun intended)

JamVet

March 27th, 2012
4:04 pm

I don’t think that Public Idiot #1 is going to get off scott free on this.

In some fashion or another, he is going to pay the piper…

Rick in Grayson

March 27th, 2012
4:05 pm

Zimmerman was on a personal errand and saw someone who he did not know from the neighborhood. Several homes in the community had been vandalized and he wanted to watch this individual (and he did report this person to the 911 dispatcher) until the police arrived. Should he have let an unknown person possible commit crimes in the neighborhood? What if the unknown person had killed someone in the community during a robbery?

From the police report corroborated by witnesses, Martin attacked Zimmerman. Why didn’t Martin retreat? Why didn’t Martin call the police and tell them someone was following him? Works both ways.

Just cut it out already

March 27th, 2012
4:05 pm

“stand your ground’ law is stupid”

And another anti-gun column from Atlanta’s own Thomas Friedman wannabe.

Jefferson

March 27th, 2012
4:05 pm

The graveyard is full of folks that were “right”.

Logical Dude - slut and ho

March 27th, 2012
4:06 pm

Rick: Why did the PRESS. . .

Can you provide a cite of where you heard such things?

JohnnyReb

March 27th, 2012
4:07 pm

Jay, I’ll have to get back to you with some proof. Defending yourself is one thing, taking a life with a gun while doing it another. Plus, some states have laws where you are suppose to attempt to flee the agressor. Stand Your Ground is the opposite.

Just cut it out already

March 27th, 2012
4:08 pm

” leading up to the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin.”

Yet the info coming out suggests that the “innocent’ kid had a history of trouble. The guy who shot the kid is a Democrat.

The only thing that is stupid is Sharpton and Jesse playing the race card. Then again, that’s all they have left in their pathetic universe.

CJ

March 27th, 2012
4:08 pm

“Stand Your Ground” is not about safety. It’s about profits. It is legislation pushed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), via the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), to sell more guns for its gun manufacturer constituents.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/03/26/143145/nra-helped-spread-stand-your-ground.html

Jerry

March 27th, 2012
4:10 pm

The stand your ground laws are not stupid at all. I for one, feel safer because of them.

JamVet

March 27th, 2012
4:11 pm

Should he have let an unknown person possible commit crimes in the neighborhood?

Should we let backyard Perry Masons speculate about fantastically created out of thin air possibilities?

getalife

March 27th, 2012
4:12 pm

Some folks are scared of a whoopin.

Times have changed.

CJ

March 27th, 2012
4:13 pm

“Despite the NRA’s historical claims that it is not financially allied with the gun industry, including the current disclaimer on its website that it “is not affiliated with any firearm or ammunition manufacturers or with any businesses that deal in guns and ammunition,” NRA ‘corporate partners’ include many of the world’s best known gunmakers…T

he NRA claims that its positions are driven solely by a concern for the interests of gun owners, never mentioning its own financial stake in protecting the profits of its gun industry patrons. At the 2009 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told a cheering crowd that ‘the guys with the guns make the rules.’ ”

http://www.vpc.org/press/1104blood.htm

Robert Lee

March 27th, 2012
4:13 pm

There is still too much unknown to draw a conclusion Jay. I’m rather surprised that you automatically assume to know exactly what happened and can blame anyone for the outcome. Its is rather telling that the picture of the victim is 5 years old and shows a non threatening boy while the victim was 17 and may not be that innocent. Its a shame that someone died but without knowing all the info you’re jsut ASSuming you know the facts.

JohnnyReb

March 27th, 2012
4:15 pm

Jay, this from Wikipedia.

A Castle Doctrine (also known as a Castle Law or a Defense of Habitation Law) is an American legal doctrine that designates a person’s abode (or, in some states, any place legally occupied, such as a car or place of work) as a place in which the person has certain protections and immunities and may in certain circumstances attack an intruder without becoming liable to prosecution.

A stand-your-ground law states that a person may use deadly force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of a threat, without an obligation to retreat first. In some cases, a person may use deadly force in public areas without a duty to retreat. Under these legal concepts, a person is justified in using deadly force in certain situations and the “stand your ground” law would be a defense or immunity to criminal charges and civil suit.

Jay

March 27th, 2012
4:16 pm

Robert, as I have tried to make clear in this post, I’m not arguing about the role of “stand your ground” in the Martin case. The Martin case has nothing to do with the fact that such laws are, well, stupid.

TaxPayer

March 27th, 2012
4:17 pm

Republicans continue to confirm they are not advanced enough to be civilized.

Rick in Grayson

March 27th, 2012
4:18 pm

Logical Dude: Read any of the published stories over the last couple of days. This incident happened a month ago. I’ve seen a more recent picture of Martin and he doesn’t look like that kid anymore. He is 6” 2′ tall now. Martin was the one who attacked Zimmerman. Here is the link to the publicly released information
http://www.sanfordfl.gov/investigation/docs/Zimmerman_Martin_shooting.pdf

All these marchers and paraders will look pretty foolish when then get the real facts.

Another rush to judgement.

To be expected when Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton get involved (the truth doesn’t really matter anymore). Goggle Tawana Brawley, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tawana_Brawley_rape_allegations, or check out the Duke lacrosse incident.

Fred ™ Being Black since 8:57 this morning

March 27th, 2012
4:19 pm

“Stand your ground” laws state that if an armed person faces a choice between safely withdrawing from a scene or standing his or her ground and killing someone, that person “has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force,”

Define safely withdrawing. As someone who has had to (professionally) kill people, as have Scout and Del among others, I can’t envision a scenario where I could safely withdraw without leaving others in danger that I would not.

I don;t get what you are saying Jay.

TaxPayer

March 27th, 2012
4:20 pm

The stand your ground laws are not stupid at all. I for one, feel safer because of them.

And if your attitude came across as threatening to one of your comrades in heavier armament?

(ir)Rational

March 27th, 2012
4:20 pm

Jay – I’m no expert, I’ve just learned a few things in the past couple of weeks that I didn’t know before. But in this case, the “stand your ground” laws do add a few things that “self-defense” laws don’t allow for. Like under self-defense, you have a duty to try and escape, even if you can’t, before you take action. Under stand your ground, you don’t necessarily have that duty (although in certain states and situations you do). As an example, in some states, to prove self defense, you have to prove that you were trying to get away. Under those laws, some women were prosecuted for killing their husbands when they came into a room specifically to beat them because they couldn’t escape (he was blocking the door or already on top of her) and they were convicted of murder because they didn’t make a “reasonable” attempt at escaping. Is this right? While I’ll agree that stand your ground laws are overly broad, I’ll also postulate that self-defense laws are overly restrictive.

carlosgvv

March 27th, 2012
4:21 pm

The stand your ground law was passed by politicians as a reward to the NRA for all the campaign election and re-election money they have gotten the gun manufacturers to contribute.

What is the status of those two security guards who shot that unarmed young black man a few days ago? I haven’t heard any outcry from the black community on this. If these two guards are not charged with murder, will Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton and large numbers of African-Americans march to the Capital and protest?

Common Sense isn't very Common

March 27th, 2012
4:22 pm

I do have a question though.

Did Zimmerman have any type of carry permit?

If not when he left his truck with a gun wasn’t he in violation of carry laws?(having a loaded weapon on a city street).

If he had a violent past how did he get/keep a carry permit?

Can anyone supply these answers and citations please?

Fred ™ Being Black since 8:57 this morning

March 27th, 2012
4:23 pm

I read either a story or a vent in the AJC several years ago where the writer thanked the thug who carjacked him for not pointing the gun at him and forcing him to shoot the thug with the drwan gun that the victim had (and the thug couldn’t see).

Shooting and killing another human is nothing to be taken lightly. Even in war you don’t like it. As I said earlier, I don;t know anyone who wouldn’t rather fade away than to kill someone……..

Steve - USA (I support "None Of The Above")

March 27th, 2012
4:23 pm

Some of these arguments could be used against “hate crime” laws. It already against the law to assault someone but we decided we need to say one assault is more of an assault than another.

“Stand your Ground” and “hate crime” laws are over the top.

Jay

March 27th, 2012
4:23 pm

Sure you do, Fred.

If someone is being confrontational, and you can safely turn and walk away, then you have an obligation to do so.

“Stand your ground” says you have no such obligation. It says that you have “no duty to retreat,” that you can stand there and confront the person and even kill him if necessary.

TM

March 27th, 2012
4:24 pm

The law in Fl which specific provisions do you disagree with
776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.—
(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
(b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.
(2) The presumption set forth in subsection (1) does not apply if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner, lessee, or titleholder, and there is not an injunction for protection from domestic violence or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person; or
(b) The person or persons sought to be removed is a child or grandchild, or is otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used; or
(c) The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle to further an unlawful activity; or
(d) The person against whom the defensive force is used is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who enters or attempts to enter a dwelling, residence, or vehicle in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using force knew or reasonably should have known that the person entering or attempting to enter was a law enforcement officer.
(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
(4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.
(5) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night.
(b) “Residence” means a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest.
(c) “Vehicle” means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2005-27.

Fred ™

March 27th, 2012
4:24 pm

Dang it. I forgot I still had my black tag on lol.

JF McNamara

March 27th, 2012
4:25 pm

@ Rick,

Zimmerman should have called the police, and he did.

The mere fact that Zimmerman was able to follow him makes your argument about him committing a crime moronic. Is someone who is about to rob a house going to allow you to get close to them? Are they going to be walking down the street in broad daylight? he wasn’t sneaking and it wasn’t night time.

If you are walking down the street and someone in a car gets out of the car to follow you, do you have time to call the police? At that point, Martin was defending himself. A strange person was following him.

It actually doesn’t work both ways because Martin was unarmed. He was defending himself against someone following him. Zimmerman was following him, got his a** kicked for doing so, and then killed him.

How you don’t see the difference boggles my mind.

JohnnyReb

March 27th, 2012
4:26 pm

Wikipedia give a good explanation on Castle Law (doctrine), Stand Your Ground Law, and includes a list of states that do and donot have the laws.

What is important in this discusison is, some states and the District of Columbia do not have either law and may enforce a duty to retreat. That blows the right to self defense out of the water.

Jay

March 27th, 2012
4:26 pm

Common, Zimmerman had — and still has — a carry permit. Apparently his minor brushes with the law, resulting in no convictions, did not disqualify him. I’m not sure you can argue that they should have.

CJ

March 27th, 2012
4:27 pm

Martin was the one who attacked Zimmerman.

I’m not sure how Rick came to that conclusion. Marin was walking the streets with candy and a drink in his hand. He noticed that he was being followed by a man in a vehicle. He told his girlfriend that he was afraid. The girlfriend told him to run. He did. The man got out of his vehicle and chased him into peoples’ back yards.

For people who are so gung-ho on self-defense, I’m not sure why they would consider it a crime for Martin defend himself against somebody who is chasing him through the streets and yards of the subdivision, for no apparent reason. It seems that there is a double-standard here.

Whatever

March 27th, 2012
4:27 pm

Rick,

I don’t know much about this case but it is getting interesting that the first pictures I saw made him look like a kid and the shooter like a convict but the latest photos do not reflect either of those.

Bottom line, we’ll probably never know the real truth but both sides will try and skew it their way. Neither Zimmerman or Martin will be treated fairly under those conditions.

Fred ™

March 27th, 2012
4:27 pm

I guess Jay my question is the definition of “safely withdrawing.” And who defines it? Some idiot lawyer in court who wasn’t there?

Jay

March 27th, 2012
4:28 pm

What is important in this discusison is, some states and the District of Columbia do not have either law and may enforce a duty to retreat. That blows the right to self defense out of the water.

No, Johnny, it does not. Every state recognizes the basic right to defend yourself. “Stand your ground” has nothing to do with self defense.

Iliad

March 27th, 2012
4:28 pm

As an Englishman I find myself completely baffled by these laws but given that you have passed them I am still more baffled at their implementation. Surely the Stand Your Ground laws are grounds for defense in a prosecution, not a reason for not bringing a prosection at all.

It is a common principle of law that justice should be seen to be done, and that is clearly not what is happening here. The family and friends of Trayvon Martin have every right to expect that his killing should be fully investigated and tried before a jury. Similarly Mr Zimmerman has every right to face his peers and explain himself, dare I say it, stand his ground. By many accounts he is a responsible person who is distraught by what has happened. He is being vilified by many of his countrymen, even I understand to the point were a bounty has been placed on his head. Surely he too would want the facts brough into the open where he can make his case.

Why isn’t the Justice System working?

(ir)Rational

March 27th, 2012
4:29 pm

Fred – Eventually the courts will define it, but yeah, on an individual basis that will be decided by people who weren’t there.

Mary Elizabeth

March 27th, 2012
4:29 pm

“Florida’s now-infamous Stand Your Ground law, which lets you shoot someone you consider threatening without facing arrest, let alone prosecution, sounds crazy — and it is. And it’s tempting to dismiss this law as the work of ignorant yahoos. But similar laws have been pushed across the nation, not by ignorant yahoos but by big corporations. Specifically, language virtually identical to Florida’s law is featured in a template supplied to legislators in other states by the American Legislative Exchange Council. . . And if there is any silver lining to Trayvon Martin’s killing, it is that it might finally place a spotlight on what ALEC is doing to our society — and our democracy.”

Paul Krugman, NY Times, 3/25/12
———————————————————————————–

Those who wield power by stealthy and muscular tactics, will propagate that same mentality through laws in state legislatures throughout this nation, if they can accomplish that end through their power and wealth.

The cure for any brutality is not more brutality, but shining the light on its inherent cowardice, as well as on its source.

———————————————————
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/opinion/krugman-lobbyists-guns-and-money.html?_r=2&ref=opinion

HIPPOCRIT

March 27th, 2012
4:30 pm

D.C. has one of the highest murder rates in the country……. maybe is the citizens could “STAND THEIR GROUND” the murder rate would go down

Lord Help Us

March 27th, 2012
4:31 pm

‘Zimmerman had — and still has — a carry permit…’

I bet he wishes he did not have one now that he has killed a kid…

(ir)Rational

March 27th, 2012
4:31 pm

Fred – What I meant to say was “eventually the courts (meaning appeals/Supreme) will define it for everyone”

Jay

March 27th, 2012
4:31 pm

Iliad, as an American I’m baffled by those things as well.

Eric

March 27th, 2012
4:32 pm

(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

From what I can see it doesn’t really apply. Zimmerman has the right to stand his ground but from what has been leaked he was not standing his ground so to speak but pursuing trouble as one might say trouble….As I’ve been told on many occassions, if you go looking for trouble you will surley find it and find it he did. But it wasn’t until he engaged the youth that he found trouble and needed to stand his ground. Had ZImmerman not been pursuing Martin as the police dispatcher advised numerous times, Zimmerman would have never been in that position and Martin would still be alive today. Now even if Zimmerman caught up to Martin and Martin didn’t throw the first blow, this law still does not apply because Zimmerman at that point would have been acting in an unlawful manner by commiting assault hence giving up his right to use deadly force. Assault can be as little as grabbing someone forcefully so they can’t get away which may have happened here or a punch. If the overly zealous ZImmerman grabbed Martin (likely scenario) and Martin landed a punch and knocked Zimmerman to the ground at which time Martin saw the gun and started beating his headed into the ground it would be Martin who had the right to used deadly force to stand his ground out fear of death and Zimmerman goes to jail for murder or manslaughter. The stand your ground law does not state that you have to be a CWP/CCP holder in order to stand your ground so it says to me if you want to stand your ground unarmed you may do so and it does not state what deadly force may be, beating ones head on the ground would eventually be deadly force but had any of the other things happened such as assault on Zimmerman’s part he has no recourse under the intent or letter in my opinion of this law in Florida….If Martin threw the first punch then ZImmerman is lucky….This however we may never know because as my CCP instructor has stated practice makes a dead man and dead men tell no tales, good or bad. Meaning a one sided story is hard dispute unless physical evidence and witness testimony don’t add up with that story.

My hope is they get it right and they get that law out of there….Stand your ground in your house and retreat in public if you can…if not shoot the SOB…

Steve - USA (I support "None Of The Above")

March 27th, 2012
4:32 pm

IIiad – “Why isn’t the Justice System working?”

For certain segments of our society it has never really been fair. History carries a lot of weight in this discussion as a whole. It is hard to leave it out of this individual case even though it should be evaluated on how the facts come out.

HIPPOCRIT

March 27th, 2012
4:33 pm

just like the New Orleans Police stood their ground during the Katrina aftermath……….

JohnnyReb

March 27th, 2012
4:33 pm

Jay, you would debate a sign post. The fact is, some states enforce a duty to retreat. That means a duty to turn and run instead of defending yourself.

Castle Laws give the right to use deadly force within your home, in some states that could include your automobile.

Stand Your Ground laws give the right to use deadly force outside the home, in public. That would include using a gun if you legally carry.

There can be variations of the laws from state to state. However, there is no doubt that within a state having neither the court may enforce the duty to retreat law when you are trying to use the self defense law you believe to be universal.

hsn

March 27th, 2012
4:33 pm

The so-called “stand your ground” laws are not only stupid, they are also unjustified nonsensical laws that were enacted to hunt minorities who most of the elite see as “different,” and “dangerous.”

It is ALREADY LEGAL to defend yourself ANYWHERE if you are assaulted without cause. Why do we need some additional “stand your ground” laws? It absolutely makes no sense.

Example: If my neighbor and I have a minor dispute, I unexpectedly bump into him on an elevator where we are alone, I pull my gun and shoot him, all I have to do is to claim that he assaulted me first, and UNDER such a stupid law, an investigation would not even be necessary whether I am lying (and in this example, I am) or not. Of course, the victim is gone and can’t speak for himself.

Those who passed such laws sponsored by the NRA and forced it on the people would reap the violence they have sown.

Thulsa Doom with his boot on liberal throats

March 27th, 2012
4:34 pm

“George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch fanatic who shot Martin”

Aaaaaah. So in Jay’s unbiased view the man is now a fanatic.

Stonethrower

March 27th, 2012
4:34 pm

Another incident that proves we live in a post racial america.

Jay

March 27th, 2012
4:35 pm

Jay, you would debate a sign post.

Apparently, that’s just what I’ve been doing.

Matti

March 27th, 2012
4:35 pm

HAHAHAHA! Good one, Mr. Bookman. Hahahaha!

No Artificial Flavors

March 27th, 2012
4:36 pm

Stand your ground laws were passed in response to people being wrongly prosecuted under self defense statutes by do good DAs. Legislatures in an effort to preserve self defense took the law a step further. Perhaps the progressives should have been happy with existing self defense laws without seeking to prosecute the victims in so many cases.

Mighty Righty

March 27th, 2012
4:36 pm

I agree with Jay to a point, however I don’t think anyone should have to run from a person who has intent to harm that person. We now know that Travon was not the angel he has been portrayed as by a press anxious to create a story where this isn’t one. Having said that, Zimmerman should not have pursued Travon. To have follwed a suspicious person in his vehicle is one thing, getting out of that vehicle to confront Travon was asking for trouble. Now there wll be an investigation and the truth will be known.

Just cut it out already

March 27th, 2012
4:36 pm

“as an American I’m baffled by those things as well.”

THEN MOVE TO THE UNITED KINGDOM!!!

JamVet

March 27th, 2012
4:37 pm

just like the New Orleans Police stood their ground during the Katrina aftermath……….

Is it just me or does this guy seldom make any sense?

Steve - USA (I support "None Of The Above")

March 27th, 2012
4:37 pm

Jay – I apologize for getting into it with Fred on the other article. Not my finest moment. I hate when other people do it.

Fred – Live long and prosper.

Off to get a little exercise in.

Peadawg

March 27th, 2012
4:38 pm

“has no duty to retreat ” – Which according to Zimmerman’s side of the story, which many chose to ignore, ZIMMERMAN DID RETREAT. It was only when Tayvon followed him back to his car that Zimmerman fired the weapon in self defense.

But with the complete lack of evidence, we’ll never know.

Thulsa Doom with his boot on liberal throats

March 27th, 2012
4:38 pm

Stand your ground?

Well hell Zimm said he not only did not stand his ground but walked back to his truck where he was then attacked by Trayvon. Going by the law Zimm wasn’t even “standing his ground” since he was on his back getting his ass kicked accoring to an EYEWITNESS. If you can’t defend yourself when you are on your back getting your nose broken and getting your head pummeled into the concrete then when exactly are you legally allowed to defend your life??? WHEN???

They BOTH suck

March 27th, 2012
4:39 pm

“Now there wll be an investigation and the truth will be known.”

Let’s hope so………….

Logical Dude - slut and ho

March 27th, 2012
4:39 pm

Rick, Thank you for the link.

The Sanford police department didn’t even do an investigation and only went on the word of Zimmerman, so I have suspicions on just one party’s side of the story.

I also have suspicions on the whole police department right now based on the stepping down of the police chief over this.

The only facts that are relevant are: Did Zimmerman pursue the kid? Did he have a gun? Did he call the police and follow their recommendations on the call?

NOTHING ELSE MATTERS.

It does not matter which photo was used in the press.
It does not matter what the race of Zimmerman is (only if was a racially motivated crime).
It does not matter who are what the New Black Panther Party is.
It does not matter what the background of the victim is.
The only thing that matters is the action of the killer leading up to the killing.

Jay

March 27th, 2012
4:40 pm

“just like the New Orleans Police stood their ground during the Katrina aftermath……….

Yes, Hippocrit. JUST like it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/05/police-convicted-katrina-bridge-shootings

HIPPOCRIT

March 27th, 2012
4:40 pm

and O J didnt slice up his ex and ronnie boy
maybe one day that will catch the guy who did

and one day we might find out what happened to caylee anthony

there is no justice

only apporximations

Thulsa Doom with his boot on liberal throats

March 27th, 2012
4:41 pm

Artificial flavors do have a point that no one on here seems to have thought about. One controversial case and libs want to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Typical- Their emotions always get the better of them over rationale and logic.

Matti

March 27th, 2012
4:42 pm

I’m wondering how this SYG/NDTR law will affect our justice system with regard to incidents of domestic violence?

There are lots of women doing hard time for killing men who hurt them often and caused them to feel threatened every. Sure, Mrs. Winkler got off — sort of — but she had to cool her heels in jail and have a trial first. Not all women who stand their ground thusly are walking free to be abused again. Many are in jail because they finally fought back instead of doing their duty (as women) to retreat to a closet and cry.

Will the men who write these laws feel so comfortable about it when it’s their sister-in-law walking free as a Zimmerman? Hmmm…

HIPPOCRIT

March 27th, 2012
4:42 pm

we all have a duty to watch BOTH media and police/judicial system to make sure they are working

in this case the Sanford police did not do what they should have
and the media is only reporting bits and pieces

we must demand more

ByteMe - OB/GYN thug

March 27th, 2012
4:43 pm

The onlu people who want to defend their right to shoot people up close are the same people who have never shot anyone up close.

Just sayin’. It’s easy to fantasize, hard to live with the reality.

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 27th, 2012
4:43 pm

This is about the NRA flexing it’s muscles and supporting gun happy righties.

Disgusting.

ByteMe - OB/GYN thug

March 27th, 2012
4:43 pm

onlu? ick. ONLY.

HIPPOCRIT

March 27th, 2012
4:43 pm

just like we convicted the rich frat boys at duke years ago for raping that young black girl
justice was denied in that case

Stonethrower

March 27th, 2012
4:44 pm

Hey HIPPOCIRT, Thank God, but it took a jury of a diffenent racial make up to find him guilty in the wrongful death suit.

ByteMe - unarmed and dangerous thug

March 27th, 2012
4:44 pm

<– needs a new monicker again?

Fred ™

March 27th, 2012
4:45 pm

Steve – USA (I support “None Of The Above”)

March 27th, 2012
4:32 pm

IIiad – “Why isn’t the Justice System working?”

For certain segments of our society it has never really been fair. History carries a lot of weight in this discussion as a whole. It is hard to leave it out of this individual case even though it should be evaluated on how the facts come out.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Steve: Mr. Illiad has scores of examples of how the justice system doesn’t work in his own Cpountry. He merely needs to substitute Irish for Black to see travesties of justice for a lot longer than here. I’m not so sure I buy his crocodile tears until he pulls the plank out of his own Countries eyes………

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

March 27th, 2012
4:45 pm

Oh and ALEC had a hand in it as well.

Thulsa Doom with his boot on liberal throats

March 27th, 2012
4:46 pm

“has no duty to retreat ” – Which according to Zimmerman’s side of the story, which many chose to ignore, ZIMMERMAN DID RETREAT.”

And yet they continue to ignore that.

“It was only when Tayvon followed him back to his car that Zimmerman fired the weapon in self defense.”

Actually that is still incorrect. It was actually after Trayvon attacked him, was whuppin Zimm’s ass ACCORDING TO AN EYEWITNESS who also saw Zimm yelling “help me, help me” that Zimm shot him.

In the lib world facts do not matter. Only rhetorica, hyperbole, and misinformation.

ByteMe - unarmed and dangerous thug

March 27th, 2012
4:47 pm

One controversial case and libs want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Not one.

According to state crime stats, Florida averaged 12 “justifiable homicide” deaths a year from 2000-2004. After “Stand your Ground” was passed in 2005, the number of “justifiable” deaths has almost tripled to an average of 35 a year, an increase of 283% from 2005-2010. CBS4 Miami