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Trayvon Martin
Sanford, Florida, leaders are holding a special meeting late this afternoon to figure out where in the city of 55,000 they can hold their regular Monday night commission meeting.
City officials are anticipating a large crowd at Monday's meeting regarding the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, and commissioners tonight may consider changing the venue. [...]

Along with other city business not related to the Trayvon shooting, commissioners tonight also may consider drafting a resolution asking the Florida Legislature to amend or even repeal the Stand Your Ground law.

The commissioners are also going to have to figure out how to accommodate the huge media contingent that will be on hand to assess how they deal with the notoriety their police department's so-called investigation of the killing has brought upon their community.

Calls to reconsider the Stand Your Ground law have come from several officials, including Florida state Sen. Oscar Braynon (D), who represents the Senate district where Trayvon Martin's mother lives. He has called for legislative hearings into the law, which passed in 2005. He said: “This is a perfect case of where it goes awry. This could only be the beginning of more problems down the road. It has unintended consequences.”

Strongly backed by the National Rifle Association, that law makes it difficult for police to arrest someone who says he has shot another if the shooter claims he felt threatened. It's all about the shooter's feelings of danger; the views of witnesses are given less credibility in such cases. Sixteen other states have passed similar Stand Your Ground laws since Florida did. And the Martin shooting has not slowed down the NRA's pressure on state legislatures. Since the Feb. 26 killing, the gun rights sales organization has taken action in Minnesota, Alaska and Iowa in favor of such laws, which it calls "common-sense."

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. [...]

“When the Legislature passed this in 2005, I don’t think they planned for people who would go out and become vigilantes or be like some weird Batman who would go out and kill little kids like Trayvon,” said Braynon.

In fact, the authors of the Florida law agree with Braynon:
“They got the goods on him [shooter George Zimmerman]. They need to prosecute whoever shot the kid,” said [Sen. Durell] Peaden, a Crestview Republican who sponsored the deadly force law in 2005. “He has no protection under my law.”
Maybe. But case after case in Florida indicates that, if shooter George Zimmerman were to go to trial, he might be able to beat any charges against him given the precedent. Emphasis on might. As the courts have ruled, the law "does not require defendant to prove self-defense to any standard measuring assurance of truth, exigency, near certainty, or even mere probability; defendant's only burden is to offer facts from which his resort to force could have been reasonable."

It's anybody's guess whether Zimmerman could do that given all that has come to light regarding Martin's cellphone call to his girlfriend while Zimmerman was pursuing him and the racist nature of the call Zimmerman made to the police as he engaged in that pursuit and the latest information about some domestic violence in his history in this diary by Catullus. But step one in that process is actually getting Zimmerman into the dock.

•••

Update:

One councilman JUST asked the police chief in Sanford to STEP DOWN! http://t.co/... or turn to Ch. 9 now #TrayvonMartin
@DaraleneJones via web

•••

Sign our petition asking U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the Sanford Police Department's pattern of failing to prosecute violent crimes against African-Americans.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 01:11 PM PDT.

Also republished by Barriers and Bridges and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  asdf (11+ / 0-)

    Way too little; way too late; hate the NRA, Jeb Bush, and evil Rs elected & not.

    Tipped & rec'ed luv ur posts MB!!

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 01:16:49 PM PDT

  •  Odd what happens (20+ / 0-)

    when the nation is focused on your community for multiple reasons -- many historic -- many dealing with the great divide between white and not-white people.

    I hope it is videotaped -- if that is still legal in FL.

    Vi er alle norske " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

    by gchaucer2 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 01:18:44 PM PDT

  •  I hope this is all taped and broadcast (13+ / 0-)

    I can well believe that a city of 55000 would have difficulty finding a place for this

    I am so horrified by this

    www.tapestryofbronze.com

    by chloris creator on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 01:18:49 PM PDT

  •  Uh-huh. (17+ / 0-)

    I wonder, reading this, what the city council's position is? I'm sure some members must have been standing up for what's right in this case. And it sounds like they're trying to make space for the public to come, not shut them all out.

    Gods. This is just pure horror.

  •  Someone needs to get the NRA on camera (22+ / 0-)

    saying they still think this is a good law. And, correct me if I'm wrong, the Constitution doesn't say, "shoot first, ask questions later". It gives people like Zimmerman the right to own and carry but does not give them the right to shoot indiscriminantly.

    "What profit a man, if he gain the world, but has to pay taxes on it?" Paul 8:36

    From the Gospel of St. Ron Paul in the Teachings and Misunderstandings of the Words of Adam Smith

    by ontheleftcoast on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 01:29:49 PM PDT

    •  I'll put James O'Keefe right on it (NT) (5+ / 0-)

      (The above was probably snark, for the snark challenged) (The below was actually said by George W Bush in a press conference) I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

      by Tamifah on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:05:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why not call these laws what they really are? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ontheleftcoast, Vetwife

      They are "I'm ashamed of my small penis" laws.

      Same goes for all of the open/concealed carry laws.  These laws are favorites of frightened white beta males who need an artifice to establish their place in the macho hierarchy but can't afford to buy Porsches.  Luckily in Illinois we have so far avoided giving in to this BS.

      A real man does not need to brandish a firearm to be a man, and a real man is not afraid every black man is going to steal away his women.

      •  I'm even willing to allow the open carry laws (2+ / 0-)

        On a strict constitutional basis it says, "keep and bare arms". But when you pull the trigger you put yourself under the scrutiny of the law. This crazy ass law could allow someone to shoot a police officer. Imagine a plain clothes officer trying to arrest someone and pulls a gun, they feel threatened and fire back and kill the officer. Did they commit a crime or did they "stand their ground"? This law is horrible and will lead to more tragedy.

        "What profit a man, if he gain the world, but has to pay taxes on it?" Paul 8:36

        From the Gospel of St. Ron Paul in the Teachings and Misunderstandings of the Words of Adam Smith

        by ontheleftcoast on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 03:49:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Stand your ground basketball analogy (13+ / 0-)

    Guy drives the lane in a basketball game and a defender rushes over to stop him. He stops in the oncoming path of the charging player and usually takes a hard shoulder to the chest and goes flying. Ref blows the whistle and it seems that about half the time the offensive player gets called for a charge. If not, the defensive player gets called for the block if his feet weren't set or if his body was at the wrong angle.

    My question is, and I'm sure it will become one of the big legal questions here, what ground was Zimmerman standing on? Is it acceptable under this law for someone to establish someone else's path as their own ground and defend it to the death?

    i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

    by bobinson on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 01:33:01 PM PDT

    •  Yes. To expand on your question... (25+ / 0-)

      ...Can you stand your ground in the space you occupy on the fly after you stalk somebody and run after them when they speed away from you?

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 01:37:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  After getting OUT of your car (14+ / 0-)

        on purpose to get to that ground for the purpose of confrontation?

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 01:47:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That would go to show that at the point he (7+ / 0-)

          got out of the car and confronted Trayvon he wasn't wasn't in fear of his life.  Beyond that point we so far only have Zimmerman's word. The screaming and yelling is troublesome because how can they identify a voice they never heard or knew.  Trayvon was 6'3" and 17 years old. Unless he had a child's voice still you probably couldn't distinguish who's voice was screaming and yelling.  That being said my bet is on Zimmerman being tired and convicted of manslaughter.  The jury will likely find Zimmerman wasn't reasonable in his fear of his life being in danger even with a physical confrontation. But I wouldn't bet much.  

          Rick Perry is George Bush without brains.

          by thestructureguy on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:24:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The dispatcher told Zimmerman specifically (8+ / 0-)

        to NOT follow him. I heard this morning that the reason the cops went with Zimmerman's story is because his nose was bleeding. However, all the yelling for help was coming from Trayvon. After listening to those calls, why didn't the cops rethink this? I don't want to speculate as to their reasoning.

        Your left is my right---Mort Sahl

        by HappyinNM on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:10:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not a lawyer, but my bet is that Zimmerman (10+ / 0-)

        could tell truthfully relate what happened and still get away with the shooting, as long as Trayvon Martin made any kind of defensive move toward him (which wouldn't be surprising since he was clearly scared by Zimmerman's stalking him).

        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.
        http://www.leg.state.fl.us/...
        So if Zimmerman was following Trayvon and came up to him in a threatening manner, and Trayvon tried to push him away, Zimmerman can claim that he "reasonably believed" it was necessary to use deadly force because he thought Trayvon was acting funny, was high (remember he said something like "there's something wrong with this guy" about Trayvon earlier) or was casing houses in order to burglarize them. Zimmerman also claimed Trayvon was reaching for something at his waist.
        The law is completely and totally nuts. If there were a duty to retreat (which this law specifically declares there is not), Zimmerman would have been required to back off, and the whole thing might have ended with some angry words being thrown back and forth. But take a guy with a big desire for authority and importance, give him a gun, and provide him with legal justification for using the gun, and you get this kind of tragedy.
        The ironic thing is that this part of the law:
        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
        describes accurately Trayvon's position. He was not doing anything illegal and he had a right to be there. What he didn't have was a gun and a sick need to be important and in charge.

        We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

        by Tamar on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:26:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  which suggests (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobinson, Tamar

          that either could have shot the other and be fine.

        •  Yes, no, maybe... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bobinson, catullus, laker

          Trayvon was doing nothing unlawful, or even suspicious other than in the eyes of nutjob Zimmerman. Trayvon, according to the statute you linked,  could have pulled his gun and shot Zimmerman, if he'd had one.

          I was feeling pretty good about the likelihood that Zimmerman would be prosecuted and convicted after reading this on a CNN article today which said that

          The law states that a person "who is attacked" anywhere he is lawfully present 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."

          Importantly, a person cannot invoke this provision [the use of deadly force] if he is "engaged in unlawful activity" or "initially provokes the use of force against himself."

          Zimmerman was without question the initial provocateur in the incident, so it would seem that he had no right to use deadly force, even though Trayvon allegedly bloodied his nose.

          Unfortunately, I read the entire section of the Florida Code from which your link was taken, and found this:

          776.041 Use of force by aggressor.—The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:
          (1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or
          (2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself , unless:
          (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
          (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.

          So, unless I'm reading this wrong, the "Stand Your Ground" statute makes what Zimmerman did legal, so long as he can convince a jury that he felt in imminent danger, even though he initiated the entire conflict, and even though the same law seems to say that Trayvon would have been within his rights to shoot Zimmerman.

          How fucked up is that?

        •  "there's something wrong with this guy... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tamar, Cassandra Waites

          on msnbc this morning they played some of the 911 recordings featuring Zimmerman. That same phrase was used several times during those calls. A pattern, probably.

          Rmoney, the mayonnaise of modern politics; rich white pasty goo in a transparent container.

          by Sam Sara on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 05:06:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  If so (2+ / 0-)

        I wouldn't give a plug nickel for Zimmerman's chances of survival.  After all, he's a known hot head with a penchant for shooting people.  If he gets in the smallest tiff, the other person would have a reasonable fear and be within the law to drop him where he stands.  I can't help but wonder if there aren't people thinking this right now.

      •  I never knew this law existed and would (3+ / 0-)

        have been a little afraid, had I known.  Florida needs no police.  With laws like this, just stand your ground and don't wait for law enforcement.  Do away with the law or the law enforcement.. No sense in having both.

        We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

        by Vetwife on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 03:55:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Precidence... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamifah, Tamar, JayBat, bobinson

      It seems like in Florida, all you have to show is that your 'feelings' of being threatened are valid, and you are given permission to act as irrationally as you want.  In fact, in a perverse way, his racism MAY be a defense: "He was a black teenager in a white gated neighborhood - I felt threatened.'

      'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden

      by RichM on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:29:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe RichM - but it wasn't a white "only" gated (0+ / 0-)

        neighborhood. Trayvon was visiting a relative.

        By the way - do we know if Zimmerman even lived There?

        PLEASE, by all means possible, THINK for yourself? Then make a difference in the world; by doing something good for someone else today.

        by laserhaas on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:35:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  though I've read that the gated community (4+ / 0-)

        was not all white, but was somewhat mixed.
        That might make it harder to use the black-guy-in-a-white-neighborhood defense.
        On that subject, I remember hearing Fuhrman (the racist cop from the O.J. Simpson trial) on a public radio talk show in which he said that it was perfectly reasonable for him to stop an African American who was driving through a white neighborhood, because obviously the guy didn't belong there. Fuhrman couldn't seem to understand what was wrong with his thinking.

        We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

        by Tamar on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:39:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That was because Fuhrman was... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tamar

          ...on the force during the Daryl Gates years at the LAPD.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 04:00:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It was an astounding interview. Derek McGinty (3+ / 0-)

            was the host on one of our local public radio station (unfortunately he later shifted to a commercial TV station) and he's a balanced low-key kind of guy. He's African American, but on most of the shows, he took such a neutral stance you couldn't really tell anything about his background from what he was saying.
            But on this show you could almost hear his mouth dropping open. Although using no ugly words, Fuhrman was so openly racist it was mind-boggling. And it was clear that he didn't think there was anything wrong with what he was saying.

            Lots of people make cracks about the jury in the O.J. Simpson trial. I personally think Simpson was guilty, but I'm entirely sympathetic to the jury in the trial because the LAPD handled the whole thing so poorly and with Fuhrman as one of the star witnesses and evidence presented of his racism and his taking the 5th about planted evidence, I would definitely have had reasonable doubt about Simpson's guilt myself if I had been on the jury.

            We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

            by Tamar on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 05:40:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agreed with your OJ assessment. Our offices... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Tamar, catullus, Cassandra Waites

              ...were a block away from that trial venue, with the media armada camped out in the open space between us and the court. Besides everything else, they caused major traffic jams even worse than usual.

              Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

              by Meteor Blades on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 06:26:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Has Zimmerman has not been arrested yet? (10+ / 0-)

    WTF!!!!

    Stand your ground???  Against what??!!

    The Sanford police chief should be arrested by the FBI now!!

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 01:43:06 PM PDT

  •  By which twisted standard, no trigger-happy (10+ / 0-)

    wanton killing is forbidden.  Because there's always something that MIGHT have justified the shooting, if only that something had, you know ... existed.

    As the courts have ruled, the law "does not require defendant to prove self-defense to any standard measuring assurance of truth, exigency, near certainty, or even mere probability; defendant's only burden is to offer facts from which his resort to force could have been reasonable.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 01:46:01 PM PDT

    •  "have been reasonable" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamifah, lgmcp, RichM

      This is a civil suit standard.  The reasonableness test dates back to English common law and was incorporated into the US Uniform Commercial Code which governs the writing of contracts. The Supremes have blessed the "Reasonableness test" in civil matters when contract disputes  have made it to them.

      Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

      by JML9999 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:10:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Certainly "reasonableness" (6+ / 0-)

        is a well-established standard.  But this seems to be sliding from ACTUAL reasonableness in light of objective facts,  to POTENTIAL, hypothetically-possible reasonableness in the subjective view of any shooter.  

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:13:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  i dont get how it wouldnt apply to (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lgmcp, JML9999

        criminal matters though?

        (The above was probably snark, for the snark challenged) (The below was actually said by George W Bush in a press conference) I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

        by Tamifah on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:20:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It would in terms of Criminal Negligence (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          laserhaas, Tamifah

          but the application of reasonableness in criminal matters seems to have started in the 20th century if I'm reading wiki correctly.

          The term Legal Fiction also crops up.

          A legal fiction is a fact assumed or created by courts[1] which is then used in order to apply a legal rule which was not necessarily designed to be used in that way. For example, the rules of the United Kingdom Houses of Parliament specify that a Member of Parliament cannot resign from office, but since the law also states that a Member of Parliament who is appointed to a paid office of the Crown must either step down or stand for re-election, the effect of a resignation can be accomplished by appointment to such an office. The second rule is used to circumvent the first rule.

          Legal fictions may be counterintuitive in the sense that one might not normally view a certain fact or idea as established in the course of everyday life, but they are preserved to advance public policy and preserve the rights of certain individuals and institutions. A common example of a legal fiction is a corporation, which is regarded in many jurisdictions as a 'person' that has many of the same legal rights and responsibilities as a natural person.

          Legal fictions are mostly encountered under common law systems.

          This is the kind of stuff that apparently drives Justices like scalia crazy

          Response: If you "got it" you wouldn't be a republican

          by JML9999 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:35:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  And... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamifah

      As stated above, in looking at it, racism MIGHT be a valid defense.  "He was black in a white neighborhood, I was valid in thinking he may be a threat."

      'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden

      by RichM on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:30:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I read somewhere on dKos that 20% of this gated (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OleHippieChick

        community consists of black homeowners.   A ratio of 1 in 5 neighbors would make Travon's presence in no way rare or anomolous.    But I don't know who stated that or what were their sources.  

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:36:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It sounds like this law basically allows (35+ / 0-)

    an armed person to harass an unarmed person until he finally fights back and then the armed person gets to shoot him.

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    by NMDad on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 01:57:35 PM PDT

  •  Florida was the 1st w/law, now see what we have: (16+ / 0-)

    The GOP lawmakers have been busy.

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:04:25 PM PDT

  •  wonder if george Zimmerman will be there (nt) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    white blitz

    (The above was probably snark, for the snark challenged) (The below was actually said by George W Bush in a press conference) I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

    by Tamifah on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:04:43 PM PDT

  •  It has gone way beyond the 2nd amendment at (12+ / 0-)

    this point. It is no longer simply about owning or carrying a gun. It is about getting the right to settle your disputes with the gun.

    Putting it very plain and simple, if you fucking shoot somebody, the burden of proof should be on you that you absolutely had to kill the person. If you want to carry a gun, you need to do so responsibly and not expect to get off every time you pull it.

    This is about people who feel intimidated and want to kill those who intimidate/threaten them.

    In this case, it was a racist dude who is intimidated by black males. He probably feels completely justified. He was sick and tied of his feelings, that he himself created, of fear and intimidation.

    Enough is enough with this bullshit. Violence is not the answer.

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:04:52 PM PDT

    •  i respectfully disagree (3+ / 0-)

      this kid wasnt doing anything to george zimmerman except trying not to get away from him

      if george zimmerman is intimiated by black people, that is a flaw in his own personal character that had nothing to do with the kid

      (this is not snark i am serious)

      (for once)

      (The above was probably snark, for the snark challenged) (The below was actually said by George W Bush in a press conference) I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

      by Tamifah on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:08:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  1000 recs for this... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranger995, Eric Nelson, boophus

      It is not about being able to 'keep and bear arms' - it's about being able to use guns to settle a dispute.

      'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden

      by RichM on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:35:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A dispute or any shooting. The stand your ground.. (3+ / 0-)

        law shifts the burden from the shooter (in this case it was a gun) to the injured or the deceased (who can not defend him/herself).

        It's a terrible law that incentivizes eliminating a witness[es] which to the least morally sound person bent on hurting others out of race hate or whatever, would be the most attractive aspect of the law imo.

        Even law enforcement officers are held to more accountability (in theory at least) with a routine suspension and investigation to determine whether deadly force was necessary & justifiable.

    •  I have disagreed with the NRA on the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ranger995, Sam Sara, Cassandra Waites

      2nd amendment for years.  A well organized militia is not carrying a concealed weapon or packing .   I think if you own a weapon then it should be a rifle or shotgun..A hunting type gun.  I see no need for these semi automatics or super charged guns.  I know it may anger some here but I just don't think the second amendment is what the gun lovers think.   In the day of the 2nd amendment there were no police or local law.  No phones...no standing armies like we have today.  About as useful as the electoral college.  Out of date but just my opinion.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 04:11:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am with you. I think it just empowers people (4+ / 0-)

        to start conflicts and end them violently when there was no need.

        Of course, most of this site disagrees with us. I have to question though, why they insist on having laws like the "Stand Your Ground", which empowers people to use force, including guns, when they really just intend to peacefully tote their guns around and only use them when they absolutely have to.

        Why do they need the empowerment of laws like this?

        I don't know, but I am sick of the culture of violence.

        "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

        by ranger995 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 04:26:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think 'well-organized' needs to include (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Vetwife

        hands-on training requirements and proof of capacity to use the weapon if it is not an antique intended solely for investment or display in an unloaded state.

        I don't think I should ever own a gun. I've had just enough experience trying to shoot rifles to know I can hit the broad side of a barn and not much else. I have no criminal record and I'm good at retaining information and taking tests.

        I can hit the broad side of a barn and not much else. I can qualify for owning a firearm legally in a lot of places.

        The concept that someone like me can buy a gun and be convinced he or she can use it for self-defense in a crowded or semi-crowded place under the legal protection of Stand Your Ground laws frightens me.

        Prayers and best wishes to those in Japan.

        by Cassandra Waites on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 08:51:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I believe anything can be a weapon ..anything (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassandra Waites

          Now if I can make a weapon out of a ballpoint pen and I can with one jab to the eye.  Kick a knee and drop someone...a broken glass, a knife, a finger can be a weapon and yes it can be a weapon.  Then Stand your ground ..look at that law.. Does that just include lethal force or otherwise you are committing battery.  It appears to me it is way to commit murder .  If I were to render someone helpless until authorities arrive then I have stood my ground but I think any thing less than a firearm is not cosidered standing your ground.  that really needs to be looked at,  A gun is but a baseball bat isn't.  I want to look at that law closer because these laws can disappear if it is strictly a gun lobby ploy.  The Choose your weapon Sir does not apply.  

          We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

          by Vetwife on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 09:26:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The authors of the law should have (12+ / 0-)

    taken into consideration prosecutors' objections to it, before passing the law. The results of the law have been predictable.

    Could we finally get some public pushback to NRA/gun sellers influence on lawmakers?

    The sh*t those people [republicans] say just makes me weep for humanity! - Woody Harrelson

    by SoCalSal on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:05:23 PM PDT

  •  Uh... no it doesn't. (12+ / 0-)
    It has unintended consequences.”
    No, it doesn't. The law has exactly the consequences it intended. It allows the right kind of person to shoot the wrong kind of person.

    "The notion that a majority must have its way, whether in matters of opinion or in matters of personal conduct, is as pestilent and anti-democratic a notion as can possibly be conceived" Columbia University president N. M. Butler on the Scopes trial

    by teachme2night on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:09:43 PM PDT

    •  Welcome to florida, where you can shoot (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      True North, Tamar, teachme2night

      brown people

      (The above was probably snark, for the snark challenged) (The below was actually said by George W Bush in a press conference) I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

      by Tamifah on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:12:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ugh, so true. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamifah, teachme2night

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:20:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who is more valuable? (6+ / 0-)

      I bet the Florida police would have reacted quite differently to the man with gun standing over the body of the boy he killed if the boy he killed was one of the Bush clan. Or the son of a movie star. Or the son of the governor or a senator.

      Then they would not have just thrown up their hands in despair, nothing they can do. The shooter would have been detained in jail while an intensive investigation ensued.

      The police are on the front lines of deciding which human they think is more valuable: the shooter or the person who has been shot down in cold blood.

      Just like the southern state legislature that quickly revisited its fierce law against anybody "undocumented" when the sweep netted the executive of Mercedes Benz.

      •  Revisited thanks to the by-the-book cop (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        white blitz, catullus, True North

        who applied the "undocumented" law in an  equitable manner, even though the Benz driver was obviously white and prosperous.  

        It doesn't happen often enough, but it happens.  

        "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

        by lgmcp on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:32:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That I appreciate (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lgmcp

          The legislature, on the other hand, that was so sure that nobody except poor brown people--specifically, Mexicans--would be captured--was shown to be utterly racist in adopting that law in the first place, and then rushing to amend it when the Mercedes Benz executive was taken into custody.

          I hope that Mercedes Benz, the company, has learned something about that state and its government from this experience.

          But you are quite right about the integrity of the cop who applied the law as written.

          When it comes to the Stand Proudly Over the Dead Body of Your Victim Law, though, I suspect that cops throughout Florida will be bending the law--insofar as investigations go--in the direction of 100% thorough investigations for some victims, and the non-existent investigation for others, like this poor lad.

  •  So you're telling me... (6+ / 0-)

    All I have to do is feel threatened?  So, I can gun down any girl that's hotter than me because I feel threatened???  Or ... do you mean, "makes me feel uncomfortable"?  Because, kids in wheelchairs make me feel uncomfortable and "threatened".  (e.g. TSA 3 year-old boy in a cast and in a wheelchair patted down and swabbed for gun powder.)  Developmentally disabled people make me uncomfortable, too.  *Who would have thought there'd be so many good excuses to go on a shooting spree?  

    *snark, obviously.  

    These are not the droids you're looking for. Move along.

    by darlalalala on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:12:42 PM PDT

  •  So basically, murder is legal in Florida (6+ / 0-)

    assuming you're a white guy and feel threatened by a black person. That's really what this law is about anyway, right? I can't believe that it is even constitutional. Could SYG ever get to the Supreme Court?

    •  Close (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OleHippieChick, boophus
      So basically, murder is legal in Florida assuming you're a white guy and feel threatened by don't like a black person.
      Because most of us don't chase people we feel threatened by, and then get out of the car to approach them.

      "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

      by lgmcp on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:59:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Zimmerman was hunting, not defending. (8+ / 0-)

    I'm not sure what the law has to do with it.

    ps. I signed the petition yesterday.

    The finest and highest attribute of wealth is the ability to accomplish significant directed good.

    by Boris49 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:20:19 PM PDT

    •  but the law doesn't say that you have to have been (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, Mindful Nature, Eric Nelson, JayBat

      minding your own business in order for the use of deadly force to be legal.

      We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

      by Tamar on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:45:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The law makes it legal (0+ / 0-)

      Zimmerman chasing Martin has absolutely nothing to do with it. He could have chased him down the street, tackled him then got scared that Martin was going to beat the shit out of him, then shot him.

      Perfectly legal according to Florida 776.013(3). Read it. It's actually in plain
      English for a statute.

      -Jay-
      
      •  Not exactly. Your link is to home invasion. (0+ / 0-)
        Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
        (1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony;
        Zimmerman has no standing under these provisions.

        The finest and highest attribute of wealth is the ability to accomplish significant directed good.

        by Boris49 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 03:26:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nope, sorry, Boris. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          boophus

          776.013(3) is the statute in question. When I follow my own link, the string "person is justified" does not even appear!

          Here is the full text of 776.013.

          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.
          •  I'm confused. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            JayBat
            776.013 Home protection
            You're not in the correct section of the law, as near as I can figure.  You are in "Home protection".

            Does not directly apply imho.  

            The finest and highest attribute of wealth is the ability to accomplish significant directed good.

            by Boris49 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 03:48:52 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Boris, the entire point of the folks (0+ / 0-)

              who like "stand your ground" laws is to extend to the entire state the protections that shooters would otherwise have only in their own home.

              Hence the other nickname for these laws-- "extended castle".

              776.013(3) is the operative statute that Sanford cops used to turn Zimmerman loose. What part of "any other place where he or she has a right to be" is unclear?

              -Jay-
              
            •  The relevant part is paragraph 3 (6+ / 0-)
              (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.
              Zimmerman most likely had "the right to be" on that particular piece of sidewalk (or wherever the final confrontation took place -- assuming that it wasn't in someone's yard), so the remaining issues are (a) whether he was "attacked" by Martin and (b) whether he reasonably believed that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent his own death or great bodily harm.

              The  greatest problem is that the wording of the statute has led the Florida courts to have determined that the burden of proof is on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person asserting self defense did not act in self defense, rather than the other way around (which is what the majority of jurisdictions still require).

              We must drive the special interests out of politics.… There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will neither be a short not an easy task, but it can be done. -- Teddy Roosevelt

              by NoMoJoe on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 04:14:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Affirmative defense? (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JayBat, catullus

                I'm not a lawyer, so I'm not sure.  But doesn't Zimmerman have to meet the requirements of an affirmative defense?  I'm not sure where the case law stands presently, but self-defense in Florida (in the past) required the defense to demonstrate compliance with the law.

                We certainly can't believe everthing that has been said to date in the media, but it certainly appears that Zimmerman has a major uphill slog to demonstrate that:  1) he had a right to be where he was, 2) that deadly force was justified in the circumstances.

                The finest and highest attribute of wealth is the ability to accomplish significant directed good.

                by Boris49 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 04:26:07 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, I see that 776.012(1) and 776.013(3) (0+ / 0-)

              Have equivalent and redundant wording as it relates to this case. Either clause works.

              No retreat and deadly force based on reasonable belief of great bodily harm, at any location. Why they felt they had to say it twice, I have no idea.  Probably just sloppy.

              Boris, why do you say Zimmerman has no standing under 776.012(1)? Because of the "unlawful force" wording? But Zimmerman says Martin attacked him.  Assault = unlawful force.

              -Jay-
              
              •  Force must be reasonable in the circumstances. (4+ / 0-)

                Zimmerman must prove that he believed his life was in imminent peril and that the force he used was solely what was necessary to remove the peril.

                We need to get past the point where Zimmerman had a right to predation.  He didn't.  He had no implied authority to confront Martin.  If he was in fear for his life or great bodily harm, a reasonable man would have backed off and waited for the police.  He didn't meet that test.

                If Martin was hostile (alleged) Zimmerman still has no right to draw his weapon as a private citizen.  He solely has a right to carry the weapon concealed on his person. There is no other privilege.

                I hope this gets to the Federal level.  Zimmerman clearly violated Martin's civil rights.  It's another bite at the apple if Florida botches it (Casey Anthony case, as an example).

                The finest and highest attribute of wealth is the ability to accomplish significant directed good.

                by Boris49 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 05:03:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Thanks. I hope you are correct. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  catullus

                  If Zimmerman contends that he walked after Martin and politely asked him where he was from and what he was doing in the neighborhood, and that Martin punched him in the face (the bloody nose mentioned in some news reports), why does that not trigger "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"?

                  Martin is dead, the police apparently did no investigation to independently ascertain the facts on the ground one way or the other. Why doesn't Zimmerman walk?

                  In any case, I hope you're right, and hope no more innocents have to die before these "stand your ground" laws are repealed.

                  -Jay-
                  
                •  That's Not (0+ / 0-)

                  How the Florida courts have interpreted the statute.  In fact, they have concluded the opposite:  that pretty much as long as a defendant introduces any facts from which a claim of self-defense is plausible (what we lawyers call a scintilla of evidence) the burden is on the prosecution to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it WASN'T self defense.

                  If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

                  by shanikka on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:45:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  The Title of a Statutory Section (0+ / 0-)

              Is largely irrelevant to analysis of the actual statute.  Many laypersons make the mistake of assuming differently.

              The applicable provision of the statute to the Trayvon Martin killing is subsection (3), which places no limitations upon the location of the killing/murder if the affirmative claim of self-defense has been made:

              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.
              The key location provision in this section is "any other place where he or she has a right to be."  That is broad enough to encompass the public streets, since of course all of us have a right to be there absent a curfew of some kind.

              If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

              by shanikka on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:43:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I disagree. (4+ / 0-)

        The fact that Zimmerman was basically the aggressor makes a huge difference. I think the testimony of the girl on the other end of the phone with Trayvon will be pivotal.

        It seems more logical and reasonable that "Stand Your Ground" would have applied to Trayvon, who was being followed and harassed. Was he attacked by Zimmerman? Or could one reasonably feel threatened for his life by being chased down in this situation? We'll see.

        "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."

        I just don't get how you read "randomly chase someone down and tackle him then shoot him in self-defense" in this statute. I don't see that at all.

        •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

          Even if Trayvon was engaged in a minor crime....say tagging...Zimmerman has no right to the use of deadly force.  

          This case should be a slam dunk.  Zimmerman should get life.

          The finest and highest attribute of wealth is the ability to accomplish significant directed good.

          by Boris49 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 04:09:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It didn't make any difference in a shootout (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          shanikka

          between two rival gangs.  Both were charged and had all charges dismissed by the court thanks to that law.  

          There is no saving throw against stupid.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 05:51:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't get how that applies, though. (0+ / 0-)

            Two rival gangs in a shoot out? I can actually see how that would work.

            Like I said, I'm not a fan of the law -- from what I know, but I'd be amazed at this point if Zimmerman can pull a free-and-clear self-defense since he was at least the aggressor, if not the attacker.

            Anyways, we're all armchair lawyers at this point. Important to follow. So glad to see social media creating movement on this.

            •  Well, at least one laywer in Florida has said (0+ / 0-)

              that even with all the new evidence it will still be incredibly difficult to convict.  Hopefully more actual lawyers will weigh in.

              There is no saving throw against stupid.

              by Throw The Bums Out on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 08:21:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  In the Gang Shooting Case (0+ / 0-)

              The reason it matters is because the gangs were not charged with killing each other - amongst other charges they were charged with killing an innocent 15-year old bystander who happened to get hit in the firefight.

              They raised the defense under the stand your ground statute.  They made no claim that the 15-year old they killed was a threat to them.  Instead, they claimed they were acting in self-defense against each other to that charge of murder of the child.

              The judge was forced to dismiss the manslaughter charges as it related to the child on that ground (as well as the other many charges that accrued from that shootout on the public streets.)  The state has appealed, so we will see, but I don't have my hopes up.

              Here's the story Rival Gangs Use Stand Your Ground Law to Avoid Charges from Killing a Bystander Child

              If you don't stand for something, you will go for anything. Visit Maat's Feather

              by shanikka on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 07:53:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Need a list of the states... (6+ / 0-)

    I'm going to have to get a list of the states that have passed this.

    You could say that all these states are just more egalitarian than MI5: everybody is 007 with a license to kill.

    I doubt anyone will target me specifically if I am passing through the state, but there's bound to be a lot of random cross-fire in addition to the murderous gunning down of passersby.

  •  The thing is, though... (7+ / 0-)

    ...that the law in question does not protect the actions Zimmerman is alleged to have performed.

    If, as is alleged, Zimmerman was pursuing Martin, then this law does not shield his actions in any way.  Pursuing would completely mitigate any notion of self-defense, whether under a "stand your ground" law or any other.  

    In other words, if he was chasing the kid, he was certainly not standing his ground.

    Self-defense is not vigilantism.

    Zimmerman should, in my opinion, be investigated and, if the facts warrant (and I believe they do, with what limited information I have available), he should be charged and prosecuted and if found guilty, punished to the fullest extent of the law.  

    All of that, however, is beside the point.  The law in question simply does not shield his actions.  Sure, if he goes to trial, he might get off -- just like any other jury trial might let a guilty person walk.  That's the nature of juries.

    Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

    by theatre goon on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:21:06 PM PDT

    •  Agreed in theory. In practice, what has been... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson, OleHippieChick, catullus

      ...happening is that Floridians HAVE been getting off in great part because cops feel they can't arrest and prosecutors feel they can't prosecute.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:31:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Other cases aside (important... (0+ / 0-)

        ...but perhaps not revlevant to this one.)

        I agree with theatre goon.

        I'm not necessarily a fan of the law, mind you. It just really truly doesn't even apply here. Even if the cops thought it did. (Which is bullshit, imo. The cops were at best being lazy. And at worst completely blinded by prejudice.)

        This law may be terrible, but this case does nothing to make that case.

        •  There have been reports that the law... (4+ / 0-)

          ...has made both cops and prosecutors (ahem) gun-shy in cases where self-defense is claimed. If that's true, then I believe the law itself (and how it's been interpreted) may well have had an impact on the handling of this case. Obviously, none of us knows what the outcome will be when the grand jury gets done. If the Brevard/Seminole counties state attorney goes into that jury determined to indict, I'll wager that's what will happen because most grand juries at that level are pretty much lockstep with the prosecutors.

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 04:28:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I see what you are saying. Very true. (0+ / 0-)

            I feel like it's almost an excuse in this case, rather than a realistic application. "Oh, yeah. Self-defense." ::Vague invocation of "Stand Your Ground":: ::Zimmerman walks::

            Prosecutors can't do their job if the cops let people go.

      •  So all these cases are moot, they get off, (0+ / 0-)

        and people believe there are no repercussions to this dumbass law because the cases cancel themselves out. Dayum.

        Please sign the White House petition to Flush Rush from AFN (Armed Forces Network).

        by OleHippieChick on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 05:04:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm curious. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boophus

      Here is the full text of Florida 776.013(3):

      (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.
      Where does it say the shooter cannot pursue? I don't see it.

      Since it is not illegal to chase the victim down the street, and it's not illegal to, say, grab the victim by the shoulder and yell racial epithets at him, it looks to me like I am good to pull the trigger according to the law as long as I believe the victim is about to beat the shit out of me. It is a truly evil statute. What am i missing?

      -Jay-
      

      •  You posted it yourself. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayBat

        The material you posted states when a person is legally entitled to use deadly force -- while in pursuit of another person is not listed as one of those times.

        It is, in fact, illegal to, as you put it, chase someone down the street, grab the victim by the shoulder and yell racial epithets at him -- that would fall under assault and battery laws.

        You are missing the specifics of the law itself -- from the link you provided, it goes into fair detail about when force, including deadly force, may be used in self-defense.  I see no way the situation you describe (in which one pursues and grabs a victim, while yelling racial epithets) is protected.

        You seem to be assuming that if something is not specifically ruled out under the statute, then it is acceptable.  This is not the case -- it states what is acceptable, and only those things are acceptable.

        I'm not trying to be pedantic here, but that does seem to be a pretty common misconception about this law -- that since it doesn't specifically say you can't shoot someone because they look wrong to you, it means that you can.  This is not the case.  

        Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

        by theatre goon on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 04:14:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Let me clarify that. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          JayBat

          Upon reading my own comment again, it's not particularly clear what I mean.

          Just because this particular law does not, specifically, state that you can't do a certain thing does not mean it allows it.

          The law also does not state that I cannot smoke marijuana in a restaurant.  That doesn't mean it is now legal to do so, or that I can use this law as a defense if I do so.

          So, you are correct that the law does not specifically rule out vigilante actions -- such as pursuing and attacking someone not breaking any law -- but that does not mean it makes it legal to do so.

          It states specifically when force may be used in self-defense.  Absent those conditions, the use of force is not self-defense.  

          Those conditions were not met in this case, therefore, this law does not protect the actions Zimmerman allegedly took.

          I hope that is more clear.

          Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

          by theatre goon on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 04:24:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The Sanford PD apparently does not see it your way (0+ / 0-)

          If you are correct, that has not stopped the Sanford PD and city/county prosecutors from using this law to allow Zimmerman to walk.

          You are correct that the scenario I described is arguably assault (running after and yelling) and battery (shoulder grab), though I've never heard of someone prosecuted for that kind of action unless the victim was a cop.

          Since Zimmerman is not likely to confess to anything like that, and since the other eyewitness is conveniently dead, I guess that is a little bit academic. Zimmerman is going to say that he calmly walked after Martin, politely asked him who/what/where, got punched in the face in reply, and "believed he was going to receive great bodily harm".

          If a jury accepts that, why doesn't Zimmerman walk (potential Federal civil rights prosecution aside)?

          I am not being deliberately obtuse here. It seems to me what Zimmerman did was on the edge but exactly in line with what the law's authors intended.

          •  My opinion? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            KVoimakas

            And it is only that -- opinion -- but I can think of a few different reasons for why the local police have done, or, more accurately, not done, in this case.

            They could be waiting until they've gotten all of the pertinent information/evidence together.  Sometimes it's better to not actually arrest someone immediately -- once someone has been arrested, the rules do change regarding how the police have to treat them.  

            They could be using this law as an excuse to not charge someone whose actions they actually agree with.  If that is the case, the are mis-reading the law as much as anyone else has.

            The state police have taken up the matter -- it could be that the locals were waiting for exactly that.

            It could be that prosecutors would rather not prosecute a case that might make them look bad, either because they could lose or because it could be construed as them being "soft on crime."

            There's a few possibilities -- any one of which seem, to me, a reasonable assumption.  That is not to say, by any means, I agree with any of those reasons, if it turns out that one or more of them is the case -- only that I can see them as explanations.

            I do disagree with this:

            It seems to me what Zimmerman did was on the edge but exactly in line with what the law's authors intended.
            My emphasis.

            I believe the law was intended for exactly what it was said it was intended for -- to allow for effective self-defense in more areas than only the home.  I, for one, have never particularly agreed with laws requiring one to have to attempt retreat before they are allowed to defend themselves.  Often, that makes it more difficult or impossible to effectively defend oneself.

            It could be that the law ends up doing something other than that, but not from the way it is actually written.  It is simply not written in such a way to defend Zimmerman's alleged actions -- what he did in no way fit into what the law defines as acceptable self-defense.

            Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

            by theatre goon on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 07:44:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ah, I see. (0+ / 0-)

              You are a stand-your-ground law defender. I'm afraid we'll disagree, then.  All the best.

              -Jay-
              
              •  I defend the actual law. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KVoimakas

                I would not, however, defend it if it were actually the way it has been portrayed here.

                I'm starting to think that the biggest part of the confusion is that too many people are reading the requirement for reasonable belief of bodily harm as "whenever I feel like it," and that is simply not the case.

                People are trying to put a lot of fault on this particular law that it does not deserve, by saying that it says things it does not.

                Sadly, this isn't all that uncommon.

                Yes, I often dress as a pirate. Your point?

                by theatre goon on Thu Mar 22, 2012 at 03:59:32 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  justifiable homicides have tripled in Florida (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OleHippieChick

      http://www.cnn.com/...

      In light of the shift in the law, it's not surprising that since the law went into effect, reports of justifiable homicides have tripled, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

      Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

      by Just Bob on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 03:40:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unassing the car (3+ / 0-)

    and then complaining of risk? After calling 911 and told to keep going? This is not going to end well.

  •  Last I heard... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tamifah, white blitz

    This is going to a Grand Jury.

    It's not white on black...it's Hispanic on black.  It's a conundrum for those that are all about "people of color" issues, no doubt.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:23:43 PM PDT

  •  I would hesitate to conclude (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tamifah, Tamar, lgmcp

    that the count of "justifiable homicides" is, or ever was, accurate.  There are two obvious possibilities:  More people are getting shot, or police are more willing to call a given incident justifiable.

    Ask your barista what her degree is in.

    by happymisanthropy on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:26:22 PM PDT

  •  Politicians... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tamifah, OleHippieChick, MA Mom, Just Bob

    Must be the most present-minded people in the nation.  And that is saying something, considering our business climate:

    “When the Legislature passed this in 2005, I don’t think they planned for people who would go out and become vigilantes or be like some weird Batman who would go out and kill little kids like Trayvon,” said Braynon.
    Really?  REALLY?!?  I'm so sick of the 'nobody could have predicted' crap.  These laws are passed to solve what problem, actually?  Oh, I know, flagging gun sales.

    'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden

    by RichM on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:26:30 PM PDT

  •  Stand your ground (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    laserhaas, Tamifah, OleHippieChick

    in Florida and other states is nothing more than a license to kill!!!  And that is exactly what Zimmerman did and I will bet he is not the first.  How many other murders are running around because they claimed they "felt threatened".

    But republicans and the NRA want the whole country to become like the wild west where people just go around shooting other people without any consequences.  

  •  This is Bull S... Zimm was told by the police to (3+ / 0-)

    stand down. Is documented saying "they always get away" = STALKED Trayvon and used the racial slur.

    This is a HATE crime.

    PLEASE, by all means possible, THINK for yourself? Then make a difference in the world; by doing something good for someone else today.

    by laserhaas on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:30:18 PM PDT

  •  I can't say what I want to say about this n/t (3+ / 0-)

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:30:33 PM PDT

  •  I've read much commentary today .... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZappoDave

    from the crazies supporting Zimmerman's actions making claims I have not heard presented anywhere:  that Zimmerman suffered a broken nose during the interaction with Martin and that he was taken to the hospital afterwards. I'm calling it BS, but has anyone else heard anything like this reported in a legitimate source?

    'Destroying America, One middle class family and one civil liberty at a time: Today's GOP'

    by emsprater on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:30:41 PM PDT

    •  Even if he did... so what? (7+ / 0-)

      If I accost you on the street you have the right to defend yourself.

      If you turn out to be better at defending yourself then I am at accosting you and I suffer injuries as a result no crime has been committed. You have a right to defend yourself.

      In the same scenario if I suffer broken bones and you suffer bruises and a bloody lip then I should be charged with causing your bruises and bloody lip. You shouldn't be charged with anything because your act was in self defense.

      Now to the specifics as I understand them...

      If I accost you on the street and you defend yourself and break my nose and I shoot you in response then I am guilty of murder and cannot claim self-defense even if you are better at defending yourself then I am at accosting you.

      According to every report I am reading Zimmerman created the event. He was the aggressor and no claims of "neighborhood watch" or changes that fact.

      "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

      by Andrew C White on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:36:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh I heartily agree 'so what' ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Andrew C White, lgmcp, Eric Nelson

        my query is why they are trying to trot this out now as opposed to why it was not part of the original reporting .... I doubt it's truth.  I suspect it's more attempts to rewrite the 'facts' in support of their idol.

        There's absolutely NO doubt that Zimmerman created a confrontation, period.

        'Destroying America, One middle class family and one civil liberty at a time: Today's GOP'

        by emsprater on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:41:32 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's simple (0+ / 0-)

          the black guy did it!

          The White Jury of Public Opinion (WJPO) will exonerate the white guy because obviously the black guy was the aggressor. Broken nose being the "obvious" evidence. Don't confuse the issue with facts about who started it. The black guy had the temerity to strike back. Black guys aren't allowed to defend themselves against white guys. but white guys are allowed to shoot black guys if they "feel threatened" by the scary black man.

          "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

          by Andrew C White on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:47:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Hate to suggest this, but... (5+ / 0-)

    As I see it Trayvon, had he had a gun, could have shot first and then made the same "I felt threatened" claim as Zimmerman.

    But the sad and frightening question is, will folks of color now begin to shoot a bit sooner?

    It's hard to imagine that this law wasn't passed with the hidden intention of dividing folks further along racial and ethnic lines.

    "We will find fulfillment not in the goods that we have, but in the good we can do for each other." ~ RFK

    by paz3 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:34:04 PM PDT

  •  The Make My Day law is an ass (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    laserhaas

    and should be rescinded.
    Zimm is a stalker and hate murderer.
    Fuck this shit.

    Please sign the White House petition to Flush Rush from AFN (Armed Forces Network).

    by OleHippieChick on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:34:42 PM PDT

  •  Where is Disney in all this? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites

    Orlando, last time I checked, is home to Disney World and a tourism hot-spot. Why would a powerful corporation with a vested interest in keeping people coming to the state not lobby against a law like this?

    If I were them I might not like my customers to get the idea that they could get legally gunned down by some yahoo that has decided that they looked "threatening."

    The only difference between (Mitt) Romney and George W. Bush is that Romney hasn't destroyed the American economy, yet - MoT

    by Herodotus Prime on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:42:40 PM PDT

  •  Charge Jeb Bush with accessory to murder. (0+ / 0-)

    This is exactly what was visualized by Florida "lawmakers"— that the police can outsource street justice to vigilantes, cop wannabes, and anyone with a gun and a grudge.

    Charge Jeb Bush with conspiracy to murder. Wow, he and his brother already hold the record for most executions by one family in America, now his legacy continues. He can beat W yet by authorizing racist thugs to shoot to kill whomever they please.

    I'll be Jeb's character witness — he has none.

    Honesty is not a policy, it's a character trait.

    by Says Who on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 02:55:12 PM PDT

  •  Disgusting (0+ / 0-)

    Why isn't Police Chief Lee Jr. being arrested?  This is nowhere near a "Stand Your Ground" case. He's either incompetent or racist, but either way he must be fired and arrested for allowing a murderer to be set free with his loaded weapon after he gunned this kid down.

  •  Occupy the NRA (0+ / 0-)

    They have blood on their hands but are getting off way too easy.

    I'm an American Liberal. Blogging in between family, work and activism time.

    by AlphaLiberal on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 03:30:18 PM PDT

  •  Well, you're an idiot (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cassandra Waites
    "I don’t think they planned for people who would go out and become vigilantes or be like some weird Batman..."
    Well, you're an idiot.

    F*ck those idiots and the voters they rode in on.

    by roninkai on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 03:33:06 PM PDT

    •  Well he's right, THEY didn't plan at all! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites

      It was as appalling then as now. I'm surprised they didn't pass the goddamned Guns in Bars to go along with this beaut of a POS law.

      Anyone could have seen this coming by a mile. And now that I'm putting it together, this crime, this murder, was played down.

      How many other murders masquerading as some Stand Your Ground crap have been downplayed, labeled self defense or something else?

      The hearsay stats were supposedly real rosy all along -- oh, nobody was using the law just to shoot people, oh, no. The whole thing, all incidents like this or smelling of this M.O., needs a shakedown.

      I am fucking furious with R-Floorduhhhhhhh..

      Please sign the White House petition to Flush Rush from AFN (Armed Forces Network).

      by OleHippieChick on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 04:17:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  NRA (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OleHippieChick

    The "correction" in this post is apropos: the NRA really IS a "sales" organization.

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