Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Stand Your Ground Law in Florida|George Zimmerman a Free Man

A stand-your-ground law states that a person may use 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. The difference between immunity and a defense is that an immunity bars suit, charges, detention and arrest. A defense, such as an affirmative defense, permits a plaintiff or the state to seek civil damages or a criminal conviction but may offer mitigating circumstances that justifies the accused’s conduct. Drawing the line between murder and self-defense can be excruciatingly difficult — as demonstrated by the ongoing saga of the search for justice in the Trayvon Martin killing in Florida.
Fortunately, it’s a line that doesn’t have to be drawn very often. Claims of justifiable homicide are rare. And typically they involved people that have a previously relationship, more so domestic violence situations, or involvement of personal property, such as a home invasion.
Laws like the one invoked by the man who shot Martin — commonly known as stand-your-ground laws — were enacted in Florida, Michigan and other states in the middle of the last decade at the urging of gun-rights advocates concerned that innocent citizens who are victims of attack could face the threat of civil or even criminal prosecution.The laws generally provide legal immunity for someone who uses lethal force in response to what he or she reasonably believes is an imminent threat.
The presumption of innocence is lost, however, if the person using the force has no legal right to be where the confrontation takes place — for example, uninvited in the home of an ex-girlfriend — or is in the act of committing another crime, such as selling drugs. Arguably too, when Zimmerman continued to pursued Trayvon Martin on that fateful night even though he was specifically advised by 911 not to pursue.
There are limits. You can’t chase down and kill an intruder who has broken off contact and is fleeing — even inside your house. But with most killings within the home, the owner gets the benefit of the doubt. But on a public street, can someone just pick a person at random, make a subjective decision that the person is “suspicious” and pursue them? Now let’s say if the person being pursued feels threatened and tries to defend themselves because they have no where to run, can the original aggressor then become the victim? Can you truly be the aggressor then the victim? Really? If you ask me that’s having your cake and eating it too. Where there’s smoke there is typically fire. I ask the reader, should George Zimmerman have been carrying a gun? Should Zimmerman have continued the pursuit despite being told not to? Given George Zimmerman’s past legal issues, should he even have been licensed to carry a gun? Guys weigh in, should Zimmerman even be out on bond at this point????!!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are encouraged and welcome. If you like what you read please share.