Skip to comments.Why Trayvonís killer should be acquitted
Posted on 04/25/2012 7:31:39 AM PDT by marktwain
Critics of Floridas self-defense law object to its recognition of a right to stand your ground in public places, which eliminated the duty to retreat from an assailant. Yet many of these critics seem to believe they have a duty to stand their ground and never retreat, using George Zimmermans shooting of Trayvon Martin as a weapon to attack Floridas law, no matter what the evidence shows.
The emphasis on the right to stand your ground is puzzling in the context of the Martin case, since Zimmermans defense does not seem to rely on it. The 28-year-old neighborhood watch volunteer, who was released on bail this week after being charged with second-degree murder in connection with the Feb. 26 shooting in Sanford, told police the unarmed teenager knocked him down with a punch to the face and pinned him to the ground, repeatedly smacking his head against the pavement. By Zimmermans account, then, he had no opportunity to retreat.
Floridas law also has been blamed for delaying Zimmermans arrest, and it did require that police have probable cause to believe the shooting was unlawful. But this is the same standard that applies to arrests for all other crimes.
One unusual aspect of Floridas law that will be apparent in this case is that Zimmerman has a right to a pretrial hearing at which he can try to convince Judge Kenneth Lester, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he acted in self-defense. If he can meet that standard of proof, which requires showing it is more likely than not that his use of force was appropriate, the charge against him will be dismissed. But even if he went to trial, he would be (or at least should be) acquitted with that much evidence in his favor, since the prosecution has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that he wasnt acting in self-defense which, as Northern Kentucky University law professor Michael J.Z. Mannheimer pointed out, would be true in virtually every state.
Zimmermans defense is that he was attacked and reasonably believe[d] shooting Martin was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm. Contrary to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who is leading a national campaign against Florida-style self-defense laws, that does not mean people make their own decisions as to whether someone is threatening or not and therefore have a license to murder. The threat assessment has to be reasonable.
Even if the Trayvon Martin case does not really illustrate the shortcomings of Floridas law, it is possible that eliminating the duty to retreat in public places, combined with reinforcing the castle doctrine (which applies to home invasions) and extending it to vehicles, has encouraged avoidable escalations of violence. The laws opponents note that the annual number of justifiable homicides in Florida (excluding police shootings) nearly tripled after the law was passed in 2005, from an average of 12 from 2000 to 2004 to an average of 35 from 2006 to 2010.
Still, you would expect to see an increase in homicides deemed to be justified even if the law were working as intended. The crucial question, which the task force appointed last week by Gov. Rick Scott presumably will ask, is whether these homicides should be deemed justified.
It is worth noting that Floridas violent crime rate, which fell 12 percent in the five years before the stand your ground law was enacted, fell 23 percent in the five years afterward. Since 1987, when Florida adopted a nondiscretionary carry permit law that the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence blames for year after year of carnage, the states violent crime rate has been cut nearly in half.
The unlawful killing of a human being, when perpetrated by any act imminently dangerous to another and evincing a depraved mind regardless of human life, although without any premeditated design to effect the death of any particular individual, is murder in the second degree and constitutes a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. (3) When a person is killed in the perpetration of, or in the attempt to perpetrate, any:(removed for brevity ... drugs, sexual battery, robbery, kidnapping, escape ...)
by a person other than the person engaged in the perpetration of or in the attempt to perpetrate such felony, the person perpetrating or attempting to perpetrate such felony is guilty of murder in the second degree, which constitutes a felony of the first degree, punishable by imprisonment for a term of years not exceeding life or as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
Based upon the information made available, they will have to prove that Zimmerman was of a 'depraved mind' when he killed Trayvon. This is nearly impossible to prove, expecially when the evidence shows Trayvon pounding Zimmermans head against the sidewalk at that point in time.
Zimmerman shouldn’t even go to trial.
He shouldn’t have been charged.
George was under no obligation to get beat to death!
THAT is why he should be aquitted!
Take dueling, for instance. The other guy was trying to kill him, so should the survivor be entitled to claim self-defense? Of course not. In a duel both participants are guilty of attempted murder. One can't be prosecuted because he's dead. The other should be prosecuted for murder.
IOW in a great many violent episodes neither party is innocent. Someone who should have been charged with assault or aggravated assault had his opponent survived shouldn't be able to just walk away because he succeeds in killing him.
I'm not claiming this applies here, only that it is often the case.
I think Holder and the Dims want guns banned is because it is hard to impose the government’s will on an armed citizenry. It is much easier to overtake an unarmed nation.
I agree. The police were correct the first time. And the prosecutor's bypassing a grand jury, when there is so much evidence in support of Zimmerman, was just wrong.
That’s why the SYG law was passed. Overzealous prosecutors went after people, wondering why they didn’t retreat across 20ft of open ground to go around a corner.
They did strain logic going after easy self defense cases.
From the article: “The laws opponents note that the annual number of justifiable homicides in Florida (excluding police shootings) nearly tripled after the law was passed in 2005, from an average of 12 from 2000 to 2004 to an average of 35 from 2006 to 2010.”
Which possibly means that an average of 23 people per year were unjustly prosecuted during the years 2000-2004 for successfully defending themselves. Alternatively, they were afraid to use their guns to defend themselves from an assault in the absence of a Stand Your Ground law and now they’re just dead.
Many years ago in debates with fellow gun rights advocates, the subject of broadening personal security through concealed carry of firearms was a hot issue. The thinking went along the lines of "We'll expect an initial increase in justifiable homicides, but overall the crime rate will decrease once criminals know that their game is riskier because they'll start being countered by citizens exercising CCW with the law on their side."
I used to say "I agree, but the gun grabbers will make a point to showcase some high profile justifiable homicide cases and cause them to be the flavor of the month. They're not going to sit still and let a bunch of street hoodlums get shot to death without making us out to be the bad guy. Anyone who shoots and kills a bad guy out on the street is going to be left completely on their own against the liberal media."
These discussions go back over 20 years when CCW was not sweeping the land and the thought of it becoming a national movement seemed an unlikely prospect we gun right libertarians were merely fantasizing about.
Well, we're finally here -- thank God -- and Zimmerman is our own not so clean-cut case that we needed to warn ourselves against. His lawyer better win this case. America with it's thug-embracing modern culture needs to get served notice that people can suffer immediate and irreversible repercussions if they don't behave themselves civilly.
CCW is not just some government license to deploy, it's intended to be used in practice. We never intended hidden guns to be a mere warning, they're a 'No Apologies' option for decent people intent on protection and defense.
The gun did it's job, it protected someone from being killed, and that is what the Left hates.
I am still the ONLY person who will be making the decision as to whether I am in danger or not.
NO ONE else lives here—I live rural—Sheriff wouldn’t be here in less than 10 minutes—etc.
Decisions about my own safety are now & always have been in my own purview since I was about 10.
I surely don’t expect to ask someone else’s opinion as to whether I should, could, would, or ought to protect myself, up to & including killing an attacker or a person who is menacing me.
It seems we have bred the survival gene out of the last 3 generations.
I feel pretty sure I still have such genes & they will trigger a strong response when I need one.
I AIN’T ASKING PERMISSION OF THIS AUTHOR!!!
If that's the case, then Zimmerman has a 18USC241 and/or 18USC242 criminal case against the prosecutors and/or the state; and additionally may sue them directly civilly with 42USC1983; simply because of the 5th amendment: US Constitution, Amendment 5:
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury [...]
WOW! This article comes from the CHICAGO Sun Times. Reason is even beginning to penetrate the darkest fever swamps of the left.
Actually, if you discount the fabricated "evidence" created by the media, there is no reason to believe that this is not a "clean-cut" case.
If Zimmerman hadn't been armed, we wouldn't be discussing this case. If Zimmerman hadn't taken an interest in preventing burglaries of his neighbor's homes, we wouldn't be talking about this.
I find it absolutely hilarious that the libs are attacking a "white hispanic". I know I wouldn't be voting for the libs in November if I were an hispanic. I expect some of them to figure out that the libs only use minority groups to get what they want; they don't really care about minority groups.
I'm going to respectfully disagree on the details. The ruling class wants unlimited predation of the middle class. They want the middle class to be totally dependent on them for their safety.
Obviously retreating is a lot more feasible than in an era of repeating firearms.
If it was so safe to retreat in the era of hand-wielded blade weapons, why are there so many instances in ancient history of defeated armies being utterly slaughtered in their attempt to retreat?
"Why Trayvon's Intended Victim Should be Acquitted"
Retreating is very different from running away.
A successful retreat is, they say, the most difficult of all military maneuvers to pull off, because human nature is to keep retreating faster, which leads to panic, breaking of the formation and slaughter.