Skip to main content

View Diary: Is the "Stand Your Ground Law" a license to kill? (92 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I don't think your examples hold water. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sue B, AnonyMiss, Cartoon Peril, Praxical

    It's highly unlikely that a DA would conclude that a woman being raped could not have a reasonable assumption that her life was in danger. Nor would it be unreasonable for a 5'5" individual to assume that a 6'5" individual beating the shit out of him had lethal intent.

    •  Just responding to this. (5+ / 0-)
      I think most Americans would agree that you have a right to self-defense, and that includes the right to use force to meet force. It can even mean the right to use deadly force if you're faced with deadly force. However, it should not mean that you have the right to use deadly force to avoid bodily injury... Deadly force in self-defense should not be self-defense if the threat is not itself deadly force.
      The examples I provided are of bodily injury. Based on FischFry's requirements I do not have the right to respond to bodily injury with deadly force. Since I, my wife and my children are of slight stature it is physically impossible for us to respond with enough force to prevent someone who is 6' from beating me, raping her or harming our children. But I guess that's ok for some people.

      Any power that government amasses will not be relinquished and any right we give up we give up forever.

      by oldpunk on Mon Mar 19, 2012 at 11:45:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are many levels of 'bodily injury'. (0+ / 0-)

        I think that most people agree that getting a few bruises doesn't justify gunning someone down.

        •  But in the comment there is no distinction made. (5+ / 0-)
          However, it should not mean that you have the right to use deadly force to avoid bodily injury... Deadly force in self-defense should not be self-defense if the threat is not itself deadly force.
          According to this statement I should not be allowed to use deadly force against an attacker if I will only suffer bodily injury. How this can be determined prior to the altercation? I don't know. How can you know for a certainty if someone only wants to hurt you a little, break your nose or dislocate your shoulder or if they want to kill you?

          Nevertheless, based on the evidence so far it appears that Mr. Zimmerman was the aggressor. If this is born out by facts then Florida's stand your ground law will not afford him any protection, nor should it. Prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law.

          Any power that government amasses will not be relinquished and any right we give up we give up forever.

          by oldpunk on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 06:47:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are you sure? (0+ / 0-)
            ""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"
            Would you say he was engaged in an unlawful activity when he confronted someone he mistakenly believed was up to no good? What if he claims that he tried to grab/restrain Martin to keep him from escaping, and that Martin started striking him? Does that not constitute an attack, regardless of who initiated the confrontation? This is why I say the law should not allow him to engineer a situation where he then uses deadly force in self-defense, but I think the law does not prevent that.

            Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

            by FischFry on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 10:28:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Quite sure. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              hagagaga

              Your comment verbatim.

              It's a statutory mismatch... (5+ / 0-)
              I think most Americans would agree that you have a right to self-defense, and that includes the right to use force to meet force. It can even mean the right to use deadly force if you're faced with deadly force. However, it should not mean that you have the right to use deadly force to avoid bodily injury... Deadly force in self-defense should not be self-defense if the threat is not itself deadly force.

              As for the duty to retreat -- that is also problematic for many Americans, but limiting that to situations where you're defending your home or property is reasonable. To provide that someone who has sought ought and provoked a confrontation, even chasing someone down to confront them has no duty to retreat to de-escalate a confrontation they have initiated? That's an absurd result.

              Whereas this,
              "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"
              Does not appear in the comment I was addressing.

              Any power that government amasses will not be relinquished and any right we give up we give up forever.

              by oldpunk on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 03:37:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  There's a reason for that (0+ / 0-)

                My whole point us the statute is effed up.

                When I asked "are you sure", I was referring to this statement of yours:

                "If this is born out by facts then Florida's stand your ground law will not afford him any protection, nor should it. Prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law."

                It's great that DoJ is now looking into this, but local authorities were giving Zimmerman a pass when I made my comment. So, my question referred to whether you were sure that the "law will not afford him any protection..."

                Even if he were prosecuted understate law, are you sure that the law would not protect him? The law flips the burden of proof. Instead of offering self-defense as an affirmative defense which a defendant must prove by a preponderance of the evidence, the law effectively puts the burden on the prosecution to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that he was "Not engaged in unlawful activity" and to prove that he was the one "attacked." Since no one actually saw the incident, that's a tough burden of proof.

                The DOJ will charge him with violations of federal law for which the Florida law would be no defense.

                Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

                by FischFry on Wed Mar 21, 2012 at 08:01:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  As for bodily injury... (0+ / 0-)

            Just because someone is punching you doesn't necessarily mean you have a reasonable fear of facing deadly force -- but I wasn't necessarily even referring to that. Let's say in a fight, someone was trying to shove you over a railing where you might fall and break a bone or two....Do you think you have the right to shoot the person to prevent that?

            Self-defense has always been a limited defense, to use only the force necessary to meet the threat. You can use force to meet force, but you shouldn't use deadly force without a reasonable fear that your life is in jeopardy.

            Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

            by FischFry on Tue Mar 20, 2012 at 10:34:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site