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View Diary: Michael Dunn, Florida Man, Invokes 'Stand Your Ground' Law After Shooting Black Teen (87 comments)

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  •  I'll add that if you start the fight, you no (5+ / 0-)

    longer fall under the JUoF provision, and fall under the "Use of Force by the Aggressor" provision. This provision sustains the duty to retreat before force can be used in self-defense.

    Furthermore, I believe (IANAL), if you start the fight by engaging in a forcible felony, of which aggravated assault (threatening someone with a deadly weapon) is one, you lose the right to use deadly force in self-defense period.

    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

    by Robobagpiper on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 09:48:29 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  All of this is beyond terrifying. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wbr

      Thank you for explaining this odious law, though. Floridians have really gotta, ya know, outlaw this law. It fucking sucks.

      Logic will break your heart forever. Be brave. -- The Stills

      by Colorado is the Shiznit on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 10:11:56 AM PST

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      •  The law is fine. The law is actually pretty (4+ / 0-)

        typical.

        The problem is not the law. It protects legitimate self-defense. The problem is cops and prosecutors using the law as an excuse not to do their jobs, especially when racial bias is involved.

        Not that they need the law to decline to do their jobs.

        Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

        by Robobagpiper on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 10:41:47 AM PST

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        •  I disagree completely, (6+ / 0-)

          but you already knew I would. :)

          The law will not work because of all the potential loopholes, the probability of abuse of the law is quite high, and it also sends a message to the general public that if you don't like someone, just go ahead and shoot them in the fucking face and you can claim that you felt "threatened".

          Logic will break your heart forever. Be brave. -- The Stills

          by Colorado is the Shiznit on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:02:26 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Your characterization of the law is mistaken (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rockhound, happy camper

            You don't get to shoot someone in the face for feeling threatened. Nothing in the law permits that.

            What the law does is protect legitimate self-defense from unjust prosecution. The requirements to meet legitimate self-defense are still quite strict; "feeling threatened" does not come close to describing them.

            Prosecutors and cops don't need this law to look the other way when they sympathize with a murderer, or consider the victim an undesirable. Defendants do need this law when the unfortunate situation where they needed to use force in self-defense, but the cops or prosecutor are biased against them.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:09:07 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Let's come at this another way (3+ / 0-)

            Criminal law isn't about sending a message. It's about setting out what the state can and can not prosecute you for, and how it can punish you if it succeeds.

            I think there's no disagreement that the state should be able to prosecute you for homicide.

            The question is, should the state be able to successfully prosecute homicide when there is a legitimate claim of self-defense? If we agree that it should not, we need to set out what someone claiming self-defense would have to prove to a court to obtain that protection (lest just anyone claim it).

            What, then, should those requirements to demonstrate that a claim of self-defense is legitimate be?

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 12:07:48 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't most states have a self-defense clause (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              texasmom, zinger99, wbr

              on the books? I would assume so. Most, if not all.

              Obviously, no, I don't want someone who legitimately acted in self-defense to have to rot in prison for it. That's not cool.

              I personally want a self-defense clause to read that the victim feared for his or her life, and that the perpetrator had some sort of weapon on his or her person.

              In this case, the defendant suggests that the victim had just such a weapon. The police department disagrees:  there was no weapon found in the victim's vehicle.

              You can't just be all, "Dude, I thought he had a gun because he was BLACK! So I emptied my entire clip because, ya know, BLACK!"

              Because, I am sorry to tell ya, that's exactly what this guy did.

              IMHO, the Stand Your Ground law is being woefully abused in Florida. You mentioned in another comment that this type of law is not all that uncommon.

              I implore you to tell me that Colorado is not one of those states.

              Where else is this stupid law practiced?

              Logic will break your heart forever. Be brave. -- The Stills

              by Colorado is the Shiznit on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 12:22:23 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  It's "typical" because (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tytalus

          Organizations like ALEC and the NRA have been pushing this sort of law in multiple states.

          I for one don't think every walking personality-disorder in this country needs to be issued a concealed-carry permit.

          If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

          by Major Kong on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:23:03 AM PST

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          •  Again, I'm suspecting despite the above, you'd (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rockhound

            still have a hard time explaining the difference between the pre-SYG version of the law and the current one. Throwing around the scare-words ALEC and NRA doesn't impress me.

            The core provisions (all of which must be met to claim the defense) are still there.

            Also - people adjudicated with personality disorders, I will point out, are not eligible to purchase firearms, nor may they legally possess them - much less concealed carry them.

            Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

            by Robobagpiper on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:27:25 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well heck (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tytalus, gramofsam1

              If there's so little difference why spend so much money lobbying to change it?

              You can't have it both ways.

              If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

              by Major Kong on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:38:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Because it enhances the protections for (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                KVoimakas, rockhound, happy camper

                legitimate self-defense. It does not substantially improve the ability for someone to falsely claim such.

                Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                by Robobagpiper on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:58:14 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Sorry (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zinger99

                  IMHO that doesn't explain the amount of money being lavished by well-connected lobbying groups to push these laws simultaneously across multiple states.

                  I guess I'm just a poor fool who's been deluded by too much (eek! scary!) Brady propaganda.

                  If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

                  by Major Kong on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 12:10:30 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The money being lavished is largely for (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rockhound

                    ALEC's business-friendly initiatives.

                    SYG merely got piggybacked along for the ride in a few places because its main advocates share a constituency with, and are friendly with ALEC's funders had access to the existing ALEC infrastructure. There's no money in SYG.

                    That doesn't change the fact that crying "ALEC!" is no substitute for understanding what's actually in the law.

                    Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                    by Robobagpiper on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 12:16:02 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  No, it creates a claim for self defense (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zinger99

                  when none is needed.  It creates a preference for risking someone else's life when it's not necessary.  It creates a defense when an individual does not need one.

                  In addition, in your many pompous explanations of the law, you're failing to recognize that this law does not require that a fear of harm be reasonable.  As in reasonable in the eyes of the average person.  Rather, the fear of harm need exist only in the mind of the person allegedly feeling the fear.  That's a subjective thing and can not be disproved by a prosecutor.  The person says he or she was afraid of being harmed - that's all it takes.  Even if everyone agrees the fear was baseless, it's still a defense.

                  "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                  by gustynpip on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 01:10:20 PM PST

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            •  Oh my. Aren't you just the superior being? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              zinger99

              While I won't pretend to be quite the expert you are on the matter, I will also disagree with your opinion that it's a good law.  There's nothing wrong with being required to retreat if you're able rather than killing someone.  Killing someone should be a last resort.  An absolute last resort.  

              And you've never been required to "prove" you tried to run away.  Rather, if you invoke a self defense defense, you have to convince the judge or jury that you did not use more than reasonable force in protecting yourself.  That can be established in all sorts of ways and you generally only need to convince one person that your degree of force was reasonable in order to be acquitted.

              "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

              by gustynpip on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 11:45:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am. Because I bothered to read the law. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rockhound

                Reasonableness of the force is one provision; and that one's still there. Deadly force is still permissible only when one has a reasonable belief (as to be determined by a judge and/or jury) that it was necessary to prevent a forcible felony on oneself or others, or grave bodily harm - assuming all the other provisions of the law are met.

                Your rather bizarre claim that retreat was not previously required renders what SYG is all about moot, since all it does is remove said requirement. If one was never required to prove such, how does the explicit removal of such a requirement change anything?

                Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

                by Robobagpiper on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 12:01:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No, you're not. Having read the law does not (1+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  zinger99
                  Hidden by:
                  happy camper

                  make you a superior being.  Rather than being such a pompous, over bearing ass, you could attempt to explain Your Understanding of the law (even though you attempt to claim it's much more than just your understanding of it).

                  Any obligation to retreat is simply a part of whether reasonable force was used.  If one can simply walk away from a situation, without danger or harm, any use of force at all was previously considered unreasonable.  

                  And you didn't have to "prove" anything.  As long as you can convince one juror - just one out of 12 - that attempting to retreat was not a reasonable option, you would either end up being acquitted or have a hung jury.  A prosecutor has an obligation to "prove" facts; a defendant does not.  A defendant just has to put reasonable doubt into the mind of one person regarding one aspect of one issue.

                  So sorry that you're just one of us fallible beings after all.

                  "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                  by gustynpip on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 12:16:43 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  HR for personal attacks. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rockhound

                    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                    by happy camper on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 06:05:57 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Hey, thanks. That's the fourth HR I've ever (0+ / 0-)

                      received in the about 7 years I've been here.  One of those I even deserved - received a week or so after I joined for using a word I should not have.  This one I should have.  Nothing would describe the poster better than the phrase I used.  Funny.  I was just considering writing a snark diary on how boring this site has become since abusive HRs have been essentially eliminated.  And here I get one.  Adds a little excitement to life.

                      "If you trust you are not critical; if you are critical you do not trust" by our own Dauphin

                      by gustynpip on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 07:32:24 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

            •  You seem to have spent (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gustynpip, zinger99, wbr

              an awful lot of time, effort and bandwidth into educating us poor, Brady-deluded fools about this particular law.

              Just wondering what your vested interest is in this thing.

              If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

              by Major Kong on Wed Nov 28, 2012 at 12:58:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  You are so right! (0+ / 0-)

        hey there Shiz, my long lost friend...it's great to 'bump into' here...I miss you & CO! Florida is so screwed up...we have so much work to do to restore sanity down here, it doesn't even seem possible.  

        ...inspiration moves me brightly

        by wbr on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 07:48:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I'm in Florida and (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gustynpip, zinger99, wbr

      I can assure you that while the legislators who voted for it would agree with your interpretation (at least most of them, since some just did the bidding of their donors) the general interpretation by street cops is that someone who "feels threatened" is justified and can't be charged.

      If the murderer instigated a verbal argument, then felt threatened by the reaction of the "gang of kids" he'd probably be protected by that law.

    •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

      Even if you start an assault, you are allowed to "SYG" if it turns out the victim is better at kicking your ass than you are at kicking his, and it's you taking the vicious beating.

      The portion I saw cited on this was about a page long and full of confusing exceptions and conditions. IOW, teh hallmark of a confusing, poorly-conceived and poorly-written law.

      What gets communicated to the people who own triggers? The state is very forgiving of shooters.
      That's going to affect decision-making, and not in a good way.

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