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View Diary: Zimmerman waives Stand Your Ground hearing in Trayvon Martin case (201 comments)

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  •  It's a standard self-defense claim (7+ / 0-)

    Z claims that Martin was on top of him, hitting his head into the ground.  

    If that were true, and if he shot Martin while Martin was doing that, that would be standard self-defense.  

    "Stand your ground" has to do with having an opportunity to retreat safely if someone is threatening you, and whether you have to retreat if you have the opportunity to do so safely.  If Z's claims were correct, a "stand your ground' type defense wouldn't apply.

    •  The reason SYG (14+ / 0-)

      does not apply in this case is because of this statute:

      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.
      History.—s. 13, ch. 74-383; s. 1190, ch. 97-102.
      There is more than enough evidence that Zimmerman was the initial aggressor.

      The defense dropped the SYG claim a long time ago, but has been obfuscating this fact. Nelson put them on the spot yesterday, by asking them whether they were going to use the 2 weeks in April set aside for the immunity hearing or not.

      •  Right! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        amsterdam, KVoimakas, Eric Nelson

        Standing Your Ground would be a tough thing to sell considering pursuit and stalk is really stretching the definition...

        They are hedging by going to the I put myself into a bad spot and had to defend myself instead...

        There they only have to worry about the eyewitness credibility issues...

        Oh yea the kid in the hoodie was on top and George's diet seems to have shed some of his bulk...

        "Do you realize the responsibility I carry?
        I'm the only person standing between Richard Nixon and the White House."
        ~John F. Kennedy~


        by Oldestsonofasailor on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 11:54:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  excellent research amsterdam! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        amsterdam, blueoasis
      •  That is one of the central facts at issue (4+ / 0-)

        of course.  It's up to a jury to decide if Zimmerman was the initial aggressor or not.

        If Zimmerman provoked Martin, then not only would a "stand your ground" defense be unavailable, but a standard "self defense" argument would be unavailable.  As that statute indicates, if you provoke someone, you can't assert self defense when he responds.  

        However, under the law, to "provoke" an attack is going to mean something more than following a person.  If Zimmerman followed Martin, that does not, under the law, mean that Zimmerman provoked Martin into a physical attack (if that happened) on Zimmerman.  If the jury believes Zimmerman's story that he shot Martin while Martin was on top of Zimmerman, hitting his head on the ground, the prosecution would have to show Zimmerman did something more than just walk behind Martin to "provoke" that.  The prosecution would have to show, for example, that Zimmerman made a threatening physical gesture (like taking a swing at Martin), that Zimmerman pointed his gun at Martin, or something like that to "provoke" a physical response by Martin.  

        Walking behind a person and watching them, while you are in a public area, generally does not constitute "provoking" a physical attack.  

        It's going to depend what the prosecution can prove happened between Zimmerman and Martin.  

        •  Alan Dershowitz says... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          johnny wurster, VClib

          that the only significant element of the case is when George is on the ground pleading for help. He was unable to escape, so SYG does not apply; It was simple self defense. GZ was unable to retreat and feared death or serious injury. Dershowitz says that everything else leading up to that point is irrelevant.

          If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

          by HairyTrueMan on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 01:20:59 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If it actually happened that way (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            which is unlikely.

            In addition, you have to get past the earlier point where he's in his truck and calling 911 and the 911 dispatcher tells him to just stay in the damn truck, and instead he goes back out and engages Martin -- or something like that, I may not have the facts exactly right.

            In other words, he had a chance to remain in safety and chose the more aggressive course of action when there was absolutely no reason for him to do so (other than harassing a black kid, which of course he can't admit to).

    •  Trayvon didn't have a right to defend himself? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      celdd, KVoimakas

       Back to the basics. Martin had a right to defend himself from the relentless stalking being done that night by Zimmerman. If Z got the worst of it so be it but he had no right to pursue the kid then after getting a beating for doing it pull out his man killer and shoot Martin to death. Z started it by stalking the boy and he finished it by shooting the boy to death. No self defense when Z was the aggressor.

      •  It depends what happened. (4+ / 0-)

        and what you mean by "relentless stalking."  

        If you are walking along a sidewalk for three blocks, and I follow you at, say, 10 feet behind you, that does not, in and of itself, constitute  my "provoking" you to attack me.  That does not give you the right to "defend yourself" against me, because I'm only doing what I have a legal right to do -- walk on a public sidewalk -- and that, under the law, does not constitute a physical threat to you. Following someone on a public sidewalk is not "provoking" an assault under the law.  If you don't like my following you, you can go somewhere else, or go indoors to a public area, but you can't hit me because I am walking behind you.

        If, on the other hand, it can be proved that Zimmerman threw the first punch, or pulled out his gun first, then yes, Martin would then CLEARLY have been provoked, Martin CLEARLY would have had the right to defend himself, and Zimmerman's self defense claim would be rejected.  

      •  No. (3+ / 0-)

        you don't have the right to attack someone that's following you.  

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