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View Diary: Black Kos, Tuesday's Chile (235 comments)

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  •  when SYG passed, SYG was added to self-defense (6+ / 0-)

    instruction and changed self-defense requirements. (link to blog by former florida lawmaker).

    While in the Florida legislature I strongly opposed the Stand Your Ground law because I believed it would provide defenses to people who had created the scenarios they sought protection from.  Or it would leave juries without the proper rules of engagement that ought govern predictable human interactions.
    so, if self-defense raised in case, as here, apparently this instruction is read to jury even when, as here, SYG was not raised at trial. This may be why Z waived SYG hearing before trial because he would have to testify at that hearing to get immunity but he did not have to testify at trial to use SYG because in the self-defense instruction.  Kinda like SYG coming in thru the back door.

    BUT, in this case, the jury decided case based on SYG.

    COOPER:  Because of the only, the two options you had, second degree murder or manslaughter, you felt neither applied?

    JUROR:  Right.  Well, because of the heat of the moment and the stand your ground.  He had a right to defend himself.  If he felt threatened that his life was going to be taken away from him or he was going to have bodily harm, he had a right.

    COOPER:  Even though it's he who had gotten out of the car, followed Trayvon Martin, that didn't matter in the deliberations.  What mattered was those final seconds, minutes, when there was an altercation, and whether or not in your mind the most important thing was whether or not George Zimmerman felt his life was in danger?

    JUROR:  That's how we read the law.  That's how we got to the point of everybody being not guilty.

    Very odd situation. usually, jury restricted to evidence presented at trial for the defenses raised etc. Here, media kept reporting SYG not at issue at trial. SYG only mentioned once in trial.

    Yet, because it is incorporated into self-defense law, the instruction is presented with SYG. and the jury decided based on SYG, an issue many believed was not an issue in the trial. very strange system.

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