Though he hasn't been arrested or charged (yet) George Zimmerman's lawyer is preparing for trial. He had previously stated that Florida's Stand Your Ground law is not applicable to the fatal encounter between his client and murdered teen Trayvon Martin. Now that he has spent some time reviewing the case, he believes Zimmerman acted in self-defense and intends to use Stand Your Ground to defend Zimmerman in the trial he expects to take place.
Numerous people, among them (noted legal expert) Ann Coulter, and former Michigan Governor Jennfier Granholm, and Zimmerman's lawyer himself, have stated that Stand Your Ground does not apply in this case. Coulter called it 'not relevant' and Granholm considers Zimmerman the pursuer based on what has been reported in the media. Zimmerman's lawyer originally thought the law only applied to self-defense in your own house.
SANFORD, Florida (CNN) – A lawyer for the man at the center of the Trayvon Martin death investigation said Florida’s “stand your ground” law doesn’t apply to the shooting that killed the unarmed teen.
“In my legal opinion, that’s not really applicable to this case. The statute on ‘stand your ground’ is primarily when you’re in your house,” said Craig Sonner, attorney for George Zimmerman.
“This is self-defense, and that’s been around for forever — that you have a right to defend yourself. So the next issue (that) is going to come up is, was he justified in using the amount of force he did?”
Now that he has had some time to review the case, Sonner seems to believe that Stand Your Ground does applybecause Zimmerman was acting in self defense and plans to use that in the trial he is preparing for.
(The interview is with Michel Martin on NPR program Tell Me more, no relation to the Martin family AFAIK).
SONNER: Well, the one thing I will say - and this is more than I've said before - is that's not the whole 911 tape. But when the rest of the evidence comes out and the whole story is known, it will show what happened that night and not be left to speculation as to what happened. I think the rest of the investigation done by law enforcement will show that George Zimmerman was acting in self-defense.Sounds like Sonner needs to have a talk with Ann Coulter.
MARTIN: Earlier, though, it's been reported that you said you don't believe that the Stand Your Ground law - which is specific to Florida, although a number of other states have similar laws on the books - is not relevant to this case. I just want to clarify: Is that, in fact, your view, that you don't think it's relevant here?
SONNER: No. The Stand Your Ground law will be relevant in this case, and I think it will be applicable in this case. I think at one point, on a first review, I had made a misstatement. But upon further review as this goes on, I see that clearly, that it's my opinion that the Stand Your Ground law will come into play in this case.
SONNER: It shows that - I think the evidence will show that George Zimmerman was acting in self-defense, and the statute will be applicable.
MARTIN: Even if he was pursuing the individual, even if he initiated the confrontation?
SONNER: Again, this will be a fact-specific case, and once the facts come out and not the speculation and not that has been put out in the media, once the facts are brought out by law enforcement, everyone will see what happened. And the evidence - there will be a complete picture of what happened that night, and I believe it'll show that George Zimmerman acted in self-defense.
MARTIN: Can you tell us what lead to your initial belief and why your feelings changed, or your view of the matter changed?
SONNER: My review of the - if you're referring to the statute...
SONNER: My review of the statute, upon first blush, I was thinking more along the lines of the Castle Doctrine. And there was some question as to whether or not that the Castle Doctrine, when he was not in his home - I was thinking along that line. But I was always convinced it was self-defense. And on reviewing - I believe it's paragraph three of the statute, that will directly be relevant in this case.
LIsten to the whole interview here.