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In all the blather about Zimmerman's "right" to "stand his ground," I have not heard any discussion of Trayvon Martin's parallel right to "stand his ground."

Did I miss this?

It seems obvious that Martin is covered under the same law, and had the same right to confront an assailant. (Having a right, and exercising it are different things).  If he did (and he did), then any alleged assault by Martin was justified. Since there is nothing in the available record to suggest that Zimmerman was ever threatened prior to his confronting Martin, he has no legal defense under "stand your ground." If this is the case, it was simple cold-blooded murder.


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Comment Preferences

  •  my recent thoughts (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, Gary Hurd, Chi

    Were his Civil Rights violated?

    If so, why can't the Feds charge the racist slime with a federal crime?

    He was followed, confronted, and shot dead in the street for nothing more than being black in George Zimmer's vicinity.

    Every person of color in Sanford Florida has a legal right to fear for their lives considering the blatant inaction of the Sanford Police Department.

    Perhaps several hundred thousand citizens of central Florida can exercise their "stand your ground" rights in Tallahassee.

    I think, Therefore I am, ...A Democrat

    by Patriot4peace on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 11:58:51 AM PDT

  •  Clearly He Had Them. But the Law Doesn't Kick In (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, Gary Hurd

    unless you actually use violent force, as my layman eyes read it.

    I think he'd be allowed to strike first though, if he thought he was being stalked and especially if he saw the stalker was carrying a gun.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 12:01:33 PM PDT

  •  Stand Your Ground only applies to gun wielder (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, Gary Hurd, hnichols, a2nite, Chi

    Silly question, the Stand Your Ground obviously only applies to the guy wielding the gun. If Trayvon wanted the right to stand his ground, he should have been carrying a gun too.

    In fact, he should probably have incorporated, since a gun wielding corporation will always have more rights than a gun wielding person.

    •  I think the wording is "deadly force". (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hnichols, Gary Hurd

      Of course, the one without the gun isn't likely to be around to speak for himself.   Even if in Trayvon's case, he was the one who had reason to believe his life was in danger, even if Trayvon had every right to defend himself with deadly force-- he isn't here to tell his side of the story.  

      The guy with the gun is always going to win.  He can murder and pay no price, unless there happen to be witnesses.  No wonder the NRA pushes these laws.

  •  According to my right wing brother in law (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, Gary Hurd, beka, Sharon Wraight, Chi

    he did have stand your ground rights.  However, he didn't have a gun.  Therefore, he was unable to stand his ground.  If he had a gun, then somehow they would both walk away unharmed.  In his crazy world, everyone should have a gun at all times, and then no one would be killed by guns.

    Personally, it sounds to me like a return to the lawlessness of the wild west and a financial windfall to gun manufacturers.  Call me crazy, but I am thinking that with all of those guns out there, there are some people who actually might shoot someone.  

    •  So, the real problem is (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      we need more shoot outs.

      I'd rather move to a sane place.

      Any suggestions?

    •  Guns often more restricted in Wild West (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hnichols, Gary Hurd, beka, Sharon Wraight, Chi

      Actually, gun rights were in some cases more restricted in the "Wild West" than they are now. Some towns had local laws requiring visitors to check their guns when entering town. They got them back when they left. Residents could keep a gun in the home for self defense, but couldn't carry it around town. Our image of the lawless frontier is heavily influenced by Hollywood -- not the most historically accurate source.

    •  What Planet Does Your Brother In Law Live On? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hnichols, Gary Hurd

      If they both had guns, they both would have just walked away unharmed? More than likely what would have happened if they both had guns would have been a shootout with innocent bystanders being killed, and one or possibly both of the shooters (depending on who had the bigger gun) being killed. Oh, and of course, a policeman or two might have been killed trying to disarm the shooters. Rightwingers are such idiots!!

      •  When I was a kid, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sharon Wraight

        I saw a shoot-out.

        There was one fellow wounded, and the the other ran off. The wounded man fired a 38 from a hip holster, and the other fellow a Mauser pistol from a shoulder holster. It was a cowboy v Indian conflict- the Native American guy 'won' in the sense that he didn't get shot. Very weird.

        More recently I saw a young man who had robbed a bank get cut down by multiple cops. They used 9mm rounds, and the bank robber had a fully automatic uzi. There were 9mm rounds fired all over the neighborhood. The cops also managed to shoot one of their own.

        I have had other similar experiences, which is very weird since I try to be a quiet Quaker. My inner light is too loud. Oh Well!

      •  More guns fewer taxes (0+ / 0-)

        Should solve all of the problems in this country.  Clearly we just aren't smart enough to understand how that works.  

  •  Maybe. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, Gary Hurd

    He had to have a reasonable belief that he was at imminent risk of death or serious injury.  If Z merely approached him and asked him what he was doing there, then he wouldn't have a reasonable belief of that.  If Z approached him w/ gun out, then he probably would.  

    •  Well, since he was murdered (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hnichols, beka, a2nite, Chi

      Martin had a good reason to suspect he was threatened. And since Zimmerman forced himself on Martin, the murderer has no possible legal defense.

      I was on a jury for a case of "deadly assault." The defendant was attacked, and used his knife to stab the attacker. We found the defendant innocent.  

    •  There doesn't have to be a gun visible (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gary Hurd, Chi

      for there to be a risk of serious injury.

      After all, part of Zimmerman's excuse for killing Martin is that Martin (theoretically) broke his nose and was beating his head against the ground, right?  And without a gun.

      Given that Zimmerman was engaging in some pretty stalker-like behavior--specifically against police advice--and approached Martin though Martin was trying to get away from this stranger who was following him in the dark, Martin had every reason to think Zimmerman intended him serious injury.

      And, as it turned out, he was right.

      Magic is the fine art of getting off your ass and doing something.

      by Damiana on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 02:17:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What We Need To Do Is Overturn Ridiculous Laws (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, Gary Hurd, beka, a2nite

    like "stand your ground." All this law does is lead to vigilanteism. I will use the argument that the gun lobby/NRA always uses - we don't need another gun law, enforce the laws we already have. People already have the right to self defense if they are attacked/threatened, no matter where they are (in their home, on the street, etc.).  Time to get rid of the "stand your ground" laws - they are being used by the gun lobby to whip up hysteria and increase profits for the gun manufacturers.

    •  That's pretty much completely wrong, (0+ / 0-)

      as you'd know if you'd actually read the law and understood the whole scope of laws covering the lawful use of deadly force.

      All the law does is remove the legal requirement for the victim to attempt to retreat from thier attacker, and prove so in court, before the affirmative defense of lawful self defense can be upheld by the courts.

      That duty to retreat has landed some people in prison who shouldn't be, and it's morally wrong to boot. if I am somewhere I am allowed to be, doing things I am allowed to do, why should someone choosing to attack me obligate me to submit to their violence, in order to keep myself free if I choose to defend myself?

      The initiators of violence have no moral standing whatsoever relative to their victims.



      "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
      "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

      by Leftie Gunner on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 06:53:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed (0+ / 0-)

      The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

      by a2nite on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 07:10:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Stand your ground" laws are clearly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      invitations to murder. Anyone you does not realize this is a fool.

  •  It depends on the exact way the confrontation (0+ / 0-)

    went down.

    If Zimmerman initiated the fight, then yes, he would be covered.

    If all Zimmerman did was confront him verbally, even if that confrontation was "hey, nigger, what the fuck are you doin' here," and Martin escalated it to physical violence, then no, he likely wouldn't. Take the word "nigger" out of the scenario, and it's even more clear... there is, I believe, some precedent to the effect that using racial epithets makes one somewhat liable if a fight ensues. I'm not sure how that interacts with a claim of lawful use of deadly force.

    Confronting a stranger in your neighborhood is legal. So if that's all that Zimmerman did, and the actual fight was initiated by Martin, Zimmerman would be on the right side of the law, and Martin on the wrong side.

    That's something that nobody but George Zimmerman knows for sure at this point. Speculative narratives of the event aren't relevant.


    "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
    "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

    by Leftie Gunner on Wed Apr 11, 2012 at 06:45:00 PM PDT

    •  No, stupid person (0+ / 0-)

      a violent verbal threat would have established a potential physical threat. Intent is the whole issue.

      If you were not stupid you might have known this.

      •  Asking somebody what they're doing is not (0+ / 0-)

        a violent verbal threat. Telling them you're going to kick their ass if they don't get the fuck out of your neighborhood is.

        So much of this depends on exactly what happened. You know, the facts.

        What we have are very few facts, and a compelling narative that fits a lot of preconceived notions... and which might well be completely wrong.


        "It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees." -- Emiliano Zapata Salazar
        "Dissent is patriotic. Blind obedience is treason." --me

        by Leftie Gunner on Thu Apr 12, 2012 at 05:49:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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