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There seems to be a lot of confused reporting asserting that the killings of Jordon Davis and Trayvon Martin have nothing to do with Florida's Stand Your Ground Law. This diary is a rebuttal to those numerous incorrect claims. The language of Florida's Stand Your Ground law is integral to Florida's self defense law, and appears explicitly in the jury instructions. I hope these resources are useful for all of you who are valiantly pushing back against this amazingly persistent false meme.

Stand Your Ground was invoked in both Michael Dunn's trial and in George Zimmerman's trial. Here is Michael Dunn's defense attorney invoking SYG in his closing arguments. His quotes words below begin at 1 hour 13 minutes.

CNN Falsely Claims Stand Your Ground Played No Role In Trial For Jordan Davis' Killer

In fact, "Stand Your Ground" is embedded in the Florida statute dealing with the "use of deadly force" in self-defense, and was specifically cited by Dunn's lawyer and noted in the judge's instructions to the jury.  During closing arguments, Dunn's lawyer Cory Strolla explained, "His honor will further tell you that if Michael Dunn was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in a public place where he had a legal right to be, a public parking lot asking for a common courtesy, saying thank you, trying to tell the guy I said thank you. He had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force." Strolla later added of the law, "It's not because I wrote it. It's not cause I like it. We're not here to change it and we're not here to fight it. We're here to apply it."

[My bold.]

Media Neglect That "Stand Your Gound" is Center Piece Of Florida's Self-Defense Law

Here are the final instructions given to the jury in George Zimmerman's trial.

Jury Instructions - George Zimmerman Trial
flcourts18.org/PDF/Press_Releases/Zimmerman_Final_Jury_Instructions.pdf

A person is justified in using deadly force if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself.

In deciding whether George Zimmerman was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge him by the circumstances by which he was surrounded at the time the force was used. The danger facing George Zimmerman need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, George Zimmerman must have actually believed that the danger was real.

If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

In considering the issue of self-defense, you may take into account the relative physical abilities and capacities of George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin.

The Daily Kos Firearms Law and Policy group studies actions for reducing firearm deaths and injuries in a manner that is consistent with the current Supreme Court interpretation of the Second Amendment. If you would like to write about firearms law please send us a Kosmail.

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Originally posted to Firearms Law and Policy on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 08:06 PM PST.

Also republished by Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA), Shut Down the NRA, VAGV - Veterans Against Gun Violence, Black Kos community, Barriers and Bridges, notRKBA, NotNotRKBA, and Support the Dream Defenders.

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