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Stand your ground law?

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posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 12:27 AM
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Someone had brought this up and I had never even thought of it. If Zimmerman followed Martin..does this law not apply to Martin?

Someone you may feel threatened by follows you..does this not give you the right to defend yourself if need be?

Also someone said in rebuttal..once Martin fought back...then Zimmerman was allowed to use the stand your ground law...does this also mean if someone attacked you...then you fought back...they then kill you...are they also following the law?

I say no to the second one...but if people are going to say once Martin fought back Zimmerman was in his legal right to use lethal force...then don't cry if a criminal also uses deadly force to protect themselves.


To the Right...you can not have it both ways....only one was allowed to use deadly force under the law...it was Martin..because Zimmerman followed him...so he then became a perceived threat to Martin...and since the conservatives love to say you should not run...but defend yourself...then why cheer for Zimmerman and not ask for justice for Martin?

Martins past has no relevance to the case....because Zimmerman had no prior knowledge of Martin or his actions. His only crime as far as Zimmerman was concerned...was being a young black youth at night.
edit on 12-4-2012 by kerazeesicko because: I CAN




posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 01:00 AM
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reply to post by kerazeesicko
 





Someone you may feel threatened by follows you..does this not give you the right to defend yourself if need be?


Only if the person becomes physically aggressive. Threatening language or creepy following alone does not give you the right to physically confront a person.

I could follow you all day singing, "I'm going to kill you, yes I am." You would not legally be able to do anything to me unless I began acting in a manner that actually proved intent to follow through. Even if I follow you home and stand in your drive way there is a whole series of steps you have to take before you can use the "stand your ground" law. The law is intended to allow someone to counteract violent actions.

Also, if a person physically attacks someone they lose the right to lethal force in self defense. The only exception is if he is physically and verbally trying to yield and extract himself from the situation. If the original victim presses their "defense" against a fleeing person they can become the aggressor. Thus they return the right of lethal force back to the person who started the confrontation.

Also previous behavior has little or no bearing on any defense case. Even if somebody beat you up thirty times you have to wait until you are attacked to use force on that person.

Whether or not Martin had the right to use the "stand your ground" law depends on whether Zimmerman attacked him or threatened him with his weapon. Simply following him does not reach the fear of imminent death, sexual assault, or grievous bodily injury threshold.

Until we find out exactly how that scuffle started we will not know who was standing their ground. I defend no one. I say let the state and Zimmerman present their cases and then decide.


edit on 12-4-2012 by MikeNice81 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 02:13 AM
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reply to post by kerazeesicko
 


Stand Your Ground is only dictated on who started violence first, or if there were precursor events that led to the confrontation. Following someone is not a crime, not threatening nor does it place you in harm unless they follow you to your dwelling and onto your property. But if Zimmerman followed and instigated violence (by say, shoving Martin) then SYG does not apply. If events occurred as police say they did, that Zimmerman walked back to his car when he was confronted by Martin, and was then physically attacked.. then SYG applies and it's self defense.

The Prosecutor has to prove that, by following Martin, Zimmerman instigated the interaction that led to the death of Martin.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 02:18 AM
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Not clear on all of the laws in different states. But they did do a news segment locally here in Texas. If you so much as are a witness of a crime, you can there bye use deadly force as a means to defend yourself. I don't know if that applies in this particular case, but worth considering none the less.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 08:06 AM
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Just read an interesting article from Ken Blackwell on the history of self defense laws and the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida


But the law is not what you have heard reported by the media. Florida’s SYG law provides that a person under attack can use force—including deadly force—against his attacker if he, “reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm … or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony.”

Several keys points. First, the threat must be deadly. It’s not just that you’re under attack. You must be attacked with sufficient force to kill you or cause massive bodily harm, or rape.

Second, it’s not enough that the victim believes he is under a deadly threat. His belief must also be reasonable, meaning that under the circumstances an objective observer would also conclude the victim could be killed or severely injured.

Third, SYG only protects victims; it does not apply to attackers. If you’re attacking someone, you cannot claim SYG as a defense for what follows.

And fourth, it doesn’t apply if you cannot retreat. If retreat is not an option, then the situation is governed by ordinary self-defense laws, not SYG laws


Its Complicated. So watch the case carefully as it develops.


Under any version of the facts, Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law did not apply in the Trayvon Martin incident. If Zimmerman pursued a confrontation with Martin, then Zimmerman was an attacker and cannot claim SYG. If Zimmerman’s account is true that he was on the ground and Martin was on top of him, then retreat was impossible, so there would be no duty to retreat anyway. A victim in such a situation can use deadly force, but only if he reasonably believes he is being attacked with deadly force.

To our knowledge, that is the law in all fifty states. It was the law before SYG statutes were ever passed, and SYG did nothing to change it.

So why is this not common knowledge after all the reporting on the Martin shooting? Tragically, some anti-gun activists are misinforming the public. They are aided by media commentators who failed the public trust by not researching and understanding the SYG issue before presuming to editorialize on it.


cnsnews.com...



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 08:18 AM
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reply to post by kerazeesicko
 


It's going to be such a messy trial.

Yes, Zimmerman was the instigator, and Zimmerman created the situation by following Trayvon. So, Stand Your Ground should not apply, and self-defense should not be a valid defense.

Then again...

Zimmerman was doing his duty as Neighborhood Watch, he alerted police, and if he was only peacefully observing a stranger in his neighborhood, then he didn't do anything to instigate or escalate the situation, and if he was attacked he had every right to defend himself.

Then again...

If Trayvon was being followed and harassed by a grown man, he also had every right to be afraid for his life, and defend himself, and what may have seemed like an attack was really just self-defense?

Then again...

Maybe nobody has the right to physically accost someone else just for looking at them or talking about them. This was clearly an assault on Trayvon's part, so Zimmerman may have clearly acted in self-defense.

Then again...

Zimmerman was a grown man entrusted with a firearm and a position a neighborhood watch. He should have been able to de-escalate the situation, defend himself if necessary, and wait for police without having to kill anyone! It seems his actions were not justified and were extreme in nature.

One thing is certain. Every gun owner in Florida is puckered up right now, because no matter the outcome, we will all suffer.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 08:58 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


He instigated by following or confronting?

Ive been through a lot of self defense seminars and training with cops and state attorneys and it always seems to come down to fearing for your life.

Like I can be a total douchebag and follow you and call you names and harass you in any number of ways that isnt physical or otherwise threatening like blocking your progress or grabbing you and none of that is suitable to fear for your life.

However if I grabbed you or got in your way that escalates the threat and you could be justified then.

Also, if you stopped and turned to me and said "what's your problem man?" that isnt reason for me to fear for my life so I wouldnt be justified.

Once that direct confrontation is made what usually happens is I, being the harassing douche, would either flee or escalate. Chances are good, as a douche, I would escalate by stepping into your personal space or pushing you. Then you would be justified in using deadly force.

If, instead of asking me what my problem is, you turned and took a swing then I would be justified in using deadly force.

The first instigator doesnt seem to be as big a factor as the last instigator in that the last instigator would be the one at the point of deadly force justification.

So in that example, even though I went out of my way to create a volatile situation it wasnt a life or death situation until you attacked me.

So even if Zimmerman was being a total douche none of his actions were life threatening and Trayvon should not have escalated by assaulting. If that's what happened.

Interesting to think that a harassing douche can suddenly switch to victim dependent on the actions of the original victim.

Something the cops and attorneys all say around here regarding pet and property protection is that you are not justified in using lethal force to prevent theft, damage or harm to your property or pets. But the general situation is that you see somebody messing with your stuff or harming your dog and you react with "WTF, get out of here!!" At which point they either flee, not justification for deadly force, or they turn their attentions toward you, that is justification for deadly force.

edit on 12-4-2012 by thisguyrighthere because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 09:08 AM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 


I agree with most of what you say, but that is why the issue is controversial and unclear. Even though the harassing douche is the one causing the problem (if Zimmerman was harassing, he may only have been observing), but even if he was harassing, the one who makes it physical is usually the bad guy. In this case, the one making it physical was a minor though, so that has to figure into the equation in some way.

I do disagree on one part...


Something the cops and attorneys all say around here regarding pet and property protection is that you are not justified in using lethal force to prevent theft, damage or harm to your property or pets. But the general situation is that you see somebody messing with your stuff or harming your dog and you react with "WTF, get out of here!!" At which point they either flee, not justification for deadly force, or they turn their attentions toward you, that is justification for deadly force.


In Florida, the "Stand Your Ground" law does allow people to use deadly force to protect property. It also extends the "Castle Doctrine" to one's person and does not require retreat even if retreat is available. It is a much broader law than many other states have. There is already legislation being pushed through, as a result of this Zimmerman case, to start dialing back that law. Luckily it doesn't have a lot of support yet.

Also, on another note, we always have the smell test. Even though what you say is true about how the law is interpreted, it doesn't quite smell right does it? I mean, if some douche is following and harassing me until I eventually turn around and snatch him up by his collar and get ready to scruff his ears and make an example out of him, and then he pulls a gun and shoots me dead....... who is the bad guy?



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 09:18 AM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


I suppose the difference in Floridians being able to use deadly force to protect property and Granite Staters only to protect lifes is simply a difference in state legislation. In practical use though deadly force to protect property happens all the time by extension in that "fearing for your life" is easy to justify when confronting someone damaging your property.

You're right about the smell.

If the scenario played out as Zimmerman being a harasser and Trayvon just defending himself (although by a poor method) resulting in Zimmerman killing him in "defense" of self something really isnt right.

But that's the nature of all law. Trying to define or ethically label human behavior with terms, parameters and rules is inherently flawed. Today it may be a lunatic douchebag getting away with a killing and tomorrow it'll be a person in a perfectly clear-cut case of defense being sent up the river like the subway vigilante guy years back.

Law is flawed and attempts to "fix" it never work. It's static definitions in a dynamic world.

Sucks for everyone involved.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 09:23 AM
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reply to post by thisguyrighthere
 



Law is flawed and attempts to "fix" it never work. It's static definitions in a dynamic world.

Sucks for everyone involved.


Again, I agree with you, but I also would like to point out our original laws accounted for this by inserting Judges and Juries of our peers. Those are supposed to be the groups applying the smell test and finding the uniqueness of each case and letting the human element and common sense rule over the letter of the law.

These days, laws have been tweaked to allow very little interpretation, lawyers have become too good at manipulating juries and making them feel like they don't have choices or opinions, and legislators have enacted mandatory sentencing, 10-20-Life, and 3-strike rules to tie Judges hands.

So, the system wasn't always flawed. The system was designed to account for uniqueness in each and every case, and the human element was supposed to prevail, but we have slowly handed over all of our liberties and tried to automate the system, and now we have injustice as the norm.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 01:20 PM
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The lawyers are the biggest part of the problem. A lawyers job is to use the letter of the law to get a favorable result for their client. But when you do this oftentimes you end up destroying the spirit of the law and why it exists. The stand your ground law in Florida is a perfect example of this. Not many are opposed to the idea of self-defense, but with the possibility of how that idea will be applied to the Zimmerman case many are offended. Because to many the idea of self-defense was lost when Zimmerman decided to act in a way that could escalate the matter.

The one thing that was clear in this is Zimmerman was already convinced that Martin had done or was going to do something wrong. His statement of "They always get away" confirms this. Despite the only thing he witnessed Martin doing was walking on the sidewalk. This was vigilantism and this is not what most people view as self defense. For most this SYG should not under any circumstances give people a blank check to go out and initiate a confrontation, kill someone and get away with it. This does not conform to most people's idea of self-defense. For most self-defense is applied to situations in which you find yourself under eminent treat of harm in a place of personal safety, i.e. home, car, office. Or when you find yourself in a position where you may be harmed through events not of your own control.
edit on 12-4-2012 by KeliOnyx because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 02:58 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


It takes more than grabbing the douche or a single punch to justify lethal force. There has to be an imminent fear of death, grave injury, or sexual assault/rape. If some guy grabs your shirt and shoves you down it does not justify the use of lethal force in most instances.

I say most instances because that is where the law gets tricky. Say Betty White punches Brock Lesnar in the face, there should be no fear of death. However, if Brock Lesnar shoves Betty White to the ground nd continues to menace her there is a cause for fear of imminent grave bodily injury.

I don't know about Florida, but most states will not let someone retaliate against simple assault with deadly force. Also the protection of property usually extends to someone breaking in your home/dwelling. your business, or car while you are inside. If a guy is breaking in to your detached shed 200 yards from the house you can't just shoot him on sight.

I'm not trying to be argumentative. I just want to point out that there is a degree of depth to things. From your posts and the one's by ThisGuy it would seem like a simple punch in the nose is enough to shoot. However, in many states that have SYG laws similar to Florida's there is still an acceptable use of force spectrum and common sense.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 03:05 PM
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reply to post by MikeNice81
 



I don't know about Florida, but most states will not let someone retaliate against simple assault with deadly force. Also the protection of property usually extends to someone breaking in your home/dwelling. your business, or car while you are inside. If a guy is breaking in to your detached shed 200 yards from the house you can't just shoot him on sight.


Well, in a case with no witnesses, and one party dead, it is pretty easy to justify.

In the case of the shed, it is trespassing and in many states that is enough to justify lethal force. Personally, I don't agree with lethal force for trespassing alone, but someone could get away with it.

I don't like your Brock Lesnar / Betty White example. I think that example is part of the problem. It is easy to look at those two and make a snap judgement, but what if Betty White is a crazed maniac off her meds and she is attacking him repeatedly, and he is trying to escape, and there are no witnesses to the begining of the fight, but a witness walks up just as he shoves her to the ground, and she draws her weapon and kills him and claims self-defense?



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 03:20 PM
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reply to post by getreadyalready
 


You're taking it to another level. At first ThisGuy said a punch to the nose. Then you said if you take somebody up by their collar and smack them around. All I'm saying is a single punch. I'm not talking about some crazed psych patient. In that case it becomes another layer and just another example of the complexity. It further goes to show we need to wait for evidence in all cases.

Self defense cases are deep and complex. However, you are not allowed lethal force (usually) for simple assault, a shove, or even being grabbed by the neck and shoved to the ground. You have to demonstrate that through the person's words, actions, or the circumstances of how it happened that you were afraid for your life or grave bodily injury. The exceptions are made for some one breaking into your home/dwelling, carjacking, or breaking in to your business while you or a loved one are there. In those cases the threat is assumed because of the nature of the crime.

Even states that allow for shooting trespassers usually require physical presence and a verbal warning. Even then you are probably going to need proof that it wasn't just Ned crossing your back yard to get from his house to his mother's house. You can't just shoot somebody and say, "hey he stepped in my yard."



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 03:52 PM
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reply to post by MikeNice81
 



You can't just shoot somebody and say, "hey he stepped in my yard."



We can be thankful for that!


I agree with you, the response should be proportional, and lethal force should only be used for a mortal threat, but that is such a gray area. If I snatch someone up by their collar, who knows what they are thinking inside or how frightened they are? What is a jury going to believe?

I have a family member, an ex-con, with a violent past. He has threatened many other family members, but thankfully never me. He dead threaten one person that later wound up dead from a gunshot wound, but it was ruled a suicide. Maybe it was. This person and I have a mutual respect for many reasons so far, but....

If that particular person said they were going to kill me, even if they said it in a bar around strangers and I was 500 miles away, I would still take them at their word and self-defense would kick in immediately. I would call the police first, but the police do not do anything over a verbal threat without specifics, especially if they are not in a close physical proximity. (Know that, because it happens to me weekly at work anyway. The police take a report so they have a list of suspects if I ever come up dead, LOL!)

So, anyhow, if that person made a simple verbal threat, I would probably confront them immediately, on my terms, to bring a resolution to the issue one way or another. No way I would wait it out looking over my shoulder for months or years. These cases get so muddy. If I was threatened, and I felt the threat was real, but I was the one confronting the other person about it, shtf, and one of us ended up dead, who would the bad guy be?



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 04:51 PM
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I have no issues with self defense, it shouldn't even require special laws but...with that freedom comes a huge responsibility. Under no circumstances should a person be able to kill another person and simply state that they were defending themselves. A thorough investigation should be automatic and you should also be required to prove deadly force was warranted.

Since the Martin case is at the center of this controversy, I will say that I think gun lovers/owners are justifiably afraid, Dems will jump on this to tighten restrictions etc...that doesn't mean you should advocate a foolishly written law to defend your 2nd amendment rights. Choose your battle wisely is my advice. Advocate for common sense gun laws.



posted on Apr, 12 2012 @ 10:11 PM
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reply to post by Kali74
 


The problem is that the phrase "common sense gun laws" has become code word for registration, banning the manufacture of semi-auto firearms and many other draconian laws. Gun owners are afraid to concede one inch because the Violence Policy Center, Brady Center, and others openly advocate using any concession as a spring borad to further regulation. They have openly stated they will not rest until all guns are illegal. You can not negotiate with that mentality, so pro-rights people are eventually forced to the other extreme.



posted on Apr, 15 2012 @ 05:55 AM
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First off, we have to throw out the fact that Zimmerman was "head of the Neighborhood watch". That title gives him no authority, he is still a civilian with the same rights and authority as any of us.

Second, we have to forget about the 911 dispatcher who "ordered" Zimmerman to leave Martin alone. This dispatcher is not an LEO and also has no more authority than any other civilian, therfore the "order" was merely a suggestion.

Zimmerman simply following Martin does not constitute use of deadly force, on either part. Zimmerman asking Martin what he is doing in that neighborhood does not constitute use of deadly force by either party. Also, neither of these acts are instigation enough to start a confrontation.

Now, this is where things get blurred because the facts aren't out. Neither party had the right to attack one another. No one knows what exactly was said between parties, or how the altercation was escalated. Whoever dealt the first blow or made the first physical contact of aggression at that point, lost all rights to stand their ground. If, as the story has been told, Martin attacked Zimmerman while on the way to his vehicle....at the moment Zimmerman personally felt fear for his life OR great physical harm, he THEN had the right to defend himself by using deadly force.

We will have to see how this plays out.



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