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Trayvon Martin Shooting: Broward Lawmakers Say "Stand Your Ground" Will Go (Video)

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trayvon-martin.jpg
Trayvon Martin
Broward state rep and House Democratic leader-designate Perry Thurston Jr. spoke with Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC's The Last Word last night about Governor Rick Scott's decision to create a task force to look at the "stand your ground" law. While he sees the "prospects looking better," MSNBC contributor Jonathan Capeheart argues the law is "insane" to begin with.

Thurston also said he felt the need to move forward without delay and that the task force should have individuals like members of the NAACP and soccer moms. Thurston argued that task force members investigating the "Stand Your Ground" law, like soccer moms, for example, need to feel the pain the Trayvon Martin's mother felt.

All the while American is sitting on pins and needles, waiting for Zimmerman's arrest.



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10 comments
BH
BH

If it turns out that Treyvon was standing his ground, then what? Will other young black men lose the right to defend themselves? 

1nameme
1nameme

Picture this in your mind: If a white, 17-year-old high school athlete had held a black man down on the ground and beat him mercilessly in the head for 2 minutes, while the black man screamed for help, would you feel differently about that case than this one? If the answer is "yes", then maybe George Zimmerman isn't the racist in this case. Or at least not the only one.

1nameme
1nameme

This is idiotic. Stand Your Ground isn't even relevant to this case. Stand Your Ground means exactly what the name says: if you are attacked, you do not have a duty to try to retreat before standing your ground and defending yourself. However, at the time that Zimmerman shot Martin, he did not have the option to retreat, and so even if we had the opposite law in place in this state, a legal obligation to only use force against an attacker when no other option was available, Zimmerman would have still been legally within his rights to use force to stop Martin. Zimmerman claims that Martin attacked him when his back was turned, and that Martin had him pinned on the ground and was beating him in the head as he (Zimmerman) screamed for help. The only eyewitness says that he saw Martin on top of Zimmerman, beating him, while Zimmerman screamed for help (at which point the witness ran home to call the police rather than trying to help Zimmerman). And the police report says that Zimmerman was bleeding from the face and the back of his head, and had grass covering his back, when they arrived. In other words, all the physical and eyewitness evidence supports Zimmerman's version of events, where he was pinned on the ground, unable to escape, while Martin beat him in the head, and no one came to Zimmerman's assistance, despite the fact that many people heard him screaming for help for an extended period of time. If Zimmerman's version of events is true, which all the actual evidence (as opposed to all the conjecture that is filling the media) supports, then Zimmerman would have been justified in using force to end Martin's attack in every state in the US, even those with Duty to Retreat laws.

Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

Walking While Black: Stand Your Ground A License To Kill Young Men Like Trayvon Martin.

George Zimmerman Must Be Arrested and Tried for the Murder

In 2005, George Zimmerman was twice accused of either criminal misconduct or violence.

That July, Zimmerman — 21 at the time — was at a bar near the University of Central Florida when a friend was arrested by state alcohol agents on suspicion of serving underage drinkers, according to an arrest report.

Zimmerman was talking with his friend, became profane and pushed an agent who tried to escort him away, the report said. Authorities said he was arrested after a short struggle.

Charged with resisting arrest without violence, he avoided conviction by entering a pretrial-diversion program, something common for first-time offenders.

A month later, court records show, a woman filed a petition for an injunction against

Zimmerman, citing domestic violence. It’s unclear what led to the petition, but Zimmerman responded by filing a petition of his own the following day.

Records show injunctions were later issued in both cases.

Zimmerma surfaced in court documents as a credit-card company pursued him for unpaid debts.

Capital One accused Zimmerman of failing to pay more than $1,000. He settled with the company for $2,135.82, records show, to cover his debts with interest, as well as attorney and court costs. However, the credit-card company soon reported that Zimmerman wasn’t making the payments he had agreed to.

Zimmerman’s employer at the time, CarMax, agreed to garnish his wages. That arrangement was canceled in late 2008 because Zimmerman was no longer employed by CarMax.

Johnny Watkins
Johnny Watkins

What a bunch of BS, it has everything to do with Stand Your Ground. The reason the law is ludicrous is because it allows for disproportionate response. In other words, only lunatics believe that you have the right to execute somebody if they punch you.

1nameme
1nameme

So, in other words, your reasoning is that Zimmerman must be guilty, because he's a bad person, a conclusion you came to based on a couple of incidents that happened years ago, and which you have no evidence actually involved any violence at all, other than pushing someone once when he was a teenager himself. Oh, and he didn't pay a credit card bill, so he must be a murderer. I sincerely hope no one is ever stupid enough to put you on any jury.

1nameme
1nameme

Nobody has claimed that you can "execute" (nice use of inaccurate terminology to stir an unreasonable emotional response) someone just for punching you. But if someone pins you to the ground and beats you in the head for well over a minute or two, while you scream for help and try to escape, and no one comes to help you, then yes, it is quite reasonable to use whatever force you have to, including shooting them, to get them to stop.  Martin was not the victim here. No matter what may have happened before, to pin someone down and beat them mercilessly in the head for a couple of minutes, while they scream for help and try to get away is a heinous and vicious crime, and shooting someone in that situation, if all other efforts to stop the attack have failed, is justified. Try banging your head, hard, on a brick wall nonstop for 90 seconds just to see how long that really is. One whole round of a professional boxing match is only 3 minutes. Can you imagine ever letting one boxer pin another and beat him in the head for even half that time? This was not just a punch, it was attempted murder, and in every single state in the US, even those with Duty to Retreat laws (the opposite of Stand Your Ground), Zimmerman would have been justified in shooting Martin. Notice that even now that state and federal law enforcement agencies are involved, Zimmerman still is not under arrest. That is because, just as the local police said, there simply isn't enough evidence to show that he committed a crime. Otherwise he'd be behind bars already. Fortunately the Constitution requires enough evidence for probable cause before anyone can legally arrest you, not just an overwhelming wave of ignorant, uninformed, and bigoted public opinion.

1nameme
1nameme

The entire US has always been "Stand Your Ground", except for a small handful of states that passed "Duty to Retreat" laws in the latter part of the 20th Century. The Stand Your Ground law makes NO changes to the laws governing self-defense or the level of force allowed. All it does is formalize what has always been the law in Florida and the vast majority of the rest of the US, so that prejudiced prosecutors and judges can no longer arbitrarily decide to hold a crime victim who defended themselves to an unreasonable standard of behavior in order to further their own political agendas.  As Justice Oliver Wendall Holmes, one the greatest LIBERAL icons of the Supreme Court, wrote in his majority opinion in Brown v. United States (1921), there is no legal duty to retreat in American constitutional law, and never has been; and to expect such is ludicrously unreasonable. As he put it, "Detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife". However, because some prosecutors and judges sometimes further victimized crime victims by putting them on trial for failing to retreat, despite the fact that such has never been a requirement, Florida and 21 other states have decided to formally state what has always been the case: that no such duty exists. Stand Your Ground does nothing other than this. It makes no change whatsoever as to the level or proportion of force that may be used in self-defense, and it makes no change in the standard for determining when the use of force is justified. It simply refutes what has never been true: the belief that crime victims have a duty to try to retreat.

And since Zimmerman physically couldn't retreat anyway (although one could reasonably argue that his screaming for help for well over 90 seconds before resorting to force to defend himself was a best effort to do just that), as he was pinned to the ground being beaten by Martin for a considerable time before he finally retrieved his gun and shot his attacker, retreat, and therefore Stand Your Ground, are completely irrelevant to this case. Anti-self-defense nuts are just rabid with the idea that they think they can link the two, and in doing so mount a completely fabricated attack on a law they don't like.

Johnny Watkins
Johnny Watkins

From Dictionary.comhttp://dictionary.reference.co...

Execute - to inflict capital punishment on; put to death according to law.

So, according to you, Zimmerman killed him to according to law, correct? I don't understand how that's inaccurate terminology.

Speaking of semantics, I take issue with this assumption and so does the majority of America: "it is quite reasonable to use whatever force." It is NOT reasonable to use whatever force necessary, that's the point. The majority of Stand Your Ground declined prosecutions or acquittals are abhorrently unreasonable.

Johnny Watkins
Johnny Watkins

You are absolutely wrong. There has always been a duty to retreat going back to English Common law which US laws are derived from. Only if retreat was impossible and you were confronted with clear lethal force could lethal force be applied outside of the home.

 The current Stand Your Ground laws are derived from the Castle-Doctrine which *only* applied to one's home, yet SYG opened it up to anywhere. The result is people overreacting to PERCEIVED threats to their life, if even that in some cases, and then acted as judge, jury, and executioner.

This case here: http://www.miamiherald.com/201... No reasonable person could possibly think that this is acceptable, yet this is just one example of what SYG laws have opened us up to.

People are repulsed by the Trayvon Martin case because it's a clear injustice regardless of how the law is interpreted. We live in a civilized society where violence should always be the absolute last resort. Stand Your Ground breeds more violence and allows disproportionate responses made in the heat of the moment to go unprosecuted.

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