“Florida lawmakers late Thursday voted down a bill to repeal the ‘stand your ground’ law linked to the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin,” orlandosentinel.com reports. “The 11-2 vote in the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee likely kills any repeal effort in the Legislature this year. But a separate Senate measure still pending could revise the self-defense law first passed in 2005.” Oh great. Strangely (i.e. not) the tussle over SYG divides along party lines . . .
“The evidence is overwhelming that ‘stand your ground’ keeps Floridians safer,” Gaetz said, adding that most state residents support the law . . .
The stand your ground law … is not working,” said Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, who sponsored the repeal bill (HB 4003) . . .
“Stand your ground” enables people who perceive a threat to use deadly force without first trying to retreat from a confrontation. It is far more lenient than the widely adopted Castle Doctrine, which allows people to defend themselves in their homes.
Do these people know nothing about the natural right to self-defense or are they willfully ignorant? I’m thinking yes. Unfortunately, the mainstream media covering this “debate” are equally clueless about the actual law and its actual effects with actual people.
Though he did not claim “stand your ground” as a defense at trial, Zimmerman’s earlier assertion of the law caused massive protests and demonstrations, and the verdict prompted a 31-day sit-in at the Capitol by the Dream Defenders group during the summer.
What earlier assertion might that be? At no point did Zimmerman claim SYG as a defense. And how about this:
The Senate bill would require sheriffs and city police departments to set guidelines for Neighborhood Watch programs such as the one Zimmerman participated in and to restrict members to observing and reporting suspected crimes.
The bill also would prohibit people who are the aggressors in confrontations from then claiming “stand your ground” immunity.
And it would specify that law enforcement must conduct a full investigation in shootings even if the law is claimed as a defense — a change spurred by the Sanford Police Department’s claim that it couldn’t do so in the Zimmerman case.
One of the Senate bill’s more controversial provisions would allow lawsuits against people acting in self-defense if they negligently injure or kill an innocent bystander.
Weatherford called the task-force recommendations “helpful.” But he added that House leaders were undecided whether they would consider the Senate bill if it passes that chamber.
“We’re always open to discussion,” he said. “We’ll wait and see how it progresses over there before making a determination.”
I wasn’t aware that the aggressor in a confrontation could claim SYG immunity. And if he or she did, a claim does not an adjudication make. As for the removal of civil immunity for a defensive shot or shots gone wrong, well . . . that’s a tough one. I tell you what. As soon as police officers can be sued for collateral damage from bullets gone astray we’ll hold non-LEOs to the same standard. Fair’s fair right? [h/t SS]