The lawyers for the man accused of murdering Florida teen Trayvon Martin are having a change of mind. Apparently. “George Zimmerman’s attorneys had said last week that they would use Florida’s controverial ‘stand your ground’ law, which allows people to use deadly force — rather than retreat — if they believe their lives are in danger,” foxnews.com reports. Not anymore. “The facts don’t seem to support a ‘stand your ground’ defense,’ [lawyer Mark] O’Mara said.” Huh. The relevant Florida SYG statute states that . . .
A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
It appears that O’Mara has decided to rely on a “simple” self-defense defense, as per 776.012:
Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or
(2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.
So O’Mara’s defense does and does not include the so-called “Stand Your Ground” provisions. Quite how much the announcement is an attempt to control the narrative, rather than outline Zimmerman’s eventual legal strategy, is anyone’s guess.
Meanwhile, O’Mara says his client is cash deficient.
O’Mara said [Zimmerman’s defense] fund had about $60,000 in it, with $20,000 in bills that need to be paid. If Zimmerman’s financial status doesn’t improve soon, he may ask the judge to declare him indigent, and seek aid from the state to fund his defense expenses.
And then sue Florida for wrongful arrest, should Zimmerman walk? We shall see. Or not.