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Why George Zimmerman's case now helps the NRA -- and could help keep Stand Your Ground unchanged

Dennis Baxley is an author of one of the nation’s most notorious gun laws, Stand Your Ground.

And lately, he’s relieved.

When a special prosecutor last week charged George Zimmerman in the Feb. 26 killing of Trayvon Martin, it was a political public-relations indictment of those who said Stand Your Ground gave the shooter blanket immunity.

“I’m sort of happy about this guy being charged, on the political front, because I’m able to say: ‘See, I told you, it doesn’t say you can’t charge the guy,’ ” said Baxley, a Republican state representative from Ocala.

So it’s not just liberals, black lawmakers and others who cheered the second-degree murder charge against Zimmerman. Gun-rights advocates and the National Rifle Association received some political cover to resist calls to change the deadly force law.

Of course, if a judge tosses the charge and cites Stand Your Ground, the pressure will only increase to clarify the law’s intent. Indeed, the law goes on trial before Zimmerman in an actual court and in the court of public opinion.

But the facts of the Zimmerman case might make it politically tougher to amend Stand Your Ground in the Florida Legislature.

Here’s why: Special Prosecutor Angela Corey actually read the statutes. And they probably don’t give Zimmerman much immunity.

Corey probably found that, after chapter 776.013 (a k a Stand Your Ground), there’s another chapter, 776.041, called “use of force by aggressor.”

More here


Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/15/2750993/stand-your-ground-may-yet-survive.html#storylink=cpy

Comments

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Daniel

What a lousy article. The author assume Zimmerman attacked Martin, while there are no known facts to support such an irrational assumption.

lamarmalik

that's so sad if somebody killed my brother i will be going HAM! well good luck trey martin we all know that you in a good place with GOD(:

Mark

the author doesn't assume Zimmerman attacted Martin, it states that Zimmerman was the aggressor. Thus the reasoning for further study on the other chapter use of force by aggressor". Had Zimmerman not pursued Martin, there is no conflict. But since he decided to take matters into his own hands and "confront" or make contact with Martin, he was the aggressor. Lastly, didn't Martin fall within the stand your ground law?? If someone is following you (according to the law) you don't have to flee you can "stand your ground". Unfortunately someone who probably never had proper training in deadly force situations had a firearm.

Keish!

Stand Your Ground won't stand in this case. A smart judge will look at the evidence we have so far: The 911 call where Zimmerman is referring to Trayvon in a derrogatory way and states that he is following the kid and does not plan to retreat to the mailboxes and then police report where Zimmerman admits to shooting and killing Trayvon. If we connect those two dots it sound like Zimmerman was the aggressor and Zimmerman would have to prove that during that gap in time he either tried to end the struggle by retreating or that he was in danger of death or harm and couldn't escape.
I think it will take a jury hearing evidence from both sides to elucidate that.
776.041 is muddy and needs to be cleaned up. Why is it necessary to have an "unless" after if the person provokes the use of force against himself. So someone can provoke another to use force against them, but if it's too much force, they can kill the other person and walk away clean. That's silly. It's like let's cover all the idiots who might go out and provoke violence against themselves. I don't get it.

hereiis

When its your homes and neighborhoods being terrorized then please understand why nobody will want to confront the villain. Because if they do and happen to get attacked and defend them self they will be found guilty by the Media. So don't expect help if you cant accept the possibilities.

Keish!

I don't think anyone would be found guilty for attacking a villain. In fact they are usually made a hero. I think the problem comes in when the villain turns out to be a kid headed home. Then you have to wonder how a kid walking home, suddenly becomes a threat to you and your neighborhood. That's why the evidence needs to be heard in a court of law and this case needs to be decided by a jury.

Mickey Andrews

As a retired civil rights lawyer, I am disgusted at the abuse of George Zimmerman's civil rights by both the media and the Florida Courts. The New Black Panthers have put a bounty on his head. Can you imagine if the KKK put a bounty on an accused Black Man's Head! No State response nor media response to this "hate" crime! Is it because of the color of Zimmerman's skin?

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