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Miami Judge: back-stabbing allowed under Stand Your Ground

Yesterday, the framers of the Stand Your Ground law said it was all about self-defense and that the law didn't need to be revisited or clarified after Trayvon Martin's death. Check out this new wrinkle in today's Miami Herald:

As critics assail Florida’s “Stand-Your-Ground” law in the wake of the killing of an unarmed Miami Gardens teen in Sanford, a Miami-Dade judge on Wednesday cited the law in tossing out the case of a man who chased down a suspected burglar and stabbed him to death.

Greyston Garcia was charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of Pedro Rotela, whom he chased for more than a block before stabbing the man in the back.

The case illustrates the difficulty police and prosecutors statewide have experienced since the 2005 law eliminated a citizen’s duty to retreat in the face of danger, putting the burden on a judge, not a jury, to decide if the accused is immune from prosecution.

In Sanford, police have cited the Stand-Your-Ground law in their decision not to arrest a neighborhood watch volunteer in the shooting death of Treyvon Martin, 17. A Seminole County grand jury will eventually decide on whether the man who shot Trayvon, George Zimmerman, should face homicide charges.

Miami Sgt. Ervens Ford, who supervised the Garcia case, was floored when told of the judge’s decision Wednesday. Ford called the law and the decision by Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Beth Bloom a “travesty of justice.”

“How can it be Stand Your Ground?” said Ford, a longtime homicide investigator who on his off-day on Monday plans to attend a rally in the Treyvon case in Sanford with his two teenage sons. “It’s on [surveillance] video! You can see him stabbing the victim in the back.”

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