A Florida Law Gets Scrutiny After a Teenager’s Killing
MIAMI — Seven years after Florida adopted its sweeping self-defense law, the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, has put that law at the center of an increasingly angry debate over how he was killed and whether law enforcement has the authority to charge the man who killed him.
The law, called Stand Your Ground, is one of 21 such laws around the country, many of them passed within the last few years. In Florida, it was pushed heavily by the National Rifle Association but opposed vigorously by law enforcement.
It gives the benefit of the doubt to a person who claims self-defense, regardless of whether the killing takes place on a street, in a car or in a bar — not just in one’s home, the standard cited in more restrictive laws. In Florida, if people feel they are in imminent danger from being killed or badly injured, they do not have to retreat, even if it would seem reasonable to do so. They have the right to “stand their ground” and protect themselves.
That is precisely the question in the case: Was the gunman, George Zimmerman, 28, a white Hispanic crime watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., in imminent danger and acting in self-defense during his encounter with Trayvon Martin, as he asserts?
Full Story Here:
U.S. Opens Inquiry in Killing of Trayvon Martin
Stand Your Ground or The Castle Doctrine, whatever name your state gives it, I am a serious supporter of it. I live it, I advocate it, I believe it is the most wonderful expression of Second Amendment FREEDOM gun owners can have.
That said; Castle Doctrine has, apparently, a broad interpretation, and allows some serious loopholes to exist, and lets call it like it is, good law or not, you can’t FIX stupid. There are some real IDIOTS in this world, some of them are gun owners that blaze away and use the Castle Doctrine as their justification for doing so.
Case in point; Joe Horn cleared by grand jury in Pasadena shootings
A Harris County grand jury decided today that Joe Horn should not be charged with a crime for shooting two suspected burglars he confronted outside his neighbor’s home in Pasadena last fall.
The decision to clear Horn of wrongdoing came two weeks after the grand jury began considering evidence in the case, including Horn’s testimony last week.
Horn, a 62-year-old retiree, became the focus of an intense public debate after the Nov. 14 shootings. Many supporters praised him as a hero for using deadly force to protect property, while others dismissed him as a killer who should have heeded a 911 operator’s instructions to stay in his house and wait for police.
Horn called authorities after hearing breaking glass and seeing two men climb through a window into his next-door neighbor’s home in the 7400 block of Timberline.
The 911 operator urged Horn to remain inside, but he went outside with his 12-gauge shotgun and came face-to-face with Diego Ortiz, 30, and Hernando Riascos Torres, 38.
In MY opinion, Horn got away with murder. All incidents like this do is shine a bad light on legal, sane and well trained gun owners.
I sincerely hope that George Zimmerman isn’t allowed to do likewise by HIS actions.
From ALL indications, Trayvon Martin had nothing more than a bag of Skittles and a bottle of iced tea in his hands. Candy and a drink.
He was, according to ALL accounts, killed because George Zimmerman felt threatened by a bag of candy and a cold drink.
I don’t know what, if any, verbal confrontation took place between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin, I don’t know if anyone actually does know, but the fact remains, you can’t shoot someone just because YOU think they *look out of place*.
Many people feel like they are the most well equipped person on the block if there is a threat to the neighborhood, be that threat real or imagined, and some folks will jump right in and declare themselves to be Judge, Jury and Executioner, all because they have attended some course that trained them in how to secure a Concealed Handgun License.
Having a CHL does NOT give a person ANY degree of Police training in the handling of a situation on the street, a situation where the Police were indeed ON THE WAY, and if reported correctly, one in which there was NO REAL THREAT to anyone.
Deadly force can only be used if YOU or someone near you is in a life threatening situation.
No matter what Trayvon Martin was doing, walking through the neighborhood, eating his candy or whatever other actions he may or may not have been engaged in, it seems that if anything, he was guilty of *walking after dark while black*.
The Florida police department handling the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen by a self-appointed neighborhood watch leader admitted to ABC News tonight that investigators missed a possible racist remark by the shooter as he spoke to police dispatchers moments before the killing.
The admission comes a day after the Justice Department announced that it has launched an investigation of the slaying of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman last month as a possible hate crime.
On a tape of one of Zimmerman’s 911 calls the night of the shooting, he is heard saying under his breath what sounds like “f**ing coons.” Seconds later he confronted Martin and after a brief scuffle shot him dead.
Zimmerman claimed self defense, and was not charged with any crime. SOURCE
Only God knows what a Grand Jury will do in this case, after all, Joe Horn claimed self defense AFTER shooting 2 men in the back and killing them over a property crime, and he was cleared by a Harris County Texas grand jury.
I hope the jurors in Florida have better sense.