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Opinion: Did Trayvon Martin die for 'standing his ground?' - CNN.com


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The question that has not surfaced in the courtroom -- the elephant in the room -- is this: Did Martin fear for his life after being followed and confronted by a stranger while going to the store to buy candy and a soft drink? Was he, Martin, justified in standing his ground and defending himself when this stranger, an apparent stalker, approached him in a threatening manner?

Zimmerman didn't identify himself and never said he was part of the neighborhood watch group.

Think about it: We're told over and over that if Zimmerman was afraid of Martin, according to Florida law, he had the right to put a bullet in the chamber of his concealed handgun, get out of his car after being told not to by the 911 dispatcher and follow and confront Martin and shoot him to death.

At the same time, we are told that Martin, who had far greater reason to fear Zimmerman, practically and for reasons of American history, did not have the right to confront his stalker, stand his ground and defend himself, including by using his fists. We are told that this was entirely unjustified and by doing so, Martin justified his own execution.

Might does not equal right.

Perhaps they do not have enough evidence to convict Zimmerman, but that does not make him right.

I'm surprised the prosecution hasn't used this line of reasoning - that it was Trayvon standing his ground - to its full effect.   

Yes, that is surprising.

Still, this aspect of Florida law is messed up:

Think about it: We're told over and over that if Zimmerman was afraid of Martin, according to Florida law, he had the right to put a bullet in the chamber of his concealed handgun, get out of his car after being told not to by the 911 dispatcher and follow and confront Martin and shoot him to death.

I've not been paying too much attention to this, but if he did, in fact, initiate the confrontation despite instructions to the contrary, that would be manslaughter in my book... However, state laws vary wildly when it comes to ratios of culpability (i.e. did the confrontation start when Zimmerman accosted the boy, or when the boy started swinging his fists? etc.)

Jason, you're right. The problem is that Florida law provides much too much protection for someone to shoot someone else EVEN IF the police tell the shooter to get out of there.

Florida needs to fix its law or be known as a place where citizens can manslaughter each other legally.

This is the problem when you start statutorizing common law: differing concepts can be easily applied to the same words, but concepts which supercede mere words, as in ancient common law, are far more consistent overall.

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