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The Trayvon Martin Murder

I have been reluctant to comment on this until I could figure out what was going on in the case, and frankly, it is worse than you think.

I finally figured it out from reading this Miami Herald story, Miami judge decides fatal stabbing was self-defense, which is about a totally different case.

That led me to locate the law itself, and not just the part that everyone quotes. I found it on the site of the Florida legislature, so this is the real deal:

Title XLVI Chapter 776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.—

(1) A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
(a) The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and
(b) The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.

(3) 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.

The ‘stand your ground’ provision [subsection (3)] is not a general defense, it is only supposed to be related to the specific crimes listed in this law. This is why Durrell Peaden, my former state senator and the author of the law, can correctly state that the Martin case has nothing to do with the ‘stand your ground’ law.

What has happened is that the elected local judges are applying the provision to anything, and everything, without regard to the fact that it is limited to specified crimes. The Miami decision is a case in point. This was the standard theft of a radio from a parked vehicle, and the owner caught the thief in the act. The owner chased the thief about a block and stabbed him with a large kitchen knife, killing him. The vehicle wasn’t occupied, so the ‘stand your ground’ provision wasn’t applicable, but the judge applied it anyway. The prosecutors have already said they will appeal the decision. The Florida Supreme Court needs to tell local judges to stop enabling murder and mayhem.

March 22, 2012   2 Comments

On A Lighter Note

While the weather is still holding I’m engaged in finishing up a number of projects outside. These are things that no sane person wants to do in the summer heat indexes, so I haven’t been around the ‘Net very often for more than a week.

To fill in your post-sled dog racing depression, check out this catch over at Rook’s place. [Warning: don’t have liquid in your mouth when you click through as it may cause permanent damage to your keyboard.]

Then you can watch Rob Reid explain Copyright Math™ over at TED. You probably didn’t know that ‘Net piracy costs more jobs than actually exist at the media corporations. [Warning: the video autostarts.]

Back to the dirt and sweat before the thunderstorms arrive.

March 22, 2012   Comments Off on On A Lighter Note