Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight
to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Use of Force and Trayvon Martin

I kind of think that George Zimmerman is going to be cooked for murdering Trayvon Martin.

Generally, the law does not reward people who act with unclean hands. What that means is that you cannot, as the saying goes, murder your parents and then ask for mercy because you are an orphan. The "stand your ground" laws were enacted to remove the requirement that victims of a crime have to try to outrun their attackers before defending themselves.

Stand your ground laws do not, or should not, give aggressors an out. You don't get to start a fight and then claim self-defense. Of course, that determination requires that there be a living witness, for absent bullet wounds in the back, the dead guy isn't going to testify.

Stand your ground laws should not be used by some crazy-ass police-wannabee who fancies himself as some sort of vigilante. The role of Neighborhood Watch is to observe and report suspicious activity to the cops. They are not supposed to jump out of their cars and confront people who are just perambulating down the sidewalk.

Under a stand your ground law, Martin would have been justified for killing Zimmerman, who was allegedly using force against Zimmerman. Martin came to the fight with clean hands, he was not committing a crime and, to be frank about it, the reason he was stopped and shot by Zimmerman was for "walking while Black." Zimmerman, on the other hand, was by stopping and confronting Martin, arguably committing a crime of false arrest or false imprisonment. He was not, in my view, privileged to use force.

I submit that if Martin had killed Zimmerman, that Martin would have been arrested.

But Zimmerman is walking around free. I don't think that state of affairs will be permitted to stand for much longer.


montag said...

Your read on the law is good but those of us old enough to remember the Civil Rights Era know that there are still many people who think Trayvon Martin got what he deserved because he was black. If you can keep them off your jury, Zimmerman might get jail time..

Oldfool said...

I do not believe that anything close to justice can or will come from this.

BadTux said...

Like you say, Stand your Ground != chase after and corner someone then kill them. While there are not any direct eyewitnesses, the 911 call makes it clear that this was exactly what ZImmerman was doing. Unfortunately if anybody prosecutes ZImmerman it's going to have to be the Feds, because it's open season on coons in Florida.

- Badtux the Racism-scryin' Penguin

w3ski said...

As a late teen I occasionally hunted for food where I lived.
I have occasionally 'ran down' game, in the dark, hoping for a better shot or background in the brush. I can sort of understand where this guy was coming from, but I cannot excuse it at all. This was PEOPLE, not food and not some damn video game or comic book. There has got to be a serious line drawn as to what and where. A radio would have so much been the perfect weapon.The powers to be had better come down Hard on this shit or it will grow like mushrooms.

Phil said...

If Zimmerman escapes prosecution, it will probably be open season on him.

Anonymous said...

I sure hope you are right EM, and this sort of thing will be addressed. But like Montag, I well remember the days when anyone black was always wrong and anyone whiter was right. And Florida is living in its very own twisted time machine right now.