27 March 2012
Stand Your Ground
Lots of people are talking about Trayvon Martin's death in Florida last month. There's a lot we don't know about what happened, but here's what bothers me. It's pretty clear from 911 recordings that Zimmerman started the whole thing by following Martin after he'd reported what he thought was Martin's suspicious behavior. If he hadn't continued following Martin, as advised, Zimmerman's role in this would have been over. And that's all his role should have been. If you do something that provokes anger and/or fear in another person and they attack you, I'm not at all convinced that your self-defence claim is so clear-cut that you shouldn't even be charged if you shoot the person whom you provoked (although I can think of exceptions to this). If Martin did punch Zimmerman, that wasn't cool. He obviously shouldn't have. It's entirely possible that Zimmerman has a legitimate self-defence claim. But that ought to be proven in court.