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.

2 comments:

Sarah Familia said...

That's exactly how I feel! This whole case has been pretty unnerving to me, not least because my husband's office is in Sanford, and we were considering moving into one of those gated communities down there. I'm really glad we went for the longer commute so we could live in a safe neighborhood.

The "Stand Your Ground" law really creeps me out. It basically encourages people to go looking for trouble. If there's danger, I don't think you should follow it (or even "stand your ground" waiting for it to come to you).

Living in Florida has been eye-opening, to say the least.

Jennie said...

I've been bothered by those very same issues. Especially that he followed the boy and was told that he shouldn't do that.

I'm all for self defense, and if you come into my home or on my property or threaten me in any way, then "stand your ground" sort of makes sense. But I'm not going looking for trouble.

I want his self defense claim proven in court too. I'm not taking sides, but if he followed Martin, then it calls a whole lot into question.