Apr 30, 2013
Stand Your Ground Defense?
Zimmerman says not yet anyway, and that's subtle good news for those of us who believe SYG is a proper legal doctrine, permitting a citizen to defend himself anywhere.
His attorneys want to gamble to the extent of hearing the state's case before abandoning the Florida SYG protection altogether. They claim the law permits a SYG hearing any time, not just before deciding on whether to risk it before going to trial. The prosecution may resist but that is another issue.
My reading persuades me there's a near-consensus that Zimmerman has only a traditional self-defense case to make, that SYG was written and intended only to prevent prosecution in a clear case of defense against unprovoked attack. Zimmerman created the confrontation when he had other reasonable options, such as calling the cops from the safety of his car.
My state had a fair chance of getting SYG protection until the Zimmerman case stopped it cold. If, when the dust settles, it can be made plain that such law is inoperative in cases like this, it will be back on the table. Talk it up.