Trayvon Martin’s volunteer neighborhood watchman killer, George Zimmerman was protected from jail time because of Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law.” This law gives a person the right to use deadly force when they feel threatened to the point of needing to administer self defense. Florida is not the only state that carries out this law and because of Trayvon Martin’s brutal murder, the law has come into question.
If you take race out of this tragedy, you’re left with an innocent kid shot down by a gun-toting, self-appointed watchman. The barbarianism of this crime makes the “Stand Your Ground” Law invalid as a defense from Zimmerman’s conviction. Under normal circumstances where someone is absolutely threatening your life, the “Stand Your Ground” Law makes sense. I’m wondering if the legislators that created this law could foresee the issues in the grey areas.
This law allows for the officers at the crime scene to decide whether or not a situation called for self-defense. The officers at Trayvon’s crime scene were confident that Zimmerman didn’t need to be convicted. The Sanford Police were way too quick in deciding that he didn’t need to be arrested that they didn’t even consider the questionable evidence that stacked up against Zimmerman. Anytime you’re dealing with iffy evidence like this case has presented, the shooter should still be arrested and the court makes the final decision.
According to the Huffington Post, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement statistics show that before the “Stand Your Ground” Law was enacted in 2005, there were about 13 justified killings each year by citizens from 2000 to 2005. Between 2006 and 2010, the average has risen to 36 justified killings each year. This just proves that if you give people the right to kill, they will kill. Point. Blank. Period. With Zimmerman’s repeated 911 calling history, I bet he was sitting around with his phone in his hand with “911” already typed in as soon as the “Stand Your Ground” Law passed.
State Senator, Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale is preparing a bill that will not allow the self-defense claim when the shooter/victim provokes the assailant. This bill would also limit legal use of lethal force to places such as a person’s home, car or workplace. Smith says that the “Stand your ground appears to be giving suspects better protections from arrest and prosecution than increased security measures for the citizens the law was originally intended to protect.”
Florida Governor, Rick Scott seems to be taking action or at least talking about taking action. Scott says, “If there’s something wrong with the law that’s in place, I think it’s important we address it. If what’s happening is it’s being abused, that’s not right.” Yeah, what’s happening is not right. Fix it. Soon.
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