FW NY Times Stand Your Ground Series of Opinions Including Bill Sponsor in Florida House
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Date Created:July 9, 2013
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Lisette Garcia From: Don Horn Sent: Friday, March 23, 2012 4:28 To: Carswell, Amy (Advocacy) Subject: FW: Times; Stand your Ground--Series Opinions (including Bill Sponsor Florida House) FYI follow our meeting yesterday thought you might want share these columns that forwarded and others our office. The first one written the former member the House Representatives who sponsored the Stand Your Ground law. From: Griffith Sent: Friday, March 23, 2012 3:45 To: Don Horn; Jose Arrojo; Kathleen Hoague; Chet Zerlin Cc: Melia Arnett; Janeen Jones; Raynald Louis; Terry Gonzalez-Chavez; Leonardo Mendoza; Tom Headley Subject: Times; Stand your Ground--Series Opinions (including Bill Sponsor Florida House) Necessary Law, but Not This Case Dennis Baxley, Republican Ocala, sponsored the Stand Your Ground law the Florida House Representatives. March 21, 2012 The tragic story Trayvon Martin's death has ignited great deal debate about the Stand Your Ground law that seems allow the defense claimed his attacker, George Zimmerman. the prime sponsor this legislation the Florida House, I'd like clarify that there nothing the law that provides for the opportunity pursue and confront individuals. simply lets those who would victims use force self-defense. The catalytic event that the led the legislations passage 2005, was the looting property the aftermath hurricanes. Specifically, there was situation the panhandle Florida where citizen moved onto his property, protect the remains his home from being looted. One evening, perpetrator broke into the and attacked the property owner. The property owner, acting self defense his home, shot and killed the perpetrator. was months before knew whether would charged with crime because there was clear legal definition self defense such case when potential victim was required retreat. Inspired homeowners fending off looters, the law wasn't meant defend shooter who pursued someone who had not threatened him. The Stand Your Ground law, passed, clarified that individuals are lawfully able defend themselves when attacked and there duty retreat when individual Florida law model legislation for other states. Quite simply good law that now protects individuals most states. But media reports about Trayvon Martin's death indicate that Zimmerman's unnecessary pursuit and confrontation Martin elevated the prospect violent episode, and does not seem act self defense defined the law. have great sympathy for the family Trayvon Martin and grateful that grand jury further exploring what actually happened that night Sanford. trust that justice will prevail. Unnecessary Law Gregory O'Meara, former prosecutor, associate professor law Marquette University. Updated March 21, 2012, 9:56 The difficulty with Stand Your Ground laws that they are based the assumption that neither the common law nor modern criminal codes adequately protect ordinary citizens who are under attack. This assumption simply wrong. Contemporary criminal statutes express nuanced and sophisticated concept defensive force derived from hundreds years common law precedent. These laws adequately protect both the innocent and those who mistakenly believe they are under attack while permitting the criminal prosecution trigger-happy cowboys. Stand Your Ground laws provide rock-solid defense paranoid dangerously aggressive people who are armed with deadly force. claim self defense defense others under current statutes, person under attack (the defender) needs raise credible proof: first, that reasonably thought (or another) was unlawfully under imminent deadly attack another; second, that each forceful action, including deadly force, took response this attack was necessary stop the attack; and third, that acted solely with the intent thwart the unlawful attack. many jurisdictions, the defender must withdraw from the fight before using deadly force can complete safety. the defender meets these requirements, will found not guilty. Furthermore, even the defender completely wrong about the situation but his mistake reasonable about either the imminence the deadly attack the necessity his forceful response, still gets the full defense and will found not guilty. This and has been the law the Anglo-American system for over 400 years. result, these sorts cases are almost never charged prosecutors with limited state resources. home state Wisconsin, large group criminal prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges could come with only one case which any homeowner was prosecuted when shot someone who entered his home illegally. That conviction was later overturned. contrast, under the Stand Your Ground law, there never requirement that one withdraw retreat before using deadly force, and the requirements reasonableness are attenuated essentially removed because the other witness dead, and the defender may shade the truth. Thus, Stand Your Ground laws may provide rock-solid defense paranoid dangerously aggressive people who are armed with deadly force. Current law protects those using defensive force, including deadly force, while insisting that they act reasonably. Stand Your Ground laws upset that careful balance removing the requirement that the defender act reasonably. For that reason, these laws should repealed. Focus Must Narrower Adam Winkler professor the University California, Los Angeles, School Law and the author "Gunfight: The Battle over the Right Bear Arms America." March 21, 2012 Stand Your Ground laws, which eliminate the longstanding legal requirement that person threatened outside his her own home retreat rather than use force, are the latest manifestation the political strength the gun rights movement. First adopted Florida 2005, Stand Your Ground laws, drafted and promoted the National Rifle Association, have since been enacted some form more than states. The Trayvon Martin shooting suggests that, the rush adopt these laws, lawmakers and gun advocates have gone too far authorizing the use deadly force. Stand Your Ground laws should only allow what their name suggests; they should not encourage vigilantism. Although the facts Trayvon Martins death remain uncertain, know that George Zimmerman, who was active the local neighborhood crime watch, suspected Martin was criminal and shot him Florida street. Despite being instructed police stay away, Zimmerman confronted Martin. The situation escalated quickly into violence. The police have yet arrest Zimmerman, apparently because Floridas Stand Your Ground law entitled Zimmerman use deadly force. Florida legislators, however, insist the Stand Your Ground law does not provide defense for people like Zimmerman, who pursue and confront someone. Florida Senator Durrell Peadon, who sponsored the law, said that Zimmerman has protection under law. According state Representative Dennis Baxley, Theres nothing this statute that authorizes you pursue and confront people. The law, Baxley notes, was designed only to prevent you from being attacked other people. The problem that nothing Peadon and Baxleys law says this. provides that any person may use deadly force when he she reasonably believes that such force necessary prevent imminent death great bodily harm himself herself another. long someone reasonably thinks someone else danger, can shoot kill, regardless whether the shooter the one who initiated the hostile confrontation. Indeed, given the laws authorization the use deadly force protect other people and, the law also provides, to prevent the imminent commission forcible felony, Floridas law unambiguously authorizes people pursue and confront others. Whatever the merits standing your ground when personally threatened, Floridas law goes much further and encourages vigilantism. tells people, who today are increasingly likely carrying concealed weapons, that they can pretend police officers and use their guns protect and serve the broader public. Stand Your Ground laws should only allow what their name suggests: permit people who are threatened stand their own ground and protect themselves. They should not give people the right use force defend someone elses ground. Under circumstances should people able confront others hostile manner, end using deadly force, and escape punishment. Racism the Problem Here Kenneth Nunn professor the University Florida Levin College Law, and member the Florida Innocence Commission. Stand Your Ground does not permit the use deadly force against initial aggressor unless the person reasonably believes that she imminent danger death great bodily harm and that she has exhausted every reasonable means escape such danger. Ordinarily, one would expect that reasonable force requirement would provide ample protection against idiosyncratic morally suspect behavior. But this not the case when victims happen black. several legal scholars have pointed out, the connection between reasonableness and race problematic. African-Americans, black males particular, have been constructed popular culture violence-prone and dangerous. Decisions regarding the reasonableness self-defense claims should made court. Sociologists tell this attitude toward black males widely shared, sometimes unconsciously, the Harvard implicit racism test discloses. the minds Americans who hold these views, fear black males, and consequently the use deadly force against them, reasonable. jury particularly likely credit defendants fear blacks when the determination reasonableness made not objective manner but from the position someone the defendants situation. Indeed, Bernhard Goetzs acquittal charges for the shooting four black men the New York subway 1984, and the acquittal 2008 the police officers involved the Sean Bell shooting, were due small part their lawyers fear the black man manipulations. Simply eliminating Stand Your Ground would not get rid racially disparate applications the reasonableness test. would not prevent young men like Trayvon Martin from getting killed and their killers getting off scot-free. Self-defense claims should limited cases which they are objectively reasonable, not when they are reasonable someone the defendants shoes. Additionally, decisions regarding the reasonableness self-defense claims should made court. Many Stand Your Ground statutes grant killers who claim self-defense immunity from prosecution, they cannot arrested the police view their assertions self defense reasonable. This wrong. The reasonableness killers actions ought decided open court juries made ordinary people, and not determined prior trial the secrecy the police station. Stand Your Ground statutes may problematic for number reasons. But really want save lives and prevent future miscarriages justice, will have confront the reality race. Due Process Will Prove the Facts Walter Olson senior fellow the Cato Institute and edits the blog Overlawyered. March 21, 2012 Under any criminal law, injustice can result cops get the facts wrong. The Sanford, Fla., police, accused buying dubious self-defense tale after the Trayvon Martin shooting, will now come under searching scrutiny for that decision. Sanfords mayor says his town eager stand corrected the evidence fuller story emerges. whos left disagree? Not the authors Floridas Stand Your Ground law, who told The Miami Herald that the law they sponsored applies only cases genuine self defense and wont protect neighborhood-watcher George Zimmerman critics the Martin shooting are right about what did that night. Despite doomful predictions from gun foes, concealed carry and liberalized self-defense laws havent touched off surge gun violence. The old duty retreat rule made hard invoke self defense even you had faced immediate threat assault: you could have run away, the state would argue, and conviction would follow. Among those who often lost out under that old rule were domestic violence victims who turned their assailants; feminists pointed out that you could have run away may not work well when faced with stalker vengeful ex. Despite doomful predictions from gun foes, concealed carry (now the dominant rule) and liberalized self-defense laws (adopted half the states) havent touched off the great warned-of surge gun violence. Yes, prosecutors may now need take more care marshal show actual evidence counter claims self defense. For those who value due process criminal justice group that should emphatically include members historically mistreated minorities that should count not bug but feature. Self Defense Part Our Heritage Jeannie Suk professor Harvard Law School, and the author "At Home the Law." Updated March 21, 2012, 9:22 Stand Your Ground laws that have caught many states since 2005 are also called Castle Doctrine laws referring the traditional legal concept that mans house his castle. But what does doctrine that relieves us, our homes, the duty try flee intruders attack before resorting force self defense, have with shootouts public streets? Beginning the late 19th century, most states extended the previously home-located privilege anywhere person has right be, influenced ideals true manhood the American frontier. Stand Your Ground laws were influenced ideals true manhood the American frontier. the provisions legislation like Floridas, eliminating the duty retreat from attacker public space before killing self defense, are not themselves radical departures from what have traditionally known. Indeed they track the same old move leveraging the appealing idea standing ones ground home, into any other place person has the right be. nothing those laws give permission shoot refuse retreat when one isnt attacked begin with. The dangers lie rather incorrect and confused law enforcement perceptions what the law allows, fueled the cultural background and emotions that surrounded the laws passage. post-9/11 decade anxiety about securing the homeland against attack, was perhaps unsurprising see sudden and sweeping preoccupations with self defense against intruders. Tragically, the expansive rhetoric home protection that gave the new laws such momentum during that time has also made more likely that vigilante would perceive the shooting black teenager gated community self defense.