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Tue Jul 16, 2013, 04:10 PM

Don't buy the spin. SYG had everything to do with Zimmerman's acquittal

From the jury instructions:

The danger facing George Zimmerman need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, George Zimmerman must have actually believed that the danger was real.

If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.


That language (the second paragraph above, in particular) was quoted virtually word-for-word from Florida's SYG statute, or summarized language in that law.

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Arrow 56 replies Author Time Post
Reply Don't buy the spin. SYG had everything to do with Zimmerman's acquittal (Original post)
LuckyTheDog Jul 2013 OP
SugarShack Jul 2013 #1
blm Jul 2013 #2
LuckyTheDog Jul 2013 #3
LuckyTheDog Jul 2013 #4
Historic NY Jul 2013 #6
LuckyTheDog Jul 2013 #8
Historic NY Jul 2013 #9
Tippy Jul 2013 #12
Igel Jul 2013 #15
Historic NY Jul 2013 #49
Pelican Jul 2013 #53
hrmjustin Jul 2013 #55
tanyev Jul 2013 #5
Historic NY Jul 2013 #7
davidn3600 Jul 2013 #34
tanyev Jul 2013 #52
DirkGently Jul 2013 #10
blm Jul 2013 #13
DirkGently Jul 2013 #14
blm Jul 2013 #47
LuckyTheDog Jul 2013 #17
DirkGently Jul 2013 #18
LuckyTheDog Jul 2013 #21
DirkGently Jul 2013 #24
LuckyTheDog Jul 2013 #27
DirkGently Jul 2013 #30
LuckyTheDog Jul 2013 #33
DirkGently Jul 2013 #46
Jim Lane Jul 2013 #50
X_Digger Jul 2013 #36
cthulu2016 Jul 2013 #11
LuckyTheDog Jul 2013 #16
cthulu2016 Jul 2013 #19
LuckyTheDog Jul 2013 #22
MattBaggins Jul 2013 #54
DirkGently Jul 2013 #20
COLGATE4 Jul 2013 #23
DirkGently Jul 2013 #25
COLGATE4 Jul 2013 #26
LuckyTheDog Jul 2013 #28
DirkGently Jul 2013 #40
ctaylors6 Jul 2013 #29
LuckyTheDog Jul 2013 #31
ctaylors6 Jul 2013 #39
X_Digger Jul 2013 #42
LuckyTheDog Jul 2013 #51
X_Digger Jul 2013 #56
DirkGently Jul 2013 #32
LuckyTheDog Jul 2013 #35
DirkGently Jul 2013 #43
anomiep Jul 2013 #44
Lurks Often Jul 2013 #45
LittleBlue Jul 2013 #37
Decoy of Fenris Jul 2013 #38
DirkGently Jul 2013 #41
BootinUp Jul 2013 #48

Response to LuckyTheDog (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 04:15 PM

1. Well a juror said it did make a difference! It's the same propaganda controlling the Snowdon story

 

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 04:15 PM

2. That was the entire point of my thread. SYG instructions OBLITERATE manslaughter laws.

.

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Response to blm (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 04:43 PM

3. Yep. You got it. (nt)

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Response to blm (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 04:47 PM

4. Comparision

From Florida's SYG law:

A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.


From the jury instructions:

If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 05:14 PM

6. What about the victim?

He Unarmed he had a right to Stand his ground and defend himself

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 05:38 PM

8. Not in Florida (nt)

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #8)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 05:44 PM

9. As we have seen the law gives rise to vigilante style

justice, where the fmr defendant disobeyed the police by taking his own action.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 05:45 PM

12. Yes...But not according to the jury

Stand Your Ground....is an ignorant NRA Idea

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #6)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 05:52 PM

15. Your point?

That's one of the problems with SYG. If it applies everywhere, then it's easy for the violence to escalate to the point that *both* people could be seen as reasonably thinking their lives are in danger and both could be seen as justified in the use of lethal force. Esp. if they have different standards for what's appropriate or what might considered life-threatening.

Then whoever survives leaves walking, whoever doesn't is carried away. One person's innocence doesn't entail the other person's guilt, and vice-versa. Dump that idea. Some people may *claim* this is necessary, but it isn't.

In this case, though, the old statute that included the duty to retreat if possible would have probably led to the same outcome. By the time GZ could reasonably use lethal force and be required to retreat under the old law it's not unreasonable think he had no opportunity to do so.

Castle doctrine at home, not such a big deal--that, after all, is the 'castle'. You get the oddball case where it lets somebody off, you get some accidental deaths not worth punishing left unpunished But considering any place your feet or butt happen to be as your castle? Bleah.

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Response to Igel (Reply #15)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 09:38 PM

49. MY point is from a LE prospective ...

Last edited Tue Jul 16, 2013, 10:23 PM - Edit history (1)

the fmr. defendant would have been wrong after being advised to cease &desist . Zimmerman under common law would only have had the powers of citizen arrest if a crime occurred in his presence and there was "none". I believe common law has been ignored by Florida. In any other state "citizens arrest" would have had the dominant effect. The victim had he lived would have had a civil case against the fmr. defendant.

That why SYG laws suck they don't use precedence. The victim had he been armed would he have been legal if he sent GZ (the agressor the harrasser,the follower) to his final reward. That is what neither the media or other sources have actually examined. The shoot first and go to court later well thats not justice, that convenience and old west thinking.

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Response to Historic NY (Reply #6)

Wed Jul 17, 2013, 08:47 AM

53. Absolutely true if Zimmerman initiated the physical violence...

 

Jury must have felt it went the other way...

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Response to Pelican (Reply #53)

Wed Jul 17, 2013, 10:42 AM

55. The jury was wrong!

 

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 05:05 PM

5. I'm surprised to learn that Florida has 6 person juries for felony cases.

Are there any other states that do this?

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Response to tanyev (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 05:30 PM

7. A NY felony trial jury 12 members and up to 6 alternates...

For a civil trial there are usually six jurors plus up to four alternates. The jury for lesser criminal charges, including misdemeanors, also has six jurors and up to four alternates.

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Response to tanyev (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:41 PM

34. Connecticut I think does it too....along with sometimes Texas

 

Florida was the state that fought for 6-person juries in the 1970s and SCOTUS said it was OK.

BTW, it is 12 jurors in Florida for capital cases.

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Response to davidn3600 (Reply #34)

Wed Jul 17, 2013, 07:19 AM

52. I've never heard of it in Texas.

Every time I've had jury duty they've been looking for 12 people. That's been both district and county court level. Maybe it happens in lesser courts, I don't know.

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 05:44 PM

10. It's not spin. You're not understanding the law.


I knew this, but just heard a Florida defense attorney talking about it on the radio. SYG is primarily an immunity from prosecution based on the deletion of the duty to flee.

The defense team DID NOT RAISE SYG. The way they would have raised the actual law would have been to to demand immunity from prosecution for the entire case. They did not, because that would not have worked.

The jury instruction is not relevant because there was not an issue of a duty to flee.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #10)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 05:47 PM

13. Except the jury hung their hats on the SYG instructions. Instructions that TRUMP the

application of laws against manslaughter.

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Response to blm (Reply #13)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 05:50 PM

14. Please explain what you mean by that.


It's possible the juror everyone is on about said something about SYG, but that would just indicate she didn't understand herself what the law means.

And SYG does not "trump the application of manslaughter."

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #14)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 09:28 PM

47. The jurors were given instructions on Stand your ground



From the jury instructions:

The danger facing George Zimmerman need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force, the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through the use of that force. Based upon appearances, George Zimmerman must have actually believed that the danger was real.

If George Zimmerman was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he had a right to be, he had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believed that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #10)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:04 PM

17. The defense didn't have to invoke SYG. It still applied.

Nothing in the SYG law says "if your lawyer doesn't invoke this law by name, it does not apply to you."

The law was cited in the jury instructions. Beyond that, the law re-defined self defense in Florida in ALL cases.

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #17)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:09 PM

18. You still have to argue it. Explain how / when that happened.


Exactly how did the change to the duty to flee come into play in this case? Who raised it? Laws don't magically change cases by existing. You have to use them.

Again, a Florida defense attorney was very clear. NOT an SYG case.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #18)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:16 PM

21. You are just wrong

SYG re-defined the entire idea of self defense in Florida.

The ACTUAL danger no longer matters. Opportunity to escape without using lethal force no longer matters.

All that matters is whether or not a person has a "reasonable belief" that his/her life is in danger. And at that point, a person has no duty to retreat and is cleared to use lethal force. That is true even if the killer provoked the altercation (which Zimmerman clearly did).

That is why the SYG law language was used in the jury instructions. That is why the jury had to consider SYG principles.

I think people are really splitting hairs and parsing to the nth degree when they say "this was not a SYG case." That might be true om a very narrow sense. But with SYG on the books, it affects all cases like this, even if the lawyers want to pretend it doesn't.

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #21)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:21 PM

24. No, dude, YOU are just wrong. Explain how SYG applied.

SYG is a terrible idea. But it was not used in this case. Sorry, but it just wasn't. If you want to say it was, you're going to have to show where.

Stand Your Ground is two things: Deletion of the duty to flee in some circumstances, and a broader immunity from civil and criminal prosecution under some circumstances.

Which of these do you contend applied in this case?

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #24)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:26 PM

27. There was no SYG hearing

But, so what? You absolutely cannot say "it was not used in this case" when the law was cited in the jury instructions and was part of the jury deliberations. That sounds like "use" to me.

The judge specifically cited the "no duty to flee" thing and even said Zimmerman had the right to "stand his ground" and could not be convicted for standing his ground.

So, this whole notion that SYG never touched this case in any way is just flatly wrong.

The jurors could not find for manslaughter even if they wanted to because the SYG language in the jury instructions made that impossible.

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #27)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:29 PM

30. Your OP is that SYG had "everything to do with the acquittal." FALSE.


If you want walk it back to "it touched the case because part of the jury instructions mentioned the general language about duty to flee, so in a theoretical sense, SYG was there in the courtroom," okay.

But it didn't drive the result. There was no argument about a duty to flee where the defendant's entire narrative was that he was pinned to the ground when he decided he needed to shoot.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #30)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:39 PM

33. If not for the re-definition of self defense thanks to SYG, Zimmerman probably would be in prison

That's because whether or not he could have fled was not an issue. He out-weighed Martin, yet Martin pinned him? Unlikely. But it was a mot point because there was no duty to flee anyway, per SYG.

Was lethal force really justified based on the danger Zimmerman was in? Could Martin really have beaten him to death? Again, a moot point. All that was needed was for Zimmerman to have a "reasonable belief" in the danger (the judge said so). Again, that was thanks to the SYG law.

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #33)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 07:09 PM

46. No. Any evidence countering Martin pinning Zimm would be huge.


The body positioning is what gave Zimm his freedom. There was no other story presented. Had the prosecution had one, they wouldn't have shrugged it off because "no duty to flee." Z's whole premise of being in fear for his life -- which was flimsy to being with -- would have evaporated if he'd been on top, or even if the two had been standing, trading blows.

I do agree that SYG might have come into play then, and could have helped the defense. But there's no arguing everyone decided the entire physical scene was irrelevant. The prosecution would have traded their arms and legs for one witness saying Z fired from his feet, or from on top.

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #21)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 10:59 PM

50. Query re actual versus perceived danger.

 

You write:

SYG re-defined the entire idea of self defense in Florida.

The ACTUAL danger no longer matters.


I've never read the Florida laws, but the general rule of self-defense in U.S. jurisdictions, as I learned it before the first SYG law was passed, was that a defendant was privileged to use deadly force if he or she had an actual and reasonable belief that there was imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury.

Actual danger wasn't a requirement. If someone pulls out a gun and announces he's going to kill you with it, you'd be privileged to shoot first. Even if it later turns out that he was bluffing you with an unloaded gun, so that there was no ACTUAL danger to you, you would still have a valid plea of self-defense, and you would deserve to be acquitted.

You seem to be implying that that was not the law in Florida before SYG. That seems implausible to me. Are you saying that, until the enactment of SYG, a defendant who shot a victim who was waving an unloaded gun would be convicted of homicide, even if the defendant didn't know that the gun was unloaded?

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #17)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:45 PM

36. Actually, yes. There's a special hearing to determine if the defendant's actions are covered by SYG.

The defense in the GZ case did not request an SYG hearing.

Had there been a hearing and GZ's defense team sucessfully argued SYG, the case would have stopped right then and there. (This would have been a pre-trial motion.)

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 05:44 PM

11. You are saying that Trayvon attacked Zimmerman?

You *are* saying that, but I don't know if you are trying to say that.

If Martin did not attack GZ then how could GZ's right to stand his ground in the face of that force have had anything to do with anything?

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #11)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:01 PM

16. Not saying that at all

SYG applies in cases other than cases in which a person is attacked. In fact, in many cases, you can START THE FIGHT or otherwise provoke an attack. You still get to use lethal force at the point you decide your life is in danger.

Read the actual law.

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #16)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:10 PM

19. I read the law before it was fashionable. I am a law-reader by nature.

The bulk of the Florida self defense definition is old and commonplace and not related to SYG.

The changes, referred to as SYG, are not the entirety of the law on self-defense.

The section you are referring to about a fight you started, for instance, has nothing to do with the concept known as Stand Your Ground.

It is also not alluded to in the OP, thus was not presumed by me to be what you were referring to.

The thing called SYG requires that one be attacked or seriously threatened (in the eyes of a reasonable person, not merely that you think you're threatened) before becoming relevant.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #19)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:18 PM

22. Sigh. Read the jury instructions.

And please note the passages lifted almost verbatim from the SYG law. And please note that SYG does not require the other person to strike first. All that matters is that an altercation has started.

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #22)

Wed Jul 17, 2013, 09:36 AM

54. The Zimmerman apologists will not back down on this

The "SYG was not an issue meme" is to important to them and they will deny vehemently that the law was included in the jury instructions.

You are wasting your time.

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #16)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:12 PM

20. Maybe you should cite the language you're talking about.


The part of the *normal self-defense statute* that talks about an initial aggressor, and goes on to say that the aggressor regains the right to lethal self-defense if they reasonably think their life is in danger is not SYG. It's a typical statute, similar to other states.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #20)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:19 PM

23. You're not going to make any headway, I fear.

You, Cthulu and some other posters have been trying to explain this concept for two days now but it falls on deaf ears because it's not what some want to hear.

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Response to COLGATE4 (Reply #23)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:24 PM

25. Jesus Christ, I swore I was done with this topic, but the ignorance burns.


The case is a travesty. The result is abominable. Zimmerman is an idiot and a taker of innocent life.

But FLORIDA LAW did not fuck this up. Bad facts, bad evidence, bad prosecutorial strategy. And if anyone wants to throw in institutional racism in the way the case was handled and the attitudes of the jurors, that's probably there, too.

But there is not a crazy set of murder laws in Florida, aside from SYG, which is now all over the place, and was not used.



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Response to DirkGently (Reply #25)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:25 PM

26. I hear you loud and clear.

But I guess any excuse not to accept that it's over will work for some, at least for the time being.

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Response to DirkGently (Reply #25)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:28 PM

28. So, the instructions from the judge...

not a factor?

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #28)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:49 PM

40. Regarding "duty to flee?" No. How do you think otherwise?


The change in the law encompassed in the instruction you are talking about is this:

Normally, outside of the home, a person has a duty to flee if they can safely do so, even if they are in fear, rather than using deadly force.

Ex) Someone walks up to you, threatens to kill you if you don't get back in your car. You choose not to get back in your car, and pull a gun instead, and you're in trouble, IF the facts suggest you could have safely gotten away.

SYG makes everywhere your "castle." Some gun advocates think they shouldn't have to back down from a threat, even if they could safely get away. They got their stupid law passed in 30 states or whatever it currently is. So,

Ex2) Person walks up, threatens to kill you; you could step back in your car, but hell no, you're strapped, so it's go time. Bang bang someone's dead. As long as the fear of imminent harm was reasonable, you don't have to address whether you could've just gotten out of there.

It's not going to happen that much, but there are some bad examples in Florida already. One I believe was a guy who shot his neighbor through a fence, claiming he thought the neighbor was armed. He wasn't. Could've walked away. Now it doesn't matter.

In this case, Zimmerman's narrative is that he only decided to use deadly force when he was "pinned to the ground" when he decided he was in danger. Pinned. To. The. Ground. Nothing changes based on whether he could flee, because according to him, his entire fear was based on the fact he couldn't move.

Tell me how you think the analysis changes if, while pinned, he had instead the standard duty to flee "if one can safely do so."

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:28 PM

29. Maybe this will help clear up confusion

In about 2005, FLorida passed legislation pertaining to self-defense laws. So-called SYG legislation. It included different parts.

1 part was the immunity provision that provides immunity from "prosecution" and provides for a pretrial immunity hearing. Since prosecution includes arrest, that part likely came into play at the beginning of all this. Zimmerman waived the pretrial immunity hearing.

Another part removed of the SYG the duty to retreat from the general self-defense law in Florida. So if you're someplace you're legally allowed to be (but outside your home, which is covered by a different provision in the law) then you do not have a duty to retreat - ie you can stand your ground. That is the basic self-defense law in Florida, and the statute is used in the jury instructions in any case in which the jury is to consider self-defense. I think more than 30 of the states in the US have removed the duty to retreat (not sure of exact statistics - haven't kept track.)

I think all of these back and forths about about SYG "applying" or not have arisen because people have heard something on the news or read something in forums or in the news about SYG but did not realize that there were different parts. Plus people have been using the word "apply" which IMHO is really too vague a word to use in this context. For example, a commentator may have said SYG will not "apply" because Zimmerman waived the pretrial hearing. What that really meant is Zimmerman waived the pretrial SYG immunity hearing. It does not mean anything about the duty to retreat part. That's just part of the basic self-defense law in FL now.

Edited to add: In Florida, a defendant can claim self-defense against a charge of manslaughter. So the self-defense laws (technically called justifiable use of force in FL penal code) were given in the instructions related to both murder and manslaughter.

Edited again to add: 776.012 and 776.013 are the general self-defense laws that were given in jury instructions. Also wanted to mention that there's another provision of the FL self-defense laws (776.041) that provide an exception to the self-defense laws for an "initial aggressor." The parties argued over the inclusion/exclusion of that provision during the charging conference, and the judge ruled that it would be excluded.

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Response to ctaylors6 (Reply #29)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:33 PM

31. So, basically...

SYG re-defined self defense, even in cases where no SYG hearing is requested. That is what I am saying.

SYG had a lot to do with Zimmerman's acquittal because the duty to retreat was not there. Heck, even the actual danger was irrelevant. All that mattered was Zimmerman's "reasonable belief" that he was in danger, even after he provoked the attack.

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #31)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:48 PM

39. I think you've got it

The provision for the SYG immunity hearing should be looked at as a completely different provision for purposes of all this.

Self-defense law in FL, like the majority of states now, does not have a duty to retreat. And yes, that's the general self-defense law that applies no matter what the defendant chooses to do about the immunity hearing.

Generally, the duty to retreat would have come in close to the time he fired the weapon. The old law would have said that before the defendant used deadly force he had to take reasonable measures to retreat if he could. IMHO, I think the legal reasoning in that situation would have been that a person who was pinned down with his head being hit into concrete would not reasonably be expected to retreat so it probably wouldn't have been a relevant point of dispute. (I'm not saying anything at all about this case. I'm just saying that in a hypothetical in which the facts weren't in dispute, that would be the legal reasoning.)

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #31)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:55 PM

42. No, it did not redefine anything.

The provision that would have most likely applied is the duty to retreat.

In GZ's version of events, TM was on top of him- therefore he would have been able to claim that he could not retreat-

which makes the whole SYG thing a moot point.

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Response to X_Digger (Reply #42)

Wed Jul 17, 2013, 05:56 AM

51. I doubt Martin was on top of him the entire time, if ever

And even if he was, c'mon... you want to tell me that skinny kid pinned him to thoroughly that Zimmerman was immobilized? Stretches credibility. But, it was a mot point because -- as the judge informed the jury -- Zimmerman had no duty flee, per SYG.

Here is a good explanation: http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/07/15/2301621/why-stand-your-ground-is-central-to-george-zimmermans-case-after-all/

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #51)

Wed Jul 17, 2013, 10:46 AM

56. Without SYG, it would have been the exact same case.

Same burden of proof, same testimony, slightly altered jury instructions, and same result.

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Response to ctaylors6 (Reply #29)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:37 PM

32. Nicely put. But SYG deals only with the duty to flee, which did not arise.


It does matter whether a law "applies" if someone wants to pin the outcome of a case on it. The thesis being laid down is that SYG changed the case in some way, when in fact it did not. No one thinks that, and the people slinging it around are being careless about facts and law both.

If Zimmerman's narrative had been that he was standing up with Martin, had a gun when Martin did not, but felt that he was still in imminent danger if he didn't either shoot or flee, AND chose to stand and fight, that would be SYG. Under the old law, that's an obvious case where you can walk away, and therefore MUST.

But the narrative the prosecution helpfully provided, relieving Zim of any duty to testify, was that he was physically trapped an unable to move at the moment he decided to "defend." Therefore, the change in the duty to flee was no an issue, and it was not an SYG case.



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Response to DirkGently (Reply #32)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:44 PM

35. It changed the case

The defense got to make arguments that might otherwise have been challenged. But the SYG law made several issues (such as, was Zimmerman really unable to flee?) legally moot.

Had the prosecution proved that it was Zimmerman who pinned Martin, or that Zimmerman had a chance to escape, none of that would have mattered. The defense had SYG in its hip pocket to nullify any of that. No duty to retreat.

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #35)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 07:01 PM

43. Arguments like what?


Had the prosecution proved that it was Zimmerman who pinned Martin, they would have won the case. Zimmerman shooting down at a prostrate, unarmed, pinned, kid? Are you kidding? That would not have been an acquittal. The defense would have been crushed on the supposed fear of imminent harm / death.

This is the evidentiary matter I think is at the core of what people aren't getting. There was no narrative even suggested that countered the police report giving Zimmerman's story of being pinned, and the one witness who seemed to support that, if vaguely.

Had they done that, it would have been a very different case.

By the way, the lawyer being interviewed skewered the prosecution for introducing all the evidence of Zim's story. The state was in control of what was introduced, and had it not, Zimmerman might have had to testify to get his "story" in, which might well have doomed him, given his horrible credibility overall.



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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #35)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 07:02 PM

44. It seems to me that you're essentially arguing

that if the case had been different, than SYG would have made the case different - but under those circumstances the case is already different anyway, because you're positing a different case than was actually made.

Furthermore, had the prosecution proved that it was Zimmerman who initially used force, and that force was unjustified, then current law falls back to his having to disengage, with a duty to retreat applying, before he could have claimed self defense. We could speculate all day long about what things would be like if the prosecution had made a different case, it doesn't show anything about whether or not the case actually made was SYG or not, all it says is 'if the case were different it would be different'. Well, of course it would.

So let's not what if -> Given the case the prosecution actually made, whether or not there is a duty to retreat doesn't matter because under the old law and the new law, his claim is such that he would have been unable to retreat anyway. So the duty to retreat provisions of the law did not apply to the case actually made.

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Reply #35)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 07:08 PM

45. Elaborate

 

What arguments did the defense make that should have been challenged?

Self defense applies when a reasonable person has fear of death or grave bodily harm. The jury must agree that the fear of death or grave bodily harm is reasonable. The prosecution FAILED to prove that Zimmerman was not in fear of death or grave bodily harm.

In part 776.041 in the below link it goes over when use of force is allowed as an aggressor:

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0776/0776.html

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:45 PM

37. I am totally confused about this SYG issue

 

At the beginning of the trial, every person I heard said SYG was not part of the trial. Z waved this statute for tradition self-defense.

Since then, Z's attorneys are working toward immunity from civil suits, which people are saying is SYG. Others say SYG only applies civilly but not criminally.

And now it seems people say the jury instructions are taken from the SYG statute.

I have no idea what to believe here. The law is often convoluted, but this seems contradictory.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #37)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:47 PM

38. Not many folks around DU understand SYG. I'd suggest statute research,

 

coupled with Florida legislative archive research on the old Self Defense law to grasp the fundamental similarities and differences.

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Response to LittleBlue (Reply #37)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 06:52 PM

41. There is an immunity element of SYG for both civil and criminal


cases. It was NOT used in the criminal case, but could still be argued in the civil setting, theoretically.

In the criminal trial, the essence of SYG, which is the lack of a duty to flee before using deadly force *if one can safely do so* was part of the jury instructions.

Some are now attempting to argue that this instruction helped the defense, although the issue of Zimmerman being able to flee, given he shot while he claimed to be pinned to the ground, does not appear to many of us to have come up at all.

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Response to LuckyTheDog (Original post)

Tue Jul 16, 2013, 09:33 PM

48. For all Zimmy knew, those skittles were packed with explosives.

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