A Note To Aly….
The Florida “stand your ground” statute totally negates The Supreme Court “Doctrine of Retreat” to avoid the use of deadly force and should/must be examined as a result of the Zimmerman/Martin case.
Where “neighborhood watch” groups exist it is clearly understood in law that they do not have police powers and they work as an adjunct to those legitimate powers. The telephone operator who instructed Zimmerman not to pursue Martin was absolutely correct.
In any Civil trial, let alone one conducted by the Department of Justice the issue of race and profiling will play large, but even larger will be the matter that Zimmerman chose to initiate the confrontation.
What will never be known and will be left to reasonable commonsense conjecture are the few moments of that confrontation and no reasonable person can assume that Zimmerman approached Martin and simply asked him: “what are you doing here?”
No one will believe that if Zimmerman saw a white youngster walking down the street between 7:30 and 8:00 pm, with a stuffed back pack, smoking a cigarette and sort of swaying to the music he was listening to, that he would even have that person a second thought.
Zimmerman used the Florida statute as a hunting license!
The earlier “doctrine of retreat” was specifically designed to prevent that hunting license mentally and grant of personal authority. If your home were invaded and the intruders were stealing your insurable stereo and TV equipment, you did not have the right to GI Joe it down the hallway, crawling on the carpet and then turn and blow the intruders away with your shotgun.
That right of defense came into play if, and only if you had retreated to avoid confrontation and the intruders moved in pursuit or search of you; then all bets were off and the full right of self-defense with violent force came into play.
One can reasonable assume that the confrontation between Zimmermna and Martin would fall under The Chaplinsky “Fighting Words Doctrine” as regards what Zimmerman said to Martin.
Those are matters for higher courts than the sham court of Florida and the set of instructions hammered into the heads of those jurors.
As regards Marissa Alexander, a 32-year-old mother of three, fired what she described as a warning shot in the direction of her husband — against whom she had a protective order — and two stepsons. No one was injured, but she was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 20 years.
Alexander was convicted of three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for firing a gun into a wall close to where her husband, Rico Gray, and stepsons were standing, after she and Gray had a dispute.
When questioned by police, Alexander said she discharged the weapon to avoid being beaten by Gray, who was subject to an injunction prohibiting violent contact with her. Alexander, who had given birth to Gray’s child nine days earlier, said she had no intention of killing him.
A judge rejected her bid to mount a defense under Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law, which allows people to use deadly force if they or their homes are in danger. After she rejected a three-year plea deal, Alexander was convicted and sentenced to 20 years, as required by Florida’s strict sentencing guidelines on crimes involving a gun.
Kevin Cobbin, Alexander’s attorney, said his client was justified in firing her gun because Gray “had put his hands on her and there was a fight in the bathroom.”
“The judge decided not to make the call to grant ‘stand your ground,’ ” Cobbin said. “If it had been a white female, I believe she would have.”
Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.), whose district includes parts of Jacksonville, last year described Alexander’s case as evidence of “institutional racism.”
"The Florida criminal justice system has sent two clear messages .
One is that if women who are victims of domestic violence try to protect themselves, the 'Stand Your Ground law' will not apply to them."
The second is the fact that only white men will be the beneficiaries of that law.
Also, in this case, to rule attempted murder is absolute rubbish. In a home environment and the limited distances involved, three shots and the party is neither wounded nor dead…preposterous. At those distances without my glasses on I could inflict a mortal wound with each round.
Given the history of the Alexander home the verdict is insane, male slanted and racist in terms of the degree of punishment.
There was no crime in my opinion in the Alexander instance and a crime was committed in the Zimmerman/Martin case, but then the law as formulated and practiced in our nation today has nothing to do with commonsense and reasonable judgment.