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Old 03-21-2012, 12:05 AM   #78
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Default Re: Trayvon Martin Case

Originally Posted by Rake2204
Thanks, I was doing a little more reading on the case today and I saw mention of Florida's "Stand your ground" law, which seems to differ from laws set by most other states. I still believe the outcome of this case will not work in Zimmerman's favor (rightfully so) but I do find it strange, as you said, that police were so willing to write things off at the scene and not arrest him initially.

These "stand your ground" laws seem so incredibly stupid. Rather than walking away from a dangerous situation, you can "stand your ground" and escalate the situation. They supposedly have already prevented convictions in gang shootings where a bystander was killed

Deaths Nearly Triple Since “Stand Your Ground” Enacted
According to state crime stats, Florida averaged 12 “justifiable homicide” deaths a year from 2000-2004. After “Stand your Ground” was passed in 2005, the number of “justifiable” deaths has almost tripled to an average of 35 a year, an increase of 283% from 2005-2010.

This article has a good rundown of several tragic cases including a guy who was drunk and tried to enter the wrong house on his block and ended up shot on his neighbor's steps. Even though he never entered the guy's house. Previously the homeowner would have had to call the cops and wait inside. Nowadays he can escalate the situation due to this idiotic law. A law the head of Miami police department doesn't like.

Miami's police chief made a prediction shortly before the law took effect:

"Whether it's trick-or-treaters or kids playing in the yard of someone who doesn't want them there or some drunk guy stumbling into the wrong house,'' Chief John Timoney told the New York Times, "you're encouraging people to possibly use deadly physical force where it shouldn't be used.''

Four years later, Billy Kuch got drunk, so drunk that at 5 a.m. one day he stumbled to the door of the wrong house in a look-alike neighborhood and tried to open it, twice.

Before the "stand your ground" law, homeowner Gregory Stewart would have been expected to hunker down in his Land O'Lakes residence, dead-bolt secure, and call police.

With the law in place, he could use deadly force anywhere he had a right to be, provided he felt threatened with death or great bodily harm. He had no duty to retreat from danger.

Stewart left his wife inside with their baby and stepped outside, gun in hand.

Kuch put his hands up and asked for a light.

"Please don't make me shoot you," Stewart said.

Kuch, then 23, says he might have stumbled. Stewart, then 32, told police the unarmed man took three steps forward.

The bullet ripped into Kuch's chest, nicked his heart, shot through his liver, in and out of his stomach, through his spleen, then out his back. He felt like his body was on fire.

Stewart, when questioned by deputies, began to cry. "I could have given him a light," he said.

The days ticked by, Kuch in a coma as his parents waited for word of a trial. And waited. After two months, the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office decided the shooting was justified and dropped the aggravated battery charge.
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