Florida State Legislator wants to make "Zimmerman-esque" Stand your ground law stronger a
In 2005 Florida passed the “Stand Your Ground” law which was made world famous by the "wannabe cop" George Zimmerman, when he shot and killed unarmed 16-year-old Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman claimed self-defense and avoided conviction. The so-called stand your ground law initially prevented Zimmerman from even being arrested it took weeks of protest calling for prosecution until George Zimmerman was arrested and eventually prosecuted by a less then zealous State Attorney Angela Corey . Now the politician responsible for law wants to make it even easier for killers to get away with murder.
George Zimmerman recently posted a picture of Travon Martin's dead body on his twitter account and has been making statements that have been called racist. Since his acquittal he has had several brushes with the law for domestic violence, assault and more; however he has been able to avoid any serious prosecution or jail.
State Rep. Dennis Baxley introduced a bill two weeks ago that would make Stand Your Ground claims virtually invincible. traditionally someone who is claiming self-defense must prove he was attacked or threatened, but the new legislation would instead place the burden on the state to prove that he was not. If passed the victim will no longer has any benefit of the doubt.
in 2014 Florida lawmakers passed a law shifting the burden of proof to prosecutors, however the state’s Supreme Court recently rejected the change. Florida is one of strongest "Stand Your Ground" states, Defendants have no duty to retreat before using force in one’s residence, vehicle, or dwelling. Homicides against blacks have tripled in Florida since the passage of the "Stand Your Ground" Law.
33 states have enacted "Stand Your Ground" laws which is an extension of the "Castle doctrine" and there has been an uptick in vigilante violence in those states as well. One of the disturbing things about these laws is the bias of its application. Minorities are more then likely not allowed to invoke "Stand your ground" as a defense and they are disproportionately victims of violence by their white counterparts who invoke the law.
"Stand Your Ground" is dangerous and its application is bias it is also unnecessary the laws of the land already have guaranteed people the right to self defense but "Stand Your Ground" has allowed in many cases people initiate altercations and then kill. And in the case of Marissa Alexander a black woman who stood her ground against an abusive spouse in her home with her children could not use the "Stand Your Ground" defense. Alexander was sentenced to 20 years despite the fact she only fired in the air. After public pressure she was eventually released but the point is clear. "Stand Your Ground" is apparently only for whites.