Live by the sword of ill-conceived laws…


Tod Kelly

Tod is a writer from the Pacific Northwest. He is also serves as Executive Producer and host of both the 7 Deadly Sins Show at Portland's historic Mission Theatre and 7DS: Pants On Fire! at the White Eagle Hotel & Saloon. He is  a regular inactive for Marie Claire International and the Daily Beast, and is currently writing a book on the sudden rise of exorcisms in the United States. Follow him on Twitter.

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21 Responses

  1. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Dear Alanis Morrisette fans: this is not, technically, ironic.

    Zimmerman never actually invoked “stand your ground” as a defense to the murder charges against him. He invoked simple self defense, claiming that his victim attacked first.Report

    • Avatar zic says:

      Technically, yeah.

      But social-comprehensionally? Nah.Report

    • Avatar morat20 says:

      IIRC, the changes to Florida’s self-defense laws revolving around “Stand Your Ground” came up in the jury instructions.

      I don’t think SYG is limited to an affirmative defense, but rather a whole host of things involving the basic removal or negation of ‘duty to retreat’.

      Unless I’m misunderstanding the law, that would involve changes to the jury’s directions when it comes to deliberating a claim of self-defense.Report

    • Avatar DavidTC says:

      I’m with @morat20 , I don’t think ‘Stand Your Ground’ is actually a defense at all. Stand Your Ground modifies the *existing* defense of self-defense.

      People *normally* have a duty to attempt to retreat in public, and if they don’t do *try* to do that, they don’t get to use ‘self defense’. Stand your ground removes that duty.

      Now, Zimmerman claims that he didn’t have a chance to retreat, and was just attacked, so SYG wouldn’t apply. The problem is…because that claim didn’t *matter*, no one needed to prove it, and the defense didn’t waste their time trying to disprove it.

      People don’t argue irrelevant things in court, and SYG made a certain claim irrelevant, the law was the same either way. I don’t know why we’d assume that Zimmerman’s claim would not have been challenged by the government if that claim *had* been relevant, or that he would have consequently *won* that claim.Report

  2. Avatar Glyph says:

    An attorney for a Florida man charged with shooting at George Zimmerman said Friday that he planned to use a “Stand Your Ground” defense — the same legal strategy considered but ultimately not used by lawyers for the former neighborhood watch leader who was acquitted in the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin.

    (First sentence of linked article. Emphasis mine. Zimmerman’s lawyers used a standard self-defense, er, defense claim).Report

  3. Avatar Oscar Gordon says:

    *grabs popcorn*Report

  4. Avatar greginak says:

    It will be a good day in the world when George Zimmerman is an old outdated cultural reference young people don’t get like pet rocks and Where’s The Beef?Report

  5. Avatar Damon says:


    Allegedly Zimmerman threatens some guy. Both are in cars, and the guy responds by shooting at him and claims “SYG”.

    Thinking there’s a bit more to this than that….Report

    • Avatar Glyph says:

      Supposedly, the guy who shot at Zimmerman has been ordered by a judge to, until his trial, A). turn in his guns B.) Avoid all contact with Zimmerman and C.) Wear a GPS monitoring device.

      Maybe all that is standard procedure (or as close to it as possible, for a high-profile case); but to me, it sounds like maybe the shooter is suspected by the court to be mentally ill/obsessed.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck says:

      Yeah, there’s a bit more to it than that.

      In Apperson’s arrest report, which Local 6 obtained from the Seminole County Clerk of Courts, a Lake Mary police officer wrote, “During the investigation, I learned that Apperson has exhibited unusual behavior in which he had recently been admitted to a mental institution. It appears that Apperson has a fixation on Zimmerman and has displayed some signs of paranoia, anxiety, and bipolar disorder.”


  6. It’s just like when he killed that kid and was showered with hundreds of thousands of dollars for it: George Zimmerman is the real victim here.Report