Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ground Game

So let me be sure I understand. Under Florida's "stand your ground" law, you can shoot someone if you feel threatened. And having done so, you may not be subject to prosecution, or even arrest. Not just a legal defense: you may have immunity. Right? Forget about how "threatened" is defined: how is "feel" defined? Isn't that sort of critical?

Let's assume that, in the case of Trayvon Martin, the blame-the-victim side (appearing on Fox "news," as predictable as saliva on Dick Morris' toes, within moments of the shooting) is right: that in the end, Trayvon tried to fight his stalker. That Zimmerman was stalking him is not in doubt: the 911 tapes confirm he was chasing him, and was told not to. And a girl claims to have been talking to Trayvon on a cell phone as it was happening, during which call he said someone was chasing him. (I wonder if there are ways to retrieve that call: I assume it'd be critical evidence. Probably not possible, I'd guess.)

So what happened, worst case, is that Zimmerman saw Trayvon looking suspiciously black, candied and hoodied, and began to follow him, chase him. At which point, maybe, Trayvon decided to stand his ground, and fight the guy. According to Zimmerman, the kid broke his nose and beat his head on the ground. Of note, the police video when Zimmerman arrived at the station shows no blood, no evidence of injury at all. But okay. Far be it from me to suggest the police were complicit ex post facto, or that Zimmerman, who didn't seek medical attention till the next day, managed to acquire the injuries later. Who cares?

Here's a variation: For entertainment purposes, I pick out somebody and start following him, closer and closer, calling him names maybe, run after him if he runs. The person suddenly stops, turns around, and raises a fist at me, tells me to get the fuck out of his space, maybe takes a swing. I back away, but he keeps coming. So I shoot the sonuvabitch. He swung at me, which is without doubt threatening. Cool, right? Free and clear. I think I'll do it again.

Nice laws you got there, Florida. (And they're applying for statehood, ferchrissakes!) Or am I wrong about something? Because here is what the law says:

776.041 Use of force by aggressor. —The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or

(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

(a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
(b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.


  1. Might wanta watch out in your Glass House Sid...
    Of Course with your states Noah-esque rains recently you probably don't have much choice.
    and you can't watch it except on cable, I mean theoretically, as if anyone cared about the Mariners in the first place.
    And funny you didn't mention Washington State's own "Stand Your Ground" law which the Washington Surpreme Court upheld saying "There is no duty to retreat when a person is assaulted in a place where he has a right to be".
    Which is probably why the closest the NBA comes to Seattle is Salt Lake City.
    As if you had many suspicious-commit-crimes-at-twice-the-frequency-of-any-other-demographic-groups-nee'r-d-wells wandering your neighborhood in the first place.
    And Rochester from the Yacht Club doesn't count...
    78 and Sunny in the A-T-L today...
    Mr. Bluebirds on My Shoulder.....
    Seriously, if you ever get tired of 250 rainy days/year, getting "Meet the Press" on tape delay, and your home team opening the season in a country we dropped 2 Hydrogen Bombs on, give the Peach State a look.
    Low Taxes, Smooth Jazz, and the best Pubic School System South of Tennessee...


  2. Check the dispenser, Frank. I think you missed a dose.

  3. Can we make a deal?
    You don't joke about my Dementia Precocks, I don't joke about your regular Dementia.
    HAHA don't you just love Dementia jokes?
    Cause I'm gettin to that stage myself,
    Am I in the wrong OR cause I'm gettin Alzheimers or cause I'm just stupid?
    But whats up with Liberal/Blue/Washington still having a functional Gallows?
    Heck in Georgia, we dont even have an Electric Chair, much less a Gallows.

    Frank, Alert and Oriented x 4 Drackman

  4. I'll admit it's an embarrassment that WA has a similar law; like many other destructive laws around the country, they were all pre-written by lobbyist groups like ALEC, funded by the usual right-wing billionaires, bought and paid for in state legislatures.

    Nice democracy you've got there, America.

  5. This particular case has been mangled from the get go. Last night Lawrence O'Donnell broke some new news about the case and had several of the smartest voices on the topic on his show. I highly recommend that anyone remotely interested in this case to view it. That fish rotten from the head down, let us say.

    ALEC has to be one of the most insidious, odious and dangerous groups formed by the right to push their extreme agendas from Sea to Shining Sea. I can only hope they will be exposed for what they are, influence peddlers.

    By-the-by, did you read about Ronald Reagan's regret at ever becoming a republican in today's news? Priceless! I envision water being thrown on the Wicked Witches of Wrong who have slavered at the Church of Ronnie, i.e. Gingrich, Romney, et al. Ha! It's a good day.

  6. I hadn't seen that, Diana. Thanks, it's indeed priceless. I can just imagine the people at Fox getting ready to blanket the airways saying it's fake, when someone says, "hey, look, it came from the Reagan library."

    Gonna write about it.


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