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Old 03-30-2012, 10:45 PM   #201
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Yeah, whoever thought that if someone who "snaps" had a gun, he might actually shoot someone? Go figure.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:00 PM   #202
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Tampa Bay Times, Mar. 31
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The men responsible for Florida's controversial "stand your ground'' law are certain about one thing: Because of his actions before he pulled the trigger and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, George Zimmerman is not protected from criminal prosecution. Because Zimmerman exited his vehicle, because he followed Martin, because his actions put him a situation where he felt it necessary to shoot a boy dead, he should be booked, jailed and forced to face a jury of his peers. Said Durell Peaden, the former Republican senator from Crestview who sponsored the bill: "The guy lost his defense right then. When he said, 'I'm following him,' he lost his defense."
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But the lawmakers are wrong.

Since its passage in 2005, the "stand your ground'' law has protected people who have pursued another, initiated a confrontation and then used deadly force to defend themselves. Citing the law, judges have granted immunity to killers who put themselves in danger, so long as their pursuit was not criminal, so long as the person using force had a right to be there, and so long as he could convince the judge he was in fear of great danger or death. The Tampa Bay Times has identified 140 cases across the state in which "stand your ground'' has been invoked, and many involve defendants whose lives were clearly in jeopardy. But at least a dozen share similarities with what we know about the Trayvon Martin case, and they show the law has not always worked as its sponsors say they intended.
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“Mr. Zimmerman's unnecessary pursuit and confrontation of Trayvon Martin elevated the prospect of a violent episode and does not seem to be an act of self-defense as defined by the castle doctrine," wrote state Rep. Dennis Baxley, the Ocala Republican who co-authored the law, in a column March 21 for FOXNews.com. "There is no protection in the 'stand your ground' law for anyone who pursues and confronts people."

Lawyers say the bill's supporters are either uninformed or politically motivated. "That's not what the law says," said Steven Romine, a Tampa Bay lawyer who has invoked "stand your ground'' successfully. "They might think that in their own heads, but it's just not true. If you're doing something legal, no matter what the act is, and you're attacked, it's in that moment that you have a right to stand your ground."

Prosecutors, who are generally critical of the law, agree. "The real issue is what happens around the 60 seconds prior to the shooting," said Ed Griffith, a spokesman for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, which brought the charges against Greyston Garcia. "Everything else has emotional content, but from a legal perspective, it all comes down to the 60 seconds before the incident."


One of Romine's cases is a prime example. In 2008, his client, Charles Podany, noticed a truck speeding past his house in Thonotosassa, where his children play in the front yard. Podany fetched his handgun and rode his bicycle down the street to the house where the truck was parked to get a license plate number. He found himself in a confrontation with Casey Landes, 24, who had been a passenger in the truck. Landes, legally drunk, attacked the smaller Podany and wound up on top of him. Podany drew his weapon and fired twice. The second bullet entered Landes' left cheek and struck the back of his skull, killing him instantly. Podany was charged with manslaughter. But before trial, a judge ruled that despite initiating the confrontation by arming himself and riding his bicycle to the speeder's house, Podany was in a place he had a legal right to be and he was carrying a weapon he had a legal right to carry. He found that Podany feared for his life and had the right to defend himself with deadly force.

"There is not an exception to the law that says if you're doing something stupid, or risky, or not in your best interest, that 'stand your ground' doesn't apply," Romine said.

In May, Carlos Catalan-Flores, 26, a security guard at a Tampa strip club called Flash Dancers, confronted men who were drinking beer in the parking lot. One of the men threw a beer bottle at Catalan-Flores' head and prepared to throw another. Rather than taking cover inside the club, or using his baton or pepper spray to protect himself, Catalan-Flores drew his weapon and began firing. Several of the six shots hit the man who threw the beer. A judge ruled that Catalan-Flores was justified, even though he initiated the confrontation. Being hit by a beer bottle constitutes a forcible felony, so he had the right to shoot, to protect himself.
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The court has even ruled that the statute can protect someone who shoots a retreating person. In overturning a ruling against Jimmy Hair, who shot a man who was retreating from a fight, a judge in Tallahassee wrote that the statute "makes no exception from the immunity when the victim is in retreat at the time the defensive force is employed."

Prosecutors argue that these types of cases should be brought before a jury. "Jurors understand self-defense," said Griffith, the spokesman in Miami. "That's really where it should be."

Nine days after Trayvon Martin was shot dead in Sanford, Brandon Baker, 30, and his twin brother were driving separate cars toward the apartment they shared in Palm Harbor. Seth Browning, a 23-year-old security guard who later told deputies he was concerned with Baker's erratic driving, pulled in close behind Baker to get his license tag number. Baker turned off East Lake Road, then onto an access road and came to a stop, according to Pinellas sheriff's investigators. Browning followed and stopped behind Baker's Chevy truck. Baker climbed out of his truck and walked to Browning's window. His brother, Chris, watching from behind, said Baker was trying to figure out why Browning was tailgating him. Browning sprayed Baker with pepper spray, then shot him in the chest. He told deputies that Baker had punched him and he was in fear for his life. Browning called police as Chris Baker tried to revive his brother.

His father, Kevin Lindsay, rushed to the scene and watched as Browning was questioned at length. Then he learned the man who killed his son was released. Baker's parents had never heard of the "stand your ground" law. Waiting for some type of action has exhausted them. They long for justice in what appears to them to be a clearly unjustifiable killing.
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But if history serves, the pursuit may not matter. The case will hinge on what happened in the moments before Browning pulled the trigger, and whether he feared for his life. Pinellas Sheriff Bob Gaultieri said this week that the case is still under investigation. Baker's parents, like Martin's, are appalled that the law might protect the man who killed their son, and shocked that men who backed the law are saying they didn't know it could.

"Even if they had the best of intentions, they need to change this law," Alex Lindsay said. "They will never fully understand the repercussions of it."
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:03 PM   #203
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The court has even ruled that the statute can protect someone who shoots a retreating person.
What the actual fuck.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:08 PM   #204
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Sometimes, I make my brain hurt by wondering why stupid people are allowed to make laws.
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Old 03-31-2012, 10:45 PM   #205
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I love how all the people in those stories who are owning guns and just blasting away at people with them are going, "I feared for my life." They threw bottles at you or punched you. You, on the other hand, had a fucking gun! You're kind of at an advantage here, in terms of weapons.

And if you're willing to confront someone "scary", clearly you're not as afraid as you claim.
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Old 03-31-2012, 11:49 PM   #206
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And if you're willing to confront someone "scary", clearly you're not as afraid as you claim.
I think they don't have a lack of fear, but a constant fear which borders on paranoia. Think about it -- is it really reasonable to be so afraid in a gated community that you need to carry a gun? The vast majority of people in the US go through their entire lives without ever being in a situation where they actually need to carry a gun...or any weapon. I strongly believe it's an irrational fear, not a lack of it, which drives most people to carry guns.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:15 AM   #207
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It was stories like this that gave me an irrational fear when I visited in 2010
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:05 AM   #208
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I didn't bookmark it unfortunately, but a couple weeks back I read an interesting article summarizing research on how being given a gun affects subjects' perceptions of various situations. The gist of it was that people are actually more likely to perceive threats once armed. (These were ordinary people, not trained police or military.) Counterintuitive rationally perhaps, but to me it made a lot of sense emotionally.

I think racism remains by far the most probable explanation for why Zimmerman was so quick to perceive Martin as a thief on the prowl, one of those "f*ing assholes/f*ing [?]s" who "always gets away" and likely carries a weapon ("he's reaching for his waistband...he's got something in his hands..."). I don't think racism explains his impulsive recklessness in jumping from his car and chasing his "suspect." But it's not like these traits are mutually exclusive.

Clearly one of the most desirable potential outcomes from all this would be some serious revisions to Florida's Stand Your Ground law, and the only reason there's any discussion of that currently going on in FL's legislature at all is because of the pressures national protests and media scrutiny have brought to bear on the state.
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Old 04-01-2012, 06:38 AM   #209
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Originally Posted by corianderstem

What the actual fuck.
Yeah. ... ... Um...

...

Yeah.

I have no idea how that could ever stand up in court. "Your honor, I was afraid he would kill me if he left me alone!"

And yet it does and has.

... Yeah.
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Old 04-01-2012, 08:48 AM   #210
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Yeah. ... ... Um...

...

Yeah.

I have no idea how that could ever stand up in court. "Your honor, I was afraid he would kill me if he left me alone!"

And yet it does and has.

... Yeah.
He was totally going to run to get his 'homies' so yeah, definitely couldn't let him run officer!
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Old 04-01-2012, 10:39 AM   #211
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It was stories like this that gave me an irrational fear when I visited in 2010
Well, of course you only hear about the bad news, the people who do get killed.

But bear in mind just how many millions of Americans don't get shot. You don't hear about those now, do you?

Damn lamestream media.

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Old 04-01-2012, 01:14 PM   #212
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On a sidenote, you rarely hear bad news about Canada and countries like Costa Rica and Panama.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:22 PM   #213
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On a sidenote, you rarely hear bad news about Canada
ya
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:27 PM   #214
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Well, of course you only hear about the bad news, the people who do get killed.

But bear in mind just how many millions of Americans don't get shot. You don't hear about those now, do you?
If it bleeds, it leads.


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On a sidenote, you rarely hear bad news about Canada and countries like Costa Rica and Panama.
I rarely hear any news about them....

(well, maybe hockey news from Canada.... )
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:36 PM   #215
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NBC to do ‘internal investigation’ on Zimmerman
segment - Erik Wemple - The Washington Post


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NBC to do ‘internal investigation’ on Zimmerman segment

NBC told this blog today that it would investigate its handling of a piece on the “Today” show that ham-handedly abridged the conversation between George Zimmerman and a dispatcher in the moments before the death of Trayvon Martin. “We have launched an internal investigation into the editorial process surrounding this particular story.”
Great news right there. As exposed by Fox News and media watchdog site NewsBusters, the “Today” segment took this approach to a key part of the dispatcher call:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.

Here’s how the actual conversation went down:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.
Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?

Zimmerman: He looks black.
Nice.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:54 PM   #216
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Wow. But I honestly can't say that I'm too surprised. This whole thing has been an incredibly annoying media spectacle.
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Old 04-01-2012, 01:54 PM   #217
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Dear NBC: You're not helping.
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Old 04-01-2012, 02:19 PM   #218
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Well, that's what you get for relying on a single network news show for all your news. I've seen no print pieces represent the call that way.

His audible level of agitation and conviction that he's spotting a thief are troubling enough as is; no "ham-handed" edits necessary.
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Old 04-01-2012, 03:19 PM   #219
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I can already tell you what the NBC "investigation" will say.
They received an edited version of that 911 call and didn't do their due diligence.

As Tim Russert continues to roll in his grave...
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Old 04-02-2012, 09:44 AM   #220
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All they had to do was Google the call, get the transcript. Easy enough.

CNN did several stories on the fact that NBC edited the call.
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