or in expanded terms, if you are on your property, at your place of business, in your car or anywhere that you have a right to be, IF YOU ARE CONFRONTED and attacked you have the right to use deadly force to save your life WITHOUT having to show proof that you excercised a DUTY TO RETREAT
raises a different issue. Laws have always been different under circumstances of your home, and frequently your car or other space you have the exclusive legal right to occupy. Defense of home Duty to retreat
But one reason why the concept of "stand your ground" caught the eye of people is because "duty to retreat" had become so overbearing that prosecutors were turning busted down interior doors into "insufficient evidence of duty to retreat".
Short of chewing your way through a brick wall and offering up part of one of your hands to a knife blade, people who had shot someone in self defense were becoming increasingly worried that their cases would not hold up satisfactorily enough in court.
And finally, enough people decided to say "a lot of these cases should not even result in an arrest because the evidence was clearly in favor of the defendant".
Duty to retreat was being abused in too many cases where the shootings were justified, prosecutors were also resorting to saying that because a shooting did not happen completely within the confines of a dwelling that self defense was not justified, all manner of minutae was being turned into a means of entrapping law abiding people who were simply saving their own lives or the lives of loved ones.
Phil, I technically understand and agree with the idea of matching force for force, i.e. using fists to repel fists instead of resorting to a gun for instance. But then you open up a whole new can of worms.
If the attacker is carrying a concealed weapon of some kind and happens to be better with their fists than the victim, and succeeds in knocking the victim unconscious and the victim awakens to find the attacker standing over them with a gun, is it not too late to figure out if there was a reasonable match of force for force?
If the attacker is coming at me and is wearing the kind of clothing where I can tell they're not armed (tight tee shirt and shorts, no telltale sign of a weapon in their pocket)then, if I am not overwhelmed with fear I know I can avoid using a firearm.
But Phil, are we not then putting so much pressure on a victim that it now adds to the likelihood that the victim will be unable to defend themselves AT ALL, when the reality is, the attacker has no business attacking.
Who is in the wrong again, Phil?
The attacker is!
No Phil, the concept of stand your ground is a good one in principle, provided the circumstances in which one is allowed to use deadly force are clearly defined and better yet the circumstances where one GIVES UP that right are even better defined.
And the beauty of it all is, defining where you give up those rights is a very simple thing:
If you started something, you have no right to claim self defense if it was reasonable to expect you NOT to start something.
It was entirely reasonable to expect Zimmerman to leave Martin alone. It was entirely reasonable to expect Zimmerman to understand that by pursuing and confronting Martin he was forfeiting his self defense rights.
And it was entirely reasonable to expect the police to take all that into consideration and make an arrest.
And Florida's law, by admission of its own authors, makes no provision to define where people like Zimmerman are CLEARLY in the wrong.
The concept and principle are fine, deadly force is reasonable.
Poorly written laws are what's at fault for not defining the rules under which deadly force is okay, and not okay, in very SIMPLE and EASY TO UNDERSTAND terms.
"Don't START nuthin, won't BE nuthin."