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Archive for July, 2013

Self-Defense then, Legally Sanctioned Justifiable Murder NOW!

Thank you Marc Fiore for the great satirical video; keep them coming!

After the horrendous decision of the jury in the Zimmerman case, the light has been shined on the law that allows this kind of legally sanctioned mis-interpretation of self-defense. This tainted interpretation of self-defense has allowed a jury to use their underlying predisposition of a young black youth to completely obliterate their common sense and proper legal instructions for self-defense.

In Florida, the Stand Your Ground law (SYG) has allowed for and even encouraged/protected unwarranted vigilante behavior of its citizenry. Stand Your Ground law has been effect in Florida for 5 years and since that time the rate of justifiable homicides in Florida tripled; How are you liking that Floridians? This sad state of affairs should make all law-abiding Americans take pause and realize that a reversal is in order on this approach to self-defense.

The Stand Your Ground law essentially gives every citizen the right to kill based a perceived level of threat of bodily harm or possible death regardless of how unfounded that perception is to the reality of the situation. In fact, if a person invokes the SYG law in their defense then they are actually protected against civil law suits. Can you think how America would feel if O. J. Simpson had used SYG as a defense; was found not guilty (as he did in reality); and then was protected from any civil prosecution?

Before the “Stand Your Ground (SYG)” law was implemented in Florida the provisions for and instructions to jurors on self-defense were vastly different. A typical judge in Florida would inform the jury that the following conditions had to be met in order for the defendant to qualify for self-defense in the state of Florida.

“The defendant cannot justify the use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm unless he uses every reasonable means within his power and consistent with his own safety to avoid the danger before resorting to that force. The fact that the defendant was wrongfully attacked cannot justify his/her use of force likely to cause death or great bodily harm, if by retreating, he/she could have avoided using that force.”

This was, and should have continued to have been, the standard by which  a law-abiding citizen could invoke a self-defense plea in a civilized society. The fact that Florida has ventured so far from this commonsense approach to self-defense (which has been a part of the American judicial system for many hundreds of years) is an abomination to justice and the health of The Social Compact.

That was the provisions for self-defense in Florida and in all states in America, but in came the Koch brothers money, the American Legislative Exchange Council(ALEC), and the irresponsible Republican and Democratic legislators of Florida and now they have the “Stand Your Ground” law in Florida. This law takes an ominous and irresponsible turn on self-defense and now gives legal cover for justified offense; aka murder. It turns or gives cover for John Q. Public to go from a law-abiding citizen who calls upon police to handle a perceived criminal situation and turns them into a legalized vigilante with a license to kill with the added caveat of extra protections from civil liability’

Today, a Florida judge (as was the case in the Zimmerman trail) currently instructs jurors that the following minimalist conditions need only apply in court as a justifiable reason to take the life of another Floridian:

“If the defendant was not engaged in an unlawful activity and was attacked in any place where he/she has a right to be; the defendant has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his/her ground and force with force including deadly force; if he/she reasonably believes that it was necessary to do so to prevent great bodily harm or death to himself or another, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.” Read more…

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