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  1. #1
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    Florida's Stand Your Ground Law

    Posted on Tuesday, 05.01.12

    Florida task force seeks major overhaul to Stand Your Ground law

    By Toluse Olorunnipa
    The Miami Herald

    The statewide task force to review Florida’s Stand Your Ground law will begin its work Tuesday, but a state senator who formed his own task force is recommending the law be rewritten to make it more difficult for defendants to claim self-defense.

    Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, said Monday the controversial law should be revised to allow law enforcement officers more leeway to investigate shootings of unarmed victims and make the self-defense protection less available to criminals looking for an out.

    “We wanted to make sure that we put together an accurate report, to give the governor direction, to give the Legislature direction and to give the governor’s task force direction,” he said. “Every day this law is being used and misused in courtrooms throughout the state of Florida.”
    <snip>

    Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/05/0...#storylink=cpy
    Justice and power must be brought together,
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    All discussion of the SYG law in Florida belongs here.

    PLEASE REMEMBER:

    1. TOS and Rules of Etiquette
    2. Using sweeping generalizations about any group of people who hold beliefs different from one's own beliefs is divisive and unproductive
    3. Debate, even passionate debate between two people who hold opposing views, should be conducted in a reasoned and respectful manner

    Usual TOS applies here: provide links to facts, and PLEASE clearly note when you are making a statement of opinion.

    Whenever possible, please provide evidence to support your opinion. Any links posted must comply with WS TOS.

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  3. #3
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    Seriously curious...

    I keep hearing this thing about "Stand Your Ground". Now I lived in Texas and currently live in Mississippi. Both have SYG or "Castle" laws, which give, in my understanding, more leeway as to when you can and can't use deadly force.

    But if I understand the dynamics of this case, I am not sure if I agree that SYG even applies. SYG allows deadly force without a person seeing if they can make a valid retreat. In other words, you are in your bedroom and a person breaks through your front door. Instead of going out your window, SYG allows you to just kill them.

    But according to everything I have seen, Trayvon was ON TOP of Zimmerman when he was shot. Well, if there is NO avenue of escape, SYG has nothing to do with it, you have a right to defend yourself when there is NO avenue of escape.

  4. #4
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    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_1...orce-scrutiny/

    She emphasized that the task force's mandate was to evaluate Florida Statute Chapter 776 with regard to its application and interpretation.


    Carroll said the task force's diversity of background provided an opportunity to "really pull the onion back and say we do need to look at this."

  5. #5
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    May 1, 2012 6:03 PM

    Florida's Stand Your Ground law faces task force scrutiny
    By Lucy Madison

    (CBS News) A little over two months after the death of Trayvon Martin, a Florida task force on Tuesday held its first meeting to examine the controversial "Stand Your Ground" law that has been at the center of the uproar surrounding the Florida teen's death.
    <snip>
    Florida is one of more than 20 states with a so-called Stand Your Ground law, which in that state allows a person to use deadly force against another if he or she "reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony." The Florida law also grants immunity from those who use deadly force in response to what they believe is a threat to their life.
    <snip>
    The 19-person task force, led by Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, aims to examine Florida Statute 776, which legalizes the so-called Stand Your Ground law, as well as "other laws, rules, regulations or programs that relate to public safety and citizen protection."

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_1...orce-scrutiny/
    Justice and power must be brought together,
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    and whatever is powerful may be just.
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    With Stand Your Ground in spotlight, NRA launches campaign to defend it

    by Tolu Olorunnipa at 2:28 PM on Tuesday, May. 1

    On the same day that a 19-member task force met to begin discussions surrounding Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law, the National Rifle Association released a statement in support of such self-defense laws.

    "The National Rifle Association will work to protect self-defense laws on the books and advocate for their passage in those states that do not fully respect this fundamental right," the statement says.

    The NRA helped get the law on the books in Florida, and then pushed for it in more than two dozen other states. Now a 19-member task force is taking a look at whether or not the law--which came into play in the Trayvon Martin case--should be changed or scaled back.

    Read more here: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/naked...#storylink=cpy
    Justice and power must be brought together,
    so that whatever is just may be powerful,
    and whatever is powerful may be just.
    Blaise Pascal

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    Fla. Stand Your Ground task force to examine public safety
    By TaMaryn Waters, The Tallahassee Democrat
    Updated 4h 6m ago

    <snip>
    Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, who is chairwoman of the citizen safety task force, said the review of Florida's stand-your-ground law goes beyond the Martin case.

    "This task force is not here to try the Zimmerman-Martin case," Carroll said. "This law has an impact on all Floridians."
    <snip>
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/...man/54662130/1
    Justice and power must be brought together,
    so that whatever is just may be powerful,
    and whatever is powerful may be just.
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    Lawyers: 'Stand your ground' law becoming more common defense

    By John Woodrow Cox, Times Staff Writer
    In Print: Tuesday, May 1, 2012

    BROOKSVILLE — On a sticky summer night in 2010, William Siskos tucked a .22-caliber Ruger in his waistband and walked to a home on Ligonier Road in Spring Hill.

    There, in the front yard, he met Joe Kasbach for the first time. In the nine months before that night, Siskos had been dating Kasbach's wife. An argument broke out almost immediately. Within minutes, authorities say, Siskos pulled his gun and fired a round into Kasbach's abdomen. The 46-year-old was pronounced dead at the hospital.

    A witness, standing just feet away, told detectives Kasbach never threw a punch or pulled a weapon. Kasbach had spread his arms wide and taken just a half step toward Siskos before, the witness said, he was shot down in cold blood.

    More at: http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/...efense/1227798
    Justice and power must be brought together,
    so that whatever is just may be powerful,
    and whatever is powerful may be just.
    Blaise Pascal

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    Ernestine Broxie, Tallahassee

    Updated: 7:08 PM Mar 31, 2012
    Judge Grants Woman Immunity Under 'Stand Your Ground'
    Charges dismissed for Tallahassee woman accused of murder
    UPDATE 3.30.2012 6:45pm by Julie Montanaro

    A Tallahassee woman accused of murder has walked out of court a free woman.

    A judge today ruled that Ernestine Broxsie was immune from prosecution under Florida's Stand Your Ground Law.

    "I was scared he'd hurt me so bad," Broxsie testified.

    <snip>

    http://www.wctv.tv/courtcases/headlines/80750267.html
    Justice and power must be brought together,
    so that whatever is just may be powerful,
    and whatever is powerful may be just.
    Blaise Pascal

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zenreaper View Post
    I keep hearing this thing about "Stand Your Ground". Now I lived in Texas and currently live in Mississippi. Both have SYG or "Castle" laws, which give, in my understanding, more leeway as to when you can and can't use deadly force.

    But if I understand the dynamics of this case, I am not sure if I agree that SYG even applies. SYG allows deadly force without a person seeing if they can make a valid retreat. In other words, you are in your bedroom and a person breaks through your front door. Instead of going out your window, SYG allows you to just kill them.

    But according to everything I have seen, Trayvon was ON TOP of Zimmerman when he was shot. Well, if there is NO avenue of escape, SYG has nothing to do with it, you have a right to defend yourself when there is NO avenue of escape.
    You make a salient point. Let's say Trayvon was on top. Was Trayvon going to kill George with his fists? I hear the story of head bashed against concrete to the point that any more would make George a vegetable. Indeed, that's the rationale for George using his gun, I realise. But George's injuries don't look that dire. So, I am going to dismiss that and wonder. George feared for his life because Trayvon was so strong and was going to kill him with his fists? Doesn't carry much weight, does it? George has to prove he was in fear for his life. Trayvon was unarmed, and I can't imagine his fists were a deadly weapon. George could have kept fighting back. He had an avenue of escape. Something doesn't compute, IMO.

    ETA: Oops, I just read the post above this one. So the woman got off because she was "scared he would hurt me so bad". Not kill, not maim, just hurt badly. So killing someone is justified if there is the potential for bodily harm. Nevermind.


  11. #11
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    I find this an interesting informative link since it lists all the states with SYG laws and their regional differences. I wish , it had identified how the immunity is applied though.
    It has been insinuated that the Fl SYG statute is more liberal than in any other states. Some other States look identical to me as Florida, wonder if the difference is in the immunity provision which is not really addressed in the list.
    But quite some restrict the locale where SYG can be invoked and is not "at large"

    http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2012/...fdefense.laws/
    Last edited by rotterdam; 05-04-2012 at 04:37 PM. Reason: spelling

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by elementary View Post
    You make a salient point. Let's say Trayvon was on top. Was Trayvon going to kill George with his fists? I hear the story of head bashed against concrete to the point that any more would make George a vegetable. Indeed, that's the rationale for George using his gun, I realise. But George's injuries don't look that dire. So, I am going to dismiss that and wonder. George feared for his life because Trayvon was so strong and was going to kill him with his fists? Doesn't carry much weight, does it? George has to prove he was in fear for his life. Trayvon was unarmed, and I can't imagine his fists were a deadly weapon. George could have kept fighting back. He had an avenue of escape. Something doesn't compute, IMO.

    ETA: Oops, I just read the post above this one. So the woman got off because she was "scared he would hurt me so bad". Not kill, not maim, just hurt badly. So killing someone is justified if there is the potential for bodily harm. Nevermind.
    The way I read the statute is that you can invoke the SYG and really do not need to have a scratch on you. Just reasonable fear (very subjective depending on the individual) will suffice. A Halloween prank can easily get you killed IMO. In other words a "Boo" can technically get you blasted to the other side depending on the threshold of reasonable fear by the recipient.
    Also warning and/or non lethal shots can get you in jail, better shoot to kill. Dead men/women tell no tales.

  13. #13
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    I haven't researched the SYG laws in every state and I live in Texas, which has a version of this law on the books as well. So I'm familiar with the Texas law and now the Florida statute.

    If I understand the Florida statute correctly, it limits a police officer's ability to arrest someone who shoots and claims SYG. The officer(s) must be able to decide, basically on the spot, that the evidence does not support the claim. That is very difficult to do without an investigation. But if it's not abundantly clear then the officer cannot arrest because the statute provides immunity against not only civil liability but also arrest. IMO this severely limits a police officer's ability to do his job in these types of situations.

    The Texas statute:

    In 2007 Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 378 which extends a person’s right to stand their ground beyond the home to vehicles and workplaces, allowing the reasonable use of deadly force when an intruder is:

    Committing certain violent crimes, such as murder or sexual assault, or is attempting to commit such crimes;
    Unlawfully trying to enter a protected place; or
    Unlawfully trying to remove a person from a protected place.[14]
    Senate Bill 378, made effective September 1, 2007, also "abolishes the duty to retreat if the defendant can show he: (1) had a right to be present at the location where deadly force was used; (2) did not provoke the person against whom deadly force was used; and (3) was not engaged in criminal activity at the time deadly force was used."[35]

    It would seem that the Florida statute is much broader and limits police authority. The Texas statute provides the bolded portion above, which IMHO would have applied in this case. Also in Texas, claiming self defense is an affirmative defense, to be presented at trial, it doesn't make you immune to arrest.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Desdemona View Post
    Updated: 7:08 PM Mar 31, 2012
    Judge Grants Woman Immunity Under 'Stand Your Ground'
    Charges dismissed for Tallahassee woman accused of murder
    UPDATE 3.30.2012 6:45pm by Julie Montanaro

    A Tallahassee woman accused of murder has walked out of court a free woman.

    A judge today ruled that Ernestine Broxsie was immune from prosecution under Florida's Stand Your Ground Law.

    "I was scared he'd hurt me so bad," Broxsie testified.

    <snip>

    http://www.wctv.tv/courtcases/headlines/80750267.html
    If the story in your post was true, then she had every right to pull the trigger. No one should be prosecuted for saving their own life. She's 65 and says he was choking her and they both went for the gun. So what if she pulled the trigger twice. The gun was a .22 that doesn't have much stopping action.
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    Quote Originally Posted by elementary View Post
    You make a salient point. Let's say Trayvon was on top. Was Trayvon going to kill George with his fists? I hear the story of head bashed against concrete to the point that any more would make George a vegetable. Indeed, that's the rationale for George using his gun, I realise. But George's injuries don't look that dire. So, I am going to dismiss that and wonder. George feared for his life because Trayvon was so strong and was going to kill him with his fists? Doesn't carry much weight, does it? George has to prove he was in fear for his life. Trayvon was unarmed, and I can't imagine his fists were a deadly weapon. George could have kept fighting back. He had an avenue of escape. Something doesn't compute, IMO.

    ETA: Oops, I just read the post above this one. So the woman got off because she was "scared he would hurt me so bad". Not kill, not maim, just hurt badly. So killing someone is justified if there is the potential for bodily harm. Nevermind.
    From the FL statutes:

    "presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm".—
    "Life is life's greatest gift. Guard the life of another creature as you would your own because it is your own. On life's scale of values, the smallest is no less precious to the creature who owns it than the largest..." Lloyd Biggle, Jr.

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