Repeal 'stand your ground'

Register
Jul 21, 2013

The “stand your ground” laws in Florida — the same template used for almost identical laws in Ohio and other states — resulted in the not guilty verdicts that many see as unjust in the trial of George Zimmerman. 

At its most basic level, Zimmerman armed himself and ignored police when he killed Trayvon Martin, who was walking home unarmed after buying a bag of Skittles and a soft drink at a neighborhood store. That’s what happened. Florida law — and Ohio law — make it legal to kill, but not right. 

These laws provide vague and codified terms to the intensely complicated act of killing and render almost any outcome in such cases — and potentially in less similar cases — the same as the verdicts that found Zimmerman not guilty on both manslaughter and murder charges July 13.

Ohio and 24 other states have “stand your ground” laws modeled after the same legislation Florida lawmakers used to enact its state law that provides a path to justifiable homicide with the weakest of circumstances. Trayvon was a teenager, who was walking home to his father’s house when he was killed. 

At its most intense center, these laws are derived from good, if fearful, intention, wrapped into the always difficult American system of courtroom justice. The national GOP successfully pushed the legislation inside state capitals across the country, but the outcome is not what these lawmakers likely intended. 

“Stand your ground” laws are emotionally opportunistic, destructive, and create situations to kill and glory in the killing. 

The president of the Sandusky chapter of the NAACP offered readers his reaction after Zimmerman verdicts were announced. 

“Try to imagine the situation reversed, if a black man shot a white teenager on his way home in his neighborhood,” Jim Jackson said. “There would be outrage among everyone. What it comes down to is the question: ‘Is racism dead in America?’ Obviously it’s not.”  

We’re hard-pressed to see any plausible argument to refute what Jackson, and others, have said. We hope the Sandusky branch of NAACP, other Ohio chapters, the national NAACP, the ACLU, residents and legislators unite for repeal, to remove these laws.

Comments

The Big Dog's back

Since you feel so strongly about it, are you going to march?

Simple Enough II

Many of us would, but we have J.O.B.S that we go to so that we can support our families.......

SamAdams

Every time the Register sinks as low as I think it can possibly go, it comes up with something like this to set the bar for the future even lower.

Stand Your Ground wasn't used as a defense in the Zimmerman case. You're a NEWSpaper (at least in theory). How could you not know that? Martin wasn't simply walking home when he was killed; he was beating the CRAP out of the man who shot him. I'd also note that there are also more recent photos of Martin available in the media. For you to choose the 14 year-old rather than the large and tough looking 17 year-old he became is precisely why so many condemn the media as having little integrity but lots of bias (and frequently a healthy agenda as well).

Stand Your Ground wasn't intended to REPLACE self defense laws, but rather to augment and clarify them. Too many people were being charged with things like murder when the reality was that it was self defense. What Stand Your Ground DOESN'T do is excuse ACTUAL murder, you know, the kind George Zimmerman DIDN'T commit.

Someone who is victimized and in fear for their lives shouldn't be victimized again by the authorities or the courts. If Stand Your Ground can prevent that, I remain all for it. It's bad enough to be attacked in the first place. To defend yourself -- the most basic of all human rights -- shouldn't be subject to criminal or civil charges once it's clear that you did, indeed, engage in self defense.

The Big Dog's back

The jury used SYG to make their decision.

grumpy

What Sam said is correct. She said it was never used in Zimmerman's defense. The only place it was brought up was in the judge's instructions to the jury. The judge is NOT the defense.

The Big Dog's back

SYG was used by the jury to make their decision.

grumpy

doubled

The Big Dog's back

SYG was used by the jury to make their decision.

The Big Dog's back

sam would you prefer the one of him lying dead on the ground?

dontcare

First of all syg, which this case was not about, does not give you a license to kill. You have the right to defend yourself, this is as old as documented history. The argument has nothing to do with syg. Your spin illustrates one issue I have with the media.

The Big Dog's back

SYG was used by the jury to make their decision.

huronguy

So why didn't traythug retreat when he punched gz in the nose? Why didn't he then run the 70 yards home, Why bang gz's head in the concrete? Gz had 3 decisions he could have made at that point. 1. allow trayhood to bang his head until gz is unconscious and pray he doesn't find the gun when he's knocked out and traythug just robs him 2. allow traythug to knock him unconscious and find the gun and kill gz. 3. shoot the little thug in self defense save his own life but then have the black community protest and demonstrate until politicians and elected officials arrest and charge him and even though he has a crooked judge and his civil rights were violated and we find out trayhood was the real racist and should have been charged with a hate crime he beats the case goes home and now the crybaby black's and their ignorant supporters and obama cry racist and afoul.

JudgeMeNot

Because he was a thug. Thugs smoke marijuana and commit crimes.

eriemom

Or.....stand their ground.

The Big Dog's back

Gee, maybe zim had his gun drawn and Trayvon was fighting for his life.

grumpy

Maybe the Pope is jewish and bears go to piddle puppies house for dropping their loads. About the same odds.

JudgeMeNot

How can this be a white issue. No whites were involved. Justice has been served and its party time.

Darwin's choice

Poll for everyone:
Name a place where there would be a large gathering of white people after the verdict was read?

Answer: At work.

2cents

Or buying ammo! :0

goofus

Why didn't the Ragister put Trayvons facebook picture on this article, you know the one of him exhaling pot smoke through his grill. Maybe he was high on purple drank made from Arizona tea and skittles.

The Big Dog's back

goof, Would you prefer the photo of him lying dead on the ground?

Richard Bebb

The inaccuracies and falsehoods used in this article are staggering....

"At its most basic level, Zimmerman armed himself and ignored police when he killed Trayvon Martin"
- Zimmerman was a legal gun owner who was permitted to carry in the state of Florida. Zimmerman was speaking with a non-emergency dispatcher, not a police officer. When Zimmerman was told "we don't need you to do that" in reference to following Martin, he said "ok" and stopped his pursuit. There is no other evidence that he did otherwise.

"(Martin) who was walking home unarmed after buying a bag of Skittles and a soft drink at a neighborhood store"
- Martin was armed with his fists when he punched Zimmerman in the face breaking his nose and the sidewalk which he used to bash Zimmerman's head.

"Trayvon was a teenager, who was walking home to his father’s house when he was killed"
- Martin was not shot in the back while he innocently walked home. Martin started the physical confrontation when he struck Zimmerman in the face and broke his nose.

“Try to imagine the situation reversed, if a black man shot a white teenager on his way home in his neighborhood,” Jim Jackson said. “There would be outrage among everyone. What it comes down to is the question: ‘Is racism dead in America?’ Obviously it’s not.”
- First of all that would not be a reversal of the situation. Zimmerman was Hispanic no matter how many times the media or the so called civil rights leaders try to make this into another situation of white oppression. Secondly, again I repeat, Martin was not shot in the back as he was walking home. Martin started a fight and paid for it with his life. Thirdly, the premise that racism isn't dead in America is false in this situation because there was one person who brought race into the confrontation and that was Martin when he called Zimmerman a cracker. There are no facts that show otherwise.

"We’re hard-pressed to see any plausible argument to refute what Jackson, and others, have said"
- I just gave you three, I welcome a response. There were protests to start an investigation and demand charges. Charges were filed against the desire of the local police department and prosecutors. Protesters wanted a trial. The trial went forward and Zimmerman was found not guilty based on the idea that he was defending himself, without the benefit of using the stand your ground laws to his favor. In the state of Florida you have the right to a stand your ground hearing which would permit immunity in any criminal trial, Zimmerman did not seek this hearing. So in essence this case had nothing to do with the stand your ground laws making this article even more of a joke. Now there are demands for civil rights charges to be filed by the federal government after they did not get the outcome they wanted, which would be a travesty of the American justice system. Instead of just regurgitating what you heard on MSNBC why not dig a little deeper and research some things yourself. It will make you (whoever wrote this piece) a better writer and a more rounded person all together.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/04/30/ju...

Darwin's choice

Great post. Sensationalism sells, dam the facts being correct!

Mime Bloggling's picture
Mime Bloggling

Richard Bebb: Well-written and well-researched reply. Well worth the read. Why can't we get this kind of coherence from Register reporting? Could it be that the Register is against all things Second Amendment? Keep in mind it was Matt Westerhold who approved of the printing in his newspaper of all the addresses of law-abiding concealed carry holders in Erie County and surrounding counties not so long ago...putting families at risk and putting the CHL holder at a higher risk of having to "stand his ground". Thank you again Richard Bebb. Great post.

The Big Dog's back

Gee, maybe zim had his gun drawn and Trayvon was fighting for his life.

grumpy

Gee, maybe the Pope is jewish and bears go to piddle puppies house for dropping their loads. About the same odds.

The Big Dog's back

Troll.

arnmcrmn

Sandusky Register. Jury has decided. This story is old. Stop playing the race card and get over it.

Why does every LIBERAL website or news outlet post 5-6 year old pictures of Martin? How about a more present one, you know where he is holding guns with gold teeth with his wanna be thug look?

hilltop

. . . . and if someone attacks you, smack 'em with a newspaper . . . .

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