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Without ‘Stand Your Ground,’ Attacker can have Advantage

Without 'Stand Your Ground,' Attacker can have Advantage

Without 'Stand Your Ground,' Attacker can have Advantage

Amid all the demagoguery regarding the tragic case arising from the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, there have been calls to repeal Florida’s landmark “stand your ground” law, which was enacted in 2005. There have also been numerous misleading remarks on how the law was enacted and where the language came from.

I am writing to help clear up the confusion. I was the chairman of the Judiciary Committee in the Florida House of Representatives in 2005. Rep. Dennis Baxley came to me and asked that I work with him and prepare language to reform Florida’s law that required innocent victims, when outside their homes, to flee, if they had an ability to do so, before using deadly force against a criminal who had attacked them. I agreed to do so, and was the main drafter of Florida’s “stand your ground” law.

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  • Johnathan Celso

    When I was taught Use-of-Force doctrines for certification to teach them, it was taught that Stand Your Ground provided for the presumed intent of the actor to use deadly physical force by simply preventing you from going from one place you had a legal right to be to another place you had a legal right to be. The ability and opportunity still had to be shown, but the intent was covered by the statute. Same thing with Castle Doctrine: the mere act of breaking into your home provided the intent of the actor to use deadly force. It was drilled into our heads that a duty-to-retreat was a supplementation to the law, NOT the conditional clause. The whole point of duty-to-retreat is that as long as it is with complete regard to yours, and other innocent persons, personal safety. By deduction, if you can’t get away you’re only resort left is to fight! For example, in NY they removed the duty-to-retreat clause if you are in your home. But NY does not have Castle Doctrine laws. The intent of the actor still has to be proven.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_H5RMP2XLUR2TSIKYN3SN26NDHI Cobra

    I completely agree with the stand your ground position.   As you also said, we all have to just let the Zimmerman case play out with all the facts being examined in a proper forum.   I hope whatever the outcome in that case, our nation continues to realize that criminals currently do have the upper hand and we cannot go backwards in giving any more ground to them.   If the current stand your ground laws need a bit more tweaking then lets do that, but I don’t want to see them go away!   I commend you for the fine work you did and please continue to do so on our behalf.

  • Fl cowboy

    I think the stand your ground law is very well written. I support the SYG law 100%. We have a few black liberal democrats in south Fl trying to play politics with this unfortunate situation with Trayvon Martin. We will always have the anti-gun liberals using any situation where a black is involved to go for the guns. 

    • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/JHSLFPNS5KJYVA3RUON7YT56LA Carl

      I just hope that you are a man of your word and are the very first person in line to support a black person that uses SYG to defend him/her self.

  • Gijoenj

    IDK Florida’s SYG law in depth but as written, what is to keep me from purposefully going outside, instigating an argument with my neighbor to the point that he attacks me, so I shoot him in self defense?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/JHSLFPNS5KJYVA3RUON7YT56LA Carl

    Not a be fan of SYG. I am how every a big fan of the primary law in the use of deadly force and gives you the reason for pulling andusing that weapon. Deadly force is generally defined as physical force which, under the circumstances in which it is used, is readily capable of causing death or serious physical injury. In order for deadly force to be justified there must be an immediate, otherwise unavoidable threat of death or grave bodily harm to yourself or other innocents.

  • Vinceautmorire

    Support your Second Amendment Rights! Vote George Zimmerman for Congress 2012!!!

  • RaymondSims

    People, this should be called only a shooting in
    fla. As long as you use a name to associate the action then it will grow in strength
    and if this happens raciest groups will gain strength and soon only criminals will
    have guns and the honest tax paying working people of this country will preyed upon
    buy these thugs (not that they aren’t now). Some of these thugs wear hoodies with their pants down to their
    knees and some wear suits and ties and work in local, state and federal
    governments, beware of all.