Many thanks for the article link. But it does raise more questions for me (a non-lawyer). If you'll school me on some of the finer points, please.
But I fail to see
why they aren't at all relevant to the Trayvon Martin shooting (despite claims by some to the contrary).
The writer gives three reasons for in-applicability, the first and last I will concede but the middle one I question:
Second, we know from the recorded 911 call that Zimmerman was not under attack when he initially encountered Martin.
I believe the author is basing his assumptions that were given in the last paragraph:
1) ...disregard the police dispatcher's statement...not to follow
2) ...Zimmerman's provocation
3) ...non-deadly force (fisticuffs)
Which leads me to my questions:
Is criminal activity AND attack both necessary to invoke applicability?
When does "following" become "provocation?"
Since the "initial" encounter wasn't an attack does that preclude any defense for a later violent attack? Which means to me that once I become close enough and speak to the perp that I cannot "stand my ground" I need to already have recognized my predicament and retreated or at least not engaged/spoken to him?
Is "fisticuffs" a reasonable response to someone following you?
I do know "fisticuffs" can be deadly. Does it require a trial and jury to define what a reasonable person response to fisticuffs is in every case?
Since this is all based on some very bad reporting, conjecture and even misinformation from the media can anyone except a lawyer with the pertinent [as yet unavailable] information be able to even say it's not applicable?
Lastly, one purported advantage to stand your ground is freedom from civil liability. Since Zimmerman is now charged can he be sued (civilly) and if he should be aquitted will he be once again protected? or do just having the charges brought remove all civil protection (forever)?
Hopefully, I'm not testing your patience with all these questions.