Florida law wouldn’t work in reverse

The “Stand Your Ground” laws in Florida and other states should all be repealed. At best, they are redundant. At worst, as in a Trayvon Martin killing, they are zero though a permit to kill.

Police in Sanford, Fla., cited a government as drift for their preference not to record charges opposite Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman. Martin, 17, was strolling home from a preference store, armed with an iced tea and a bag of Skittles, when Zimmerman – a Neighborhood Watch proffer – speckled him and motionless he looked suspicious.

Zimmerman, who is 28, happened to be armed with a handgun. He followed Martin, notwithstanding instructions from a 911 user not to do so. They had an confront that left Zimmerman pang from teenager injuries and Martin passed on a belligerent from a gunshot wound. While we don’t know accurately what happened, we know that Zimmerman instituted a hit by stalking a immature male who had finished zero some-more sinister than travel down a travel wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

Police motionless to recover Zimmerman but charges since of a Stand Your Ground law. The applicable partial of a government says that “a chairman who is not intent in an wrong activity and who is pounded … has no avocation to shelter and has a right to mount his or her belligerent and accommodate force with force, including lethal force if he or she pretty believes it is compulsory to do so to forestall genocide or good corporeal harm.”

Zimmerman claimed self-defense, was given a advantage of a doubt compulsory by law and released.

This was a intolerable travesty, as we now know. The “person who is not intent in an wrong activity and who is attacked” was Martin. Under a Florida law, as we review it, he had each right to feel he was in “imminent hazard of genocide or good corporeal harm” from a foreigner who was following him. He had each right to confront Zimmerman – to mount his belligerent – and even to use lethal force, if necessary, to urge himself.

Imagine that Martin, not Zimmerman, had been carrying a authorised handgun and that it was Zimmerman who finished adult dead. It seems to me that a law should have compelled military to recover Martin, a immature African-American in a hoodie, but charges.

Somehow, we doubt that would have happened.

The accord view, that I’ve listened voiced by supporters of Stand Your Ground, is that military were wrong to extend a law’s self-defense shield to Zimmerman so fast but a some-more consummate review – and that given what we have schooled about Zimmerman’s office of Martin, a law does not seem to apply.

But afterwards because does Florida, or any other state, need this statute? State laws already authorised a use of lethal force in self-defense. By creation pithy that a chairman who feels threatened has no requirement to retreat, all a state Legislature achieved was to relieve a contingency that a irascible fight would be authorised to cold down but violence.

Write Eugene Robinson during eugenerobinson@washpost.com.