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HullabalooUpdate: this timeline explainer from Mother Jones is indispensable if you want to understand the case and the context for these laws. This is one example of how the law works:
Many readers have asked whether, given the 911 recordings, a case against Zimmerman would be easier than most homicides in which "self-defense" is cited by a defendant. In Florida, the answer probably is no: The courts' interpretation of the stand-your-ground law has been extremely broad—so broad that, to win an acquittal, a defendant doesn't even have to prove self-defense, only argue for it, while to win a conviction the prosecution has to prove that self-defense was impossible.
Numerous cases have set the precedent in Florida, with the courts arguing that the law "does not require defendant to prove self-defense to any standard measuring assurance of truth, exigency, near certainty, or even mere probability; defendant's only burden is to offer facts from which his resort to force could have been reasonable." When a defendant claims self-defense, "the State has the burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant did not act in self-defense." In other words the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt never shifts from the prosecution, so it's surprisingly easy to evade prosecution by claiming self-defense.
This has led to some stunning verdicts in the state. In Tallahassee in 2008, two rival gangs engaged in a neighborhood shootout, and a 15-year-old African American male was killed in the crossfire. The three defendants all either were acquitted or had their cases dismissed, because the defense successfully argued they were defending themselves under the "stand your ground" law. The state attorney in Tallahassee, Willie Meggs, was beside himself. "Basically this law has put us in the posture that our citizens can go out into the streets and have a gun fight and the dead person is buried and the survivor of the gun fight is immune from prosecution," he said at the time.
According to the NRA the constitution only protects people who have guns, not those who don't. It's really that simple.
Sounds to me like your typical Cowboy Wannabe getting reality mixed up with his own self-delusions about being an authority on defeating the bad guys.“He would circle the block and circle it; it was weird,” said Teontae Amie, 17. “If he had spotted me, he’d probably ask me if I lived here. He was known for being really strict.”
Zimmerman called police 46 times since Jan. 1, 2011 to report disturbances, break-ins, windows left open and other incidents. Nine of those times, he saw someone or something suspicious.
“Hey, we’ve had some break-ins in my neighborhood, and there’s a real suspicious guy at Retreat View Circle. This guy looks like he’s up to no good,” Zimmerman told a dispatcher on Feb. 26, the night of Trayvon’s death.
According to 911 recordings released late Friday by Sanford police, Zimmerman said the person was walking slowly, looked drugged and appeared to be looking at people’s houses. Police would later learn that Trayvon had gone to 7-Eleven during the NBA All Star game halftime to get Skittles and Arizona iced tea.
“These a--holes always get away,” Zimmerman complained.
What happened next is unclear, and has already reverberated nationwide. Calls to 911 alerted police to a scuffle and someone crying for help. In one, the chilling howl stopped after the clear, crisp blast of a bullet. Trayvon was lying face down on the ground near a pathway that runs through the townhouse community.
Read more here: Shooter of Trayvon Martin a habitual caller to cops - Miami-Dade - MiamiHerald.com
Phone records show that Trayvon was on the phone with his girlfriend while being followed. What she says about that conversation adds up to the information we have been hearing.
He tell her he is being followed, she tells him to run, he says he is just going to walk faster to get away, and apparently does so, until Zimmerman catches up to him again....She hears a some exhanges...who are you, what are you doing....a scuffle and the phone goies dead. Then Trayvon goes dead.
Zimmerman is the danger to society.
(and I bet them Sanford officers thought this would all go away the next day....after all, it was just some black kid)