Jump to content
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

Sign in to follow this  
Florida Guy

"Stand Your Ground" Law

Recommended Posts

Florida's controversial law is back in the news after this shooting was caught on video:

 

 

Taking the law into account, was it justified? You decide.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't have a duty to retreat but when the guy turned his back on his victim and backed away, the threat was neutralized and he should not have shot.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m embarrassed to live a country where the moral and legal implications of shooting somebody like this are even debatable.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You don't have a duty to retreat but when the guy turned his back on his victim and backed away, the threat was neutralized and he should not have shot.

 

This is how I understand SYG laws to work as well.  SYG laws are obviously not licenses to kill.  They are statutory overturnings of one of the former elements of self defense (duty to retreat).  That means that all other elements of a self defense plea still exist, i.e., "if [the defender] reasonably believes that deadly force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm."  The previous requirements included a duty to retreat, if retreat would not increase the danger to the defender, unless the defender was in his or her own home (the last exception often being referred to as the "castle doctrine").  SYG laws effectively make anywhere you lawfully have a right to be into your "castle."

 

I'm not a prosecutor or a sheriff.  But that strikes me as a question that should go to trial in this case, given the video.  The defender certainly wasn't under a threat of imminent death.  Great bodily harm?  Doesn't look particularly convincing to me.  Maybe there were words being exchanged where the attacker (who, incidentally, used nonlethal force, which seems pretty significant here) was threatening further harm--the attacker was obviously agitated (and had every right to be, given that he thought he was defending his wife, though that shouldn't have led him to strike first).  But if the attacker were just using words to the effect of "back the f*** away" instead of an actual threat of imminent serious bodily injury, I'd have a hard time seeing this as the defender standing ground.  More like actively counterattacking and escalating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ i think the issue with SYG laws is that it seems to allow people to escalate a situation when they have a gun.  I know this is not the intent of the law but it is how it works in practice.  I believe that the shooter in this case had also threatened someone else previously as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Florida governor signs bolstered 'stand your ground' law

Reuters Staff

 

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (Reuters) - Florida Governor Rick Scott signed amended “stand your ground” legislation on Friday, making it easier for defendants in the state to successfully claim they were protecting themselves when they commit violence.

 

Previously, the law required defendants to prove that they were using force in self-defense. The new law shifts the burden of proof in pretrial hearings to prosecutors, rather than defendants, to prove whether force was used lawfully.

 

Supporters of stand your ground laws, including the National Rifle Association, the powerful U.S. gun lobby, see the legislation as bolstering civilians’ right to protect themselves.

 

Read more here:

 

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-florida-guns/florida-governor-signs-bolstered-stand-your-ground-law-idUSKBN19033X

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The defender certainly wasn't under a threat of imminent death.  Great bodily harm?  Doesn't look particularly convincing to me.

 

I think the initial violent push could have easily caused great bodily harm and even death. The guy went flying and was lucky that he caught his fall. Plenty of people die from a single shove or punch that results in their head hitting pavement. Once the victim is on the ground, likely stunned and confused, he only has a split second to decide if he thinks the attacker is going to continue his potentially deadly assault or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The defender certainly wasn't under a threat of imminent death.  Great bodily harm?  Doesn't look particularly convincing to me.

 

I think the initial violent push could have easily caused great bodily harm and even death. The guy went flying and was lucky that he caught his fall. Plenty of people die from a single shove or punch that results in their head hitting pavement. Once the victim is on the ground, likely stunned and confused, he only has a split second to decide if he thinks the attacker is going to continue his potentially deadly assault or not.

 

LOL, of course.  Trolling again, I see.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Once the assailant turns their back to walk or run away, there is no longer a threat and SYG is not applicable. I did not watch the video with sound so it looks like he was backing away when he was shot which means Self defense does not apply here or should not apply here. If he were walking toward the guy on the ground again, the shooting would be justified.

 

I disagree with what the sheriff says. But even if the sheriff says there is no case, the prosecutor is ultimately the one who decides.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ Here's the Florida statute:

 

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.012.html

 

The question is whether or not the victim "reasonably believe(ed) that using... (deadly) force (was) necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself."  So the question is whether or not his belief was reasonable. Lying on the ground, after a sudden, aggressive, and violent attack, one may very well reasonably believe they are in harms way.

 

When someone starts a potentially deadly fight, their victim can reasonably feel in imminent danger until the aggressor is completely removed from the area, IMO. Backing away, slightly, isn't enough.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ Here's the Florida statute:

 

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.012.html

 

The question is whether or not the victim "reasonably believe(ed) that using... (deadly) force (was) necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself."  So the question is whether or not his belief was reasonable. Lying on the ground, after a sudden, aggressive, and violent attack, one may very well reasonably believe they are in harms way.

 

When someone starts a potentially deadly fight, their victim can reasonably feel in imminent danger until the aggressor is completely removed from the area, IMO. Backing away, slightly, isn't enough.

 

By your logic, you can shoot anyone that so much as punches you once unless they quickly sprint out the area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ Here's the Florida statute:

 

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.012.html

 

The question is whether or not the victim "reasonably believe(ed) that using... (deadly) force (was) necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself."  So the question is whether or not his belief was reasonable. Lying on the ground, after a sudden, aggressive, and violent attack, one may very well reasonably believe they are in harms way.

 

When someone starts a potentially deadly fight, their victim can reasonably feel in imminent danger until the aggressor is completely removed from the area, IMO. Backing away, slightly, isn't enough.

 

By your logic, you can shoot anyone that so much as punches you once unless they quickly sprint out the area.

 

Not even punches...pushes.  When people start to believe things like this, it's time to restrict gun ownership.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL, of course.  Trolling again, I see.

 

Huh? How is that "trolling?" That's my honest take on this, and it happens to parallel the

, which is why the victim likely won't face charges. I understand you might be upset about this, but all I'm trying to do is explain how I see it, and how I believe authorities see it based on their statements.

 

By your logic, you can shoot anyone that so much as punches you once unless they quickly sprint out the area.

 

If an aggressor puts you in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, you can reasonably believe you're still in that same imminent danger until that person is very clearly gone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL, of course.  Trolling again, I see.

 

Huh? How is that "trolling?" That's my honest take on this, and it happens to parallel the

, which is why the victim likely won't face charges. I understand you might be upset about this, but all I'm trying to do is explain how I see it, and how I believe authorities see it based on their statements.

 

By your logic, you can shoot anyone that so much as punches you once unless they quickly sprint out the area.

 

If an aggressor puts you in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, you can reasonably believe you're still in that same imminent danger until that person is very clearly gone.

 

So if I push you down, you can murder me unless I sprint away quickly.  If I am within eyesight, I am still a threat to you.  And this is a "reasonable person" standard to you.  If it is, it shows how big of a farce SYG laws are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The defender certainly wasn't under a threat of imminent death.  Great bodily harm?  Doesn't look particularly convincing to me.

 

I think the initial violent push could have easily caused great bodily harm and even death. The guy went flying and was lucky that he caught his fall. Plenty of people die from a single shove or punch that results in their head hitting pavement. Once the victim is on the ground, likely stunned and confused, he only has a split second to decide if he thinks the attacker is going to continue his potentially deadly assault or not.

 

I watched the video again.  Between 0:45 and 0:47, it actually skips, so there might even be another second of inactivity there (though not much, because the bystander closer to the camera hasn't moved far when the camera skips), which is enough time to know that the attack is not continuing, and in fact the attacker was already backing away after the shove.  I'd be interested to know how much time actually passed between when the man got pushed to the ground and when he sat up, drew his weapon, trained it on the man who was still backing away, and shot him.

 

Watching this further, if this shooter gets away with this, I think it sets a bad precedent.  Because in hindsight, it will mean that the most rational thing for the attacker to do in this case would be to continue the attack.  Don't let the defender get back up to a sitting position, reach for a weapon, draw it, aim it, and kill you.  Risk getting tried later.  Even if you end up with a couple of years for assault and battery, you're not dead.  Heck, you get to be the one making the plea that you saw that the man had a gun and you were defending your wife.  Maybe you even don't get convicted.

 

Of course, you can say that the other thing the retreating attacker could have done would be to get down more quickly when the gun got drawn, but even in that situation, the attacker might well have hoped that the man with the gun just wanted to frighten him off (and he was already backing away).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One issue I have with the Stand Your Ground law is that it doesn't seem to prevent someone from willingly fighting someone, and then shooting them the second they feel they're in real danger of losing.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching this further, if this shooter gets away with this, I think it sets a bad precedent.  Because in hindsight, it will mean that the most rational thing for the attacker to do in this case would be to continue the attack

 

If we take this a step further, the most rational thing for the attacker to do would have been to never attack in the first place. Deterrence is a very important aspect of laws like this one and should not be overlooked. If anyone in the future resists the urge to unnecessarily react violently to mundane situations, the law will have done part of its job.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One issue I have with the Stand Your Ground law is that it doesn't seem to prevent someone from willingly fighting someone, and then shooting them the second they feel they're in real danger of losing.

 

I think about the Trayvon Martin case.  If he had a legal firearm on him, he might have been able to stand his ground against Zimmerman who was stalking him.  That's why the law seems absurd to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^^^ Here's the Florida statute:

 

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.012.html

 

The question is whether or not the victim "reasonably believe(ed) that using... (deadly) force (was) necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself."  So the question is whether or not his belief was reasonable. Lying on the ground, after a sudden, aggressive, and violent attack, one may very well reasonably believe they are in harms way.

 

When someone starts a potentially deadly fight, their victim can reasonably feel in imminent danger until the aggressor is completely removed from the area, IMO. Backing away, slightly, isn't enough.

 

 

 

I could not tell when exactly he was shot. Backing away may be a little dubious but certainly when he turns his back, you cannot shoot. Despite the fact the law does not directly say so in the statute. If you turn your back, the threat is over. That is settled law if you look at it from the perspective of a trained lawyer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watching this further, if this shooter gets away with this, I think it sets a bad precedent.  Because in hindsight, it will mean that the most rational thing for the attacker to do in this case would be to continue the attack

 

If we take this a step further, the most rational thing for the attacker to do would have been to never attack in the first place. Deterrence is a very important aspect of laws like this one and should not be overlooked. If anyone in the future resists the urge to unnecessarily react violently to mundane situations, the law will have done part of its job.

 

Actually, I wasn't even making a point about the SYG law in my last post, because I don't think this is actually a SYG issue (notwithstanding the thread title).  When you've been knocked to the ground, retreat is considerably more difficult and that difficulty would probably make the duty to retreat much less of an issue even in a non-SYG state.  Therefore, the real issue in a SYG or non-SYG state would be the application of the traditional standards for self-defense: (a) reasonable fear of (b) imminent © death or great bodily harm (d) that can only be prevented by lethal force.

 

ETA: This is a point I've made consistently before on these boards, I think, when the Trayvon Martin incident had everyone talking about SYG then.  SYG laws are much less big of a deal than either their supporters or their opponents claim.  In a non-SYG jurisdiction, the lethal defender has to prove all those things above, plus that there were no safe avenues of retreat available unless the defender was in his own home.  In a SYG jurisdiction, the lethal defender still has to prove all those other things above.  Though now I'm very interested in whether Gov. Scott just changed any part of that with his "enhanced" SYG law.  Changing the burden of proof so that it's no longer an affirmative defense (i.e., something the defense has the burden of proof on, even if the prosecutor retains the overall burden of the criminal charge) but part of the case in chief, that's actually a significantly bigger deal than merely eliminating one element (and not really the largest element) of the affirmative defense.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just don't see the imminent threat in this particular situation. Although I do believe it would be hard to convict the person given the video available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just don't see the imminent threat in this particular situation. Although I do believe it would be hard to convict the person given the video available.

 

There was at least one witness (the man closer to the camera), and of course we know the man's wife is off-camera and watching (of course biased, but nevertheless a witness).  I certainly hope and trust that they were interviewed by detectives before the sheriff made his statement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ just one of many reasons to avoid the state of Florida and reject Stand Your Ground laws in Ohio.

 

I had the misfortune of living there for 3 months.  I cannot understand the attraction.  It's a giant, traffic-choked strip mall built over a fetid swamp next to beaches overcrowded with wannabe bros and senior, Northern transplants who won't stop telling you how glad they are that they don't have to shovel snow anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One issue I have with the Stand Your Ground law is that it doesn't seem to prevent someone from willingly fighting someone, and then shooting them the second they feel they're in real danger of losing.

 

I think about the Trayvon Martin case.  If he had a legal firearm on him, he might have been able to stand his ground against Zimmerman who was stalking him.  That's why the law seems absurd to me.

 

I was just thinking the same.  Florida will probably reconsider when a black man is attacked and kills someone on video.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/24/2018 at 4:25 PM, freefourur said:

^ just one of many reasons to avoid the state of Florida and reject Stand Your Ground laws in Ohio. 

 

Uh oh...

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote

 

The House bill is opposed by the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association, plus other gun-control proponents. Critics say it would give those involved in a conflict less incentive to try to de-escalate the situation or escape before resorting to lethal force.

 

Prosecutors have argued that state law allows those who are truly being threatened with serious harm to use a weapon in self-defense, and it’s reasonable to require a defendant to prove self-defense by a preponderance of evidence — a lesser standard than “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

 

 

Hmmmm....

Edited by OldBearcat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×