Raul Rodriguez stand your ground thread

Seen something interesting in the news or on the intertubes? Discuss it here.

Moderators: Zamfir, Hawknc, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
Coyne
Posts: 984
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:07 am UTC
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Raul Rodriguez stand your ground thread

Postby Coyne » Mon Dec 22, 2014 7:53 pm UTC

We have a Police misbehavior thread but "stand your ground" discussion really doesn't belong there, so this thread.

For introduction, first there was George Zimmerman and Michael Dunn:
Spoiler:
George Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin and then asserted stand your ground (found innocent). Zimmerman shot Trayvon in a basically non-witnessed incident in which he asserted that Trayvon attacked him. Zimmerman was claimed he was following Trayvon as part of a neighborhood watch patrol.

Michael Dunn, killed Jordan Davis in a convenience store parking lot. The dispute was over loud music from the vehicle in which Jordan Davis was a passenger; Dunn complained to Martin and an argument ensued. When Martin was unimpressed, Dunn went to his vehicle and retrieved his gun before renewing his complaint. He claimed Davis opened his door and pointed a shotgun. No shotgun was found, but the police did not look initially because--during initial interviews--Dunn did not mention a shotgun.

He was convicted of first degree murder for the death of Jordan Davis and of three counts of attempted second degree murder for firing at the other occupants of the vehicle (including, according to some accounts, firing after the vehicle as it fled).


Now we have Raul Rodriguez, who killed Kelly Danaher and, despite asserting stand your ground, was convicted of first degree murder. He is going to be retried because "jury instructions on the self defense claim were 'confusing'".

The incident shows greater pre-planning on Rodriguez' part. First of all, he recorded it. Second, he made sure to keep a running account on the recording, of how threatened he felt, making repeated statements: “[I'm] standing my ground here,” and, “[My] life is in danger now”, and, “These people are going to kill me now.”

His insurmountable problems: He came into Danaher's home to complain of Danaher's loud party music, and he could have left at any time.

So just what are the limits on a "stand your ground" license-to-kill? Should it truly allow you to come into someone else's home, threaten them with a gun (as Rodriguez apparently threatened Danaher), kill them because you "feel threatened", and then expect to be exonerated? Will that be the next expansion to the "stand your ground" law?

Changed the title to give it a stricter scope. Do not make this yet another gun thread.
Zamfir
Last edited by Coyne on Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:56 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
In all fairness...

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10292
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:06 pm UTC

The opposite of "stand your ground" is "duty to retreat", which places the onus on the victim to take all possible precautions to preserve the life, health and well being of their attacker. This is often seen as distasteful, and many people feel the victim's only priority should be protecting themselves from attack until the attack ceases. Of course, falsely claiming to be the victim when one is not is an old, old trick.

This, of course, is the central issue for Rodriguez(and others). The suspicion is that he is attempting to frame himself as a victim, while actually being the person who initiated the incident. Just because you SAY "I'm standing my ground" does not mean it is actually self defense.

Of particular note here are related castle laws, etc. Duty to retreat is particularly problematic for one's home. The idea that a victim would have to flee from their home into the street seems a bit off. It's important to note that Rodriguez is not in HIS home, he's in the other folks' home. He doesn't have an intrinsic right to be there, does he? Nobody is attacking him. Someone walked into the street and laughed. That's not an attack. Thus, shooting in response to it is not self defense. It isn't regardless of SYG laws.

He's the aggressor, pure and simple, and Texas was correct to rule that SYG does not apply, IMO. If the person being shot at HAD pulled out a gun and shot back at that point, they WOULD be defending themselves, and it should therefore apply.

Trebla
Posts: 360
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2010 1:51 pm UTC

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Trebla » Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:30 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Nobody is attacking him. Someone walked into the street and laughed. That's not an attack. Thus, shooting in response to it is not self defense. It isn't regardless of SYG laws.


If we're talking about the same paragraph in the linked article... I read it the same way and had to re-read. Someone "lunged" at him he claimed.

This guy sure seems like he provoked the situation and greatly exaggerated by claiming his life was in danger. Tone is missing from the quoted recording, but the words don't sound like things someone who fears for their life would say. That's not really enough information to form judgement, but the presented details certainly suggestively point that way.

User avatar
Belial
A terrible sound heard from a distance
Posts: 30448
Joined: Sat Apr 15, 2006 4:04 am UTC
Contact:

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Belial » Mon Dec 22, 2014 8:42 pm UTC

Stand your ground laws cannot reasonably exist in a policing system that also has no knock warrants and steep penalties for killing a police officer.

I will let you figure out why.

Those three things coexist anyway, because the system is not reasonable.
addams wrote:A drunk neighbor is better than a sober Belial.


They/them

User avatar
Vahir
Posts: 456
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2012 7:20 pm UTC
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Vahir » Mon Dec 22, 2014 9:32 pm UTC


Tyndmyr
Posts: 10292
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 22, 2014 10:03 pm UTC

Trebla wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Nobody is attacking him. Someone walked into the street and laughed. That's not an attack. Thus, shooting in response to it is not self defense. It isn't regardless of SYG laws.


If we're talking about the same paragraph in the linked article... I read it the same way and had to re-read. Someone "lunged" at him he claimed.

This guy sure seems like he provoked the situation and greatly exaggerated by claiming his life was in danger. Tone is missing from the quoted recording, but the words don't sound like things someone who fears for their life would say. That's not really enough information to form judgement, but the presented details certainly suggestively point that way.


It does really sound like someone thought he could bend the law to get away with murder, essentially. Self defense being affirmative, you want some sort of credible evidence that you are in danger, and merely reciting words is...cmon. Agreed that it sounds very different from any sort of reasonable reaction to danger. It sounds like it's being said for the benefit of the recording, and not TO anyone.

Belial wrote:Stand your ground laws cannot reasonably exist in a policing system that also has no knock warrants and steep penalties for killing a police officer.

I will let you figure out why.

Those three things coexist anyway, because the system is not reasonable.


Agreed that there's an obvious tension there, though it's more with castle laws than SYG, specifically. Still, I feel like self defense may actually be a reasonable claim against police, at least some of the time. Hard to pull off in practice, sure, but maybe a bit more teeth for self defense laws with regards to police is in order.

The no-knock warrants are particularly troublesome. Especially when they may not be identified clearly, and have very aggressive shooting policies for family pets, etc. The difference between them and random criminals kicking in your door may not be clear, either in practice or ethically.

User avatar
Coyne
Posts: 984
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:07 am UTC
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Coyne » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:12 am UTC

There's a sharp distinction between the "pure" castle doctrine and SYG, strictly speaking. Castle doctrine usually applies to the bounds of your property; that is, the goal is to permit you to defend your property and to not have to retreat before force.

SYG laws take this out of the home. The Florida law, with which I am more familiar, protected Zimmerman ostensibly because he had no duty to retreat from force in a public location.

It was mentioned in one of the articles that this was a "castle" defense, but it seems to me that a pure castle defense wouldn't apply. It was Danaher's "castle", not Rodriguez's.

But I read the excerpt below (from Texas Statutes - Section 9.31: SELF-DEFENSE) as a true SYG provision:

The actor's belief that the force was immediately necessary as described by this subsection is presumed to be reasonable if the actor: (1) knew or had reason to believe that the person against whom the force was used: [...] or (C) was committing or attempting to commit aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or aggravated robbery;


So now we have a flood of people who reason, "If I yell, 'he's committing aggravated murder on poor me!' loudly enough then I can kill the bastard and be free as a bird." That certainly seemed to be Rodriguez's thinking.



Yes, exactly. And perfect for this thread.
In all fairness...

User avatar
CorruptUser
Posts: 9583
Joined: Fri Nov 06, 2009 10:12 pm UTC

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby CorruptUser » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:14 am UTC

Can you find any citation that Zimmerman used the SYG defense?

User avatar
Coyne
Posts: 984
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:07 am UTC
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Coyne » Tue Dec 23, 2014 4:57 am UTC

CorruptUser wrote:Can you find any citation that Zimmerman used the SYG defense?


In George Zimmerman's Lawyer Makes A Shocking Change To His Defense Strategy, it is described how the defense gave up trying to get the case thrown early on SYG basis. So yes, he asserted the defense, at least initially.

During the trial proper, they merely pursued it as a self defense argument.

I think SYG played a big part in it; that Zimmerman believed he could act with impunity because of SYG. That's just my opinion of course, but it is supported somewhat by the initial defense assertion of SYG.
In all fairness...

Chen
Posts: 5394
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 6:53 pm UTC
Location: Montreal

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Chen » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:46 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Stand your ground laws cannot reasonably exist in a policing system that also has no knock warrants and steep penalties for killing a police officer.

I will let you figure out why.

Those three things coexist anyway, because the system is not reasonable.


There was a case up here in Quebec where police had one of those no-knock warrants (dynamic entry is what they call it here) and one officer was killed and another wounded when they failed to properly identify themselves when they busted down the guy's door and he shot at them. He was actually aquitted since the jury found it reasonable for the defendent to have considered the bungled raid an actual home invasion. Considering the stories from the states lately I find it hard to believe the same verdict would be reached in the states though.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10292
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Dec 23, 2014 2:49 pm UTC

Coyne wrote:There's a sharp distinction between the "pure" castle doctrine and SYG, strictly speaking. Castle doctrine usually applies to the bounds of your property; that is, the goal is to permit you to defend your property and to not have to retreat before force.

SYG laws take this out of the home. The Florida law, with which I am more familiar, protected Zimmerman ostensibly because he had no duty to retreat from force in a public location.

It was mentioned in one of the articles that this was a "castle" defense, but it seems to me that a pure castle defense wouldn't apply. It was Danaher's "castle", not Rodriguez's.


Correct. That said, someone else's home isn't really a public place. So, even SYG applicability would be dodgy, depending on the details of where exactly folks were standing. Standing your ground is not the same as barging into someone else's home. And that's entirely in addition to the issue of the claim of self defense being apparently BS to begin with.

Coyne wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Can you find any citation that Zimmerman used the SYG defense?


In George Zimmerman's Lawyer Makes A Shocking Change To His Defense Strategy, it is described how the defense gave up trying to get the case thrown early on SYG basis. So yes, he asserted the defense, at least initially.


It was talked about a great deal, but was of fairly little relevance to the case. The bar for proving SYG is sufficiently high that pulling it off would have been difficult for that case, so pursuing it would have been a waste of effort. SYG is a positive claim, and requires evidence for it. All SYG cases are self defense cases, but not all self defense cases are SYG cases.

I also note that while people sometimes like to criticize SYG, nobody really seems to want to champion duty to flee laws, or propose any other alternative. I'm interested in discussing alternatives if anyone has them, but I fear that the current public "discussion" of the issue tends towards sniping at the existing system without any meaningful comparison taking place.

I think SYG played a big part in it; that Zimmerman believed he could act with impunity because of SYG. That's just my opinion of course, but it is supported somewhat by the initial defense assertion of SYG.


If this is the case(and I'm somewhat doubtful about this, it being hard to tell what exactly Zimmerman's legal knowledge was prior to the incident), then the issue is that people keep mis-representing SYG laws as a license to murder, when they clearly are not. Granted, people misunderstand a great many laws, so this isn't an extremely special case. Hell, listen to random folks discussing copyright, and it'll be baffling. That stuff is not necessarily correctly understood by everyone. This gets into a meta-topic of what we expect law to do, especially when it is not understood by those it applies to, and how to get past this disconnect. I suspect that SYG is actually one of the easier instances to get past, since it's not THAT complicated, but the law gets much, much murkier than that in other areas.

Chen wrote:
Belial wrote:Stand your ground laws cannot reasonably exist in a policing system that also has no knock warrants and steep penalties for killing a police officer.

I will let you figure out why.

Those three things coexist anyway, because the system is not reasonable.


There was a case up here in Quebec where police had one of those no-knock warrants (dynamic entry is what they call it here) and one officer was killed and another wounded when they failed to properly identify themselves when they busted down the guy's door and he shot at them. He was actually aquitted since the jury found it reasonable for the defendent to have considered the bungled raid an actual home invasion. Considering the stories from the states lately I find it hard to believe the same verdict would be reached in the states though.


Yeah, that's my fear as well. We DO have case law that is similar to yours, but it's old, and set in a very different time. No knock raids have become wildly more frequent in recent history, and there's a general worry that the police are given so much deference that in a case like this, there is a very legitimate concern that justice would not be served.

cphite
Posts: 1211
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby cphite » Tue Dec 23, 2014 3:40 pm UTC

Coyne wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Can you find any citation that Zimmerman used the SYG defense?


In George Zimmerman's Lawyer Makes A Shocking Change To His Defense Strategy, it is described how the defense gave up trying to get the case thrown early on SYG basis. So yes, he asserted the defense, at least initially.

During the trial proper, they merely pursued it as a self defense argument.

I think SYG played a big part in it; that Zimmerman believed he could act with impunity because of SYG. That's just my opinion of course, but it is supported somewhat by the initial defense assertion of SYG.


I'm not sure why the defense would ever be considering a SYG argument, since the case had nothing to do with SYG. At the time Martin was shot, Zimmerman was underneath him getting punched in the face; there is no ability to retreat at that point, let alone duty to retreat.

I think the media expected a SYG defense, mainly because they were running with the initial assumption that Zimmerman pulled the gun and shot Martin from a distance. I doubt the defense was ever seriously considering it... they may have thrown it out there as a red herring, but it makes no sense to use it with the evidence they ended up presenting.

moiraemachy
Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:47 pm UTC

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby moiraemachy » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:53 am UTC

Belial wrote:Stand your ground laws cannot reasonably exist in a policing system that also has no knock warrants and steep penalties for killing a police officer.
That sounds to me like a nirvana fallacy. Situations in which people think their lives are at risk are messy, no matter how consistent your set of laws is. No knock warrants are inherently dangerous, but a blanket prohibition leaves out the cases in which the cost/benefit ratio makes them worth it. Whether the cost analysis is being made reasonably is another discussion.

User avatar
Coyne
Posts: 984
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:07 am UTC
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Coyne » Wed Dec 24, 2014 2:51 am UTC

cphite wrote:
Coyne wrote:
CorruptUser wrote:Can you find any citation that Zimmerman used the SYG defense?


In George Zimmerman's Lawyer Makes A Shocking Change To His Defense Strategy, it is described how the defense gave up trying to get the case thrown early on SYG basis. So yes, he asserted the defense, at least initially.

During the trial proper, they merely pursued it as a self defense argument.

I think SYG played a big part in it; that Zimmerman believed he could act with impunity because of SYG. That's just my opinion of course, but it is supported somewhat by the initial defense assertion of SYG.


I'm not sure why the defense would ever be considering a SYG argument, since the case had nothing to do with SYG. At the time Martin was shot, Zimmerman was underneath him getting punched in the face; there is no ability to retreat at that point, let alone duty to retreat.

I think the media expected a SYG defense, mainly because they were running with the initial assumption that Zimmerman pulled the gun and shot Martin from a distance. I doubt the defense was ever seriously considering it... they may have thrown it out there as a red herring, but it makes no sense to use it with the evidence they ended up presenting.


Well, I had to dig back again, and found a detail I'd forgotten: It was actually the police who asserted it first (after Zimmerman claimed self defense at the scene) as grounds to refuse to arrest Zimmerman for more than a month after the incident.

But the initial attempt to assert it in court, after the arrest was practical: If it had been accepted then the case would have been dismissed...not guilty, no jury.

We will also need to bear in mind that these self defense categories aren't really separate things except in concept: Self defense, castle doctrine, and SYG are laced together in one law like you'd lace your fingers.

For example, here's Florida's statute. While "stand your ground" is mentioned in the statute, its focus is to determine when and where you can defend yourself; some of those provisions are for SYG but they are not all identified as SYG.

And, yes, the media was just absolutely drooling for a SYG case.

Tyndmyr wrote:
Coyne wrote:I think SYG played a big part in it; that Zimmerman believed he could act with impunity because of SYG. That's just my opinion of course, but it is supported somewhat by the initial defense assertion of SYG.


If this is the case(and I'm somewhat doubtful about this, it being hard to tell what exactly Zimmerman's legal knowledge was prior to the incident), then the issue is that people keep mis-representing SYG laws as a license to murder, when they clearly are not.


Yes, I'm going to have to back off of this a bit. When the police came, Zimmerman asserted self defense alright: But as I note above self defense and SYG are so intertwined I really don't have grounds to believe he was thinking SYG specifically; or that he intentionally killed Trayvon intending to assert self defense.

He claimed self defense right quick, though, after the police arrived.

cphite wrote:I'm not sure why the defense would ever be considering a SYG argument, since the case had nothing to do with SYG. At the time Martin was shot, Zimmerman was underneath him getting punched in the face; there is no ability to retreat at that point, let alone duty to retreat.

I think the media expected a SYG defense, mainly because they were running with the initial assumption that Zimmerman pulled the gun and shot Martin from a distance. I doubt the defense was ever seriously considering it... they may have thrown it out there as a red herring, but it makes no sense to use it with the evidence they ended up presenting.


Well, remember that was what Zimmerman said happened. There were no other direct witnesses of the actual event. Oh, yes, Zimmerman's face was marked, but that doesn't help us to understand whether Zimmerman or Trayvon started the conflict. Who was the aggressor? If Zimmerman was, then any claim of self defense was bogus.
In all fairness...

User avatar
Isaac Hill
Systems Analyst????
Posts: 514
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:35 pm UTC
Location: Middletown, RI

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Isaac Hill » Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:01 am UTC

If Treyvon Martin had hit George Zimmerman harder, hard enough to kill him, would Martin have been able to use a Stand Your Ground defense? TM was minding his own business, walking home from the store, when ZM started following him. A teenage boy, alone at night, being followed by a larger adult has a perfectly valid reason to feel threatened. Then, during the fight, TM saw that the man following him was armed. Being followed by a large, armed man is reason enough to feel that your life is endanger, so wouldn't SYG allow TM to use lethal force?

What are your legal rights and obligations while someone is standing their ground against you?
Alleged "poems"
that don't follow a rhyme scheme
are not poetry

User avatar
Coyne
Posts: 984
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:07 am UTC
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Coyne » Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:30 am UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:If Treyvon Martin had hit George Zimmerman harder, hard enough to kill him, would Martin have been able to use a Stand Your Ground defense? TM was minding his own business, walking home from the store, when ZM started following him. A teenage boy, alone at night, being followed by a larger adult has a perfectly valid reason to feel threatened. Then, during the fight, TM saw that the man following him was armed. Being followed by a large, armed man is reason enough to feel that your life is endanger, so wouldn't SYG allow TM to use lethal force?

What are your legal rights and obligations while someone is standing their ground against you?

Maybe. SYG definitely looks like it has winner-spoils opportunties: In the absence of witnesses, the one who lives gets to spin it pretty much any way they want.

That's not really new: Self defense claims have always had a bit of that possibility. Unless it was in a house, in which case "owner" wins. (Take a hint, Rodriquez.)

Ignoring of course the elephant in the room: There were more than a few accusations that the police were handling Zimmerman with kid gloves because of he was white and Trayvon was black.

Trayvon alive, Zimmerman dead: it comes down to, do the cops and the jury believe the black kid wearing the hoodie?
In all fairness...

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10292
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:49 pm UTC

moiraemachy wrote:
Belial wrote:Stand your ground laws cannot reasonably exist in a policing system that also has no knock warrants and steep penalties for killing a police officer.
That sounds to me like a nirvana fallacy. Situations in which people think their lives are at risk are messy, no matter how consistent your set of laws is. No knock warrants are inherently dangerous, but a blanket prohibition leaves out the cases in which the cost/benefit ratio makes them worth it. Whether the cost analysis is being made reasonably is another discussion.


I suspect he meants they cannot ethically co-exist, because it puts people in an impossible situation where, despite being good folks who have done nothing wrong, they have no way to know which action is "correct" as the police are undifferentiable from criminals. This does seem problematic. Hell, just the "police acting pretty much like criminals" should be pretty scary. Given their policies with use of force and the ridiculous asset seizure practices, the difference between the police and a large gang is less than I would like it to be.

Coyne wrote:We will also need to bear in mind that these self defense categories aren't really separate things except in concept: Self defense, castle doctrine, and SYG are laced together in one law like you'd lace your fingers.


Depends on state. Not all state has all three, so while there certainly is a strong relationship between them all, we often end up talking about them individually as ways to discuss the extent of self defense laws.

Isaac Hill wrote:If Treyvon Martin had hit George Zimmerman harder, hard enough to kill him, would Martin have been able to use a Stand Your Ground defense? TM was minding his own business, walking home from the store, when ZM started following him. A teenage boy, alone at night, being followed by a larger adult has a perfectly valid reason to feel threatened. Then, during the fight, TM saw that the man following him was armed. Being followed by a large, armed man is reason enough to feel that your life is endanger, so wouldn't SYG allow TM to use lethal force?

What are your legal rights and obligations while someone is standing their ground against you?


The issue is one of evidence here. Leaving aside the question of who was correct in that case, because going down that rabbit hole will likely distract from the topic. How hard Treyvon hit Zimmerman, and how much of a threat he posed, and who swung first is a matter of fairly little evidence. There is some, but it was sparse enough that it going to trial rather than being dismissed was probably correct. Dismissing cases of obvious self defense when there is lots of evidence what happened likely saves the legal system some pointless effort, and reduces hassle for victims, but messy, harder calls should go to trial.

However, you cannot use lethal force on someone merely because they are large or legally armed. Obviously. Someone following you is not violence. There is no chance of a SYG case for that.

Coyne wrote:Maybe. SYG definitely looks like it has winner-spoils opportunties: In the absence of witnesses, the one who lives gets to spin it pretty much any way they want.


That's not a SYG issue, that's an issue with killing(which I know you already agreed with in some respect, I just wish to elaborate). The dead man never gets to tell his side of the tale. Fortunately, third party witnesses, physical evidence, etc means it usually isn't *just* the killer's side of the story.

cphite
Posts: 1211
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby cphite » Wed Dec 24, 2014 6:28 pm UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:If Treyvon Martin had hit George Zimmerman harder, hard enough to kill him, would Martin have been able to use a Stand Your Ground defense? TM was minding his own business, walking home from the store, when ZM started following him. A teenage boy, alone at night, being followed by a larger adult has a perfectly valid reason to feel threatened. Then, during the fight, TM saw that the man following him was armed. Being followed by a large, armed man is reason enough to feel that your life is endanger, so wouldn't SYG allow TM to use lethal force?


In order to claim self-defense you have to make the argument that the other person presented a real and imminent threat to your safety. Someone following you - large and armed or not - does not automatically equate to a real and imminent threat. If Zimmerman had cornered him somewhere, or made a threatening action, or even had said something that implied a threat, then Martin would have had a case for self-defense. But the evidence seems to indicate that it was Martin who took the first aggressive action.

It's clear that Zimmerman was way too into his role as neighborhood watch, and that he was acting like a creep; but that by itself doesn't make for an actual threat. Without a threat there is no self-defense, and without self-defense there is no SYG.

As an aside, the whole "being followed by a larger adult" argument really doesn't hold water... Martin was two inches taller than Zimmerman; Zimmerman was a bit heavier. We're basically talking about two grown men here as far as size goes; and in a fair fight it appears that Martin was more than capable of taking on Zimmerman, as evidenced by the outcome. If not for the gun, this would have been a local news story about a neighborhood watch guy getting his ass kicked.

It was a sad and stupid situation. On the one hand you have a man trying to play cop, against advice from dispatch, without the training or understanding required for that role. On the other hand you have a kid who should have known better than attack the creepy asshole with the gun. In terms of actual blame, I place more on Zimmerman than Martin; but they both played parts in what happened.

User avatar
Coyne
Posts: 984
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2009 12:07 am UTC
Location: Orlando, Florida
Contact:

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Coyne » Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:52 pm UTC

cphite wrote:
Isaac Hill wrote:If Treyvon Martin had hit George Zimmerman harder, hard enough to kill him, would Martin have been able to use a Stand Your Ground defense? TM was minding his own business, walking home from the store, when ZM started following him. A teenage boy, alone at night, being followed by a larger adult has a perfectly valid reason to feel threatened. Then, during the fight, TM saw that the man following him was armed. Being followed by a large, armed man is reason enough to feel that your life is endanger, so wouldn't SYG allow TM to use lethal force?


In order to claim self-defense you have to make the argument that the other person presented a real and imminent threat to your safety. Someone following you - large and armed or not - does not automatically equate to a real and imminent threat. If Zimmerman had cornered him somewhere, or made a threatening action, or even had said something that implied a threat, then Martin would have had a case for self-defense. But the evidence seems to indicate that it was Martin who took the first aggressive action.

It's clear that Zimmerman was way too into his role as neighborhood watch, and that he was acting like a creep; but that by itself doesn't make for an actual threat. Without a threat there is no self-defense, and without self-defense there is no SYG.


Isaac was just trying to propose a reversal of the scenario, in this case where there were no direct witnesses to the conflict. Given that there were no witnesses, the survivor asserts whatever is consistent with the physical evidence and in his best interest.

For example, suppose Zimmerman was following; Trayvon turned and asked him what the deal was; Zimmerman drew his gun; and Trayvon at that point struck Zimmerman, knocking him down and killing him.

It seems likely, in that case, that Trayvon would assert self defense under the SYG theory, because Zimmerman had a gun and offered a lethal threat.

Which brings us to some of the subsequent points: In an unwitnessed killing, the survivor always has an opportunity to "spin" the story to their best advantage.

Varying the example again: Suppose Trayvon has surprised and killed Zimmerman, and Zimmerman never had an opportunity to pull the gun. It would be to Trayvon's advantage, assuming he saw the gun, to take it out and place it in Zimmerman's hand, then make the same assertion. Could he be proved a murderer, in the absence of witnesses?
In all fairness...

User avatar
addams
Posts: 9611
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Gold Beach, OR; 97444

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby addams » Thu Dec 25, 2014 8:00 pm UTC

Isaac Hill wrote:If Treyvon Martin had hit George Zimmerman harder, hard enough to kill him, would Martin have been able to use a Stand Your Ground defense? TM was minding his own business, walking home from the store, when ZM started following him. A teenage boy, alone at night, being followed by a larger adult has a perfectly valid reason to feel threatened. Then, during the fight, TM saw that the man following him was armed. Being followed by a large, armed man is reason enough to feel that your life is endanger, so wouldn't SYG allow TM to use lethal force?

What are your legal rights and obligations while someone is standing their ground against you?

I can't help it.
I have to chime in.

An unarmed, untrained Teen is not likely to be able to strike an adult with enough force to Kill.
How does this translate to Moms and Teens across the Nation?

Arm your fucking Kid!
Send him to Gun Safety Classes!
Don't let him leave the house without his Gun.


Is that what we want?
It's so unfair.

Rich kids can kill with impunity, now.
Rich kids can afford to throw away the bullets to get Good with a Gun.

If we only look at the surface of the Zimmerman case,
That might be a reasonable outlook.

The Zimmerman case was more complicated than that.
We may have watched the unfolding of a Gang Killing that had the Promise of A Walk to the Shooter.

Internet Posters can retry the case For Fucking Ever and never change The Facts.
That one case is very different from the other cases brought forward by the OP.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

User avatar
iChef
Posts: 343
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2010 9:33 pm UTC
Location: About 5 cm. south of the ring finger, USA.

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby iChef » Thu Dec 25, 2014 9:52 pm UTC

Not sure where you're from Addams, but I've lived in a few rougher parts of the US (Detroit, Chicago). You do not have to be rich to have a gun. I've been offered handguns on the street for as low as $50. Lower if you have something to trade for one. I now live in an area that has much looser gun laws and I see people of all ages treating their guns like toys rather than weapons. (Look at all the cool accessories for this high powered rifle that is totally impractical for self defense and way more than you ever need to shoot a deer with). Tougher gun laws, waiting periods and registration doesn't prevent people from getting guns, but it helps track the sea of weapons we already live in.

As for SYG it pretty much allows people who are terrified of the world around them (why else do you need a weapon on you 24/7) to act out their irrational fear without being held responsible for their actions. As soon as the US starts treating guns as weapons instead of barbies (just look at all the AR-15 accessories you can buy right now, they even come in hot pink!!!!) these discussions will be moot.
Those whom God loves, he must make beautiful, and a beautiful character must, in some way, suffer.
-Tailsteak author of the Webcomics 1/0 and Leftover Soup

User avatar
addams
Posts: 9611
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Gold Beach, OR; 97444

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby addams » Thu Dec 25, 2014 10:14 pm UTC

iChef wrote:Not sure where you're from Addams, but I've lived in a few rougher parts of the US (Detroit, Chicago). You do not have to be rich to have a gun. I've been offered handguns on the street for as low as $50. Lower if you have something to trade for one. I now live in an area that has much looser gun laws and I see people of all ages treating their guns like toys rather than weapons. (Look at all the cool accessories for this high powered rifle that is totally impractical for self defense and way more than you ever need to shoot a deer with). Tougher gun laws, waiting periods and registration doesn't prevent people from getting guns, but it helps track the sea of weapons we already live in.

As for SYG it pretty much allows people who are terrified of the world around them (why else do you need a weapon on you 24/7) to act out their irrational fear without being held responsible for their actions. As soon as the US starts treating guns as weapons instead of barbies (just look at all the AR-15 accessories you can buy right now, they even come in hot pink!!!!) these discussions will be moot.

Well; ok.
When the US starts treating Guns like Guns then these discussions will be moot.

Many people Do treat Guns like Guns.
They are educated Wrong.
Not all. Some.

Yes. If you say you can buy a Gun on the Street from a Stranger for $50.00,
then you can buy a Gun for $50.00. That's a good deal. What kind of Gun?

1. I'd not buy a Gun from a Stranger on the Street.
2. I must look like a guy that would not buy from a Stranger on the Street.
I am never offered such a good deal.

3. The Gun might be broken.
$50.00 is a Bad Deal for a broken Gun.

To become confidently competent with a Gun requires both Time and Money.
Bullets are not Free. They must be thrown away to gain Skill.

On a Side Note.
Two of the OP's case studies involved Loud Noise.
If our people were better mannered, we would not want to shoot so darned many of them.

I know, first hand, what it is to Want to Shoot a Noise Maker.
My impulse is to Shoot the Amplifier.

Other people see the Person as the Problem.
We, as a nation, have some very serious problems.

We seem to have cultivated a Higher Level of Arrogance during the last fifteen years.
We were plenty snotty enough, Arrogance was not something we needed More of.
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10292
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:34 am UTC

Coyne wrote:Which brings us to some of the subsequent points: In an unwitnessed killing, the survivor always has an opportunity to "spin" the story to their best advantage.

Varying the example again: Suppose Trayvon has surprised and killed Zimmerman, and Zimmerman never had an opportunity to pull the gun. It would be to Trayvon's advantage, assuming he saw the gun, to take it out and place it in Zimmerman's hand, then make the same assertion. Could he be proved a murderer, in the absence of witnesses?


Maybe, maybe not, depending on what other evidence is available. But...this isn't new. The idea of some master crook(which I highly doubt either Trayvon or Zimmerman were) getting away with murder by virtue of no witnesses or evidence is an old, old one, and is possible either with or without SYG. So, it doesn't really pose any novel challenge here. It's more of an argument for cameras/public surveillance, etc.

iChef wrote:Not sure where you're from Addams, but I've lived in a few rougher parts of the US (Detroit, Chicago). You do not have to be rich to have a gun. I've been offered handguns on the street for as low as $50. Lower if you have something to trade for one. I now live in an area that has much looser gun laws and I see people of all ages treating their guns like toys rather than weapons. (Look at all the cool accessories for this high powered rifle that is totally impractical for self defense and way more than you ever need to shoot a deer with). Tougher gun laws, waiting periods and registration doesn't prevent people from getting guns, but it helps track the sea of weapons we already live in.


Yeah, people buy stupid accessories for everything. Cars, guns...if it exists, there's probably someone looking to make a buck of selling you crap to go with it. That isn't really an issue, though. Some dude blowing money on a custom handgrip or whatever affects you about as much as them slapping a bumper sticker on their car.

Also, rifles are ideal for home self defense in most situations. And "more than you ever need to shoot a deer with"....you're not talking about AR-15s and the like, are you? You've bought into the utter crap and misinformation surrounding that? Because the reason why, in most localities, you cannot use an AR-15 to hunt deer is because the round it normally fires is too SMALL.

As for SYG it pretty much allows people who are terrified of the world around them (why else do you need a weapon on you 24/7) to act out their irrational fear without being held responsible for their actions. As soon as the US starts treating guns as weapons instead of barbies (just look at all the AR-15 accessories you can buy right now, they even come in hot pink!!!!) these discussions will be moot.


Ah yes, now we come to the real reason for SYG opposition. It comes from those who cannot possibly see those who disagree with them as rational, and who seek to find every angle possible to push gun control. SYG is not a gun specific concept. Would you care to actually defend the alternative, duty to flee? Or would you prefer to simply insult the opposition?

And seriously, who the hell cares what the color is? Adding pink bits does not transform it into a threat any more than slapping a shiny paint job on your civic means you're ready for nascar.

icanus
Posts: 478
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:19 pm UTC
Location: in England now abed

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby icanus » Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:53 am UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Would you care to actually defend the alternative, duty to flee?

If you have the option to end a confrontation with no-one dead, I'd say you have a pretty unambiguous moral obligation to take that option, and you should have a legal obligation to choose that option too.

In the absence of SYG you're still allowed to defend yourself from attack - what is SYG intended to add?

User avatar
Zamfir
I built a novelty castle, the irony was lost on some.
Posts: 7382
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 2:43 pm UTC
Location: Nederland

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Zamfir » Fri Dec 26, 2014 10:42 am UTC


Plenty of generic gun threads already, always going around in circles. I do no want another one. This can be a thread about the Rodriguez case. Keep the topic focussed.

User avatar
addams
Posts: 9611
Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:44 am UTC
Location: Gold Beach, OR; 97444

Re: Raul Rodriguez stand your ground thread

Postby addams » Fri Dec 26, 2014 3:45 pm UTC

ok. I read the links and the links from the links.
For Crying Out Loud!

That guy did EveryThing Wrong and he is getting another chance?
He went to another man's home and killed him. Period.

That's not the way to murder your neighbor!
Call the Police!

Tell them how dangerous the neighbor is.
They will kill him for you.

Except, that might not have worked with Rodriguez.
Yes. He has a special elevated social position.

FireFighters and Police are our scary men.
But; His victim was a Professional White.

I spoke with an attorney about What a Bunch of Jerk my people are.
When the conversation began, my position was, "Jerks!"

After he explained to me where people have to turn for recourse during disagreements and disputes, I began to see it his way.
The vertical chain is Broken for most people. They have no where to turn. It's a darned wonder we do as well as we do.

Most people in the US must figure it out on their own without the benefit of education or professional assistance.
If this guy gets away with Murder, we will be momentarily outraged. We are too used to this to react, much.

It will not bring about a blood bath.
People, as fucked up as we are, will live in uncomfortable wary Peace, even without laws.

Monkeys do.
When it becomes common knowledge a person can be Shot Dead for bothering other people with their Loud Music and Stupid Parties,
The World will be a better and more Peaceful place for me. Oh, I know! There will be the sound of gunfire. Nothing new for me.

The words, "I noticed the Party. The music is Loud." Is all it might take for Peace and Quiet to flood the land.
For you party people, "Tone it Down!" Is your need to remain a non-conforming conformist teen your entire life worth your life?

Side Story Warning:

In the area where I am, at the moment, the Police made a Huge Raid on a family.
I spoke to the woman of the family several times, after the arrest.

As I drove in and out.
As I listened to her descriptions of her life before The Raid,

As I pieced together what had happened to destroy her life,
One thing became clearly possible.

She may have been Raided and Accused of something very serious she did not do,
Because she and her friends and family were Loud Neighbors.

She talked about how much she loved her life up in the trees.
How much fun it was to put the Speakers in the Window.

I know a loud Field Holler could get the neighbors, she could not see through the trees, out of bed.
She was Snotty. "I can do anything I want in my house!"

She can. She did.
She was arrested and lost her home.

Think twice before putting the Speakers in the Window.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljuMftb11OI
Think! Sync your iPods!

I know. I know.
A bunch of weirdos dancing to music other people can't hear is irritating to normal people.
They can avert their eyes. They Can Not avert their ears.

"TURN IT THE FUCK DOWN, US!"
Life is, just, an exchange of electrons; It is up to us to give it meaning.

We are all in The Gutter.
Some of us see The Gutter.
Some of us see The Stars.
by mr. Oscar Wilde.

Those that want to Know; Know.
Those that do not Know; Don't tell them.
They do terrible things to people that Tell Them.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10292
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 29, 2014 12:35 pm UTC

Agreed, better to keep the gun talk together to avoid retreading old ground yet again, returning to the SYG specific stuff.

icanus wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Would you care to actually defend the alternative, duty to flee?

If you have the option to end a confrontation with no-one dead, I'd say you have a pretty unambiguous moral obligation to take that option, and you should have a legal obligation to choose that option too.

In the absence of SYG you're still allowed to defend yourself from attack - what is SYG intended to add?


Why are you so morally obligated? If the other fellow provoked the confrontation to get x, why am I obliged to give into him in order to preserve his safety? Typical examples include carjackings, home invasions(though castle laws are a more specific thing that usually covers those), etc. If a person puts me in a situation where I must, due to threat of violence, give him my vehicle or fight, why am I suddenly morally obliged to do what is best for him? Why should he be able to impose a moral obligation by threatening violence?


SYG means the victim no longer has to prove that they had no other means of escape. Given that self defense is an affirmative defense, not having it poses a bit of an issue for that whole "innocent until proven guilty" thing. There's a significant burden of proof added for the victim. Plus, yeah, maybe there was a way for the victim to escape, but due to panic or whatever, they don't realize it. Welp, now it's on them to convince the jury to get off of a murder rap. Victim blaming is particularly troublesome when it carries legal weight.

User avatar
sardia
Posts: 6063
Joined: Sat Apr 03, 2010 3:39 am UTC

Re: Raul Rodriguez stand your ground thread

Postby sardia » Mon Dec 29, 2014 1:50 pm UTC

Syg is an expansion of self defense law, what about the encouragement of conflict? Are you telling me this expansion is the only thing stopping you from resisting criminals?

We haven't even gotten to the racial disparity here. If only whites disproportionately successfully claim expanded self defense, who makes sure the claims are valid? It seems very Dependant on the cops believing your Sob story. That's a recipe of racial disparity.

cphite
Posts: 1211
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:27 pm UTC

Re: Stand your ground thread

Postby cphite » Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:12 pm UTC

icanus wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Would you care to actually defend the alternative, duty to flee?

If you have the option to end a confrontation with no-one dead, I'd say you have a pretty unambiguous moral obligation to take that option, and you should have a legal obligation to choose that option too.


Your options in a self-defense situation are rarely so obvious. You may need to make a split-second decision based on the information in front of you. If you believe that your life, or the lives of your loved ones, are in immediate danger, you may find yourself unable to examine your choices any further than "Will this end the threat?" And you make your choice in the knowledge that you're probably not getting a do-over.

In the absence of SYG you're still allowed to defend yourself from attack - what is SYG intended to add?


The reality is that in many true self-defense scenarios, attempting to retreat can be more dangerous for the person defending themselves. And depending on the situation, may be for all practical purposes, impossible. The reason we have an almost universal right to defend ourselves in our homes is based on the idea that you have no place to retreat to... but the same is true in many other cases. If you're being mugged, for example, the odds are fairly high that your assailant has a pretty good idea of the local layout and has chosen the time and place of his crime specifically because it's out of the public eye and gives him a tactical advantage.

Rather than force people to spend cycles trying to decide if they can retreat, or how to retreat, or how far to retreat, and so forth, SYG is intended to allow people to focus on the most important piece of a legitimate self-defense scenario which is their own protection.

Further, it protects people who have legitimately defended themselves from prosecutors taking advantage of how difficult it is to actually define appropriate retreat. It's easy to argue in the safety of a courtroom that a person should have (or could have) retreated; or that they should have (or could have) retreated more than they did. In self-defense you are already required to demonstrate that your use of force was reasonable - that you faced an immediate and real threat, and that your response was necessary.

Tyndmyr
Posts: 10292
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:38 pm UTC

Re: Raul Rodriguez stand your ground thread

Postby Tyndmyr » Mon Dec 29, 2014 7:32 pm UTC

sardia wrote:Syg is an expansion of self defense law, what about the encouragement of conflict? Are you telling me this expansion is the only thing stopping you from resisting criminals?

We haven't even gotten to the racial disparity here. If only whites disproportionately successfully claim expanded self defense, who makes sure the claims are valid? It seems very Dependant on the cops believing your Sob story. That's a recipe of racial disparity.


The cops believing you and opting to not press charges is not an element of SYG. It's a legal defense. If the cops believe you and never bother to press charges, well, yes, obviously bias can play into that, but that's not really a SYG issue.

This is about burden of proof when and if it gets to a courtroom at all. Cop bias comes into it LONG before that either way.


Return to “News & Articles”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dauric, idonno and 8 guests