No Stand-Your-Ground Defense For George Zimmerman

A few folks from the Horde called this a few months back, but it looks like Zimmerman's team is basically going to go with a straight self-defense case. As had been pointed out to me in previous threads, if a guy knocks you down and starts bashing your head against the concrete, SYG is irrelevant. You never had an opportunity to retreat:


Zimmerman's attorneys said last week that they would use Florida's "stand your ground" law, which allows people to use deadly force -- rather than retreat -- if they believe their lives are in danger. 

"The facts don't seem to support a 'stand your ground' defense," O'Mara said. Still, he said Monday that the defense team will try to get the case dismissed during a 'stand your ground' hearing. "My concern with even calling it a 'stand your ground' hearing is we need to be more realistic," O'Mara said. "I've said from Day 1 we need to wait until all the evidence comes out." 

O'Mara said he thinks people have a perception about the law that isn't accurate. "People look at 'stand your ground' and immediately think somebody's standing there with deadly force -- be it a gun or a weapon -- and having the opportunity to back up but not having the need to under the statute," he said. "I think the evidence in this case suggests that my client was reacting to having his nose broken and reacted to that by screaming out for help. 

"He wasn't in position where I think there was any suggestion where he could retreat, which he is allowed to do under the statute."
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A Stop-Motion Tour of New York City

A filmmaker animated hundreds of still photographs to create this Big Apple flip book

Video

The Absurd Psychology of Restaurant Menus

Would people eat healthier if celery was called "cool celery?"

Video

This Japanese Inn Has Been Open For 1,300 Years

It's one of the oldest family businesses in the world.

Video

What Happens Inside a Dying Mind?

Science cannot fully explain near-death experiences.

More in National

From This Author

Just In