Watch Live: The Washington Ideas Forum 2014

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.

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy. It's very organized."

Join the Discussion

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

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Maine's Underground Street Art

"Graffiti is the farthest thing from anarchy."

Video

The Joy of Running in a Beautiful Place

A love letter to California's Marin Headlands

Video

'I Didn't Even Know What I Was Going Through'

A 17-year-old describes his struggles with depression.

Video

Google Street View, Transformed Into a Tiny Planet

A 360-degree tour of our world, made entirely from Google's panoramas

Video

The Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

More in National

From This Author

Just In