Byron wrote:Peter Brown wrote:[...]
Stand your ground defined the evidence presented and the possible verdict.
Reasonable grounds is just a straw man media talking point, no witnesses so it was a forgone conclusion not guilty has to given when the accused pleads not guilty. All the accused has to say I was attacked, I was scared for my life, and without a witness you can not prove beyond doubt otherwise.
Stand your ground removes murder, manslaughter or any lesser finding when there are no witnesses. Its a bad law, and poorly framed even if you give the person who wrote it the benefit of the doubt it was written with good intents, ie the homeowner at home shooting the bugler.
Stand your ground is irrelevant to this case, as Zimmerman was unable to retreat.
Stand your ground also makes no difference to the fact that a person who kills in self-defense is often the only witness.
If the state had been able to discredit Zimmerman's account, he could have been convicted. Unfortunately for them, the forensics backed him, and their main witness was a rambling disaster on the stand, whose only accomplishment was to establish that Trayvon Martin liked to use racial slurs.
It's hard to think of any fair system that'd have allowed this pileup of a case to lead to a solid conviction.
the need to retreat is not even considered in the SYG law.
In the United States, stand-your-ground law states that a person may justifiably use force in self-defense when there is reasonable belief of an unlawful threat, without an obligation to retreat first.
SYG doesn't even need to be called by the defence, because it is a state rule, just like the 5th, you have it in play like it or not. A Judge will know this and if following SYG will allow evidence or deny it accordingly, and I gather a bit of that was going on by the Judge, like GZ had been profiling TM as a cause to pursue, detain, or ask questions and even sow the seed that GZ have reasonable expectation that TM was a gangster so GZ had already planned lethal intent as a possibility from the start. Profiling was not allowed to be even mentioned because under SYG it is irrelevant.
Yes I am writing this, but its based on opinions I've watch over the last few days about the case from Americans far better versed in the law than me.
My only interest in the case at the start was the police not even looking into the shooting until programs like TYT splashed it all over the place. The police still have a case to answer, but the verdict has exonerated them from even an investigation of institutional racism. ie not racist per sa, but letting the white man off is just the way we always done it that the police don't even think it odd.
anecdotally: I hear it said the jury asked about the possibility of manslaughter verdict, the defence made comment I forget the words, the jury made no further comment nor was the juror question answered. As I wrote earlier SYG made manslaughter irrelevant as a finding, and so they only rule in that court that was in force was reasonable doubt, and no witnesses makes reasonable doubt assured as no other witness can say GZ lied or over exaggerated in his favour about the events.