felix dakat wrote:Despite the public out-cry, it is going to be difficult to prosecute Zimmerman or anybody else under Florida's "stand your ground" law or similar laws in other states. The law specifies a right without explicitly stipulating limitations on that right.
Essentially, I do agree with the stand your ground law. I mean, if someone attacks me and it seems like they might be trying to kill me, I think I should be able to punch them in the trachea and maybe kill them. It does matter to me what actually happened in this case, the specifics. But given that an unarmed man was killed, Zimmerman should have been treated as a suspect in a homocide and this would include a mandatory doctor's examination that would be for legal purposes and not just for his health. The scene of the shooting should be very carefully protected and examined, and Zimmerman should be grilled hard. the investigation of Zimmerman should take into account that he went against police suggestions - so he clearly did not feel threatened then - and put himself in a confrontation position. A fine tooth comb cross checking between the time of his calls, what he said to the police, where the death took place, the wounds on both of them, distance and angle of shot
An amateur with a gun heading into a potential conflict is to me suspect, unless he or she is in his own house. It can be OK, I suppose, but there suddenly, in my mind, is some onus of proving one's lack of negligence in such a situation.
Some pedestrian with a concealed weapon permit who happens to end up in a confrontation on a street corner is a different situation. But if you are heading towards what is trouble and you have a gun and you are not a police officer or a guard, say, in a bank, you are taking risks for everyone, even bystanders who you may shoot. And this is assuming you are correct that the person you are following is guilty. Even then you are putting others at risk, including yourself. You do not have the authority, it is not clear who you are to the perp, who may feel threatened and not associate it with a burglary or shoplifting act he has committed. You do not have the kind of soon to be overwhelming force that the appearance of a police car, likely with two officers and with a department who knows where they are, ready to send more officers if necessary. You do not have the training, which includes how not to escalate violence, how to reduce risks to bystanders, risk assessment (when to call for back up before confrontation for example) and so on.
In some situations we will not be able to figure out what really happened and if a crime was committed. This may be one. But his behavior is at the very least very questionable.