A top Senate Democrat called for a broad re-examination of the so-called stand your ground laws that played a role in the high-profile shooting death of a black teenager last year in Florida.
The mother of the boy, Trayvon Martin, also made a public appeal Tuesday for lawmakers nationwide to amend stand your ground laws, which more than 20 states have adopted in some form. She testified that her son was “not the criminal that some people have made him out to be.”
That’s a steaming pile of lies, starting with Politico reporter Seung Min Kim’s lede. The trial that followed the shooting death of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman has nothing whatsoever to do with Florida’s implementation of “Stand your Ground” law.
In State of Florida vs. George Zimmerman, defense attorneys Mark O’Mara and Don West made it clear that they would not not pursue a Stand Your Ground hearing prior to the start of the trial, nor did they pursue a Stand Your Ground defense during the trial for a very simple reason: Florida’s Stand Your Ground law was in no way relevant to the circumstances of Zimmerman’s case.
Both prosecution “earwitness” Rachel Jeantel and Zimmerman’s defense team agreed that Trayvon Martin initiated the confrontation with George Zimmerman, four minutes after Zimmerman lost Martin in the darkness and while Zimmerman was returning to his truck. Zimmerman contends—and Jeantel agrees it was likely—that Trayvon Martin also threw the first punch, which knocked Zimmerman to the ground.
As Zimmerman was downed and mounted quickly by Mr. Martin, Stand Your Ground was never an issue in the trial. O’Mara and West presented and won a straightforward self-defense case that would have been decided the same way in states without a Stand Your Ground law.
As for Sybrina Fulton, I understand that no mother wants to confront the memory of the child they’ve lionized with the reality of the monster they raised.
On the final day of the defense’s case, while the jury was out of the courtroom, the court held a hearing on the evidence culled from Trayvon Martin’s smartphone. Transcripts of password-protected conversations hidden on Martin’s phone reveal messages about his frequent drug abuse, his thirst for street fighting, and multiple conversations about buying and selling at least three illegal guns (one Smith & Wesson Sigma, a .22 revolver, and a .38 Special revolver). These conversations that happened just days before he went to Sanford, Florida.
As for why Fulton and her attorneys and Democratic lawmakers in general want Stand Your Ground laws repealed, that’s blisteringly obvious as well.
A provision of Stand Your Ground law in many states is that if a person is found not guilty during a criminal trial, then that defendant win civil immunity, and that keeps the families of deceased street thugs from suing the survivors for millions of dollars in civil court.
The battle over Stand Your Ground isn’t about the memory of any particular street thug, or making the world a better place, or stopping violence. It’s nothing more or less than an attempt by trial lawyers to reverse a law that they see as block to their next yacht or Bentley purchase.
It’s all the about the money.
It always was.