The Guardian headline screams out its biased ignorance:
Florida woman’s sentence could be tripled in stand-your-ground retrial
There’s just one problem: Marissa Alexander’s trial was never about “standing her ground,” as not one, but two courts have made incredibly clear, for anyone who desires to listen.
After a confrontation with her violent husband Rico Gray, Marissa Alexander left her husband’s home, retrieved a handgun from her car, and returned to the house. She fired a shot at Gray’s head, which narrowly missed and hit the wall behind him, head-high. She only later tried to claim the shot was a “warning shot.”
Marissa Alexander never had a viable stand your ground claim, and indeed, has no viable self defense claim at all. It is only through her own incompetence that Rico Gray is still alive.
As a matter of objective fact, almost none of the cases that the media has tried to make about “stand your ground” were stand your ground cases:
- Marissa Alexander: Not a SYG case. Claim rejected by both original trial court and the appellate court. She attacked Gray again after her initial charges and was again arrested.
- George Zimmerman: Not a SYG case, but a straight self-defense case under English common law and statutory law. At the trial, police use of force expert Dennis Root says he would have shot Martin much sooner and would have been legally justified in doing so.
- Michael Dunn: Not a SYG case. Claimed that he saw a weapon barrel sticking out of the SUV before pulling and firing his own gun. Was convicted of attempted murder. May stand trial again in the death of Jordan Davis.
Self defense laws in the United States trace themselves back to 12th Century English common law, stating that no man must retreat when attacked in his own home. Aspects of what we now call “stand your ground” laws have been incorporated in different states in varying degrees for more than 1oo years. “No duty to retreat” laws have been on the books in many states since the 1880s, and as Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. famously noted in 1921, “detached reflection cannot be demanded in the presence of an uplifted knife.”
Stand your ground law isn’t new.
Stand your ground immunity, however, is relatively new, and I suspect that the immunity provisions are what is causing the corrupt (and overwhelmingly anti-gun Democrat) trial lawyers to suddenly have a problem with stand your ground after it has existed for more than a century.
Trial lawyers want money, and they enjoyed the ability to sue those acquitted in self defense cases for large sums of money until relatively recently, when new stand your ground legislation passed in 22 states began including immunity provisions that said if a person successfully argued for self defense in criminal court, then they couldn’t then be sued in civil court.
This hurt trial lawyers tremendously, as they made relatively little money from criminal trials, but could earn huge sums in the following civil cases, sometimes earning millions.
In the end, the battle over “stand your ground” isn’t about stand your ground laws that are over a hundred years old, but stand your ground immunity. Its not about justice, but about making lawyers and the families of criminals rich.
It’s funny how the anti-gun media never seems to want to report on that side of the story.