Legal Insurrection is reporting that an abortive attempt to repeal Florida’s “stand your ground” law has died a pathetic legislative death:
The primary Florida legislative initiative to repeal the state’s Stand-Your-Ground — SB116, embedded below — has officially died a sad little death in the state senate, as reported on the official state Senate legislative tracking site. (This also effectively dooms the complementary bill introduced in the state house, H4003.)
Introduced by Florida state Senator Geraldine F. “Geri” Thompson, whose district includes urban Orlando, SB116 met with only limited legislative success.
Oh, did I say “limited legislative success?” Sorry, I meant “no success.” Literally. None.
Filed on August 22, 2013, it was referred to the three committees necessary for any criminal law bill to advance to a full senate vote — the Judiciary, the Criminal Justice, and the Rules committees.
In the Judiciary committee the vote in favor of the bill was . . . well, they never even got it to a vote.
In the Criminal Justice committee . . . ditto. And in the Rule committee. Yeah, the same.
Finally, in an act of unmitigated mercy the bill was finally officially “put down” this past Friday, May 2, after having suffered nine tortious months accomplishing absolutely nothing of substantive value to the citizens of Florida.
From the beginning, the entire fight against Florida’s “stand your ground” law was hyperbolic, dishonest, and yes, racist.
If you asked the general public about famous “stand your ground” cases in Florida, they’d undoubtedly cite George Zimmerman’s killing of Trayvon Martin, Michael Dunn’s killing of Jordan Davis, and quiet possibly, Marissa Alexander’s shot at her estranged husband, Rico Gray.
The reality is, however, that “stand your ground” law wasn’t a factor in any of the three cases.
- George Zimmerman was acquitted on after eyewitness testimony, professional witness testimony, and the physical evidence supported his contention he fired his gun one time in justified self-defense, as it appeared that Trayvon Martin was attempting to beat him to death. Zimmerman’s defense never mentioned “stand your ground.”
- Michael Dunn’s killing of Jordan Davis was declared a mistrial, but he was convicted of three counts of attempted second-degree murder for firing at the other young men who were with Davis, along with one count of firing into a vehicle. He awaits sentencing on those charges pending a retrial for the murder of Davis. At no point during his trial did his defense team claim that he was “standing his ground.” Dunn’s retrial date has not been set.
- Marissa Alexander has actually twice attempted to claim that she was “standing her ground,” and both times, judges have rejected her plea based upon the circumstances of the case. After a fight with Gray, Alexander left the home, retrieved her firearm from her car, and then returned to the home, firing a head-high shot that missed. Her defense attempted to claim that this was a “warning shot,” which was a rather obvious falsehood based on the head-high bullet hole in the wall behind where Gray was standing. Alexander was convicted in 2012 on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon (her shot missed Gray’s children as well), but her sentence has been overturned and she awaits a new trial in July.
Ironically, evidence suggests that African-Americans disproportionately benefit from the very “stand you ground” law that some were mislead into believing that it favored whites.