What if the law doesn't even protect George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin? Dave Kopel, NRA member and author of “Firearms Law & the Second Amendment,” thinks not.
I think if you actually read what the law says, it doesn't apply in this situation. The stand-your-ground law is about when a person who is a victim of a violent attack, under what circumstances do they have a duty to retreat rather than take action to defend themselves? If Zimmerman is the aggressor in this case then he wasn't the victim. And since he wasn't the victim, he had no right to self-defense at all, and the issue of whether he should retreat or not wouldn't - has nothing to do with it.But Zimmerman is, in fact, claiming that he was acting in self-defense, that he was "violently" attacked, his nose broken and his head busted open.
I'm no lawyer and have no training in law enforcement, so I - Jane Doe, Private Citizen - can only ask the first question that comes to my non-legal mind. What if Zimmerman isn't telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth?
As a private citizen, I have nothing to go on but the same photos and videos everyone else has seen, like this police video of Zimmerman's booking thirty minutes after that shooting on a rainy night in Sanford..
Allegedly, Zimmerman was treated by paramedics while he sat in the police car before being brought to the station. Still, Jane Doe, Private Citizen, asks: Where are the grass stains? Where is the blood on his person and clothing? Head wounds do tend to gush. Where are the bruises? Where is the broken nose?
Let's just compare Zimmerman to a few others in similar circumstances:
And here's this guy with a broken nose.
I have been told that there's a picture of Zimmerman with a huge "nasty gash" on the back of his head. I haven't seen it - not on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, the Internet, or anywhere else. But I have seen this one.
Whoever put this up didn't identify the expert witnesses but I've seen a lot of bald or partially bald headed men with hair tufts in the most unlikely places.
What if Zimmerman is telling the truth and Martin did attack him? At The Examined Life, Sheria Reid, an attorney, asks: "... did Zimmerman have a reasonable fear for his life that justified his taking of Trayvon's life?"
To answer that question, a jury needs to examine evidence of all of the events of that evening. Was Zimmerman justified in following Trayvon? Who initiated the confrontation? What about Trayvon's state of mind? He realized that he was being followed, he told his girlfriend that there was someone following him. Would it be reasonable for Trayvon to fear for his own safety? Did he not have a right to defend himself based on a reasonable fear that the stranger who approached him meant to do him bodily harm? Would there have been any type of altercation if Zimmerman had not continued to follow Trayvon after the 911 operator expressly advised him not to do so?On MSNBC's The Last Word, Melissa Harris-Perry echos some of these same questions - starting at about 5:00.
George Zimmerman is innocent until proven guilty and has every right to a rapid and fair trial, which might come sooner than later. The prosecutor in the case Angela B. Corey said "her probe could possibly result in state charges that bypass the need for the Seminole County Grand Jury, which is slated to convene April 10 to hear the case."
In a sense, not only will George Zimmerman be on trial but so will Trayvon Martin and the Sanford Police Department. Even private citizen Jane Doe could come up with a few questions for the latter. Questions like, what happened to Martin's cell phone? Was Zimmerman tested for drugs and alcohol? If not, why not? If Zimmerman was so "violently" attacked, his nose broken, etc., why wasn't he taken to the hospital on the night of the shooting?
UPDATE: Experts say it was not George Zimmerman's voice crying for help.