Trayvon Martin case: Does ‘Stand Your Ground' apply?

Many say 'Stand Your Ground' doesn't apply

CLEARWATER - Legal experts and the original writer of the ‘Stand Your Ground' law in Florida questioned Thursday whether it was applicable to the case involving the death of teenager Trayvon Martin.

Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman earlier this year in Sanford, Florida.  Zimmerman is claiming self-defense and has not been charged.

According to police, Zimmerman is part of the Neighborhood Watch and was patrolling the area when he saw Martin. Martin was carrying a bag of candy and iced tea.

Zimmerman had a gun. After a confrontation, Martin was dead.

According to Clearwater defense attorney Gregory Showers, a partner with Kwall, Showers, and Barack, "(Under ‘Stand Your Ground'), you have the right to defend yourself with deadly force if there is a threat of bodily harm to you or the person you're with. But there has to be the threat of bodily harm."

Judith Scully, the William Reese Smith Jr., Distinguished Professor at Stetson Law, added that, for the law to apply, you have to prove you are the one under attack.

"If you are the person confronting another individual or pursuing another individual then you are not meant to be covered by the ‘Stand Your Ground' law," Scully said.

For that reason, Showers and Scully both do not think the ‘Stand Your Ground' law applies in the Martin-Zimmerman case, because Zimmerman was the one pursuing and confronting Martin.

Dennis Baxley (R-Ocala), who originally wrote the ‘Stand Your Ground' law, agrees. He said the original intent of the law was to protect people defending themselves, not when pursuing and confronting other people.

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