Author Topic: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?  (Read 10321 times)

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Offline RickyJim

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Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« on: July 03, 2012, 03:28:26 PM »
Suppose Zimmerman had claimed the following had happened as far as when his gun was drawn; the rest of his story remains the same.  Which would disqualify him from claiming self defense?

1. Zimmerman left his Honda with his gun drawn.  He sees Martin and tells him get his hands up.  Martin refuses and struggles with Zimmerman over the control of the gun.

2.  Same as 1, but this time Martin surprises Zimmerman from behind and starts to wrestle with him for control of the gun.

3.  Zimmerman leaves vehicle with gun in holster.  He claims that Martin comes up to him at the T in a menacing manner and he draws his gun instead of cellphone and then the struggle commences.

Offline Lousy1

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Re: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2012, 05:46:04 PM »
Actually depending on what follows. None of the the three scenarios inherently disqualifies stand your ground. It depends what happens prior to the shooting.

If Martin had control of the situation and the gun and was pummeling Zimmerman so that Zimmerman feared great bodily harm, Zimmerman would be justified in pulling his second weapon.

Why be silly? There is absolutely no evidence that Zimmerman drew his gun until necessary. He almost waited too long.

Do we discuss the legalities of extra terrestrial intervention next?

Offline TalkLeft

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Re: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2012, 07:46:50 PM »
Suppose Zimmerman had claimed the following had happened as far as when his gun was drawn; the rest of his story remains the same.  Which would disqualify him from claiming self defense?

This is meaningless.  Please don't make stuff up and post it here. There's enough that is real to discuss  and debate, we don't need imaginary theories. 

Offline Jozz

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Re: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2012, 09:04:12 PM »
It is not a meaningless question.   >:(  There are many who believe that Zimmerman wouldn't have left his vehicle without his gun drawn because he has made two statements that indicate he thought Martin might be armed.  Others think it improbable that Zimmerman reached for his cellphone instead of his gun when menacing Martin came right up to him at the T.  And still many more including Chris Sereno find Zimmerman's description of the fight for the gun incomprehensible.  So when does the prosecution think the gun came out?   It is interesting to understand how Zimmerman's self defense claims would hold up even if the prosecution convinces the jury that the gun came out earlier.

IF he would have pulled his gun, the main focus of the injuries to George would have been his hands and arms as it would be the focus of the altercation. There is absolutely no evidence that suggests that the firearm was drawn or that George drew on Trayvon at any point before the altercation became physical.

Do you have any evidence that supports such a theory? ANY?


Offline TalkLeft

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Re: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2012, 09:12:00 PM »
There are many who believe that Zimmerman wouldn't have left his vehicle....Others think it improbable...

The state has not alleged it. Serino didn't allege it. No witness saw anything in George's hand. You cite no facts to support it, just "some people believe." That's just gossip.

Also from the interview (part 1) on Feb 29 with Singleton and Serino:

Quote
DS: When he comes up to your car you’re telling them, right? That he’s…
GZ: Yes
DS: He’s reaching in his waistband?
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
DS: So what do you think there’s a possibility that he has?
GZ: Well, the guy 3 weeks, 2 weeks prior, did the same thing when he saw me, like put his hand in his jacket and watched me walk by and then he lit a cigarette. So I thought that he was just trying to, um, look tough or intimidate….
DS: You didn’t think he had a weapon?
GZ: No, no. I didn’t….
DS: You thought he was just trying to bluff you.
GZ: Yes, ma’am.
CS: Hey, did that scare you? The bluff?
GZ: No.

Offline unitron

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Re: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2012, 09:47:37 PM »
An amusing quirk of freshstarting these threads is that even the owner/administrator is labeled a "newbie".

On to the scenarios.

"1. Zimmerman left his Honda with his gun drawn.  He sees Martin and tells him get his hands up.  Martin refuses and struggles with Zimmerman over the control of the gun."

Let's see, wouldn't that be brandishing followed by kidnapping?  I'd think only Martin would have a self-defense claim there.

"2.  Same as 1, but this time Martin surprises Zimmerman from behind and starts to wrestle with him for control of the gun."

I presume this means " Zimmerman left his Honda with his gun drawn." but not the rest.

I think that's still brandishing, but one could argue that if Martin could sneak up on him from behind he could sneak away from him, so I think that theoretical discussion gets very messy very quickly.


"3.  Zimmerman leaves vehicle with gun in holster.  He claims that Martin comes up to him at the T in a menacing manner and he draws his gun instead of cellphone and then the struggle commences."

Here I think SYG, rather than just self-defense, gets dragged into the picture.

Offline Jozz

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Re: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2012, 09:53:14 PM »
An amusing quirk of freshstarting these threads is that even the owner/administrator is labeled a "newbie".

On to the scenarios.

"1. Zimmerman left his Honda with his gun drawn.  He sees Martin and tells him get his hands up.  Martin refuses and struggles with Zimmerman over the control of the gun."

Let's see, wouldn't that be brandishing followed by kidnapping?  I'd think only Martin would have a self-defense claim there.

"2.  Same as 1, but this time Martin surprises Zimmerman from behind and starts to wrestle with him for control of the gun."

I presume this means " Zimmerman left his Honda with his gun drawn." but not the rest.

I think that's still brandishing, but one could argue that if Martin could sneak up on him from behind he could sneak away from him, so I think that theoretical discussion gets very messy very quickly.


"3.  Zimmerman leaves vehicle with gun in holster.  He claims that Martin comes up to him at the T in a menacing manner and he draws his gun instead of cellphone and then the struggle commences."

Here I think SYG, rather than just self-defense, gets dragged into the picture.

You must be humoring him, but because you must here goes. None of these scenarios disqualifies George from a SYG defense if in fact the tables turned, he withdrew from the altercation and was in fear of great bodily harm or death. Under 766.041 even an aggressor has the right to defense.

2011 Florida Statutes CHAPTER 776 JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE[22]

776.012 Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

    (1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or
    (2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.

776.041 Use of force by aggressor. —The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who:

(1) Is attempting to commit, committing, or escaping after the commission of, a forcible felony; or

(2) Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless:

    (a) Such force is so great that the person reasonably believes that he or she is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm and that he or she has exhausted every reasonable means to escape such danger other than the use of force which is likely to cause death or great bodily harm to the assailant; or
    (b) In good faith, the person withdraws from physical contact with the assailant and indicates clearly to the assailant that he or she desires to withdraw and terminate the use of force, but the assailant continues or resumes the use of force.



The only other difference between these statutes is that with one you're protected against civil action and the other you're not.

Offline unitron

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Re: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2012, 10:59:43 PM »
I find myself confused as to whether the aggressor and the assailant are the same person or two different persons in the Florida statue cited.

Further, I suspect there would not have been enough aspirin in the known universe to have gotten me through law school.

Offline Mr. Filexican

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Re: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2012, 11:08:02 PM »
An amusing quirk of freshstarting these threads is that even the owner/administrator is labeled a "newbie".

On to the scenarios.

"1. Zimmerman left his Honda with his gun drawn.  He sees Martin and tells him get his hands up.  Martin refuses and struggles with Zimmerman over the control of the gun."

Let's see, wouldn't that be brandishing followed by kidnapping?  I'd think only Martin would have a self-defense claim there.

"2.  Same as 1, but this time Martin surprises Zimmerman from behind and starts to wrestle with him for control of the gun."

I presume this means " Zimmerman left his Honda with his gun drawn." but not the rest.

I think that's still brandishing, but one could argue that if Martin could sneak up on him from behind he could sneak away from him, so I think that theoretical discussion gets very messy very quickly.


"3.  Zimmerman leaves vehicle with gun in holster.  He claims that Martin comes up to him at the T in a menacing manner and he draws his gun instead of cellphone and then the struggle commences."

Here I think SYG, rather than just self-defense, gets dragged into the picture.

Thanks for answering the question. I think the poster, like me, is just trying to gain a better understanding of SYG.

Another hypothetical. Say Jorge, without drawing his firearm, commits a felony. Let's call it kidnapping. Everything plays out like it did. Jorge gets mounted, Trayvon is pummeling him, Jorge is yelling for help for about a minute before he decides that he's in fear for his life and fires.

Does the commission of the felony prevent him from claiming a stand your ground defense? 776.041 reads as if a person who has committed a felony IS entitled to SYG so long as he exhausted every reasonable means to withdraw.

On the other hand, if somebody commits a felony and is attempting to withdraw in order to simply flee the scene, he's not entitled to SYG.

I haven't read or heard any explanation of this.



Offline cboldt

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Re: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2012, 03:45:47 AM »
I find myself confused as to whether the aggressor and the assailant are the same person or two different persons in the Florida statue cited.

I don't think the term "aggressor" is recited, but if it is, that would be the person who provoked the use of force.  In 776.041, this person who initially provoked the use of force is conditionally entitled to defend his life if his opponent, the assailant, acts in a way that results in reasonable fear of death or serious injury (like attempting to disarm you while uttering "I'm going to kill you," after never letting up).

The person who provoked the use of force in the first place can also remove that taint by making a good faith effort to withdraw.  The initial provocation is still a crime of assault or battery (at least), but it becomes "in the past" upon a good faith effort to withdraw.  If the assailant continues use of force, the person who provoked the use of force in the first place can defend himself.

Offline cboldt

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Re: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2012, 04:07:18 AM »
I haven't read or heard any explanation of this.

The "commission of a felony" angle is an act outside of the altercation.  Robbing a store or a bank, for example.  The give and take between the two combatants is evaluated without asking if the acts are, of themselves, felonious.  For example, Martin was more likely than not committing battery, and if you believe Zimmerman, Martin also committed the felony of aggravated assault.  That determination lies outside of the question of whether or not Zimmerman is entitled to use force in self defense.

Same way looking at the very beginning.  If Zimmerman is brandishing, the law will look at the reaction that causes to Martin, and whether or not it gives him the right to use force in self defense.  And going back further, sometimes brandishing is justified under the law.  The right to use, show, or threaten force in self defense is a fact intensive inquiry.  For fun, you might google "restatement of torts self defense"

Restatement 2d, Sec 65 - Use of deadly force

Restatement 2d, Sec 63 - Use of less than deadly force

I know there are cases where brandishing a firearm was justified (Court found so) to a person who was threatened.  There are good policy argument on both sides of allowing a person to show deadly force without using it.  I happen to think that Martin would have acted differently if he had known Zimmerman was armed.

One off topic point - this will be my only post in response to a question of yours.  I find your use of "Jorge" that offensive.

Offline RickyJim

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Re: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2012, 07:32:39 AM »
I am astounded  :o  that the powers here respond to my question by denouncing the question.  I find it unreasonable to ask that I document all the other blogs where I have seen theories of the case different than the one the moderator favors.  We have only Zimmerman's word for when the gun came out.  I find the other two suggested times equally as probable.  Zimmerman himself explicitly admitted that he thought Martin might be armed during his apology given at the first bail hearing.  Zimmerman's attorney has himself stated that Zimmerman's credibility is very important in this case, so it is quite important to discuss how a juror might vote even if the prosecution convinces the jury that Zimmerman is lying through his teeth about many of the details, in particular when the gun came out.

Offline unitron

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Re: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2012, 08:05:53 AM »
Mr. Filexican, what is the cause for your insistence, one might almost say obsession, with referring to George Zimmerman as Jorge?

Did his parents originally put it down that way on the birth certificate and later change it or something?

Do you feel there's some reason he doesn't deserve to use the name George?

Is this some meme about which I missed the memo?

What is it?

Offline Lousy1

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Re: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2012, 08:06:10 AM »
Quote
NOTE! Person X and person Y in no way shape or form represent Jorge Zimmerman or Trayvon Martin.

So find another Forum.  XYZ in Wonderland perhaps

Offline Cylinder

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Re: Which of These Scenarios Disqualifies Self Defense?
« Reply #14 on: July 04, 2012, 08:12:52 AM »
I am astounded  :o  that the powers here respond to my question by denouncing the question. I find it unreasonable to ask that I document all the other blogs where I have seen theories of the case different than the one the moderator favors.

I'm not an any way affiliated with this board, but some peer advice would be that the administrator ussually frowns on purely speculative posts - though this forum is less than 24 hours old and the specific rules haven't been published.

For instance, if I were to advance a theory that Martin was responsible for previous burglaries, that would violate the TOS because no party has introduced evidence that could support that claim.

I think there's an expectation of quality of product here that's unusual for other boards that may throw some users off. It's understandable, since though our opinion do not represent hers, her name and professional reputation are somewhat attached to this site.

Many posters here are very careful to support any but the most basic facts with a source or link.

 

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