State v. George Zimmerman (Pre-Trial) > Self-Defense and Stand Your Ground

776.032 - When is it invalidated?

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AJ:
This is a question that I've had for a few weeks now and I thought I'd give it a shot here to see what people think. I think the only way I can get exactly what I'm looking for is by use of a hypothetical, so here it is:

Lets say Judge Lester throws out the case (with or without prejudice) for a reasons that have nothing to do with a Stand Your Ground/Immunity hearing - let it be any reason you want. Since Mr. Zimmerman was arrested and charged, could he then be found facing civil filings, or do the criminal charges have to go all the way through trial to include a verdict (no matter the outcome)? Would Mr. Zimmerman first have to have an immunity hearing before such filings could happen even if the criminal charges are tossed, or would such a hearing be made in the process of the civil trial?

The way I understand it is that if charges are thrown out it is as if the charges were never brought to begin with, so I would assume he would still be protected from civil actions based on 776.032.

Thoughts?

cboldt:
The criminal charge has to be disposed of, somehow.  I can envision the state's murder charge being ruled invalid, but the state would probably substitute manslaughter for murder II, leaving a criminal charge standing.

Zimmerman's self defense claim can prevail in one of two ways.  Either as a finding by a judge, or by a jury.  If the finding is by a judge (before, or even after trial), then he will have obtained statutory immunity.  If Zimmerman prevails by a jury finding that the state did not disprove self defense, beyond a reasonable doubt, then Zimmerman is subject to a lawsuit for civil liability.

The logic is fairly simple.  The standard of proof for a finding of self defense by a judge is the same as the standard of proof in a civil trial.  If the court finds it more likely than not that Zimmerman acted in self defense, then the court won;t allow a separate finding in the opposite direction.  There is also the legislative intent to spare a person who is justified in protecting himself from the ordeal of trial, and being subjected to money damages for a legally justified act.

There is of course the outcome in the other direction, a jury finds Zimmerman not justified in his use of force.  He would face civil liability as well.

Jozz:

--- Quote from: AJ on July 04, 2012, 07:36:09 AM ---This is a question that I've had for a few weeks now and I thought I'd give it a shot here to see what people think. I think the only way I can get exactly what I'm looking for is by use of a hypothetical, so here it is:

Lets say Judge Lester throws out the case (with or without prejudice) for a reasons that have nothing to do with a Stand Your Ground/Immunity hearing - let it be any reason you want. Since Mr. Zimmerman was arrested and charged, could he then be found facing civil filings, or do the criminal charges have to go all the way through trial to include a verdict (no matter the outcome)? Would Mr. Zimmerman first have to have an immunity hearing before such filings could happen even if the criminal charges are tossed, or would such a hearing be made in the process of the civil trial?

The way I understand it is that if charges are thrown out it is as if the charges were never brought to begin with, so I would assume he would still be protected from civil actions based on 776.032.

Thoughts?

--- End quote ---

Unless George is granted immunity under SYG. He may be taken to Civil court with any other outcome, though I'm not sure of the time frame of which the Martin's could file a civil suit. Crump knows the answer to that question and he's salivating thinking about it.

friendofinnocence:
Cboldt, are you sure this is correct?

"If Zimmerman prevails by a jury finding that the state did not disprove self defense, beyond a reasonable doubt, then Zimmerman is subject to a lawsuit for civil liability."

Jozz:

--- Quote from: friendofinnocence on July 04, 2012, 09:51:23 AM ---Cboldt, are you sure this is correct?

"If Zimmerman prevails by a jury finding that the state did not disprove self defense, beyond a reasonable doubt, then Zimmerman is subject to a lawsuit for civil liability."

--- End quote ---

If they don't grant him immunity in a SYG hearing then he is subject to civil charges. OJ Simpson was found innocent in criminal court, but lost in civil court. That's been played out many times before. That's the reason why immunity from civil charges was built into the SYG statutes.

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