Author Topic: Criteria for Self Defense Decision  (Read 6708 times)

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Offline RickyJim

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Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« on: July 31, 2012, 05:40:52 PM »
I'm starting this thread as a continuation of a discussion of the criteria for deciding Zimmerman's self defense claim at the SYG hearing and trial.  The original started on the thread: "Witnesses' testimony: Inconsistencies" in the Witness Discussion section of this forum.

The main goal is to figure out the simplest possible judge (at SYG hearing) and jury (at a subsequent trial) instructions for them to decide if Self Defense is applicable in the Zimmerman/Martin affair.

The first problem I have is understanding what 776.013 (3) adds to 776.012.  Is it completely redundant?

Quote
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.

Quote
776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.—

(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

Offline Lousy1

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Re: Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2012, 06:31:12 PM »
I'm starting this thread as a continuation of a discussion of the criteria for deciding Zimmerman's self defense claim at the SYG hearing and trial.  The original started on the thread: "Witnesses' testimony: Inconsistencies" in the Witness Discussion section of this forum.

The main goal is to figure out the simplest possible judge (at SYG hearing) and jury (at a subsequent trial) instructions for them to decide if Self Defense is applicable in the Zimmerman/Martin affair.

The first problem I have is understanding what 776.013 (3) adds to 776.012.  Is it completely redundant?

Your kidding right? This was explained just yesterday.

Offline RickyJim

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Re: Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2012, 07:25:11 PM »
Your kidding right? This was explained just yesterday.

That is news to me.  Please give me a link to the post where it is explained what .013 (3) adds to .012.

Offline TalkLeft

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Re: Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2012, 07:54:59 PM »
AJ's post was removed at his request because he did not believe it to be complete.

Offline Lousy1

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Re: Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2012, 08:01:57 PM »
Quote
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:

Is not in play.
Quote
776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.—
Is the relevant statue. Particularly
Quote
776.013(3) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. <...>

Offline TalkLeft

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Re: Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2012, 08:07:54 PM »
The current jury instruction on self-defense in Florida is available here.

Offline RickyJim

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Re: Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2012, 08:09:58 PM »
Lousy1, I don't understand why you think 013 is in play in Z/M while 012 isn't.  By the way, what has happened to cbolt? 

Offline Lousy1

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Re: Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« Reply #7 on: July 31, 2012, 08:15:19 PM »
Lousy1, I don't understand why you think 013 is in play in Z/M while 012 isn't.  By the way, what has happened to cbolt?

...776.012 Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when

If Zimmerman was charge with battery then .012 would be applicable. Seems to be plain English.

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0776/0776.html

Offline RickyJim

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Re: Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2012, 08:20:27 PM »
The current jury instruction on self-defense in Florida is available here.

It contradicts Lousy1 by not mentioning 776.013 (3).  Is that because the person who wrote the jury instruction realized the latter is completely redundant?  For the Martin/Zimmerman case that standard jury instruction can be pared down quite a bit, I think.  And shouldn't it apply also to the SYG hearing, with a higher standard of proof??

Offline Lousy1

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Re: Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2012, 08:35:50 PM »
It contradicts Lousy1 by not mentioning 776.013 (3).  Is that because the person who wrote the jury instruction realized the latter is completely redundant?  For the Martin/Zimmerman case that standard jury instruction can be pared down quite a bit, I think.  And shouldn't it apply also to the SYG hearing, with a higher standard of proof??


From the Charging template that Jeralyn just mentioned
http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/jury_instructions/chapters/entireversion/onlinejurryinstructions.pdf
 
Quote
Read in all cases.
In deciding whether defendant was justified in the use of deadly force, you must judge [him]
[her] by the circumstances by which [he] [she] was surrounded at the time the force was used.  The
danger facing the defendant need not have been actual; however, to justify the use of deadly force,
the appearance of danger must have been so real that a reasonably cautious and prudent person
under the same circumstances would have believed that the danger could be avoided only through
the use of that force.  Based upon appearances, the defendant must have actually believed that the
danger was real.
No duty to retreat. § 776.013(3), Fla. Stat.  See Novak v. State 974 So. 2d 520 (Fla. 4
th
DCA
2008)  regarding unlawful activity.  There is no duty to retreat where the defendant was not engaged in
any unlawful activity other than the crime(s) for which the defendant asserts the justification.
If the defendant [was not engaged in an unlawful activity and] was attacked in any place
where [he] [she] had a right to be, [he] [she] had no duty to retreat and had the right to stand [his]
[her] ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if [he] [she] reasonably believed
that it was necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to [himself] [herself] (...)
« Last Edit: July 31, 2012, 08:43:55 PM by Lousy1 »

Offline TalkLeft

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Re: Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2012, 08:40:08 PM »
Ricky, I don't understand what you are asking.

They are not redundant, they are different statutes. One is the justifiable use of force in defense of person statute and one is stand your ground, which applies to defense of homes, property and persons. For persons, it applies when the person is in any place he has a lawful right to be.

The jury instructions spell out how they are used. 

Here's the statutes in one place.

Read the cases in my previous posts on the topic if you still don't get it.

Offline RickyJim

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Re: Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2012, 09:21:45 PM »
Ricky, I don't understand what you are asking.

They are not redundant, they are different statutes. One is the justifiable use of force in defense of person statute and one is stand your ground, which applies to defense of homes, property and persons. For persons, it applies when the person is in any place he has a lawful right to be.

The jury instructions spell out how they are used. 

Here's the statutes in one place.

Read the cases in my previous posts on the topic if you still don't get it.

One uses the phrase "does not have a duty to retreat" while the other uses "has no duty to retreat", so?   I will agree to stare at them off and on for a day until I can see the difference before giving up.

Offline DebFrmHell

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Re: Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2012, 10:55:06 PM »
One uses the phrase "does not have a duty to retreat" while the other uses "has no duty to retreat", so?   I will agree to stare at them off and on for a day until I can see the difference before giving up.

I hope I have this right because I, too, have been pouring over those two statutes.

776.012 is the right of self-defense.
776.013 is the right to stand your ground.

Offline RickyJim

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Re: Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2012, 07:05:24 AM »
I hope I have this right because I, too, have been pouring over those two statutes.

776.012 is the right of self-defense.
776.013 is the right to stand your ground.

Thanks Deb for coming to my defense in finding the matter confusing.  Do you think that 013 is the one they will use at the SYG hearing while 012 applies at trial?  Maybe you can explain why Lousy1 thinks 012 would be the one to use if Zimmerman was also charged with battery.

Offline cboldt

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Re: Criteria for Self Defense Decision
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2012, 09:00:55 AM »
I hope I have this right because I, too, have been pouring over those two statutes.

776.012 is the right of self-defense.
776.013 is the right to stand your ground.

I think 776.012 and 776.013(3) are repetitive on the instance of use of force in self defense, other than in ones home or car.  776.012 comes first, and points to (incorporates) 776.013 as "other circumstances permitted."  776.013 creates a presumption of reasonable fear (presumption being a burden shifting device) for people in a home or car, then has a subsection (3) that I can't distinguish, substantively, from 776.012.

776.041 also contains a circumstance where the use of force is justified, even if one is the aggressor.  This one has a different play against 776.032 immunity, 776.041 not being cited in 776.032.

As to why 776.013(3) exists at all, I have no idea.  Legislatures are known to do quirky things.  At least 776.012 and 776.013(3) aren't in any sort of conflict with each other.

 

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