I think I understand the usual model of a jury going through the elements of a charge and voting whether they believe each of them beyond a reasonable doubt in order to return a verdict of guilty. The various relevant statutes of Florida 776 seem instead to require a traversal of a flowchart where it is unclear what the degree of certainty of the various decisions should be. I will try to imagine what might happen during the forthcoming immunity hearing as the judge tries to get through the flowchart. The starting point seems to be at .041.
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.
By mutual agreement, (1) is first dispensed with as irrelevant and the parties start discussing (2). The prosecution claims that it is more likely than not that Zimmerman's admitted reaching for something when Martin approached him at the T constituted a provocation to Martin as covered by .012 so (2) is relevant.
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.
Despite protestations from the defense, the judge decides that Martin felt he had to stop Zimmerman by using a non lethal punch to the snoot and the court starts considering (2) of .041. The defense claims that both (a) and (b) of (2) more likely than not happened and the judge agrees. This ruling means that the proceedings can get off .041 and move onto "the preceding sections of this chapter" which I guess are .012, .013, and .032.
The defense then points out that in finding .041(2)(a) was satisfied the judge already found it more likely than not that the relevant section of .012
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;
holds and the procedings can ignore .013 and goto
.032 since either triggers that statute.
776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.—
(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force, unless irrelevant rest omitted
Judge says humpf! I don't have to make any decision now. I am forced to grant Zimmerman immunity by this statute and now this hearing is over.
I haven't the foggiest idea if Florida will allow the judge to conduct the hearing like this. However, if it ends up that Zimmerman is not granted immunity, I seriously doubt that a jury will be asked to decide at each decision point what the next step is to be before going to the next box on the chart.