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

Tricky Point About 776.041

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RickyJim:
Just when I thought i understood it, the following came up in a discussion elsewhere:


--- Quote ---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
--- End quote ---

Does former mean those sections of 776 with numerical values strictly < .041, like 0.012?

I ask this because the remainder of .041 says

--- Quote ---(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.
--- End quote ---
If part (2) is not considered a preceding section, one can argue that since a forcible felony is an initial provocation, you can commit a forcible felony and then shoot in self defense if you try to give up or retreat but the assailant doesn't agree to let up.  If that is true, than there is no need for 776.041(1) in this law.

annoyedbeyond:
Two different things.

.1 says basically that if you're committing a felony of some sort, you don't get to shoot someone and claim it was justified.

That's separate from 2, which says that a person can't provoke someone into beating the crap out of him so he can shoot him.

Preceding means what came before:

CHAPTER 776
JUSTIFIABLE USE OF FORCE
776.012 Use of force in defense of person.
776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.
776.031 Use of force in defense of others.
776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use of force.

There is a need for .1 in the law because that says you can't shoot someone who's trying to stop you from committing a felony. I don't understand why you find that difficult.

cboldt:

--- Quote from: RickyJim on June 15, 2013, 12:05:55 PM ---If that is true, than there is no need for 776.041(1) in this law.

--- End quote ---

The law comprehends situations with more than two actors.  It is possible for a person to be committing a forcible felony, and not be provoking the person who responds to the situation with force.  It is also possible for a person to be committing a forcible felony and meet no resistance.

Cylinder:
You're not parsing the or operator properly.

776.041  Use of force by aggressor.--The justification described in the preceding sections of this chapter is not available to a person who...Initially provokes the use of force against himself or herself, unless...

The justification does not apply to anyone committing a forcible felony without caveat.

The justification does not apply to anyone who has provoked the use of force unless they meet certain criteria.

IANAL.

RickyJim:
I agree that committing a forcible felony and provoking violence against oneself are not the same thing.  But let me illustrate the problem I have with .041 in another way.

Robber A commits a forcible felony, say robbing a bank.  Robber B sees A emerging with the booty and unprovoked attacks A violently in the hope of having the booty for himself.

Case 1 - B gets the upper hand and A begs B to stop and take the booty.  B keeps smashing A and A gets his gun out of a concealed holster and shoots B.

Case 2 - A gets the upper hand and B begs A to stop.  A keeps smashing B and B gets his gun out of a concealed holster and shoots A.

It appears that according to 776.041, A can't argue self defense under 776.012 since he was in the process of escaping from a forcible felony.  However, it also appears than B can argue 776.041(2) allows him to use lethal force against A.

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