At least half the states, have adopted the controversial “stand your ground law, but it actually could be called stand-my-ground law. But the ultimate question in the Trayvon Martin case, whose ground was it?
George Zimmerman is heard telling the 911 operator, that he is suspicious of the teenager and what he might be up to. The operator asks him point blank, 'are you following Martin, to which Zimmerman, reply’s, that he is. He's told; ''we do not need you to continue doing that.''
Next we hear the cries of either Zimmerman or Martin, and finally the single shot that ends the confrontation. So the question is, on whose ground does the shooting stand? Is it stand-my-ground, or “stand-your-ground? Is it on Martin's or Zimmerman's ground that the case hinges?
If Zimmerman followed the unarmed teenager before the shooting, then who is the aggressor in that situation? Would Martin have attacked a man he knew was holding a handgun, probably not? Would Zimmerman have approached Martin without a handgun, probably not? The only witness to this confrontation is the shooter, since Martin was shot at point blank range, after he is reported to have been pummeling Zimmerman, down on the ground. So the question for the court to decide is-is this shooting justified, and should “stand-your-ground law decide that Zimmerman should walk away free? Even if he is freed by the court, will he ever really be free of this case and the shooting of an unarmed teenager?
It is probably safe to say that this 1895 law, has never faced such a test as the Trayvon Martin case. The law states:“"Stand your ground" governs U.S. federal case law in which right of self-defense is asserted against a charge of criminal homicide. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Beard v. U.S. (158 U.S. 550 (1895)) that a man who was "on his premises" when he came under attack and "...did not provoke the assault, and had at the time reasonable grounds to believe, and in good faith believed, that the deceased intended to take his life, or do him great bodily harm...was not obliged to retreat, nor to consider whether he could safely retreat, but was entitled to stand his ground." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand-your-ground_law) (underlined for emphasis by writer)
The encyclopedia says about the law, which is also called: “Line In The Sand” or “No Duty To Retreat,” “That a person has no duty to retreat when their home is attacked. The controversial law is based on the Castle doctrine which goes further by states to say that a person has no duty or other requirement to abandon a place in which he has a right to be, or to give up ground to an assailant. Under such laws, there is no duty to retreat from anywhere the defender may legally be.”
“The Trayvon Martin case brought a large degree of criticism to the law. Legal experts are split as to whether charges will be dropped under Florida's stand-your-ground law before the case even goes to trial, as the extant Florida law allows the alleged shooter, George Zimmerman, to argue that the charges should be dropped before trial even begins. Legal experts are also split as to whether Zimmerman's actions will be viewed as self-defense, should the case go to trial.”
One thing is for certain, the nation will never view this controversial law the same way, after an unarmed teenager was gunned down at point blank range, because he happened to be on the wrong ground at the wrong time.