idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
The point is that you're wrong.
No, I'm not.
The law makes a specific exception that it fails to apply if you were the aggressor. That's specifically referencing the long-view of the conflict.
Correct in the first sentence. Incorrect in the second. I already posted this (and assumed I won the argument last time because no one refuted it), but apparently you have a short memory, so here goes:
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.
A person pinned to the ground and being punched in the face meets condition (2)(a) in that paragraph. The fact that one was the initial aggressor does not permanently remove their right to self defense. It limits it to cases where the other person takes control of the situation and choose to become the aggressor himself. Given that Martin was on top of Zimmerman just seconds before the shot was fired, we can conclude that either Martin was the aggressor the whole time, and even if Zimmerman was the aggressor initially, Martin became the aggressor when he pinned Zimmerman down and started beating on him.
The law is incredibly clear
on this. Why do people keep insisting that it doesn't say what it very clearly does in fact say?
You don't get to force a conflict, then get a free pass to shoot someone once they get they upper hand in it.
Um... Yes, you do. If they get the "upper hand" in the fight and choose to become the aggressor rather than ending the fight, then you gain the right of self defense. The point being that if you are attacked by someone, you're allowed to defend yourself
. That's it. Once you've knocked the other person to the ground, you can't jump on top of him, pin him to the ground, and continue to beat him. What's bizarre is how selectively you seem to want self defense laws to be. You want self defense to be so broad for Martin such that he is allowed to go well beyond defending himself in response to a hypothetical initial attack by Zimmerman, but so narrow for Zimmerman that he's not allowed to use a firearm to defend himself in a completely non hypothetical case of being pinned to the ground and getting his face punched repeatedly.
The law applies equally in both directions. Both have a right to self defense. Both lose that right when they go beyond that force necessary to defend themselves.
At the end of the day, you're still blameworthy for creating the situation in the first place.
Whether or not that's manslaughter or murder is for a jury to decide. And, in the specific case of Zimmerman, so is deciding whether or not he may be held responsible for creating this situation to a sufficient degree for him to be guilty of murder or manslaughter.
So attempting to see where a suspicious person ran off to inside your housing complex is "creating a situation" which apparently now requires that you allow that person to beat you senseless rather than use your concealed firearm to defend yourself? Are you seriously arguing that if I go sneaking around my neighborhood, and someone walks up to ask me what I'm doing, that I'm free to beat that person to a pulp and he has no right to do anything about it? That's insane.
We don't know who started the fight. We only know that immediately prior to firing his weapon, the position and conditions that Zimmerman was in meet the legal requirements for use of deadly force in self defense. Now if they also want to charge him with "scaring an overly jumpy minor" or something, that's fine. But that's all the prosecution has come remotely close to proving. And last I heard, following someone isn't a crime. Edited, Jul 10th 2013 5:51pm by gbaji