I would like to add that I would like to thank Derek Simms, Simms and Associates, for the opportunity to have studied the law from a practitioner's point of view as a paralegal, in addition of course to teaching Constitutional Law for eight years, if his proof-reading skills are most definitely superior to mine. :)
Simms and Associates: "Our Job is not to Judge, but Defend."
Florida Statute, often called a Stand Your Ground Statute:
"776.013 Home protection; use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.—
The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against that person’s will from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle; and... "(other conditions not present).
It seems at first glance rather obvious from a fair reading of the Florida statute, often called a "Stand Your Ground Law," that this unpopular in some circles type of law in the Trayvon Martin case will actually work as intended, in the prosecution of the alleged shooter.
But then that's for a jury to decide in the end.
This is because his use of force would not seem to be authorized under that Statute, if it does make some wonder as to the wisdom of such a statute not being more clearly stated as to a non-law enforcement officer only being authorized to use force on someone only using obviously potentially lethal force against another person, and announcing that very clearly to the public, to protect people from being led astray by what can be a well-intentioned desire to protect their community from crime.
That would solve the "Virginia Tech" issue that some raise in the context of these laws as to public spaces, as opposed to domiciles.
Then again, that's why juries, grand and petit, decide such things, even if its a huge spectacle, if we of course already know that the State of Florida is obviously capable of handling such a thing.
Whatever the shooter's motive as to race, and that is unfair to presume, it is clear that under the Florida Statute, the shooter will have a somewhat difficult time arguing that when he accosted someone, as in this case, and who on tape apparently expresses no statement as to who he was accosting having committed a violent felony, or being about to do so (and if there was a trepass on the gated community, that's a non-violent Class A/First Degree Misdemeanor), that his use of force was justified, especially since under Florida Law, if one is within one's rights, possibly save as to trespass, as was only possibly Trayvon Martin, and even that's pretty marginal, "Stand Your Ground" applies both ways:
" 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."
The statute is about domiciles and vehicles as it is written primarily, or "forcible felonies" being committed, and it would seem rather obvious that to defend such a case wouldn't be an easy task.
Then again, that's why we have juries, grand and petit, to decide such things, if of course the public has a right to know such things too, even if it causes what some might call a distracting spectacle.
It would seem to be hard to argue that this was a justified shooting as to trespass in a gated community, the best case from the shooter's point of view, as trespass is equivalent to an Alabama Class A misdemeanor, not a forcible felony:
"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."
Of course, the tragedy is probably partly that the shooter didn't listen to the 9/11 operator, who said, "We don't need you to do that," since absent a clear threat, i.e. someone wielding a gun, beating someone in the street, 999/1000 times, there is a reason for security professionals and police to deal with such things in a public place, which does not however make the law in and of itself a bad law, since in this case, given trespass as a Class A Misdemeanor and the way that the statute is written, there will be some punishment for the shooter it would seem like.
But then again, that's why we have trials, even ones with huge amounts of publicity, something that people feel like that they have to watch on television, just to make sure that justice is done.