CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Information charging George Zimmerman with the murder of Trayvon Martin

The document is here.  The Florida Stand Your Ground Law is here. Section 776.013(3) eliminates any duty to retreat before using deadly force even in public space. But it does not eliminate the requirement of reasonable belief that deadly force is necessary to prevent death, great bodily harm, or the commission of a forcible felony.

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I think Zimmerman's argument is that he couldn't retreat because he was attacked and Martin was on top of him. So Stand Your Ground statute is irrelevant to his case.

On the other hand, if he was aggressor, there is a duty to retreat under Section 776.041, but again, Zimmerman argues there was no means of escape, so again he is justified in using force (according to his side of the story).


"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 . . . 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 . . . ."

Posted by: chris | Apr 13, 2012 9:29:29 AM

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