Sunday, August 4, 2013
During the coming school year, we may see a number of Legal Writing problems dealing with “stand your ground”statutes. Here is a peculiar case:
On Wednesday, the 4th District Court of Appeals in Florida heavily
criticized Broward Circuit Judge Elijah Williams for not allowing a defendant
in a fight between schoolchildren, to claim the defense of the “Stand Your Ground”
In the instant case, a middle school student identified in court records as T.P.
got into a fistfight with a girl on a school bus belonging to the Broward
County. T.P. was accused of battery, convicted and sentenced as a juvenile.
According to court records, T.P. and the girl, identified as A.F. were on the same bus
when they had a fight. The school bus driver testified the girl grabbed the
boy’s jacket, punched him and pulled him down on a seat before the boy tried to
The boy was sentenced. The girl testified that the boy attacked her without
provocation. Broward Circuit Judge Elijah Williams did not allow the defense of
the “Stand Your Ground” law to T.P., because according to him, the boy was not
protecting his home or vehicle.
The appeals court overturned the conviction and ordered a retrial instructing
Williams to consider that the boy could invoke the protection of “Stand Your
You can read more here.