Trayvon Martin Case: Sponsors of Florida ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law Say George Zimmerman Should Be Arrested
The Florida lawmakers who crafted the state’s controversial “Stand Your Ground” law said neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman should be arrested for shooting and killing unarmed teen Trayvon Martin.
Former state Sen. Durell Peaden and current state Rep. Dennis Baxley said the law they wrote in 2005, which allows someone who feels threatened to “meet force with force” without backing down first, was being misapplied in the shooting death of the 17-year-old, the Miami Herald reported.
“They got the goods on him. They need to prosecute whoever shot the kid,” Peaden, a Republican, told the Herald. “He has no protection under my law.”
Under the “Stand Your Ground” law, someone who feels threatened can used 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.”
Self-defense laws in other states say that a victim has to make an attempt to retreat before resorting to killing, unless they are at home, under the so-called “castle doctrine.”
Zimmerman has said he fired in self-defense because the teen came after him.
But Peaden and Baxley said that 911 tapes showing that Zimmerman followed Martin despite a dispatcher’s request to stay away appeared to show that the 28-year-old crime watch volunteer was the aggressor.
“The guy lost his defense right then,” Peaden told the Herald. “When he said, ‘I’m following him,’ he lost his defense.”