Stand Your Ground and Shoot Black People

Another senseless murder:

On Friday night, gun collector Michael David Dunn pulled his sedan up next to the SUV in which the unarmed 17-year-old Jordan Davis sat with his three friends at a Jacksonville, Florida, gas station. Dunn, 45, allegedly asked them to turn down their loud music. According to the Orlando Sentinel, that provoked an argument with Jordan and his friends:

    Jordan and Dunn exchanged words, and Dunn pulled a gun and shot eight or nine times, striking Jordan twice, [Jacksonville sheriff’s Lt. Rob] Schoonover said. Jordan was sitting in the back seat. No one else was hurt.

Jordan died that night in his friend’s arms. Jordan’s father, Ron, later called Dunn a “coward” for shooting at the teens.

Dunn was immediately charged with murder and his lawyer is now using the Stand Your Ground law as his defense.

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122 replies
  1. 1
    TenguPhule says:

    Dunn was immediately charged with murder and his lawyer is now using the Stand Your Ground law as his defense.

    I suppose it would be too much to hope for dramatic Irony and have Dunn disposed of and Stand your ground used as the justification as Dunn clearly demonstrated he was a threat to the life and liberty of everyone else?

  2. 2

    To preempt, Ta-Nahesi cautions against the natural immediate reaction:

    As an aside, I don’t think Trayvon Martin comparisons are necessarily helpful here. The single aggravating factor in Martin’s death was the lack of police action.

  3. 3
    Brachiator says:

    Dunn was immediately charged with murder and his lawyer is now using the Stand Your Ground law as his defense.

    Yes, because a white man with a gun obviously feels in fear for his life when black kids talk back to him.

  4. 4
    red dog says:

    Sounds like Dunn picked the fight. Only cowards pick a fight and then draw a gun.

  5. 5
    ET says:

    Sadly, using this as a defense in suspect ways was so totally, and completely foreseeable.

  6. 6
    Mark S. says:

    If that counts as Stand Your Ground, they might as well make murder legal. Maybe Fonzi could tell us that if you make murder illegal, then only criminals will murder.

  7. 7
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Assuming this clown gets the proverbial fair trial and fine hanging, I look forward to his lengthy time in jail where the brothers will make sure he pays for his crime above and beyond the loss of freedom part.

  8. 8
    The Red Pen says:

    @red dog:

    Sounds like Dunn picked the fight. Only cowards pick a fight and then draw a gun.

    As if there weren’t enough to be outraged about, “Stand Your Ground” actually protects this behavior.

    Generally, “instigators” are not covered by self-defense laws, but in the Florida law, you can start a conflict and if it other party escalates to where you feel your life is threatened, you can “stand your ground.”

    So, basically, if you’ve ever wanted to see what it’s like to shoot somebody, go to Florida, find and angry drunk in a bar parking lot and call his mother a whore. Shortly, you ought to be able to “stand your ground” legally.

  9. 9
    Smiling Mortician says:

    Granted, this law was nothing but trouble from the beginning for a variety of reasons. But couldn’t the state at least come up with some sort of reality-based definition of what “one’s ground” actually is? When you’re chasing a kid down the street, that’s not your ground. When you’re sitting in your vehicle in a parking lot, fully capable of leaving unmolested, the interior of someone else’s vehicle is not your fucking ground.

  10. 10
    Quaker in a Basement says:

    his lawyer is now using the Stand Your Ground law as his defense.

    Which his lawyer is trying to expand into the Stand Your Ground and Then Flee the County law.

  11. 11

    At least the cops arrested the guy and he’s being charged with a crime.

    Though it’s far from clear that he won’t beat the charges with SYG.

    If he does, I hope it becomes clear to Florida citizens that their government has effectively legalized murder.

  12. 12
    Ed Drone says:

    @The Red Pen:

    … go to Florida, find and angry drunk in a bar parking lot and call his mother a whore. Shortly, you ought to be able to “stand your ground” legally.

    Don’t take your guns to town, son.
    Leave your guns at home, Bill.
    Don’t take your guns to town.

    That drunk and his buddies might just be packing heat, and when you reach for your ‘iron,’ might just be quicker and have better aim.

    Don’t take your guns to town….

    Ed

  13. 13
    KG says:

    @ET: as an attorney, I can say it’d probably be malpractice not to raise the defense. I know it seems dumb on its face, but that’s the truth. If he’s convicted with the defense, it allows an appeal on the issue and the Florida appellate courts can bring some rationality to the overbroad language of the law. That’s the way the legal system works: a law gets passed, it gets tested in court (either in extreme circumstances or in very close circumstances), and the courts clarify what the meaning of “is” is.

  14. 14
    danimal says:

    I liked this place better when Cole read his own blog.

  15. 15
    SFAW says:

    Dunn’s big problem/mistake was that Jordan was in the back seat. Had Jordan been in the front seat, then Dunn could have claimed that Jordan was DWB, and thus Dunn had a reasonable fear for his own safety.

    And before some wag says “But he would have been a passenger in the front seat!”: I believe the DWB laws are written such that ANY front-seat occupancy (by certain types of three-fifths-persons) can be considered driving. Plus, also, too: they all look alike.

  16. 16
    Felonius Monk says:

    I agree that this case is not comparable to the Trayvon Martin killing.

    This p-o-s never called the police and ran home to another county. The cops came after him. So far, it seems that the police have done their job properly, what remains to be seen is how this will be prosecuted.

    But here is an interesting hypothetical. Suppose someone in the car full of kids listening to loud music had a gun and returned fire whacking the original shooter Dunn. Wouldn’t that person have a legitimate claim to a “stand your ground” defense?

  17. 17
    Mark S. says:

    Oh, and his lawyer is grasping at straws:

    Robin Lemonidis of Melbourne said Tuesday night that someone in the red sport-utility vehicle that was next to her client’s car pulled a shotgun on him and that he fired in self defense. “He acted the way any responsible firearms owner would act in a similar situation because a shotgun was aimed at him,” she said. Jacksonville police said no weapon was found in the car. “How hard did they look,” Lemonidis said. “Have they done an entire search?”

    Shotguns can be easy to overlook in a crime scene.

  18. 18
    Steeplejack says:

    @danimal:

    Amen. And I was getting a little freaked out as I read more and more comments with nobody appearing to notice.

  19. 19
    Schlemizel says:

    @Cris (without an H):

    He got push back on that later in the thread and softened his position I think

    SYG = Shoot Young Guys

  20. 20
    👽 Martin says:

    @danimal: Uh, John has never read his own blog. I’m not sure he read it even when he was the only one posting to it.

    Don’t fuck with the job creator.

    @The Red Pen:

    As if there weren’t enough to be outraged about, “Stand Your Ground” actually protects this behavior.

    As you note below, it doesn’t just protect it, it encourages the behavior. Any kind of unpleasant situation you are in can be rectified by escalating things, baiting the other guy into a conflict serious enough to be covered by the law, and then knowing you’re armed, play your trump card.

    Any decent poker player knows how to bait a weaker player into overbetting, and then slamming down on him knowing you have the nut hand.

  21. 21
    👽 Martin says:

    FYWP!

  22. 22
    whidby says:

    I thought I read something about the shooter saying that the guy he shot brandished a shotgun inside the SUV.

    I guess it’s old fashioned to postpone sentencing until after a jury has sorted out the facts of what actually happened.

  23. 23
    KG says:

    @Mark S.: and, you know, stepping on the gas and GTFO of there wouldn’t occur to anyone, right?

  24. 24
    David in NY says:

    @The Red Pen: Does “Stand Your Ground” eliminate the requirement, for a self-defense claim, that the person claiming that defense not have provoked the fight? I knew that it did away with the requirement that the putative self-defender have no ready way to escape and avoid the conflict; thus, “stand your ground.” But I had not heard that a person could start a fight and then claim self defense, a different question. I’m pretty sure I once lost a case in New York for someone because he had provoked the fight, and I didn’t know that these knew laws changed that.

  25. 25
    Amir Khalid says:

    Jordan Davis was sitting in one parked car; Michael Dunn came and parked next to the car he was in. As far as I can tell, this went down without Jordan or Dunn leaving their respective vehicles. So I don’t see either party encroaching on the other’s “ground”, and how Dunn has any ground to defend. Can the lawyers here comment on this point?

  26. 26
    David in NY says:

    @whidby: Ah, the old phantom shot-gun, eh? (Noting lawyer’s concession that police said they found no shotgun.)

  27. 27
    Trakker says:

    Ever since Reagan, the right has pushed for and gotten; lower taxes-especially on the wealthy, more guns, less regulation, school vouchers so kids can attend private schools where they can teach religion, union busting, a Senate where every bill needs 60 votes to pass, more and stricter laws against abortion, etc. I could go on and on but just look at all the changes they’ve been able to make to our society, and every one of those “improvements” has made us worse off.

    The thing about all these guns being purchased today, most are being bought by angry paranoids who are certain the government is on the verge of communism and that brown people are coming for them.

  28. 28

    @Felonius Monk:

    But here is an interesting hypothetical. Suppose someone in the car full of kids listening to loud music had a gun and returned fire whacking the original shooter Dunn. Wouldn’t that person have a legitimate claim to a “stand your ground” defense?

    Yes. Which is why it’s an absurd law that escalates any confrontation into a game of “Last one standing gets to claim he stood his ground.”

  29. 29
    burnspbesq says:

    Every armed wingnut on this planet has by now memorized the magic incantation that must be recited to invoke the stand-your-ground defense. These fuckers wake up in the morning and the first thing they do, even before peeing or making coffee, is to start chanting “I’m in fear for my life.”

    What a fucked-up world we inhabit.

  30. 30
    Schlemizel says:

    I wonder if the clown would have had as much trouble with the loud music if he were not packing heat?

    I live in a mixed neighborhood, occasionally when I stop by the Quickee-Mart there will be someone blaring their music. It is annoying, it is pointless it is an invasion of my space. And it is so insignificant for the 5 minutes I am there that its easy to ignore.

    Now if I had a tiny pecker and a big gun maybe I’d be more aggressive. I’d be stunned if I got a positive reaction to my request to turn it down and maybe with a tiny pecker and a big gun thats exactly what I was hoping for.

  31. 31
    Cermet says:

    Good for the local DA – they realized that this was out-right murder and are charging; of course the lawyer is gonna use that defense – he’d be disbared if he didn’t. Don’t see a jury letting this utter scum asswipe off.

  32. 32
    David in NY says:

    @Amir Khalid: I think the statute just removes the common law duty to retreat if possible, which applied at common law except in your house. In most jurisdictions, you can’t use deadly force if you are able to retreat safely. The notion of “ground” has no particular meaning except colloquially. Except for the “stand your ground” law, Dunn would have been under a duty to drive away, rather than shooting Davis.

  33. 33
    burnspbesq says:

    @David in NY:

    Noting lawyer’s concession that police said they found no shotgun

    Of course not. The victim’s friend’s girlfriend’s cousin has a transporter in his basement, and beamed the shotgun away from the crime scene before the cops got there.

  34. 34
    Schlemizel says:

    @Steeplejack:

    Hey! we can do reruns just like on TV 8-{D

    Beside a different group that might be here during this time I bet nothing got settled in that earlier thread.

    Plus I am sure we have already established that JC does not read BJ. He waits for some of you guys to email him & tell him what he is doing wrong instead

  35. 35
    FormerSwingVoter says:

    Protip: If you’re a minority and live in a SYG state, it might behoove you to get a carry permit, because people are now allowed to murder you for no reason.

  36. 36
    Cermet says:

    @Comrade Dread: Uh, WTF!? Someone shoots at you (missing) and you shoot back not missing IS NOT stand your ground; its called self defense. Not even close on that one. Try again.

  37. 37
    burnspbesq says:

    @Schlemizel:

    I wonder if the clown would have had as much trouble with the loud music if he were not packing heat?

    I wonder if the clown would have had as much trouble with the loud music if had been Jason Aldean instead of Nas.

  38. 38
    Calouste says:

    @KG:

    And that a few kids get killed in the meantime because ridiculous laws get passed, that’s just the price you have to pay for good laws, amiright?

    Lawyers can be so autistic about law without considering real world impact.

  39. 39
    burnspbesq says:

    @Calouste:

    What the hell are you talking about? You’re responding to an argument that was not made; it’s a Fig Newton of your imagination. Get a grip.

  40. 40
    The Red Pen says:

    @Mark S.:

    Shotguns can be easy to overlook in a crime scene.

    You’d be surprised. On a recent vacation, I flew from La Guardia to Omaha. When I got to the hotel in Axtell, I discovered that I had a Mossberg 12-gauge pump in my carry-on and TSA didn’t notice it even though they searched my bag!

    I was pretty shocked, so I told my wife to check her bag, and it turns out she’d packed an M2 Browning, thinking it was a sweater.

  41. 41
    Calouste says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I knew I could rely on you to prove my point.

  42. 42
    The Red Pen says:

    @David in NY:

    Does “Stand Your Ground” eliminate the requirement, for a self-defense claim, that the person claiming that defense not have provoked the fight?

    Yep. The Florida SYG law allows you to initiate a conflict.

    That’s why Zimmerman might be found innocent even though there is no question that he followed Martin and confronted him.

  43. 43
    Steeplejack says:

    @Schlemizel:

    Yeah, like I’m going to send Cole an e-mail. Keep on dreamin’.

    Although, for any newbies here, I have heard that e-mail is the absolute best way to communicate with Cole. Address at the upper right.

  44. 44
    Schlemizel says:

    @Steeplejack:

    I never have emailed him & was just making a joke there. But yo are right, from past experience here he just LOVES fan letters from the rabble here.

  45. 45
    Amir Khalid says:

    @The Red Pen:
    How did you deal with the firearms for the return trip?

  46. 46
    KG says:

    @burnspbesq: no, you see, the specific facts of this case totally show the general point to be terrible in all cases. because you know, “first let us kill all the lawyers” and then we don’t have to worry about testing dumb laws in bad situations…

  47. 47
    The Moar You Know says:

    The defense lawyer is taking what is frankly the only option he has since the facts are not in dispute; Mr. Asshole rolled up on a bunch of kids playing their hippity-hop music, called ’em a bunch of worthless niggers, and then opened fire.

    Mr. Asshole’s not going to get away with it, and is likely looking at life in prison when this is all over. Mr. Asshole’s girlfriend had better start talking or she’s going to get nailed as an accessory.

  48. 48
    Schlemizel says:

    @burnspbesq:

    If I am at a stop light next to someone blaring music I sometimes turn to the classical music station & crank it. Sadly I only have a tame stereo & can’t compete with the big boys on Bds

    If I like in FL I would probably have to worry that might be considered a threat & get me shot

  49. 49
    Randy P says:

    @David in NY: Yep. Can’t pull up the reference on my phone but there was a case where a guy picked a fight with his ex’s new boyfriend at the boyfriend’s house. Then got off on a SYG. Pretty sure that was Florida.

  50. 50
    wenchacha says:

    @Calouste: Just like free-market solutions.

  51. 51

    It’s horrible to think that it’s probably going to take a highly public revenge killing before white people in the South are convinced that these ‘stand your ground’ laws might not be a good idea.

  52. 52
    The Red Pen says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    How did you deal with the firearms for the return trip?

    Open carry. In that case we were from from Nebraska.

  53. 53
    Schlemizel says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    carried them “internally” what olde tyme prisoners called a “plan”

  54. 54
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Calouste:
    That isn’t quite fair. Lawyers must work with the law as it is, not as we might wish them to be. And they have an obligation to defend a client with the most effective arguments available, however unsavoury such arguments might seem.

  55. 55
    Another Halocene Human says:

    I blame the movies.

    Then again, the victim of that assault only woke up with some nasty bruises I gather.

  56. 56

    @Cermet: Right. In a clean and clear scenario with multiple witnesses, that would be self-defense.

    Let’s make it a bit messier.

    You come upon a crime scene with one man dead and another standing there also armed. Both guns have been fired.

    Who is to say who drew first in that situation?

    The last man standing.

  57. 57
    handsmile says:

    Distinctions should and must be made between this murder and the Trayvon Martin shooting, but people might be curious to learn what Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, is up to (while in hiding): fundraising.

    Zimmerman is now selling autographs: a donation to his depleted defense fund in exchange for a signed thank-you note.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/worl.....undraising

    Zimmerman’s trial is scheduled for next June. I guess Michael David Dunn will have to wait to see how much of a market there’ll be for his own autograph.

  58. 58
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Schlemizel: If I like in FL I would probably have to worry that might be considered a threat & get me shot

    Lol, my wife grew up near Miami and when I used to honk at cars and shout “Good going, Sparky!” she used to cringe and cower and scream at me that I was going to get us shot.

  59. 59
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Randy P: But the woman who fired a warning shot with her children in the house when her violent ex showed up got prison. In Florida.

    Somebody explain that shit.

  60. 60
    Gravenstone says:

    @Amir Khalid: Given that a Browning M2 is about 5′ long and 85# dry, I’d guess very carefully.

  61. 61
    Carl Nyberg says:

    It seems obvious that the solution is for people to buy guns for Black folk.

    When middle-aged White guys act suspicious or obnoxious, Black folk should shoot them.

    It’s pretty clear there’s enough White folk who are poorly socialized that a reasonable Black person would feel at risk.

    After a dozen or so of these crackers and their kin get culled from the heard maybe the Florida legislature will fix the law.

  62. 62
    John says:

    @Another Halocene Human: First of all she was black (the laws don’t really apply to everyone). The second thing is she should have killed him so there was only one story. See Burnsy “I feared for my life”

  63. 63
    JWL says:

    “..you can start a conflict and if it other party escalates to where you feel your life is threatened, you can “stand your ground.”

    Is it possible to stand your ground with your foot on an accelerator? Because I don’t think it is.

  64. 64
    Judge Crater says:

    Why are these guys, Zimmerman et al, so angry? And fearful? Good Christ, I live in DC where you have to be conscious of street crime. But carrying a gun is insane. It’s just an invitation to escalate any confrontation to a lethal level. It’s just more evidence that 27 percent of the population has lost their minds.

  65. 65
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    You know what, Florida? Fuck you. We’re done. It’s time for us to go our separate ways. See if some other country wants you, because we don’t.

  66. 66
    Punchy says:

    Somebody explain that shit.

    She was black.

  67. 67
    Calouste says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    My comment wasn’t about the lawyer, my comment was about the idea that the system is working as intended because bad laws can be fixed via the courts, and that if a few people get killed because of bad laws, those are apparently the eggs you need to break for the omelet of legal purity.

  68. 68
    befuggled says:

    @Another Halocene Human: My wife had some guy pounding on her car the other day in downtown Toronto. Apparently he was parked in the right lane, blocking traffic, and she went into the right lane after him at about the time he decided to stop blocking traffic. They both come to a stop at the traffic light, 50 feet later, and he gets out and pounds on the roof of her car until she leaves when the light changes. He follows her for a while but she eventually lost him.

    I am grateful we don’t live in Miami.

  69. 69
    Calouste says:

    @wenchacha:

    Indeedy. Just like, say, peanut butter manufacturers go out of business after about a dozen people have been killed because the peanut butter was contaminated with salmonella, so bad laws will be repealed after enough people have been killed by idiots with guns and a penile compensation issue. We’re just trying to find out how many dead Floridian teenagers is enough.

  70. 70
    The Other Chuck says:

    @Calouste: Clearly we need to let the free market decide. People can merely choose to purchase bulletproof windows for their cars after all.

  71. 71
    Just One More Canuck says:

    I shot a man in Jacksonville just to watch him die

  72. 72
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    @The Red Pen:

    So, basically, if you’ve ever wanted to see what it’s like to shoot somebody, go to Florida, find and angry drunk in a bar parking lot and call his mother a whore. Shortly, you ought to be able to “stand your ground” legally.

    Offer may not apply depending on race or religion…

  73. 73
    Richard says:

    Evidently, being African American in Jacksonville is a capital crime.

  74. 74
    Richard says:

    @Just One More Canuck:

    I shot a man in Jacksonville just to watch him die

    Quite frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if that was the genuine motivation in this case.

  75. 75
    Maude says:

    I did not tell people to email Cole.
    Not this time, anyway.

  76. 76
    burnspbesq says:

    @Schlemizel:

    If I am at a stop light next to someone blaring music I sometimes turn to the classical music station & crank it.

    That works especially well on Saturday if you are tuned into the Live from the Met broadcast. :-)

  77. 77
    Schlemizel says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    This is exactly the NRAs goal. As the lobbying arm for the gun manufacturers they have been aware for some time that the market is over saturated. Pretty much everyone that wanted a gun had two or three already.

    They have been able to play up the “Clinton/Obama gonna git yer guns” thing but that won’t work forever and certainly does not work on more rational folks. But, if the turn American cities into Dodge City & fire up a few shootouts at the I’m-not-OK corral then more rational people will figure they need a gun too. The real beauty of this is that it will increase the amount of gun violence and generate even more sales.

    Its playing out just like they wanted it to.

  78. 78
    Palli says:

    @red dog:
    I don’t think cowards actually pick fights, so I don’t think this man is cowardly: he is an sociopath murderer, plain and simple.

  79. 79
    Paul in KY says:

    @FormerSwingVoter: Good point. I think I would have one if I lived in FL & I’m whitey-white.

  80. 80
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @burnspbesq:

    The victim’s friend’s girlfriend’s cousin has a transporter in his basement, and beamed the shotgun away from the crime scene before the cops got there.

    The shotgun was obviously put on a truck headed into Syria, Saddam-style.

  81. 81
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Calouste:
    Well, I’m not an American, or a lawyer, let alone an American lawyer. But legal systems, and the people who run them, are necessarily sticklers for process, otherwise they fuck up the system. I don’t think they take at all lightly the deaths of kids like Trayvon and Jordan.

  82. 82
    aimai says:

    @FormerSwingVoter:

    Sorry, but there have been cases in Florida in which black people tried to “stand their ground” and protect themselves where they got prison–the law only applies in practice as a get out of jail free card to white people. Permit to carry or not minorities are not going to be permitted self defense or to use the syg defense.

    aimai

  83. 83
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: Wouldn’t ‘my client flew into an uncontrollable rage & shot this person under extreme emotional duress’ be more ethical than trying to get him off on the Stand Your Ground?

  84. 84
    Palli says:

    @The Moar You Know:
    You are forgetting this is Florida…and even if he is cinvicted there are state pardons

  85. 85
    DavidTC says:

    @Mark S.:
    Shotguns can be easy to overlook in a crime scene.

    Also, the normal response of someone has a gun, when a shotgun is pulled on them, is to _pull out their own handgun and shoot_? Really? (And then drive off?)

    No. No, it is not. That is not any sort of reasonable response at all.

    First, if you have a handgun, and they have a _shotgun_, then if you shot them it’s entirely possible they will reflexively fire back, and manage to hit you anyway, because it’s a damn shotgun. Or you won’t hurt them enough (or just miss), and they will processed to _deliberately_ return fire, which will _not_ miss because, again, shotgun.

    Especially if this escalated to a firefight and the vehicles started moving, since the person with the handgun would be _driving_, and the person with the shotgun _wouldn’t_ be.

    ‘Why did you shoot a defenseless person?’ ‘Dur, he wasn’t defenseless! He was threatening my life and had me completely outgunned and outpositioned!’ ‘So…er…why’d you pull out a gun, then? Wouldn’t it have been a bit more reasonable to just wait for the light to change and him to leave?’

    Sometimes I think real life need to be narrated by Michael Weston.

  86. 86
    Aries Moon says:

    I keep having one overriding thought when people insist this can’t be compared to the Trayvon Martin case. I agree, but only in that the SYG defense seemed even less appropriate there. George Zimmerman was LOOKING for trouble — was literally out ‘patrolling’ the neighborhood like some self-appointed arbiter of vigilante justice looking for bad guys. How can a guy who was out looking for trouble claim SYG when he found it?? The implication of that is stunning.

    Now, this guy Dunn may be lying about the gun or not lying about the gun, we don’t yet know. Did he fear for his life? It’s at least plausible that he did. Fleeing the scene without calling the police doesn’t make him look too good but it doesn’t inform us much as to whether he felt he was in jeopardy at the scene.

    It just seems like SYG is like really, really bad law all the way around, with an interpretation that can be applied way too broadly and abused way too often.

  87. 87
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Paul in KY:
    According to what I learned in the I Saw It on TV School of Law, that’s a plea for mitigation, not a defence.

  88. 88
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: To me, sometimes mitigation is the only ‘ethical’ defense.

    Say you blew away 3 kids going to school & everyone saw it. You can’t really say ‘I didn’t do it’. Thus, for the ethical lawyer, you try to mitigate (in that situation).

    In the situation we are talking about, there were several witnesses & I’m sure they have security footage. So, I would think maybe the best an ‘ethical’ lawyer could hope for here would be some form of mitigation (IMO).

  89. 89
    Northern Observer says:

    COWARD COWARD COWARD

  90. 90
    Schlemizel says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I was on a jury here for a murder trial. I have no idea how the law might work in FL but would guess it is badly because the mental state defense is viewed by many as an excuse. So this is correct only for the time years ago in Minnesota.

    To claim that you would have to show you didn’t really understand what you did. The guy in my case calmly walked down to his basement, got a claw hammer, walked upstairs & beat his sleeping (abusive) wife to death. He would have been OK probably because the doctors on both sides said he was not in his right mind. But he walked back down, cleaned the hammer & hung it back in its place. This was considered an attempt to conceal the crime and we were instructed we could not consider his not guilty by reason of insanity.

    Compare that to this guy or Zimmerman who admitted the murder but Shoot Young Men (of color) gets them out despite anything they did before or after the murder.

  91. 91
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Aries Moon:
    George Zimmerman was actually a neighbourhood watch captain, duly appointed by his neighbours. Who most likely weren’t expecting him to carry a gun to patrol the neighbourhood, which is bad practice; or to confront innocent people without cause.

  92. 92
    The Red Pen says:

    @DavidTC:

    Also, the normal response of someone has a gun, when a shotgun is pulled on them, is to pull out their own handgun and shoot?

    It was justified. He pulled first.

  93. 93
    RSA says:

    @DavidTC:

    Also, the normal response of someone has a gun, when a shotgun is pulled on them, is to pull out their own handgun and shoot?

    Dunn’s lawyer says the sequence was this: Dunn reaches over to the glove compartment, opens it, pulls out his gun, loads it, and then shoots. Yeah, that’s believable.

  94. 94
    Mandalay says:

    @aimai:

    the law only applies in practice as a get out of jail free card to white people. Permit to carry or not minorities are not going to be permitted self defense or to use the syg defense.

    Not so. For example, this is a gang murder where black killers walked based on the Stand Your Ground law.

    http://www.tampabay.com/stand-.....s/case_103

    p.s. Superb journalism by the Tampa Bay Times in reviewing the circumstances where SYG has been invoked.

  95. 95
    Darkrose says:

    @burnspbesq:

    That works especially well on Saturday if you are tuned into the Live from the Met broadcast. :-)

    I prefer showtunes, though at the moment my current favorite blast song is the main theme from Skyrim. Nothing like singing along with a barbarian choir in a language that sounds like a cross between German and Russian.

  96. 96
    Aries Moon says:

    @Amir Khalid: Fair enough, he was duly appointed. That doesn’t change the crux of it, which is he was out actively looking for trouble. One could argue, since he was packing heat, that he was expecting to find it. I know it’s bad form to speak in absolutes but the undeniable reality is, not only did he find trouble… he actively created it.

  97. 97
    rikyrah says:

    these stories make my heart hurt

  98. 98
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Paul in KY:
    A defence is when you’re trying to argue that you’re innocent (or at least not guilty). You plead for mitigation only after you’ve already been convicted, or have pleaded guilty, and are trying to persuade the judge not to hit you with the heaviest sentence.

  99. 99
    Mandalay says:

    @Palli:

    I don’t think cowards actually pick fights, so I don’t think this man is cowardly

    Cowards with guns absolutely do pick fights. He was a coward as well as a killer.

  100. 100
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Aries Moon:
    I agree that he had a strange attitude for a neighbourhood watch guy, and was probably hoping for trouble on his rounds so he could act the hero. It was reported that he’d do weird things like report the movements of small children, 6 or 7 years old, to the cops just because they were black and male.

  101. 101
    Aries Moon says:

    @Mandalay: This is fascinating, thanks for sharing. Interesting that the majority of these cases look like they’re between acquaintances of one sort or another.

  102. 102
    gvg says:

    I think you are misremembering. Zimmerman was not a legitimate neighborhood watch captain because there wasn’t an official neighborhood watch to be captain of. It was sort of informal but his neighborhood hadn’t actually gone through the whole process, contact with the police, training etc. George was just the only one who really felt like “doing anything”. Neighborhood watch is a rather specific program that is watched over by the police. the police pretty much invented it. its not just every homeowners association having one meeting and saying you do it.

  103. 103
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mandalay:

    Their database that you linked to is really great — you can look at every one of the 200+ cases where a Stand Your Ground defense was attempted.

    I think what a lot of people have been missing about Florida’s specific Stand Your Ground law is that it provides immunity from prosecution. That is, if you claim Stand Your Ground, you first go in front of a judge who evaluates your claim and decides if it’s valid. If it is, a case cannot be brought against you by the DA because you have been given immunity on those charges.

    So it is very different from a self-defense claim in that you never actually go to trial at all if you successfully claim that you were SYG. And it was specifically designed that way so people would not be “harassed” by being charged with manslaughter or murder and then have to claim self defense at trial. It bypasses that whole system.

    As I said when this came up a few days ago, I’m convinced the only reason Dunn was arrested was because he left the scene. If he’d stuck around until the cops had arrived, like Zimmermann he probably would have been able to convince them that it was a SYG situation and it would be useless to charge him since a judge would grant him SYG immunity anyway.

  104. 104
    Mandalay says:

    @Aries Moon:

    Interesting that the majority of these cases look like they’re between acquaintances of one sort or another.

    Yes, I noticed that as well. Obviously that does not apply in the cases of Dunn and Zinnerman, where they seemed to be intent on picking a fight over little or nothing. TNC crystallized their problem beautifully: “There is no right to proceed through your life unannoyed by people“.

    http://www.theatlantic.com/nat.....is/265704/

    Those killers were invoking their supposed right to proceed through their lives unannoyed, by murdering others. If only they had been mindful of their obligation (as civilized members of society) to tolerate other members of society.

  105. 105
    Mandalay says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    I think what a lot of people have been missing about Florida’s specific Stand Your Ground law is that it provides immunity from prosecution.

    Right. If your lawyer successfully invokes the SYG argument there is no trial; you just walk. Conversely, once a case goes to trial SYG is no longer relevant as a defense, since a judge has already determined that it cannot be used.

    At least that is my understanding, but IANAL.

    Dunn’s case is interesting because even if he successfully uses SYG (God forbid) then I think he is still looking at jail time for going on the run. Even after he learned that he had killed someone he still didn’t go the cops…they had to find him.

  106. 106
    amspirnational says:

    The grotesque angry high pitched sounds of rap should never have become acceptable in public, the acceptance of which was in itself a sign of cowing to minority racists. I suppose there are ample numbers of “wiggers” now who also play the crap, so –enjoy the cultural collapse, liberals, you who drove large numbers of the white working class into the arms of the retrograde warmongering sector of the tea party.

  107. 107
    Cmm says:

    Because Dunn is white and killed a black person, my prediction is that he ultimately takes a manslaughter plea (or whatever the Florida equivalent is) and serves 10 years or less. Actually that is my Zimmermann prediction as well.

  108. 108
    Cmm says:

    Because Dunn is white and killed a black person, my prediction is that he ultimately takes a manslaughter plea (or whatever the Florida equivalent is) and serves 10 years or less. Actually that is my Zimmermann prediction as well.

  109. 109
    Bob says:

    Not that I’m advocating violence, but perhaps more of a pointed version of satire. I just wonder aloud whether or not people of florida might feel threatened from others using the legal defense of “Stand Your Ground” laws to get away with murdering them, and therefore Stand Their Ground by shooting all the legislators who voted for it, therefore making the law safe to be overturned.

    It also goes without mentioning that the quickest way to find out that a law is unconstitutional is for it to negatively affect predominately white males.

  110. 110
    different-church-lady says:

    Hell, at least he got charged. A lot of people lost the thread with Travon Martin and forgot that the problem wasn’t the stand your ground defense, but that the police weren’t even going to charge Zimmerman with anything at all.

  111. 111
    Mnemosyne says:

    @different-church-lady:

    A lot of people lost the thread with Travon Martin and forgot that the problem wasn’t the stand your ground defense, but that the police weren’t even going to charge Zimmerman with anything at all.

    Strangely, after I looked into SYG in Florida and read more about what happened that night, the actions of the cops made more sense to me. They did bring him in and question him, but they were advised by their local DA that Zimmermann would almost certainly be given immunity under SYG and would be allowed to sue them if they arrested him, so they saved themselves a lot of hassle and didn’t arrest him. Frankly, given the way the Florida courts have been interpreting the law, I’m fully expecting Zimmermann to be set free, because that’s what was written into the law on purpose.

    That’s really what should scare people in Florida — how many shootings are not being pursued because of the chilling effect of the SYG law that tells the cops that they can be sued if they arrest someone who’s later given immunity under SYG?

  112. 112
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @amspirnational: Eat my ample ass.

  113. 113
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    @amspirnational: Eat my ample ass.

  114. 114
    Tony J says:

    @Pinkamena Panic:

    Oh, come on now. Appreciate a bit of quality flash-trolling whydontcha? Whoever huffed that blurt of wingsdom our way deserves some respect. It was pitch perfect and, importantly, sounded – almost – believable, until you re-read “grotesque angry high pitched sounds of rap” and think, hang on, “high-pitched”? What’s high-pitched about.. oohhhh, now I get it.

    Shorter – probably Doug J. Dude leaves clues like Moriarty luring Sherlock into a trap.

  115. 115
    Jason says:

    @Smiling Mortician

    Granted, this law was nothing but trouble from the beginning for a variety of reasons. But couldn’t the state at least come up with some sort of reality-based definition of what “one’s ground” actually is?

    WEll, I think the legislators thought they had defined the matter satisfactorily, but the courts have ruled (sometimes with apparent regret) in ways the legislators clearly didn’t anticipate. Most infamously:

    Tallahassee gun fight, 2008 (Florida) – A gunfight between rival gang members left 15-year-old Michael Jackson dead in a hail of bullets. However, the judge, Terry Lewis, dismissed charges against the two surviving gang members under Stand Your Ground, saying “the law would appear to allow a person to seek out an individual, provoke him into a confrontation, then shoot and kill him if he goes for his gun. … It’s very much like the wild west.”

    http://thegrio.com/2012/04/25/.....und-cases/

  116. 116
    Pamela says:

    Actually he wasn’t immediately charged with murder; he went back to his Jacksonville hotel with the girlfriend and when hearing on the news someone died in the incident they headed home to Brevard. Now if this guy feared for his life, why would he or the girlfriend not call the police immediately upon leaving the parking lot, or getting to the hotel? A witness wrote down the license plate number, which seems to have led the police to the arrest.

  117. 117
  118. 118
    Lojasmo says:

    @whidby:

    Ted and Helen get banned?

    STFU.

  119. 119
    Ted & Hellen says:

    @Lojasmo:

    ha! you wish.

    But yeah, the commenter above is absolutely right. None of you geniuses have any idea what happened here; it’s all idle speculation on your parts.

    If the guy killed the kid in cold blood, then he can rot in jail; if it turns out the SUV guys had a gun then maybe there’s something else going on here…but don’t let traditional ideas of American jurisprudence get in the way of a good old BJ circle jerk.

  120. 120
    TS says:

    @burnspbesq:

    What a fucked-up world we inhabit.

    Make that a fucked-up country – unless you can mention some other countries where 90% of the population are armed and dangerous.

  121. 121
    Paul in KY says:

    @Amir Khalid: I guess I don’t think ‘I’m not guilty of any form of murder at all, because of (insert reason here)’ is the only form of defense. It depends on the facts of the individual case.

    ‘I’m not guilty of murder 1, but I theoretically might be guilty of manslaughter, due to (insert reason here)’ is a legitimate ‘defense’ (IMO) & you can start out with that being your initial defense (if the facts of the case are extremely not in your favour).

  122. 122
    Paul in KY says:

    @Mandalay: No shit on that.

Comments are closed.