Problems with Stand Your Ground laws in the Martin Case

zimmermanEvan Louro

 

I remember taking a law class in high school, and the Trayvon Martin case was the topic of conversation one day. After the verdict was released to the public and George Zimmerman was declared not guilty, most people wondered how he had gotten away with his crime. From a legal standpoint, the real mistake was charging George Zimmerman with second-degree premeditated murder when in actuality the charge should have been less. People also debated the necessity of stand your ground laws currently in place.

         The debate leads to the question: do these stand your ground laws provide a fair defense of Zimmerman in this case? An article by Edward Champion on a forum called “The Reluctant Habits” discusses the faulty goals of stand your ground laws and how it allows people to get away with crime. According to Champion the laws have a racial undertone that have allowed white people like Zimmerman to walk free while punishing some black people for scattered crimes that were not as serious as those in the Zimmerman case. A black woman was sentenced to twenty years in prison for firing a warning shot, which doesn’t really make any sense to me, because although it probably wasn’t the smartest idea to start firing warning shot into the air, she didn’t hurt anyone unlike George Zimmerman. Between Champion’s article and my background in my legal class that I took in high school the issue in this case may be not just racism in general, but racism in the way laws are formed and enforced. Champion mentions that “A CU-Boulder study from last year revealed that 69 undergraduates and 254 police officers were more likely to shoot black suspects over Hispanics and whites.” The trend from the study makes the stand your ground laws racist with in their own language, allowing people’s biases to clear legal notice.

         Based on my experience with the topic I think that stand your ground laws need to be reviewed and changed accordingly. Although benefits are an increase in tourism and an overall drop in crime, these incidences cant just continue to be brushed to the side. Trayvon Martin’s death is definitely a symbol of racism that might be alive in today’s world. But more then that, it exposes a problem in the legal system and reflects fears of people in American society.

 

https://ctools.umich.edu/portal/site/e2b1fd2a-5179-4164-93d8-71bcbc4dd25c/page/abab852d-56ee-4a1c-b974-86f12b02c4b4

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2 thoughts on “Problems with Stand Your Ground laws in the Martin Case

  1. The legal approach you take in your blog exposes the glaring holes in our legal system. The case was never full proof to begin with and setup for Zimmerman to be successful. People get convicted for far less crimes frequently and the fact that Zimmerman was able to get away scotch free is mind boggling. But as you said the problem goes beyond the legal system, but to society as a whole.

  2. Your approach to the topic from the legality viewpoint made your blog an interesting read. Many people often try to point fingers at other people in situations like this, but pointing the finger at “everyone” because laws are voted on, and representatives are voted on, is a very complex and intriguing pin that you made.

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