Separate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation’s attention, it’s time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods. (Cheers, applause.) These laws try to fix something that was never broken. There has always been a legal defense for using deadly force if — and the “if” is important — if no safe retreat is available.
But we must examine laws that take this further by eliminating the common-sense and age-old requirement that people who feel threatened have a duty to retreat, outside their home, if they can do so safely. By allowing and perhaps encouraging violent situations to escalate in public, such laws undermine public safety.
Holder’s remarks were made at the NAACP’s annual conference in Orlando—a 30-mile drive from Sanford, Florida, where the shooting and trial took place.
18:04 // 9 months ago
swagandpassion says: Hey SFB. I'm not sure if this was asked already, but many people are counting down the clock until George Zimmerman will get a book deal and receive high profile interviews; basically the Casey Anthony treatment in a sense. How soon would a civil rights case have to be filed before he could profit from his 'circumstance'? How likely is a civil rights case to be successful.
» SFB says: I’m not a legal expert here, but from what I’ve read, it probably makes more sense of the Martin family to file a wrongful death suit against Zimmerman if their goal is to prevent him from taking advantage of the case for monetary gain. There are prior cases where this route was taken, most notably the Goldman family’s lawsuit against O.J. Simpson to prevent the release of the pseudo-confession “If I Did It,” which the Goldman family released as “Confessions of the Killer” after taking ownership of the book.
As for the chances a civil rights case of finding success, comments on the matter are mixed. The Christian Science Monitor has a good roundup of takes on the matter from legal experts who think the federal government may not see enough of a case to actually go forward, though others think otherwise. But it’s too soon for all that. The NAACP, which is advocating for a civil rights case, has Eric Holder’s ear. Holder is speaking at their annual conference tomorrow, in fact. I’m going with “inconclusive”, personally. — Ernie @ SFB
22:40 // 9 months ago