Thursday, March 22, 2012
'Stand Your Ground' Law May Not Apply for Trayvon Martin Shooter George Zimmeran

'Stand Your Ground' Law May Not Apply for Trayvon Martin Shooter George Zimmeran

George Zimmerman, who has captured headlines over the fatal shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, might not be able to use a controversial self-defense law to protect himself from being prosecuted for killing Martin.

The law, known as Stand Your Ground, allows for people to use deadly force to defend themselves in order to "prevent death or great bodily harm," but the Florida lawmakers who co-authored the bill believe that it should not apply to 28-year-old Zimmerman.

"This law is for innocent, law-abiding citizens who are under attack by a perpetrator," Republican co-author of the 2005 law, Dennis Baxley, told The Huffington Post.

Another lawmaker told the news organization that Zimmerman has "no protection under my law."

Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain, pursued and shot dead 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in his gated community in Sanford, Fla., on Feb. 26. Martin was unarmed ,wearing a hooded sweatshirt and carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea when he was fatally shot.

The teen's death has sparked national outrage, with many questioning why Zimmerman has remained free in the aftermath of the death, but Sanford police say that without evidence that Zimmerman was not acting in self-defense that they are unable to charge him for a crime.

Under the Stand Your Ground law, police are able to determine at the scene of a crime if they believe a self-defense claim.

Zimmerman claimed that he was attacked by the teen after he stopped following him, and reacted in self-defense. When police arrived to the shooting scene, Zimmerman reportedly had a bloody nose and blood on the back of his head.

The Stand Your Ground law is implemented in 21 states across the U.S., but the Trayvon Martin case is causing many to question the merits of a law that allows a shooting as gruesome as the case the Florida teen's to go uninvestigated.

The national outcry over the case has led to the organization of demonstrations across the country, including a "million hoodie march" that took place in New York City's Union Square.